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Old 02-14-2015, 10:16 AM
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Default SOLAR LIGHTING

I am wanting to light --light is such a nebulous term-- a deck I am building.
The lighting available for such purpose is relatively low--15 watts using LED. Could put in several.
Deck is about 16' x 8'. May be roofed may not.
I have used some stake light for a path---without pleasant results---they don't seem to last long.
Some that I have seen have solar collectors that have batteries.
I dunno !
Low voltage is an option---but more expensive to install.
OPINIONS !
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:02 AM
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This is a "BUMP" !
If anyone has experience in this/these areas I would like the advice.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:47 AM
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LV is way better for at least two reasons.
They stay lit all night long.
You can turn them off if/when you want to.

All of the solar lights have a battery. That's what the solar cell is doing - charging a batt. Most low cost ones will not stay lit for more than a few hours after it gets dark.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by DeadAye View Post
All of the solar lights have a battery. That's what the solar cell is doing - charging a batt. Most low cost ones will not stay lit for more than a few hours after it gets dark.
As the real estate people say, location, location, location. Solar ones are fun to play with but you have to place them so they get a substantial amount of sun to charge. You could do a wiring job like LV back to a battery bank with a panel getting good sun but why go through the hassle.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:29 AM
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An excellent method of lighting a deck is to run a LED light 'rope' around the perimeter under the railing. It is of low lumen output, so it isn't bright, and it is under the railing, so it doesn't shine in your eyes when you are on the deck in the dark. Installation is easy and inexpensive, and it can be connected through a switch or just plugged in to an outlet. You should be able to find the 'rope' at Lowe's or Home Depot.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:42 PM
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I purchased some "wedge" solar lights about 8 years ago from the "Improvements" catalog. Each light shines straight down, (not in your eyes). I have 3 lights on the deck, (12X12) on the rail support posts, and 3 lights on the stairs going down to the patio. The units each have 3 batteries and keep light on for 8-10 hours. The batteries need replacing about every 2 1/2 years. The deck is lighted well enough with just these 3 lights to be amble to sit around and share drinks and snacks in the evening with friends. I can highly recommend these, (I'm not sure if this same item is still available).
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:24 PM
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I don't know your situation well - roofed or maybe not - as an example might make a huge difference as well as the proximity to direct sunlight of the deck itself for a solar system. Seems to me that LV would be your best bet for a couple of reasons. Weather issues can negatively impact solar panels (ice, hail, heavy winds, etc. ) LV lights are repairable for the most part.
You can easily add additional lights to a LV system, and it can be placed on a timer so they aren't on all night long if that is desired. LV is also very low maintenance, with no battery to charge/replace. LV also has more styles to choose from. Solar lights are more expense up front, fewer styles to pick from and are not easily repaired if damaged. JMHO.

Hope this helps some. Good luck with your project.

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Old 02-18-2015, 02:30 PM
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As a side note - if I were doing it I would have built in seating along the outside area of the deck with my LV - low level light output mounted directly under the seating facing downward and kept to a minimum of lighting for maximum privacy.

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Old 02-18-2015, 03:29 PM
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Some of our neighbors have solar - pretty inconsistent and not very bright IMO. A couple years ago we rebuilt our deck and installed LV lights on the columns - haven't thought about them since then and they are on for about 3-4 hrs every night 24/7 - 11 watts ea.

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Old 02-20-2015, 05:59 AM
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Thanks for the help.
I don't want, daylight bright---but I don't want stumbling either. I would prefer motion activated and certainly not dusk to dawn.
DECISIONS.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:25 AM
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Default Solar would be ok....

It's kinda like choosing a reloading press. If your needs for lighting on the deck aren't demanding go with solar. If there are times when you would need light and want it right then the wired system is the way to go.

Suggestion- Go with solar but put in a floodlight or two for the times when light is needed.
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