In July this year our electricity prices went up yet again in Australia. It’s a constant topic in the news at the moment, with many families struggling to pay their bills. I had previously been tracking our use and using indoor solar lights to try and cut our electricity bill. The resulting savings have been really worth the effort. We aim to keep our daily Kwh use below 10 and preferably 5-7. Using indoor solar lights has really helped us to be able to do that. In this post I wanted to review the type of lights I’ve been using and which lights I’d recommend you get and which ones to avoid. All the lights were purchased on ebay and were not expensive. I wanted lights to be easy to use and charge, cheap and sturdy.
1 We’ll start from the first light I bought:
This light is made of plastic and I would not recommend it. The top often came loose and when screwing it back on it resulted in cracking the plastic. These only lasted a few months, were a constant pain, they were more expensive than the others and quickly ended up broken. NOT RECOMMENDED
2 Next up:
These lights were bought at the same time ( almost a year ago). They are still going strong and get used every single day. We got rid of our bedside lamps and replaced them with these. We do not read in bed so they are used when we got to bed at night and are plenty bright enough to see to get changed, or put on if you wake up. I also have two of them on my desk and I use them when I am on the computer – like right now! I use one and when it starts to fade I use the next one. They have a flexible neck so you can twist them around to any direction. They are sturdy. The cat knocks them off the windowsill regularly and nothing has broken yet.
This second photo shows how much light they put out in the middle of the night – no other lights were on when I took the nightime photos. They are a fantastic little light and they were cheap, about $7. RECOMMENDED
3 Garden lanterns
The next lights were garden lights that hang up. I have three old hooks in the kitchen ceiling from the days when hanging plants were ‘in’. My plan was to have three solar garden lanterns hanging there. The plan didn’t work! These lights have screw in lid. To turn the light on you have to unscrew the lid, flick a switch that is on the inside of the lid and then screw it back on again. It often misses the thread and they are just annoying to use!. I do not want to get up on a chair unscrew lids to flick switches and muck around getting it on again every night! They do not give off much light at all.They are pretty useless actually so they are NOT RECOMMENDED.
4 Green solar lamp
I bought two of these gorgeous little lamps about six months ago.They are approx. 7.5 inches / 16 cm high. The white top comes off easily, but you don’t need to remove it. The solar panel is in the bottom of the lamp base. So all you do to charge it is turn it upside down and put it in the sun. It has a push button switch to turn it on. It’s sturdy and has no cracks in the plastic despite the cats best efforts. It give off really good light and it looks really cute! I love this light and will be buying more. We have one on the shelf in the kitchen so we use that when we make a cuppa or go into that area. The other is on sideboard and we use it in the evenings as it lights up a room enough that you can walk through it and see where you are going. This would make a really good night light for childrens rooms too. ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED
5. Solar Lamp
This lamp is made of plastic and has the solar charger in the top. There is a switch in the top of the lamp to turn it on or off and it needs to pushed pretty hard to turn it on. It throws out a good amount of light in clear circle. I should probably put this in the bedroom now I think about it. It lights up reasonably well but the problem is that the size of the lamp top it too big to place on the window sill, so charging takes a bit more thought. It does work and it would be a good bedside lamp but it is more the ease of turning on and off charging that puts me off it. I would not buy it again. NOT RECOMMENDED.
If you are struggling with the electricity bills then think about trying the solar lights. Ebay is the cheapest place I have found and most were sent direct from China with no hassles. Also start tracking your electricity use, it really helps. I’ve linked to a few other posts on electricity below.
Electricity increases by state. This explains the recent increases in each state – for us it was 11%
I’d love to hear how you are saving on electricity or if you tried the indoor solar lights.