In my last blog I mentioned about my friend Garnette’s solar lights..
Having had a delicious meal one evening over at her home on Oak Island, on leaving, I was taken aback how beautiful her garden looked filled with twinkling lights. Immediately I could see the benefit of having such things in an unlit rural location to keep ones nocturnal rambles to the garden path and to avoid bumping into racoons…
Of course, solar garden lights have been about for years and quite frankly I am rather surprised that up until recently I had not considered buying any. (I now have enough for a sparkly garden too!)
But as always, with anything that works without plug in power or fuel, I was immediately fascinated to understand, by taking to pieces, how these lights worked. I soon could see that the energy from the tiny solar panel was stored in two rechargeable AA size batteries and these in turn powered a simple LED light that was activated by a switch triggered by low light/darkness sensor. The lights, if the solar panels had been submitted to sunshine during they day shone brightly all night and even on an overcast day produced several hours of light……what an amazing and simple thing….powered by the sun!
And that made me think….what if I bought a $99 solar panel from Canadian Tire (the ones you can use on a boat) and somehow wired that up to a whole host of LED wall lights in my home with their own battery packs (just like the solar garden lights) but introduced a switch rather than a sensor to each unit?
I did some googling and soon found something similar- a shed light that worked in a similar way..
I know this sounds geeky, I know this may sound boring, but in that moment I felt like suddenly it all made sense… how amazing that through todays technology and a sun 150 MILLION KILOMETRES away we are able to harness that energy for FREE in a way that doesn’t cause pollution and doesn’t charge HST..
SIOUXSIE SIOUX.. you saw me through
Just recently I have recaptured my youth by listening to a goddess. We all need idols to inspire and guide us and during our early teenage years these idols tend to be of the musical variety..
As an independent and rather precocious young teen who absolutely turned my parents hair, prematurely grey, I often sought solace by listening to the brooding and weird Siouxsie. While the world in the early 80′s was being dominated by gorgeous girls with permed hair, white stilletos, plastic earrings and pastel shades (and nude lipstick)….my friends and I wore black, hand modified clothing from OXFAM, fishnet stockings on our arms, pierced whatever we possible could get away with and used copious amounts of soap to spike our hair..
The irony was that for all our frugality (purchasing and modifying clothes from OXFAM) my best friend Jacquie and I would save up our money for an annual day trip to the KINGS ROAD IN LONDON where we would buy the latest bondage boots, winkle pickers or pixie boots and then hang around generally posing and watching the world go by…..
So above is my little thank you to Siouxsie Sioux who saw me through those teenage years (and if you look to the far right you’ll see me as a 15 year old posing in London trying to look like my idol!!)