Learn about the different types of exterior solar lighting. Solar lighting requires no electrical input and is an attractive feature for your home's exterior.
LESLIE: Alright, Deanna in Texas has a question about an older home with a gaslight out front. How charming.
DEANNA: Well, I have this older home; it was built in ’72 and I just purchased it. And I noticed that it has a gaslight out front but it doesn’t work.
DEANNA: And we determined that the gas line to it has been cut.
DEANNA: So I was just wondering if there’s any alternative. Is there a solar light fixture that would work there or if you had any suggestions.
TOM: Well, do you want to restore it to its original gaslight status?
DEANNA: Well, what would that take?
TOM: Well, it would take – it would take, first of all, reinstalling the gas line at both ends. We should – it’d be nice if we knew why it was cut. It might be that they just decided they wanted nothing to do with a gaslight because while gaslights are really, really pretty; they’re also pretty expensive to run. The other option might be to use the existing fixture – and again, assuming that the gas is completely disconnected, you could run electrical line up there and replace it with an electric light fixture. And then the third option would be to replace it with a solar fixture but I will say that the solar fixtures are not going to be nearly as bright; they’re more decorative than a light that can really give you some good coverage in terms of adding some safety to the outside of the house.
DEANNA: Actually, I want it for decorative. It’s not in a location, actually, in my yard
that would be providing any light.
TOM: Any light, right.
DEANNA: It’s across the driveway and we determined that if we were to connect the gas lines back up they would have to be run into the neighbor’s yard because of the driveway and some shrubs and all that that have been placed there since. So there are solar lights
that can be put in there?
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) I mean there are so …
TOM: (overlapping voices) Yes, absolutely.
LESLIE: There are so many different solar options. There’s a company called Malibu
LESLIE: Mm-hmm, and they have just a ton of solar options in a variety of light levels from path lighting to even flood lights for security reasons. So I would start with their website just to see and they install, you know, lickety-split. Some of them have the photovoltaic cell, which is what would power the light fixture, right on the fixture itself; and some would have one main sort of photovoltaic cell that a whole bunch of lights feed off of. Depends on how you want to install but it’s very simple to do and it’s a great project.
TOM: (overlapping voices) There’s another website called Solar …
DEANNA: (overlapping voices) Well, that sounds great.
TOM: There’s another website called SolarIlluminations.com
and they actually have a solar lamppost that is either six or seven-feet high and that’s the type of solar light that could, basically, replace exactly what you have right there.
DEANNA: Excellent. Well, y’all have been very helpful. I appreciate it.
TOM: You’re very welcome, Deanna. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.