December 18, 2011 in Features

Solar-powered lights top intriguing ideas for home

Kathy Van Mullekom Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)
 

The MiniGarden modular growing container is perfect for urban dwellers.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

As you decorate and shop for gifts this holiday season, check out these options:

Solar-powered rock star: The rock spotlight is an energy-efficient way to brighten up your nighttime garden. The spotlight is solar powered, so you can place it in any sunny spot without having to hassle with extension cords and power outlets. The solar panels charge the rechargeable batteries (which are included). The spotlight also has a hidden compartment where you can store spare keys. $29.95 www.naturehills.com.

Gift keeps on giving: The glass globe tillandsia terrarium is an attractive living arrangement for a kitchen, covered porch or anywhere there is indirect light. It can even be hung as an ornament on a Christmas tree and then placed elsewhere for year-round enjoyment. Inside the glass globe are three lovely tillandsia plants: a red Capitata Select, a feathery green Tillandsia Ionantha and a silver-gray Harrisii. The glass globe, which measures 6 inches in diameter, has a 2-inch front opening to remove the plants for watering. Just soak the easy-to-care-for plants in water once a week to ensure their optimum health. $39.95 from Logee’s at (888) 330-8038 or www.logees.com.

Make time-lapse videos: Looking for the perfect gift for a high-tech junkie who already has every high-tech gadget? The TimelapseCam 8.0 offers an easy way to showcase all types of events and projects from beginning to end. The innovative, high-resolution digital camera takes photos at set time intervals and then automatically converts them to time lapse videos. These videos can be shared among friends and family — and even posted on social networking sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

About $110 at www.wingscapes.com

Solar Christmas lights: The festive look of holiday lighting is now possible without electrical outlets and ugly extension cords. Solar Light Strands use ultra-efficient LED lights, not old-fashioned incandescent bulbs. LED Solar Light Strands save energy because they are powered by the sun. They offer lots of design options, such as lighting up a tree that is hundreds of feet from the nearest electrical outlet. These lights can also be used year-round for patio and deck accents. 50-light strand for $29.95, 100-light strand for $54.95 at www.naturehills.com.

Grow plants virtually anywhere: The MiniGarden modular growing container brings a vegetable plot, herb garden, flower garden or decorative living wall virtually anywhere. Perfect for urban dwellers and suburbanites alike, MiniGarden’s unique system of modules creates a self-contained vertical structure. Each MiniGarden kit includes three modules, which each have three planting pockets. So each MiniGarden can hold a total of nine plants. Included in the MiniGarden kit are container lids, a water-collecting tray (which is placed on the bottom) and clips used to connect the growing modules. Each module can be stacked and/or connected to additional modules. $59.95 at www.earthbox.com.

Look stylish while you work: Poppy-patterned rubber wellingtons are both hardworking and stylish. Designed for garden use, they also make a fashionable statement during wet, snowy winter weather. These rubber “wellies” have a hard rubber sole and heel for long-lasting durability. The adjustable gusset strap at the top makes it easy and convenient to slip them on and off. These tough boots are fully waterproof for all outdoor tasks. Available in Cressida pattern and also in Pale Lavender in women’s sizes from 6.5 to 9.5. $65.99 at www.naturehills.com.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email