A solar powered light is a great addition to any home, office, or industrial building. Not only are they energy efficient, but they are not vulnerable to loss of power during power blackout. If nothing else, this makes solar powered lights a great choice for alternative, as well as security lighting in many public venues.
How Solar Powered Lights Are Constructed
A solar powered light will basically consist of four components – a solar array (i.e. a large array of connected solar cells that will generate electricity), a lamp or light bulb, a charge controller (to prevent overcharging from taking place), and a battery to store the electricity generated from the sun.
A solar powered light will also usually have an adjustable pole mount. That way, no matter how you position the light structure, you can adjust the solar array to the best angle from which it can capture the rays of the sun.
Drawbacks To An Outdoor Solar Light
A drawback to outdoor solar powered lights is that the typical small size of the solar array prevents it from collecting enough power to provide light from dusk to dawn, especially in the winter months when the availability of the sun is lessened due to shorter number of daylight hours. Short amount of daylight hours means less recharging time for the light. As a result, a solar powered light will typically be timed to only light up at certain times of the night. Undoubtedly this will change as the energy collection efficiency of solar cells continues to increase. In very sunny climates, however, and in those with plenty of daylight hours, a solar light can run for two to three weeks with no sunlight.
A way around this dilemma is to simply increase the size of the solar array – as some manufacturers have done for certain models of their lamps. The tradeoffs, however, are more cost as well as giving up some of the aesthetic qualities of smaller lights. If you do choose to purchase solar powered lights with larger arrays, your lamp will have greater capacity and be able to stay bright for more hours of the night.
Another way of avoiding buying solar powered lights with large array sizes is to purchase ones with motion detectors attached to them. This way they are allowed to conserve power except when needed. With most motion sensing devices, you can adjust the range with which they become active.
You don’t have to be concerned with constantly replacing batteries since solar powered lights are built with rechargeable batteries.