The Best Outdoor Solar Lights
Imagine how wonderful it would be to be able to make the night a little brighter when you¡¯re enjoying the evening with your family on the patio or trying to find your way to the front porch.
Installing powerful solar-powered lights in the backyard or a garden is an excellent way of creating an interesting and appealing atmosphere without generating massive electricity bills. They¡¯re eco-friendly, family-safe, low-maintenance, usually weather-resistant, and capable of producing brilliant, bright light.
Solar garden lights are available in a wide range of types and sizes, making it tricky to find one that matches your home¡¯s architectural style. These lights are loved for an easy installation. Stick them in the ground, and they¡¯ll do the remaining themselves. They capture daylight with the help of a solar panel and switch on automatically at nightfall.
It¡¯s a perfect option for your yard, but how difficult can selecting the best pathway lights for your specific requirements be? The reviews and the guide in this article will help you through.
How Do Outdoor Solar Lights Work?
They may come in a wide range of lighting styles, with varied aesthetics, functions, and designs, but ultimately all outdoor solar lights work pretty much the same. As a consumer in 2021, we know it¡¯s hard to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the online marketplace ¨C most suppliers exaggerate the usefulness of their product, and some even downright lie. That¡¯s why we at Semprius pride ourselves on delivering you accurate, factual information on all of the products we rate and review so that you, the buyer, can make the most informed choice. First things first, let¡¯s get to grips with how outdoor solar lights really work.
Whilst solar technology might go right over your head, it¡¯s really pretty simple. Solar panels are simply units which are designed to take energy from the sun¡¯s rays, and convert this energy into electricity which you and I can use in our homes and businesses. They require no additional power source or wiring to do so, and as such are entirely self-sufficient, generating electricity from sunlight whenever they are exposed to the sun, and for as long as they last before general wear, tear, and degradation calls for their replacement (which is often times many years down the line).
The actual science behind solar technology is pretty extraordinary. Solar panels are comprised of many smaller individual solar cells, which themselves are made from thin films of polycrystalline or monocrystalline silicon. This silicon is special, in that when exposed to sunlight it undergoes a physical and chemical reaction called the ¡®photovoltaic effect¡¯, during which sunlight forces the displacement of electrons from one silicon layer to another. This displacement generates volts of electricity, which are then transferred from the panel into a battery for storage and later use. The photovoltaic effect occurs cyclically and perpetually, whenever the solar panel is exposed to sunlight.
In solar outdoor lighting, small solar panels are built into the roofs of each outdoor light unit. When exposed to sunlight the panels generate electricity in the manner described above, and store this energy in a battery housed within the unit. Then, come nightfall when the lights automatically turn on (or are manually switched on by you), all of the electricity stored in the light¡¯s battery during the day is finally put to use, powering the LED bulbs housed in the light¡¯s casing, keeping them shining bright throughout the night.
Some outdoor solar lights come with additional features which expand their functionality: from motion sensors, to light sensors, wireless remote control, or different lighting modes to create ambience or sharpen clarity.
And that¡¯s about the long and short of it!
Pros and Cons of Outdoor Solar Lights
In a similar vein to learning how outdoor solar lights work, it¡¯s important to us that you¡¯re also aware of both the positives and negatives associated with their use. Let¡¯s take a look at the fundamental pros and cons of outdoor solar lights.
Free electricity. Since solar lighting effectively ¡®plugs itself¡¯ into sunlight, rather than the grid, the electricity it generates is entirely free. Sunlight is a natural, renewable resource which costs you nothing to use. It¡¯s frankly shocking that the entire world isn¡¯t running off of sunlight right now!
Green energy. And speaking of the entire world¡ the planet is in the throes of climate crisis right now, and we should all be making the move to renewable energy, dispensing with fossil fuel energy as we go. Converting your garden/outdoor lighting from grid-linked lights to solar lights is a great first step.
Durable. Solar panels, by their very nature, need to be built to last and to withstand all but the most severe weather conditions. Thus, it goes without saying that the outdoor lights housing the solar panels need to be pretty durable, too. Look after your outdoor solar lights and they¡¯ll last you for years.
Versatile. Outdoor solar lights don¡¯t just have to be about the aesthetics (though they sure are pretty). These lights can also serve as security lights ¨C especially if fitted with motion sensors ¨C or just as additional safety measures, keeping slippery poolsides and darkened garden paths lit up for all to tread carefully upon.
Budget friendly. No matter whether you¡¯re rolling in dough or strapped for cash, if you¡¯ve decided you¡¯d like to invest in some outdoor solar lights, you¡¯re in luck. With a wide range to choose from, across an agreeable price range, solar lighting doesn¡¯t have to break the bank.
Emergency friendly. Even in the event of a power outage, these lights will keep your outdoors bright and well-lit, since they depend on a limitless and reliable energy source, rather than the temperamental grid.
Sunlight dependent. As with any solar-powered product, these solar outdoor lights require good consistent exposure to direct sunlight in order to meet their full potential. If you live in a low light area, or often experience overcast conditions, you can expect to experience variable quality in the performance of your solar lighting. Ensure that you keep their panels out of the way of shadows during the day, and clean and free of debris whenever possible, so as to maximise their efficiency.
Variable light quality. Linked to the above con is the fact that light quality and brightness from solar lighting can vary considerably. Not that solar lighting isn¡¯t still a worthwhile investment, but you should just be aware that unlike grid-linked lighting (which receives the same amount of power regardless), the brightness of solar lights will vary depending on the amount of sunlight they receive during the day (think also about the changes in daylight hours during winter, for example).