Solar lighting is a great alternative to electric landscape lighting – you’ll save on your electricity bill, enjoy a very easy installation process, and help the environment at the same time. We’ve got the info to assist you in choosing the right kind of solar lighting for your needs, and help you understand how it works.
Benefits of Solar Lighting
When you incorporate the use of solar power into your life, you are acting in an environmentally responsible way that will help preserve our planet’s resources for generations to come. Solar power is a form of renewable energy, which means it is constantly replenished and can never run out. Instead of using the earth’s fragile energy resources such as coal, oil, and natural gas, solar power draws from the energy naturally present in sunlight. By using solar powered lights, you are lessening your family’s impact on the earth and dependence upon fossil fuels.
Solar lights can be placed anywhere the sun shines. You don’t have to worry about digging up your yard to wire them. Since they are completely free-standing, they are also very easy to install. You simply fit the components together as indicated on the instructions, and stick the light into the ground with its included ground stake, or mount it onto a wall.
Automatic sensors detect when it gets dark out, and turn the lights on automatically. You won’t have to worry about purchasing electronic gadgets to control your outdoor lighting. It’s all so incredibly simple.
Choosing the Right Solar Lighting for Your Yard
Solar lighting can be used for a variety of purposes such as creating ambiance, providing security, illuminating pathways, or as decorative accents. To choose the right solar lighting for your yard, simply determine what purpose you want your new landscape lighting to serve.
Solar floodlights and other security lighting can make your yard a safer place, deterring criminal activity and preventing your family from accidentally stepping on dangerous objects. They are available in a variety of models, such as powerful wall-mounted halogen floodlights with motion sensors.
Pathways, stairs, and stepping stones can be safely illuminated easily with solar lighting path systems. Solar path lights make it easy for guests to make their way to your front door without fumbling around in the darkness.
You can highlight and beautify your backyard landscaping with some carefully placed solar spotlights, which can be aimed up at trees to create a dramatic effect. Since solar lights are wireless, you can place them anywhere you want, creating various lighting effects.
Solar hanging lanterns come in all sorts of stunning decorative styles, so you can match your garden’s existing design scheme or create a beautiful new look. They can be staked into the ground or mounted on the wall, depending on your preference. These decorative solar lights are perfect for creating a relaxing ambiance within your outdoor space.
Solar deck lighting allows you to enjoy your deck well into the night, without ever flipping a switch. They will come on automatically, illuminating your yard for hours of enjoyment without the worry of wires, plugs or outlets.
How Solar Lights Work
Solar lights have built-in solar panels that take in energy from the sun throughout the day, and then release it at night. Solar lights usually have the following components: a plastic case, the solar panel, a single AA NiCad battery, a small controller board, an LED light source, and a photo resistor.
The solar panel, or solar cell, is typically located on top of the solar light, like in the photo above. The solar panel on a typical solar garden light contains four photovoltaic solar cells, which convert the sun’s energy directly into electricity. Photovoltaic (PV) cells are made of materials called semiconductors such as silicon. The semiconductor absorbs energy from sunlight. This energy knocks electrons in the semiconductor loose, allowing them to flow freely. PV cells have electric fields that force electrons to flow in a certain path, which creates a current.
The solar cells are wired directly to the NiCad battery, which produces about 1.2 volts and can store about 700 milliamp-hours. During the day, as the solar panel receives sunlight, the battery charges. Once it is dark, the solar cells stop producing power and the photo resistor, a mechanism that detects lightness and darkness, turns on the LED light. The controller board accesses the energy produced by the solar cells and the battery, and has a three-transistor circuit that turns on the LED when the photo resistor indicates darkness.
Source : http://specialtyliving.com/