Solar Powered Lights and How They Work

Solar Powered Lights and How They Work

There are now plenty of choices when considering garden and yard lighting. You have numerous styles of lighting and colorful outputs to choose from allowing you to be creative and flexible with your landscape lighting needs. With all of these choices the lighting output options basically boils down to electrical lighting systems, including low voltage outputs, or solar power lighting options.

If you are looking only at light output or illumination intensity and providing that cost is not a real concern for you then lighting using an outside electrical source is your optimum choice. However, if money and environmental conservation are important to you then solar power lighting is a great option for you to choose when adding safety and security to your yard at night. When considering Total Cost of Ownership solar landscape lighting by far outperforms the electrical lighting systems.

If you are going to select solar lighting for your exterior lighting needs, it is important to understand the basic components and the functions of a solar powered accent light. As a totally self-functioning unit, a solar light is a pretty incredible advancement.

These lights function on the most abundant energy source, our sun, they virtually require no maintenance, are simple to install, and last for at least 20,000 hours far outperforming any traditional light.

By day the light soaks up the solar energy emitted by the sun and stores it into a Nicad Battery then the energy is released after the sun sets to power the LED bulb or bulbs emitting light throughout the evening. This cycle repeats itself day in and day out without any help or maintenance from you.

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The primary components of a solar light includes a top mounted solar panel to receive energy from the sun throughout the day. Most solar powered lights on the market are constructed from a plastic shell or casing although more expensive models, such as many solar powered lamp posts, may include metal or stainless steel construction. Some premium ground mounted solar garden lights are constructed of stainless steel and feature glass panes emphasizing a more elegant and intense glow.

Other solar light components include a control board and a special Nicad Battery. Some solar lights may use a NiMh rechargeable battery which some claim as being more environmentally friendly. The rechargeable battery is the most likely component of a solar lighting fixture needing replacement. All rechargeable batteries have a life-cycle and it is suggested that the batteries be replaced annually for optimal solar lighting performance. In warmer climates the battery life may be shorter but annual replacement will allow for uninterrupted performance.

Throughout the day the solar energy collected by the sun recharges the battery. The control board receives its energy source from both the battery and the solar cell. At sun set the battery stops charging and the photoresistor, think of it as a switch, is activated and powers the LED or Light Emitting Diode. With a healthy battery charge the LED may remain lit for a 12 hour cycle although the intensity of the light emitted from the LED slowly reduces throughout the night.