Outdoor Solar Lights - How do they Work and Buying Guide 2019
Posted on February 16 2019
Outdoor solar lights are the next cool thing that you can do with solar panels. If you have already been reading and surfing a lot about solar panels and how do they work, and are interested to test some small solar setups for yourself, then outdoor solar lights are the way to go. It may prove to be a small weekend project, and will definitely help you understand how do solar panels work practically. Outdoor solar lights can also be your next step if you are a solar geek, then what's better than trying out outdoor solar lights on your property and saving mother earth from other polluted sources of energy? Who knows, you might get so impressed that you will want to convert the entire property to clean and green solar energy.
Solar bulbs. via quickdrop
Apart from the fact that outdoor solar lights use clean and green energy to light up your patio, pathway, backyard and more areas, it is worth noting that exterior solar lighting system requires low or almost no maintenance. Don't get me wrong, I mean lightening from a clean energy source is already good enough of a reason for many, but there is more than just that. Once you install them and they are operational, you will definitely see a fall on your electricity bills. Furthermore, taking such a step can also benefit you spread the word and create awareness amongst your friends and family and from a simple step of outdoor solar lights you might end up inspiring many towards a greener and more sustainable lifestyle.
How do outdoor solar lights work?
Outdoor solar lights work very similarly to a solar power system set-up at home that we have discussed in details over here. The key difference is that when you buy a solar outdoor light, it comes as a ready-to-mount kit. You just have to mount it and it'll start shining bright. A complete solar kit for outdoor lightning consists of a solar panel, power bank, a charge controller, solar light and mounting tools. So you just have to plug and play. Remember that you always have to consider that wherever you mount it the outdoor solar light and its panel should get the maximum amount of sunlight throughout the day.
Solar streetlight. via salamo
You can always choose to build your own outdoor solar lighting system starting from scratch with solar panels, batteries, and solar lights, but that requires some serious effort and understanding of the mechanism and this article on how much solar power do you need will definitely help.
What if you want to mount the outdoor solar lights in an area that is mostly shady and doesn't get much sunlight?
Well, in this case, you have to buy solar lights which has a separate solar panel that can be mounted at some distance away from the light itself. Then the light can be hung in the shady area and the solar panel on your rooftop where it gets direct sunlight for most of the time during the day
Types of solar lights
Primarily outdoor solar lights can be distributed into 4 main categories. All of the categories differ from each other in many aspects, from light intensity to their respective panel and battery ratings. Therefore, it is very important that you need to know the purpose you are buying solar lights for. Once you are certain about the purpose, then the following explanations of each category of solar lights will help you decide what exactly do you want to buy!
1. Solar searchlights, spotlights or Solar task lights.
These are the brightest outdoor solar lights available in the market. These lights generally provide about 500 and more lumens of brightness. You can use these lights to illuminate a specific landscape feature in your garden, a tree, or the driveway. This can also be used as security lights. Usually, these lights come in bright white colors, but if you like other shades, then make sure to buy ones that have a different shading of your choice on their cover. These lights have a larger solar panel with comparatively higher battery capacity.
Solar spotlight. via soliddrop
2. Solar camping lights
Lighting is always a major issue when you go out camping and hiking, but no more. Compact and stylish camping lights are in abundance in the market now. This solar camping lantern from SUAOKI is a perfect gadget for you. These lamps come with built in batteries, solar panels, you just have to unpack it and it will start working. These lights have around a 1000mAh battery and with 30lumes lights, it can work for up to 6 hours.
SUAOKI portable solar outdoor camping light. via youtube
3. Solar garden lights
Outdoor solar lights for gardens come in a variety of shapes and designs. From decorative patio stand alone garden lamps to solar bulbs in a series on a string. These usually come with their shell covered in a shade of yellow, and some even in stylish flame and candle design. These lights are not as bright as solar spotlights, but they do a perfect job on keeping your gardens and patios lit while you enjoy some leisure time there. They can be operated manually, automatically with darkness or with motion detection.
Outdoor solar light ground mounted in a garden. via siliconsolar
4. Solar pathway lights
These are the least luminous outdoor solar lights, but that is on purpose. You can get a bundle of these solar outdoor lights and place them near each other to illuminate path-ways. These are usually smaller in size and less luminous; comes with smaller solar panels and a smaller capacity battery. Most of these operate automatically, which means that they start shinning as the sun sets down.
Illuminated pathway from solar lights. via epicgarden
Remember, another important factor is to consider if you want your outdoor solar lights to function automatically with sunset and sunrise, or do you want a manual switch? The manual switch can be handy when you want to save the battery and only use it when you need it. However, you can also consider the motion detecting outdoor solar lights that works best for pathways and sidewalks.
Confused? Got some questions? Don't worry, just leave us a comment below and we will help you with your queries.