Walkway Lights

More folks are installing lights to line a walkway or brighten a dark corner. They're sold at home design centers and lighting stores. Many you can install yourself.

Consumer Reports just tested a wide variety of them. Some are low voltage, which need a transformer to run off your household current. Others are solar powered, so they have no wires and go on when it turns dark.

But Rico de Paz found the solar powered ones aren't best for walkways and stairways. "This is a solar powered light. You can see it doesn't put out a whole lot of light. A low voltage light with just a four-watt bulb is a lot brighter." But not all low-voltage lights are the same, although these have the same bulb. This style gives off a lot less light. You'll light up a bigger area with the taller arched light.

Another consideration, how well the lights are made. Some are not securely put together and can fall apart. "The better one are these that are screwed together or threaded. They're much better."

Consumer reports say you don't need an electrician to put in low-voltage lights. Many come with easy installation instructions and have quick connections, so you can attach the wiring without splicing.

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