By Miriam Raftery
December 2008 (San Diego) — Here's a bright idea--save money on your holiday electric bills by going green!
Solar holiday lights are now available in white or colored strings, twinkling lights, tree nets, wreaths, illuminated stars and even poinsettia lights for a variety of outdoor applications.
Solar lights are also much safer than electric holiday lights. Our household once had a fuse box fire caused by holiday lights that overloaded an aging electrical circuit. (Fortunately, one of the kids smelled smoke, sparing us a tragedy.)
With solar lights, there's no need for a plug, wires or dangerous extension cords. You can illuminate landscaping too hard to reach with conventional electric lighting. Attractive and versatile, solar holiday lights simply soak up the sun's rays by day, then illuminate solar-powered LED light fixtures after dark.
Now Ploughsare offers hand-painted glow ornaments to hang on outdoor trees. As the name implies, the ornaments absorb sunshine, emitting a soft glow for hours after sundown.
Solar lights may cost a bit more up front than electric lighting (strings average around $20), but will pay for themselves in energy cost savings over the long run.
You can find a variety of solar holiday lights at these online sources, as well as through some local discount, department and home improvement stores: