Getting Creative with a Solar-Powered Sprinkler

Of all the great toys and gadgets the world of solar offers, the clear winner for most fun is the solar-powered sprinkler. Consider this project a bonus, the 11th installment in a list of ten items.

Here’s how it works. You connect the unit (including the sprinkler head and motion detector) to your garden hose and sprinkler and stake it firmly into the ground. Then turn the faucet on. When the motion detector senses move­ment, the sprinkler discharges a blast of water; then it turns off.

The practical use for a solar-powered sprinkler is to keep animals at bay. For example, you can keep deer from eating all your landscaping, skunks out of the cat food, or raccoons off the roof. When the motion detector senses their presence, it sprays, they skedaddle.

But you can also have some fun with this device. Install it on a hot summer afternoon, and the next time the kids run by, they’ll be delighted by the sur­prise shower. Or place it next to the sidewalk, and when unsuspecting neigh­bors stroll by on their nightly walk, watch them suddenly pick up the pace to avoid the sprinkles. Just remember: There’s no harm in an occasional practi­cal joke, but don’t do it too often. You know what they say about paybacks!

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