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Do It Yourself or Not: Install solar landscape lights

Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

If you’re a home body and appreciate the summer months in your backyard, an upgrade to the lighting is a nice improvement you’ll enjoy for years to come. Landscape lighting can be practical and illuminate a dark path between the garage and back door or more fanciful used to highlight a striking flower bed or garden gate entry. A good choice is a solar spotlight landscape fixture with LED (light-emitting diodes) mini light bulbs. Solar lights turn on automatically at dusk, and since they are powered by the sun, they are very energy efficient compared to more typical low voltage incandescent lights. They use long lasting NiMH batteries to store the solar energy so even after a cloudy day they provide light at night.

To install three solar spotlights, a landscape service will charge $428, which includes labor and material. The fixture is made of two parts: the light and the solar panel, both made of weather-tight anodized aluminum housing. You can do the job for $350 and save 18%. You install the fixture by driving the stake at its base into the ground.

Not sure where to put the lights? Experiment with it at night to fine-tune their location. The solar cell should face due south and be positioned on an angle so it is perpendicular to the sun. A good source for information about solar landscape lighting is www.gardeners.com.

Pro Cost: $428 — DIY Cost: $350 Pro time: 1.5 — DIY Time: 2.5 DIY Savings: $78 — Percent Saved: 18%

 

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To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.

©2021 Gene and Katie Hamilton. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

 

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