Solar-powered LED outdoor lights - the future is near

Solar-powered LED outdoor lights - the future is near
Solar-powered LED outdoor lights - the future is near

It's nice, returning home late at night, to see that the front door is lit. And there is no need to turn on a flashlight or strike a lighter to get the key into the door lock hole. What can we say about the owners of private houses and summer cottages. At night, when there is no lamp on in the yard, even a simple trip to the toilet can be accompanied by a lot of surprises (a skate forgotten by your son, a rake not hidden in the barn by you).

Therefore, each owner is inevitably faced with the need to organize artificial lighting in his area. At the same time, paying for electricity consumed by light bulbs burning all night, being in the yard only occasionally, is very expensive and unreasonable.

The solution to this dilemma can be the installation of solar-powered LED street lights on your site. By purchasing such a device, manufacturers provide an inexhaustible source for absolutely free. You only need to periodically disperse the clouds over the house during the day. This article tells about the pros and cons of operating such lamps.

Solar lamp with motion sensor

What are solar-powered lighting fixtures made of and how do they work?

The general principle of operation is that sunlight in such devices is converted into electric current, charging the battery, which serves as a source of energy for LED bulbs at night. By and large, outdoor solar-powered LED wall lights are miniature solar power plants, they have a similar principle of operation and a similar device:

  1. Solar panel - converts solar energy into electricity. It is made from monocrystalline or polycrystalline (amorphous) silicon. In the first case, the panel has a higher performance per unit area and a longer service life than amorphous silicon based transducers. They are used in expensive models of solar-powered LED street lights and are usually covered with a protective film to protect against aggressive weather conditions.
  2. Battery - is used to store electricity from the solar panel. It feeds it to the device at night. As a rule, the battery consists of nickel-cadmium cells, ensuring the operation of the lamp until the morning (8-10 hours).
  3. Photocell - is responsible for turning on the street LEDsolar-powered lamp when the illumination decreases (about 20 lux) and turns off in the morning (10 lux).
  4. Battery charge controller - turns off the power of the flashlight when the charge is too low, as well as the voltage supply to the battery when it is fully charged.
  5. Motion control device - serves to save battery power by connecting the lamp only if movement is detected at a certain distance from the device. This is an optional feature and may not be available in all this type of lighting.
  6. Casing and Mounting Fixtures - model depends on the task being solved by the lighting and has many variations.
Types of installation of a solar-powered lamp

Types of autonomous fixtures

Manufacturers offer an incredibly diverse range of lighting solutions in terms of configuration, power and degree of protection of lamps from external influences. These include strict solar-powered outdoor wall lamps, and graceful decorative bollards illuminating the path in the garden, and even lights gliding along the water surface of the pond, like small fireflies.

Installation features

To illuminate a large area, powerful lamps are also needed, with a large number of LED elements, increased battery capacity and an increased size of the solar panel. They are placed on high pillars or walls of buildings.

Here it is worth considering that the ridge of the roof or the crown of a tree growing nearby does not block the access of sunlight to the photovoltaic panel.This rule is true for the installation of any fixtures of this type, as well as the fact that the panel must be periodically wiped clean of dust and debris.

Outdoor wall lamps with solar panels

When installing flashlights near places with high humidity or in water, you must pay attention to the level of moisture protection (indicated in the product data sheet), it must have a class of IP44 or higher.

The solar-powered outdoor garden lamp features a graceful shape. As a result, they are poorly protected from mechanical stress, and therefore require delicate handling. Most often, these types of lanterns have a post with a pointed end to facilitate fixing in the ground, but you should not use a hammer to install them.

Solar-powered garden street lamp

Advantages of Solar Lamps

Let's look at the benefits of this type of lighting device:

  • Environmentally friendly (excluding battery recycling).
  • Absolutely safe for people and animals - low voltage 12V is used.
  • Economical and easy to install - powered by solar energy, no electrical cable required.
  • Highly mobile – can be installed anywhere with access to natural light.
  • Work in a wide temperature range from -40 to +40 ºС.
  • Ultimately autonomous - turning on and off automatically depending on the degree of illumination.
  • Durable –quality models of lamps can work up to 10 years or more.
Outdoor solar powered garden lights

Cons of autonomous street lighting

But this miracle of technology still has a number of rather serious shortcomings, and when choosing a similar lighting method, you need to take them into account:

  • Quite a high price even for budget models.
  • Low power compared to traditional bulbs - may require multiple off-grid lights to provide enough light.
  • Complete dependence on sunlight - in the shade or in cloudy weather, the battery charge may not be enough to fully operate the lamp until the morning.
  • Limited battery life of about 1000 cycles.
  • Inexpensive models often fail due to sudden temperature changes.

However, solar-powered LED street lights are without a doubt an important step towards a bright future of renewable energy.

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