It’s no secret that the Earth’s sources of renewable energy are fast depleting, and that as far as we are aware, this is an entirely Man-made situation. It is in times like these however, that the innovation of Man comes through for him and he finds a solution to ward off a potentially dangerous situation at least that has always been the case. The solution to this particular problem, seems to lie in the development of solar power and the use of solar lights and other devices powered by solar energy.
Put in simple terms, solar power harnesses the energy of the Sun and converts it into electricity using the concept of photovoltaics (PV). Since the availability of solar power can now be predicted to a fairly accurate level, science has developed to create everyday products such as solar lights that will harness the Sun’s energy.
Uses for solar lights
There are many different types of solar lighting available design to meet specific needs. While you can buy general solar powered light fixings that can be used in a variety of situations, there are specialist light fixings such as solar driveway lights, solar garden lights, floating solar lights, wall mounted solar lights, solar walkway lights, a solar powered security light, solar path lighting, solar patio lights, and solar yard lights that are designed for a specific use and location. There is lots of information on this site about the different types of fixings, just follow the links to find out more.
What solar lighting?
Solar lighting are light emitting devices that charge themselves up during daylight hours through the ‘absorption’ of the Sun’s rays – at dusk or sunset, these light automatically switch on and illuminate the surrounding areas during darkness hours. These draw on no grid electricity and remain illuminated depending on how much sunlight they have received, which often is the entire night.
The best solar lights are the ones that are used in the right manner. They have to be placed in such areas of your home where they will receive direct and ample amount of sunlight. Outdoor solar lights are generally very water tight and certain companies also produce light fittings that have the capacity to harness enough sunlight even on cloudy days. This will ensure that your solar power lights give you the best possible performance.
Understanding solar power lights
Solar powered lights are not always the best solution to every lighting issue. Unlike the stark brightness of a tube light for instance, these lights produce a warm glow, which makes them best used as accents and in places where electricity is hard to pull. Even the best solar lights will only work at full strength during the first few hours and will gradually diminish in brightness in accordance with the power it has managed to harness. Fully charged batteries will allow your outdoor solar lighting to work smoothly for around eight hours which, in most cases, is ample to cover an entire night.
Among the disadvantages that you might find with solar powered lighting is that the battery capacity can be limited by the solar cells on an individual unit – if the solar cell isn’t top notch, this will limit the amount of energy that can be absorbed and hence reduce the amount of time the lights will shine for.
Solar lights have a tendency to be slightly more expensive than standard outdoor lighting, but often the extra cost to purchase the lights is offset by the amount you save on installation and long term running costs.
Some pointers to keep in mind
Outdoor solar lights or solar landscape lights come with rechargeable solar batteries that should last for up to two years. Apart from the solar cell, the systems are pretty straightforward and consists of:
- A LED bulb
- NiCad Batteries
- Control Panel
- A solar cell
- Automatic light sensor.
Making the best of your solar lights
You need to understand that even the best solar lights cannot always replace the use of standard electrically powered lights. They can largely be used in places where it is difficult to route electricity or the sources of it are intermittent. One of the best uses of solar power lights are in the form of solar string lights. These are largely used in yards and lighting up driveways. These solar string lights are easy to install and need no wiring at all.
Outdoor solar lighting in the form of string lights are great lighting options for evening parties and for festive decorations. Solar string lighting is an affordable and eco-friendly option – you just need to ensure that your lights get adequate exposure to the sun.
Solar powered string lights function on the basis of Light Emitting Diodes or LED technology. An added advantage is that they can be bought in a variety of colors to suit a number of occasions. These solar lights are also available in a number of shapes and motifs and ensure that you put your imagination to the test when it comes to utilizing them.