The Benefits of Solar Lights
With all the excitement surrounding “green” products and many advocating a shift to a more eco-conscious way of living, it’s no wonder why items such as solar lights have become such a hot commodity. Of course, there’s still a lot of mystery and confusion about solar energy and power.
How Do Solar Lights Work?
There are a few basic elements to all solar lights. All solar lights are comprised of:
LED - LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are the most common type of bulb used in solar lights. Some models do use halogen (fluorescent) bulbs, and these typically have better brightness. The same effect, however, can be obtained by purchasing a model that employs the use of multiple LED panels.
Circuitry - Generally speaking this is the component that distinguishes a quality solar light from a bad one. The internal wiring is crucial because it dictates the efficiency of the light. The better a solar light is able to convert stored electricity into light, the longer and brighter it will run.
Batteries - Batteries are rechargeable (by way of stored solar energy), and easily replaceable. Most electronic stores carry the different varieties of batteries used by solar lights.
Solar panel - This is how your solar light cultivates its power.
So the pertinent question remains, do solar lights live up to the hype? In short, the answer is yes. Solar lighting, both indoor and outdoor, is a great alternative that is not only eco-friendly but cost efficient and stylish as well!
What Do I Gain from Switching to Solar Lighting?
There are numerous benefits to solar lighting:
- Low maintenance
- Easy to install
- Uses a free, renewable, inexhaustible source of energy
- Little or no waste heat generated
- Great for use in remote areas and locations near water
- Designed for all weather temperatures (though some manufacturers advise to store lights during particularly inclement weather)
What Do I Need to Look Out for When Purchasing Solar Lights?
Despite the numerous advantages, there are still key things to watch for when considering solar lighting. For starters, make sure you read labeling correctly. Though the technology has come a long way and is constantly improving, a lot of solar lights are created for decorative or accent lighting (for example, garden lighting, or pathway lights). There are solar lights specifically created for everyday use that are brighter and more luminous – be sure to identify your need and purchase accordingly. Solar lights, in all their varieties, can be picked up at any major hardware store, ordered online, or at smaller independently own stores as well.
How Do I Care for My Solar Lights?
Additionally, though they require little maintenance, your solar lights should not be neglected. A simple routine of wiping the solar panel clean will prolong and maximize the life and effectiveness of your solar light. Most crucial, however, is to keep in mind that solar lights are entirely dependent on . . . sunlight! The amount of sun exposure they get each day directly affects their performance. Particularly during winter months (when daylight hours are not only shorter, but the sun itself is weaker due to its relative distance from the sun), the run time of your solar lights will be reduced.
The savings benefit of switching to solar lights is long term. Solar lights, upfront, may cost more than their less eco-friendly competitors. However, a few extra dollars initially, will save you thousands in the long run.