The sun is the life-giver of all things, and solar power is our future.
As we all try to do our bit for the planet, there has never been a better time to get the most of the summer sunshine by investing in a solar lighting system.
Solar lighting systems not only burn incredibly brightly they are also totally eco-friendly and massively persevere energy usage.
As they are powered by the sun’s unlimited source of reliable energy, solar lighting systems are far kinder to the planet (and your wallet).
But those aren’t the only reasons to go solar!
Let’s jump in and discover seven benefits of solar lights you may not have previously considered.
Benefits Of Solar Lights
1) Saves Money
Compared with a fluorescent or non-solar powered device, solar lights may not initially seem like a cost-effective decision.
However, where renewable energy and solar lights make savings is when it comes to saving energy consumption.
Solar lights recharge themselves daily and they typically last far longer than a fluorescent light would before needing to be replaced.
This, in turn, both lowers your carbon footprint and saves you money in the long term.
When you invest in solar lighting, what you pay upfront you more than make up for over time, as most solar lights are entirely self-sufficient and renewable – meaning they rarely break down or degrade.
If a component within your solar light does break down, there is a high chance that it can be fixed with some basic maintenance or replaced at a fraction of the cost of a new light.
2) Improves Home Security
As solar lights are fueled by the sun – an unlimited source – they can technically last indefinitely and are not reliant on an energy grid to operate.
This means that they will never fail to automatically detect movement around your garden or outdoor area as it is entirely self-sufficient and operating.
As sure as the sun will shine, you can count on solar powered security lights to illuminate at night in any weather or temperature, as they are made entirely from weather-proof, durable materials.
Because solar lights are powered by the sun, they make some of the most dependable security lights out there (provided they are placed directly).
3) Less Maintenance
In comparison with traditional street lights, solar street lights require almost no maintenance at all.
As the entire solar panel system and rechargeable battery are entirely wireless and autonomous, they are straightforward to maintain.
This means that you can always guarantee that your solar street lights will remain shining, even if there’s a power gut or grid failure.
Following just a few simple initial set-up steps, you can secure yourself outdoor illumination for years, completely hassle-free, and at a far smaller cost than a fluorescent bulb.
4) Easy To Install
Another benefit of solar lighting, compared to fluorescent or LED devices, is that installing a solar-powered light can be done by almost anyone. Most require only basic tools to set up.
Wired street or security lights must be plugged into the primary power grid, which can be complicated and lead to unforeseen potential hazards in the future.
However, through a solar street light or decorative solar lights, these problems are avoided. They are all wireless and self-containing, meaning they can be easily installed anywhere the owner chooses.
5) Safer To Use
From a health and safety perspective, you’ll struggle o find a safer way to lighten up your garden than through a solar street light.
As mentioned, being wireless means that potential hazards associated with wired light bulbs such as overheating, electrocution, or even strangulation – are nonexistent.
Once your solar light has been installed, there is very little maintenance required other than some basic regular cleaning, making it an altogether safer alternative.
6) Eco Friendly
One of the most common motivations for switching to solar lighting systems is to lower your carbon footprint and be more sustainable and green.
In that respect, they are the perfect solution out there as they are fully green and powered through renewable energy.
With the global consciousness being more centered around environmental protection than ever, making the switch to eco-friendly energy sources is a massive step in the right direction towards a greener future for the planet.
7) Tax Breaks
You may not be aware of this, but switching to eco-friendly solar lamp posts, you could be entitled to some tax breaks.
Under the ITC – a federal US tax credit – anyone who switches to an environmentally friendly lighting system, such as solar or geothermal energy, can cover up to 30% of the project’s capital costs.
Solar Lighting Components
Since silicon solar cells (the cornerstone of modern solar energy) were first used in 1954 by Bell Labs, solar energy applications have massively accelerated.
Today the modern consumer has countless solar cell powered light fixture options to suit their every need, including solar lights for steps, decorative halloween solar lights, solar lights for gutters, and even waterproof solar lights for pools.
However, all these solar lighting options require the same primary key components to function correctly, explained further below.
Solar panels are an essential element in any solar energy powered device.
This is because the crystalline silicone layered panel itself converts the sun’s rays into usable energy through a process known as photovoltaics.
When the sun shines directly onto a solar panel, the sunlight ignites the negatively charged electrons within the panel and pushes them into positively charged spaces creating usable solar energy.
The energy which the solar panels create is then transferred and stored in rechargeable batteries, which automatically power on the light when night falls, and their built-in dusk-till-dawn sensor is activated.
Transferring energy in this way is far more environmentally friendly and sustainable, as no harmful emissions or byproducts are created, and no fossil fuels are required to generate electricity.
It is estimated that solar energy consumption worldwide may surpass fossil fuel usage (such as coal and gas) by the mid-2030s.
Solar panels generate their power from the sun; they are most commonly used in solar street lights and other outdoor light fixtures.
Once the solar panels have absorbed the sunlight and converted it into renewable energy, the power is transferred into a rechargeable lithium-ion battery to save energy usage (and money).
The built-in battery pack that stores this newly harvested energy massively helps environmental sustainability, which is increasingly important and valued by consumers.
With the rechargeable lithium-ion battery full, the solar lights will conserve this energy until night falls and the hardwired dusk-till-dawn sensors are triggered.
In pinch you can even charge solar lights without the sun by using artificial light sources.
LED light has long since been regarded as one of the best light sources for energy saving, and solar power LEDs take this one step further.
Florescent lightbulbs are far less energy efficient than LED’s as they illuminate 180º around the light source, which results in as much as 30% of the light source being lost.
On the other hand, LED solar lighting illuminates up to 90% of usable ambient lighting and 70% directional lighting, far more refined than through a fluorescent bulb.
In addition to the ability to turn waste into energy, LED solar lights are also entirely maintenance-free once they’ve been installed as they are entirely self-contained and fuel themselves.
Solar Charge Controller
The final defining component of solar lighting is its built-in charge controller, which modulates the brightness of the light produced based on human movement or ambient light.
During the early hours of the evening, solar lights produce a relatively low amount of lumens (light), which is just enough to illuminate the surrounding area dimly.
When night falls, the PIR sensors (passive infrared sensors) detect any movement within proximity of the light and switch to a far brighter light automatically.
This can be an excellent feature for anyone who wants environmentally friendly – yet dependable – security lighting at the front or back of their home.
Solar Lights FAQs
Will Solar Lights Reduce My Carbon Footprint?
Installing solar street lights is a proven effective way of lowering your carbon footprint significantly.
This is because they are powered entirely from clean and renewable energy rather than fossil fuels which are finite and produce more harmful emissions.
How Long Do Solar Powered Lights Last?
If properly maintained, your solar powered lights should last for years.
However, the rechargeable battery within the device will need to be changed eventually, but usually only after around 600+ charges (or roughly two years).
Is Outdoor Solar Lighting Weatherproof?
Yes, all outdoor solar lighting systems are designed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions.
Compared to incandescent lights, solar lights perform better in freezing or minus temperatures than traditional halogen or incandescent bulbs.