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Home > All Articles > Home Organizing > Combined Solar Garden Light and Bug Zapper

Combined Solar Garden Light and Bug Zapper

Maybe you didn’t install accent lights in your garden because you didn’t want to pull wires or you had cold feet about the extra electricity bill? Or maybe you fancy an electric bug zapper on your terrace but you dislike fetching the cable reel each evening to plug it in? Now there are solar garden lights with bug zapper, that solve all problems at once – and there are designs for every taste. But do they work for mosquitoes?

What's This?Why It’s Clever

Solar-powered garden lights have been available for some time now. They have an internal rechargeable battery that’s charged during daytime by a solar panel on top of the lamp. At night they use the accumulated electricity to power a very energy-efficient lamp, such as a LED, making them last for the whole evening and part of the night. This gives them two basic advantages: You don’t need to install wire to power them, and they don’t add to your electricity bill.

Recently, several of those solar lights have seen a new function added. They now contain a bug zapper as well. The – mostly ultraviolet – light attracts the bugs, and the electric grid that surrounds the lamp roasts them when they touch it. And, since replacing the buzzing sound of insects with the sound of crying children or yelping dogs isn’t really progress, there’s a plastic outer grid to protect kids or animals from zapping themselves too.

Some solar bug zappers rely on a normal white light to attract the bugs; others use white LEDs for accent light and ultraviolet LEDs to attract the bugs, and they can switch between both functions at the touch of a button. If the white LEDs are equally efficient at attracting bugs at night – and the plain old light bulb on my terrace does seem to do a good job at attracting them – I’d prefer the first type, because it doesn’t present you with an either/or choice.

Then there are models that you can simply stake into the ground wherever you’d like to put them in your garden. You could still move those around as you like, but basically they’re designed to stay put once they’re in place. Other models are designed as a portable lamp, making them more suitable to take with you, such as when camping.

 

 


Summary

  • Solar garden lights no wires needed
  • New models include electric bug zappers
  • Use plain or ultraviolet light to attract insects, or switch between both
  • Stationary and portable models available.

Tips

Most of these solar lights claim to attract mosquitoes, but so far my personal experience with UV bug zappers is that mosquitoes couldn’t care less about them. Mosquito eyes are most sensitive to green colors, insensitive to yellow, and little sensitive to ultraviolet. You also have to consider that there are different wavelengths in UV light and different LEDs may emit different “colors” with varying efficacy against different insects. If mosquitoes are your main concern, you might consider the ThermaCELL portable mosquito repellent instead. Or check out an overview table comparing different options.

On the other hand, if you fancy some solar accent lights in your garden anyway, you could go for the combined solar-light-with-bug-zapper products anyway since the price is almost the same as the plain lights. Even if they wouldn’t kill mosquitoes, you’ll still get rid of a lot of other bugs. Determined to roast mosquitoes with them anyway? Since they best see green colors and white light contains green, you’d best go for a model with white light.

Where to buy

A few solar garden lights on a stake:

There are several models available from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Take a look around, the links just link to one example.

 

 

Stainless steel garden lights with bug zapper, $100 for four pieces, from Hammacher-Schlemmer.

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic model : Interesting if you don’t need four; available for $17 apiece; search for “Solar Light with Bug Zapper”.

 

 

 

 

 

Stainless steel with copper finish garden lights: $49; search for Lymington Solar Light and Bug Zapper.

 

 

 

 

A portable model:

Sunforce Solar Mosquito Zapper: $20 at Amazon.com, and it does get good feedback.

 

 

 

 

Approx. price: $25 apiece (May '09).

 Other Anti-Insect solutions on Clever & Easy

Categories: home improvement,time-saving,energy saving

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Comments (6)
  • ECA  - Good tips..
    On the point about WHAT the mosq looks for..
    Why dont the makers figure this out??
    Color LEDS are cheap and easy..
  • Clever & Easy
    Mosquitoes are not really attracted to light, they follow CO2 and odor first, only when they're nearby they use visual stimuli too. There are some mosquito traps (e.g. Mosquito Magnet) on the market that generate CO2 to attract the mosquitoes and then destroy them. But they don't catch all and they're expensive.
  • Erhan  - Solar Lights
    Are any of these water proof ? Otherwise it's pretty pointless to keep taking them out whenever it's about to rain.
  • Clever @ Easy
    I haven't got the detailed specs here, but I can hardly imagine that they're not. Those things are made to remain in the garden all the time. In case of doubt, better check the manufacturer's websites.
  • JazzAzz  - Sunforce Solar Zaoper A NO GO IMO
    Well, sorry to say, I never saw this product while looking for bug zappers in Amazon. So I went to OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware)and bought this item, after my Emerson Rechargeable failed, and I could not get a response from the warranty PPL, who since have contacted me apologizing profusely. Anyway, bought this one, letting it get the suns rays for the two full sunny days, s***ested in the manual. First of all, since I do not get up every hour of the night to check on it, I have no idea how long it stays lit for (Mine does light). But I do know, hanging it on our front porch at bedtime, anywhere from 10>11PM, when I got up at 5AM to check on it, it was as dead as a politicians brain in the House>>LOL. I have had it hanging for nearly a week now, and not a single bug has been fried, leaving its' remnants on the grid, or laying below it. The thing looks as clean as the day I bought it. So I have to assume that this thing does not work, attract SQUAT. So I am on the verge of returning ...
  • Clever & Easy  - Sunforce solar zapper
    Sorry to hear that.
    What's also strange is that I did check feedback on the Internet before publishing this article. And I'm pretty sure that this item did get good feedback on Amazon at the time of *******.
    When I check back now, almost all feedback in Amazon says that this Sunforce solar zapper is rubbish.
    Anyone knows if Amazon deletes old feedback after some time to replace it with new?
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Last Updated on Monday, 16 August 2010 14:42