In recent decades, more and more people realized the damages that the fossil fuels related activities caused to the environments. On the other hand, people are thinking forward that what to do if the fossil fuels are used up someday. In the exploration for clean and renewable energy sources, solar technologies have developed so significantly that solar power has become one of the new energies that are replacing fossil fuels in many applications.
Solar lights are getting popular and are seen in more and more occasions ranging from homes, to parks, to streets. Apart from their clean and renewable energy source, solar lights have many more other upsides. They are grid free and so no wiring is required. This feature enables them easy to install and perfect for locations where grid power does not reach. Moreover, the solar lights are in the charging state in the daytime and automatically turns on when it gets dark. No human intervention is required. And they save money in the long term. They obviously save your electricity bills. Since they exclusively use LED chips other than the traditional incandescent bulbs, metal halide bulbs or other bulbs, the decades-long lifetime of LED chips saves costs for replacing bulbs (labor and materials). The add up of those savings are hard to ignore. The solar lights are getting popular but not the mainstream yet. People are interested in buying them, but in the meantime, are puzzled about how to choose the right products.
There are many types of solar lights on the market, such as all-in-one solar street lights, split type street lights, solar flood lights, solar stadium lights, solar floor lights, solar wall lights, and so on. It is important to pick the right light fixtures for your actual needs.
In order to choose the right solar lamps, the following topics need to be considered.
When purchasing solar lights, pay attention to the waterproof performance. The waterproof level of conventional solar lights is generally above IP65. They are used outdoors and you don’t want water leak inside and damage the electronics. And you want to pay attention to its functionalities which are often exhibited in their remotes. Does it have motion sensor? If so, can I turn off the sensor when I want to? When no motion is detected, is it off or dimmed? Can I regulate the brightness of the light? Can I choose how long it stays on? How high do you plan to hang the light? How bright do you want it at human activity height? You should look into those matters to see if the products meet your needs.
- Applications and budgets
The solar lights are built for their intended applications. For example, the commercial lighting always requires longer work hours, higher light intensity, and better durability. For the lighting over your driveway, on the other hand, it is better turned on whenever a motion is detected, in order to conserve energy. Therefore, the qualities or the specifications of the components in the solar lights vary significantly. So are their prices. Usually, the commercial grade products are more expensive than the residential products.
If you need a solar light that meets your backyard lighting needs or want a light fixture in your store, we recommend
They are all-in-one solar lights with easy installation. Those lights have up to 18W high-efficiency solar panels and 20Ah large-capacity batteries, and equipped with LANGY proprietary controllers. Those superior controllers make our light products more stable than our peers in the market. We also designed our signature remote that satisfies most customers’ needs and has some valuable add-on features.
For people who want to learn solar lights a bit more, the following four components are critical. They are solar panels, batteries, LED chips, and casing. They greatly affect the performance and the qualities of the products and hence their prices.
- Solar panels
Let’s start from the first component in the workflow – the solar panel. The solar panels convert sunlight into electricity which is stored in the batteries. Reasonably, the solar panels should match the batteries. If the panels are too big in relative to the batteries, they waste the panel resources. Because the electricity generated will be wasted after the batteries are fully charged. On the other hand, when the capacities of the batteries are bigger than the solar panels. They will never be fully charged. It is a waste of money to buy a too big battery which the most expensive component. The weather varies day from day. We need to consider rainy days or cloudy days. Usually, the solar lamps are designed to last a few cloudy days. There are many types of models of solar panels. The main two big categories are mono-crystal type and poly-crystal type. Mono-crystal panels are black color and more efficient on converting sunlight to electricity. Hence, they are more expensive. Poly-crystal solar panels are cheaper and are main products on the market. They are blueish color and have many types or models to choose from. Generally speaking, the solar lights on the market are able to convert 18% (or above) of sunlight energy to electricity. Commonly, the solar panels are well paired with the batteries in the lamp product package. The engineers in the manufacture did the research and well designed the products. The customers don’t have to pick their own solar panels, which avoid the layman’s mistakes.
- Battery capacity
In my opinion, the battery is the most critical part in the solar light. On one side, the application decides how much energy is required to produce the intensity of light during the expected time period. Obviously, that amount of energy is limited by the storage capacity of the battery. On the other hand, the capacity of the battery decides what kind of solar panel is needed to pair with it. It can neither be too big nor too small. The reasoning was discussed above. The larger the capacity of the battery, the more electricity it stores, and the longer the light will last. If you want the light to stay on all night long, or have high requirements on the light intensity, it is recommended to choose a light with big batteries. It is often paired with a big size solar panel.
- The number of lamp beads
Instead of one light source like in the traditional incandescent lights, the solar lights always use LED lights, which mean the light source(s) are many LED chips. It is not uncommon that some salesmen claim their lights are brighter because they have more LED chips than the others have, and so their lights are better. That’s not always true. First of all, not all LED chips are the same. With the same electricity input from the battery, some LED chips produce more lumens (unit of light intensity) than others. Another important question is how much juice the battery has? If there are a good number of high-quality LED chips but the capacity of the battery is small, the intense brightness won’t last long and cannot be called a good solar light. Therefore, all the components should be considered when comparing two lights.
- The material of the lamp body
Two types of materials are commonly used to make the case for the solar lights. One is plastic, usually ABS. The other is metal, mostly aluminum. The plastic casing is lighter but tends to age and becomes brittle and fragile over long time outdoor exposures. The lights with aluminum casing are much heavier. But they are more durable and last longer in the harsh outdoor environments. They are more expensive and often utilized in commercial applications.
Hopefully the brief discussion helped you know a bit more about solar lights and gained more confidence in picking the right solar products. You can always contact us for help. LANGY has professionals to guide the customers through product selections, to provide technical support during installations, and offer excellent customer services after sales. We have warehouses and branch offices in North America to better serve the regions.
We will be using the lights with the light output facing up. Will there be enough recharge with the solar panels facing down? Installation is in Tucson, Arizona, a very sunny place. We are looking at purchasing the larger LED lights. Thank you.
Dean Bell for Gersons Building Materials