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Green Holidays: Solar-powered outdoor Christmas lights

It' s the time of year when many people are putting up outdoor Christmas lights. This year consumers have more choices than ever when it comes to energy saving lights. Solar powered lights are the newest choice on the shelves at Home Depot in Roanoke.  Each set of lights has its own solar panel that generates power from the sunlight.

"If someone has a remote area they can' t run an electrical cord or string one across the yard, it' s ideal," said Mike Coleman, Assistant Manager at Home Depot on Hershberger Road in Roanoke.

A 100-light string of solar powered lights costs about $19.00, much more than LED lights, but solar powered lights don' t use any electricity. The lights have a photocell that turns them on automatically at dusk. The lights operate up to eight hours when fully charged.

One may wonder if the solar powered Christmas lights will work on short winter days, especially when it' s snowing, cloudy or rainy outside.   "Even on cloudy days it will generate some power for the panel," said Coleman.

Time will tell whether solar powered Christmas lights catch on as well as LED lights have.  "I haven' t heard any feedback yet," said Coleman.  "We have sold several sets, but it is totally new. I haven' t gotten a lot of feedback on it yet."



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