Deck lighting. solar? That I can decide to turn on or off.
November 13, 2020 5:44 PM   Subscribe

I would like to do work, build things, read, etc. out on the deck even when it's dark. Can anyone recommend a battery and/or solar light that a) isn't motion dependent and b) isn't on all the time (i.e. has a way to turn it on/off), and that's c) reasonably attractive? I'm thinking I might want 2-3 gutter-mounted lights, a couple of sconces/wall mounted lights, or even a lantern or three that somehow won't shine into my eyes and make it hard to see other things.

There are probably ergonomic factors that I don't even know to consider.

I would like the whole area to look "nice" and to be easy to manage.

A remote control might be good.

A much-too-time-consuming look through the offerings I could find turned up some stuff, but most of it looked like it was either on all the time or was motion-sensitive.

I also couldn't really tell what was bright enough.

I have a light that uses 4 D batteries that gives good illumination, but it's a motion-detecting light (not good if you're sitting still) and is half broken anyway.

posted by amtho to Home & Garden (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have a lot of solar lighting, and some of the stuff meant for outdoor home and landscaping does have on/off switches (where "on" means "when it's dark enough"), but I find those switches are the first thing to fail so you're better off leaving them on ON and not messing with it. Also the buttons are usually placed where you're going to have to contort to turn it on. Your options broaden if you accept dusk-to-dawn ON

Lowes has had pretty sweet-looking actual outdoor solar lamps in their summer outdoor furniture, but I'm struggling to hit the search term to find them now. What I did find, however, are these rechargeable outdoor floor and table lamps, which are really nice looking and I am intrigued. You could charge those off small power banks you recharge inside, or a larger solar generator (see Jackery, Rockpals, or Aeiusny brands) that could be charged off indoor AC or a 60w portable or 100w stationary(ish) solar panel. I have a Renogy 100w lightweight stationary propped up in a sunny part of my yard, and both Jackery and Aeiusny generators that I can charge off it or off indoor AC or DC in the car.

Brightness is your challenge. All my solar house and lawn lighting is pretty low-lumen/wattage. On Halloween we ran a 50-foot LED rope light off my larger 240wh solar generator and it went from 100% to 80% in less than 3 hours. Bright enough to read by that is also a useful form factor - because I have some very bright solar spots in the yard, but they would be a challenge to not get shone in your eyes and the on/off switches all broke quickly - is tougher unless you want to build some sort of shade/bubble/diffuser for them to shine into.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:32 PM on November 13, 2020

Response by poster: Battery-operated is an option, too, since I can just recharge batteries with a solar setup I have, and I might not use the lamps that often.
posted by amtho at 6:45 PM on November 13, 2020

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