What is Solar Lighting?

What is Solar Lighting?

Solar lighting is an energy-efficient alternative to traditional electricity for your home. The system consists of a light fixture, solar panels, battery and charge controller.

The solar panel’s cells absorb sunlight to charge the re-chargeable nickel cadmium battery. The battery is the heart of the system that provides power when the lights are on at night.

Solar Panels

Solar panels, also known as photovoltaic cells, convert sunlight into electricity. They can be mounted on the ground or in rooftop installations, or grouped together into larger solar arrays called PV systems. solar generator The simplest deployment uses a fixed mount system that faces south (in the Northern Hemisphere) or north (in the Southern Hemisphere). More complex systems use motor-driven trackers that continuously reorient the PV system to follow the daily and seasonal movement of the sun.

A solar panel consists of silicon layers that generate electricity by turning the sun’s energy into direct current. To do this, the silicon is treated with boron and phosphorus to create an electrical charge. This current runs off the solar panels and into your home. To convert the DC to alternate current, a PV inverter is used.

Solar energy is a clean and renewable resource, and doesn’t emit harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere like coal. Moreover, it doesn’t pollute our water supply or deplete the Earth’s resources. But solar energy isn’t without its drawbacks, including its high initial cost, which can take years to pay off. Fortunately, leasing options and governmental rebates are helping to reduce this barrier.


Solar lights use rechargeable batteries to store the energy they collect during the day. This enables them to operate at night and during periods with little or no sunlight. It also helps to smooth out fluctuations in electricity production and delivery from the solar panels.

Solar lighting is powered by a combination of solar cells, a battery to store the energy, and an LED (light emitting diode) bulb to produce light. The solar cells convert sunlight to an electrical current using different crystalline silicon layers and chemicals. The electrons in this current flow through a metal wire inside the cell. The wire then connects to a nickel cadmium (NiCd) or nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery. These batteries are known for their cost and performance, and they can be found in most solar light products.

Over time, the NiCd or NiMH batteries can lose their ability to hold a charge. When this occurs, they need to be replaced. Solar light manufacturers recommend replacing the batteries every two years. Some may offer replacements at a discounted price.

Charge Controller

A solar charge controller is a crucial piece of equipment in any battery-based solar lighting system. It takes the DC electrical power from the solar panels and converts it into a voltage and current that can be used to charge the batteries during daylight hours. It also prevents current from traveling back into the solar panels at night, which could damage your batteries.

Basically, it’s an automatic switch that controls the flow of electricity between the solar panels and the battery. The simplest PWM charge controllers use basic ‘rapid switches’ that open and close hundreds of times per second to modulate the battery charging voltage. The pulses are long in the beginning of a cycle to increase solar water pump vendors the charge current and short towards the end of the charge to reduce the average voltage.

The next level of solar charge controller is an MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) device. Instead of simply dropping a panel’s operating voltage to match the battery’s, an MPPT solar charge controller sweeps through a range of panel voltages to find the optimal one to generate the most power. They are much more efficient than simple PWM controllers, but they are also more expensive. For most DIY domestic systems, it isn’t cost effective to upgrade from a PWM to an MPPT, but we do offer the option on our larger kits.


Solar lights come in a variety of styles and sizes for all sorts of outdoor lighting scenarios. They differ by solar panel size, bulb brightness, battery size, illumination angles and pole heights, and special features like motion sensors or network connectivity.

They typically don’t require any electrical wiring, making them a great option for people who aren’t comfortable with electric wiring or want to avoid the cost of hiring an electrician. They also help reduce electricity bills by eliminating the need to draw power from the grid at night.

During the day, the solar panels absorb sunlight and convert it to electrical energy. Then, the batteries store that energy as chemically charged ions until it’s needed at night. The ions are channeled to the LED (light-emitting diode) bulb during darkness to illuminate the space.

Solar yard and garden lights highlight attractive landscape elements like flower beds, trees and sculptures. They can also be used to illuminate walkways, driveways and steps for safety and ambiance. String solar lights can be strung between trees or along a deck to provide ambient lighting. Flood and spot lights illuminate bigger areas with a broad light angle, and are popular for commercial spaces, stadiums, huge parking lots, facade lighting and military and civilian security installations. They’re also a smart choice for remote communities that lack centralized energy infrastructure.

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