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What Are Solar Stepping Stones?

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  • Written By: L. Dunne
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 24 June 2014
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Solar stepping stones are many things — walking path, garden accent, and nighttime walkway lighting. These stones are powered by solar energy and do not require any additional wiring or electricity, making them an asset to a garden or outdoor area. Without the added time, effort and cost of wiring to run electricity to a walkway, installing solar stepping stones is a yard improvement project that can be a nice touch while also proving quite economical.

A nickel-cadmium (NiCd) battery is placed inside the stepping stone, the battery is then charged by the sun throughout each day. The stones will charge on an overcast day and throughout the winter, if they are left out uncovered. When the sun sets, the solar stepping stones will illuminate through the night with a soft glow that usually lasts from eight to 12 hours, depending on the individual product. This solar feature means there will be no increase in your electricity bill, although you will be getting the benefits of additional lighting for your outdoor area. Solar stepping stones' bulbs also do not have to be replaced like traditional bulbs, because they are charged daily.

There is virtually no maintenance with this type of walkway lighting. A switch will most likely need to be flipped or pulled when first opening and placing the solar stepping stones; after that, solar energy takes over. There are no wires, so walkways can be moved, added onto or shortened as the area is developed.

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A multitude of styles of solar-powered stepping stones is available to meet individual needs and tastes. They can also be purchased in multiple colors, enhancing the end effect of any mood desired for the space. The variety of styles and colors will help ensure that your outdoor area is unique. The material is durable and made for the outdoors, minimizing any additional costs with no need for replacement every year.

Solar stepping stones are considered to be an environmentally friendly form of lighting for outdoor areas. They are charged by the sun, not technology. The soft glow the stones give off appears to be more natural, as well, which is another reason many prefer solar-powered stones over the more harsh lighting of electric spotlights. In addition to stepping stones, there are other forms of solar garden and outdoor lights that can be added to give any area a more luminous effect.

There is one drawback, however. Solar stepping stones' soft glow can be attractive and economical, and it provides enough light for you to see where you're going along the stones' path. It may not prove sufficient to light a particularly dark area of the yard, though, and you may want additional lighting in such spots.

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