Last Christmas, my sister decided her yard looked drab compared
with all the neighbors’ Santas and reindeer. So she bought some
lighting. They looked fine when we
assembled them out of the box, but that evening as night fell, one
of them glowed weakly, and the other didn’t light up at all.
We hoped it was because we’d set them up in the afternoon and they
hadn’t had a full day to charge the batteries, but the next day was
the same, so we tried putting them on the south side of the house,
which was a little better but still not very much light for very
I’ve been thinking about that because the lights are still there,
and now, in mid-March, they’re working fine. They come on at dusk,
and are only starting to weaken when I walk the dog at bedtime.
In June and July, they’ll probably run for a good part of the
So the moral of the story is that if you want to use solar power to
celebrate, the summer solstice or either equinox is a better bet than
the winter solstice, at least here in southern New England.