Finding fun gifts that are also useful can present a challenge. Gifts that are purely fun can quickly become space hogs when they lose their appeal. Gifts that are purely practical in nature are, frankly, pretty boring. There are quite a number of great gift ideas out there that successfully combine the fun with the practical, but the key to choosing the right gift is knowing the recipient.
If you have a football-loving friend who also loves to cook out on the grill, it would be hard to go wrong with a gift like the Portable Football Grill. Shaped like a football, it definitely offers a unique and fun spin on grilling out. Because it is portable, this grill can be used on the back patio and at the tailgating party.
If, on the other hand, you have a friend who is environmentally conscious but also enjoys fun home decor, a smart gift idea would be a Solar Mosaic Glass Lantern. These colorful and casual lights are solar powered, so no wiring is involved, and there are no operating costs. Solar lanterns are ideal for illuminating backyard patio tables since they require sunlight to operate.
How about the friend who loves spending time outdoors, but who also appreciates quiet time in front of the television watching movies or shows with the family? The ideal gift would combine the fun of watching TV with the ability to enjoy the fresh, clean air of the great outdoors. The solution comes in an Outdoor Weatherproof TV. Outdoor TVs are designed to withstand weather exposure, and they make a welcome addition to outdoor patios, sunrooms, pool areas, and covered decks.
Fun and functional gifts are everywhere, but they provide the most joy to the recipient when you take time to consider your friends and what characteristics they would most appreciate in a gift. It really is the thought that counts.
Solar lighting is a great way to provide light sources to “off the grid” areas of your home, lawn, and outdoor structures, but it also lowers your environment footprint. Solar lighting is low maintenance and is usually very easy to install, requiring no power lines or additional sources. Your main concern with solar lighting is location! To ensure that the panel receives the most possible sunlight, it should be mounted on a south-facing slope (give or take 30 degrees off of south). The location should be left unshaded by any tree, or other solid structures. There is never any recurring cost (like electricity), no charging, and no use of resources other than the powerful rays of the sun. Below are a few examples of outdoor solar lighting options for your home. Do you use solar lighting? If so, how and where? We are always looking for great ideas to save money AND the environment.
Solar Shed Light
Solar Security Light
Solar String Lights
Now that evenings are becoming gradually darker with each passing day, the need for landscape lighting increases. If you don’t already have lighting installed on your property, consider low voltage landscape lighting as an option. Low voltage lighting is often a more practical choice than high voltage lighting. Low voltage lights make use of a transformer which reduces the 120 volt house or business current to 12 volts.
Here are a few more of the many advantages low voltage lighting provides:
- Security and Better Visibility: Low voltage lights that are strategically placed provide even illumination rather than dark shadows that are created by high voltage lights. Although light does not prevent crime, it can improve nighttime security for your home or business.
- Safety: Residents and visitors can navigate around your property more safely when sidewalks and entrances are illuminated by landscape lights and drivers are not blinded by the glare of high voltage lighting.
- Recreational Usage: You can enjoy your deck or other recreational area at night when you illuminate these private areas.
- Property Value: Landscape lights help to improve the appearance of your property at night by accentuating shapes and textures of your landscape and structures. This serves to raise the property�s value and improve the community.
- Economy: Low voltage lighting uses about a third of the power required for high voltage lighting, and when your property is properly lit, you achieve an energy efficient design. This in turn reduces your long-term operating costs.
Low voltage lights are usually installed along walkways, pathways, driveways, entrances, and steps. Low voltage lights can also be placed inside wells and ponds, and pointed up at trees, fences, and walls. The typical low voltage lighting system is composed of three items: a transformer, a low voltage electrical cable, and lighting fixtures. Each transformer should be plugged into a GFCI-protected outdoor outlet with a “while-in-use” cover that closes over and around the power cord.
Installing low voltage landscape lighting is an easy do-it-yourself project, and many home owners find that they can exercise their creativity when planning where to install the light fixtures. No matter where the lights are placed, though, you can feel confident that the choice of low voltage lighting offers the most advantages in landscape lighting options.
The dwindling days of summer are coming to an end. Around the country, children are starting back to school, football games are beginning, and the days will eventually start to get cooler and shorter. Make the most of the days we have left. Here is a list of my very favorite things to do during the later summer months. What are your favorite things to pass the day? Please share below.
- Curl up in your hammock with a great book for an entire afternoon
- Set up a lemonade stand with your kids
- Hit up your local farmer’s market for great late summer produce
- Take a canoe trip on your local river or lake
- Go to your local mall or outdoor gathering area for some intense people watching
- Take a long, leisurely drive with the windows down and the music up
Double Rope Hammock
Looking for a great way to relax outdoors? Traditional hammocks are great, but there are some modern alternatives that you are sure to love. A double rope hammock will look great on your porch or on your lawn. No where to hang it? The steel swing stand option will allow you to swing anywhere. It has the beautiful look and feel of a regular hammock, but gives you the ease and comfort of a chair and allows you to swing side by side with a friend or loved one.
A hammock lounger requires not hanging at ALL! This hammock is ideal for instant relaxation at poolside or on the patio. Escape to the backyard and into a hammock that is great for kicking back. The four point mounting system makes it very sturdy and secure for ease getting in and out. It even comes with a small foam pillow, which is green to match the stylish green and white stripped pattern.