* Solar energy is a viable planet-saving option
* The technology is here, and it’s actually affordable and accessible
* Here are seven things around the house you can power up with solar energy
It sounds like magic: a ray of light hits a photovoltaic cell, knocks free some electrons, and voila – electricity! But there’s nothing supernatural about it. It’s the science behind solar power, the renewable energy source that is leading an energy revolution.
Solar energy is not only available, it’s affordable—a lot more affordable than you might imagine. For just a few dollars, you can use it to warm your pool, recharge your devices, and even power some fun novelty gadgets.
We’ve done a bit of sleuthing to generate this list of affordable solar-powered items ($50 or less) that you can incorporate into your life right now.
1. Moonrays Solar Powered LED Address Sign
Here’s a useful application for solar power that you may have never considered: illuminating your home address. This eye-pleasing, low-priced address sign illuminates up to six characters (including N, S, E, and W) on the ground or wall of your house; just make sure it’s not installed in a shady area. With this clever device, your address is visible in even the darkest night, radiating a crisp, bright green light.
2. Coleman 6-Watt 12-Volt Solar Battery Maintainer
If you engage in any type of outdoor activities, you already know the value of a battery charger. Coleman has figured out a way to charge your batteries with the sun, utilizing a solar panel that continues working even on a cloudy day. It has built-in overcharge protection as well as a diode that keeps the battery from discharging after the sun has dropped from the sky.
3. Heritage 12′ Solar Blanket for Round Pools
You don’t need to go high-tech to take advantage of the incredible power of the sun. The Heritage solar blanket covers your pool and directs the sun’s heat into the water. Remember, it’s not a heater; the blanket provides just enough warmth to take the chill off. Additionally, the cover will help keep debris from entering the pool, and it slows the evaporation rate of your water. This blanket is an environmentally smart choice in several footprint-reducing ways.
4. Pure Garden Hanging Lanterns
Renewable energy can be both smart and stylish. Add a bit of elegance to your yard with Pure Garden’s solar-powered lanterns. These pathway lights come two in a pack and stake into the ground to create the look of an authentic shepherd’s hook. For very little money, you get dusk-to-dawn illumination for your walkways or driveway.
5. Moonrays Outdoor Multi Color Solar Powered LED Post Cap Light
One benefit of renewable energy is that it makes it okay to be a little impulsive and whimsical. For instance, you can cap off a 4 x 4 post with this stained glass-style solar light. It charges by day and automatically turns on at dusk, offering up to eight hours of decorative nighttime illumination. If you don’t have any posts, an optional wall-mount bracket is also available.
6. X-Dragon Solar Charger
You know that icky feeling you get in your stomach when you realize your phone’s about to die? You don’t need to experience that anymore. X-Dragon’s durable solar bank is a handy device you can keep with you for emergencies. Note: it can take over 40 hours of direct sunlight to fully charge the charger, so don’t wait until the last minute to start powering up.
7. EpicGadget Color Changing Stainless-Steel Solar Path Lights
When it’s dark, it’s always nice to have a little light to show the way—especially when it’s generated from a renewable energy source. EpicGadget’s pack of five color-changing solar path lights does it with a little dazzle. The RGB stainless steel outdoor lights require no wiring or tools; just stick them in the ground and let the sun’s energy light your way … at night!
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