Over the past decade, the use of solar power in landscape and deck lighting has grown immensely. Technology is advancing at break neck speeds in LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), batteries, and Solar Panels. As LED’s get brighter, batteries gain added storage capacities, and solar panels become more efficient, new opportunities unfold for more and greater ways to put solar powered lighting to use in your landscape and on your deck. With the use of solar lighting growing, it is interesting to understand just how it works and how to ensure proper placement.
How Solar Lights Work
Solar lighting isn’t as simple as the sun powering a bulb. There are multiple components working together to ensure your light works properly at night. The basics of a solar light are:
- Photovoltaic solar cell
- Rechargeable battery (The most common batteries)
- NiCD (Nickel Metal Cadmium)
- NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride)
- Lithium Ion
- Photo-electronic circuitry
During the day, the photovoltaic solar cell is taking in photons from sunlight and converting them into electrical energy that’s stored in the battery. To gain optimum performance, the solar panel needs to be placed where it can receive the most sunlight. As the day progresses, the rechargeable battery is charged by the energy produced from the solar cell.
In general, it takes a full day of direct sunlight to fully charge the battery. Since solar power depends on the sun to make energy, in the winter months when days get shorter and the angle of the sun is lower in the sky, the batteries may not receive a full charge. As the sun begins to set, the photo-electronic circuitry determines when the light levels have dropped to a point whereby the batteries are no longer charging and current then flows from the batteries to the LED.
Thus, LED’s are used because of the amount of light that can be produced with fractional amounts of energy. Once the LED is on, the battery begins to discharge. A typical discharge is 8-12 hours. In the morning when the sun comes up the photo-electronic circuitry will turn the LED off and the battery charging process begins again.
Continual advancements in solar technologies, along with the flexibility and ease of installation, make solar lighting a great option for landscape and deck lighting. Check out some of the options for your next outdoor lighting project at deckimpressions.com.
Deck Impressions believes that quality and delivery come first and that a competitive price is expected. A keen interest in tomorrow’s environmental challenges place our products ahead of the competition with new and novel energy efficient advances that reflect the growing trends of a changing social environment. We’re proud to offer our customers the best outdoor lighting, patio lights, deck lighting, garden lighting, solar LED lights, security lighting, and more.