Lighting up your garden can set a beautiful and serene scene, especially in the summertime when the nights are still warm. However, keeping your garden lit up can cost a fair amount in terms of your electricity, but can also have a negative impact on the environment. Solar powered lights are the best way forward as they provide you with a greener way of keeping your garden bright in the late evenings. Plus, there’s no extra strain on your energy bill.
How Does Solar Energy Work?
Of course, it is always good to know how solar energy works. The simple definition is that solar energy is energy that has been provided by the sun. When this energy is converted into solar power, it can then be used to provides home or businesses with electricity and/or heating.
The solar power itself is generated by a smooth surface that collects energy, usually in the form of solar panels, and a way of converting the captured energy into heat or electricity. There are two main ways in which solar energy can be converted into solar power.
The first of these is photovoltaic conversion (PV), which is also known as direct conversion. This is the most commonly used form of generating solar energy. It involves the use of solar panels (solar PV) for the generation of electricity.
The second of these is solar thermal conversion, which is also known as indirect conversion. This method is used to generate heat, and in recent years its popularity has started to climb. It involves the use of a thermal collector to generate the heat so that your water or home can be warmed using solar power.
Solar panel garden lights will use the PV form of solar power generation. They have little solar panels installed in them so that they can generate and store power during the day, ready for use at night. However, there is not just one form of garden light to choose from – there are actually quite a few.
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Types of Solar Garden Light
There are several different types of solar garden light that you can choose from. Take a look and see which ones might suit you best.
LED Fairy Lights
These are one of the most popular choices, especially around Christmas time. They can be wrapped around trees or objects to create a beautiful firefly effect in your garden and are extreemly easy to install. A standard set of solar powered fairy lights will come with around 100 lights on the strong, and should have a minimum of 0.2 watts of power.
This minimum requirement will increase as the length of the cable and number of lights does. This is because more power is required to keep the voltage going through the cable. So if you decide to purchase a string of 200 lights, make sure you are getting at least one watt of power. These lights are ideal for decking lights or marking the way down paths and can also have motions sensors.
LED Spot Lights
Outdoor LED solar lights: Spotlights need to produce quite a powerful beam, and it needs to be intense so that it can light up the selected location sufficiently. Due to this, the solar spotlight you choose will need to have a good quality panel that produces a relatively high wattage. This is so that it can produce a high enough voltage. The battery capacity also needs to be quite large in order to allow the light emitted to be a good amount of lumens, and for a prolonged period of time.
The number and type of LEDs are also quite an important factor to consider, as this is what will determine the light output. Generally, this will be measured in lumens. The minimum lumens for a good solar spot light should be 80. Any solar spot light that does not tell you how many lumens is provided is likely to be much lower than this value, so stay away from them.
If you plan on your security lights to have high levels of usage (so activated more than 15 times in the night), you should find a light with an incredibly high watt panel and a large battery capacity. This kind of light is ideal for use on busy driveways where you can expect to have a lot of people walking past in the evenings.
Most people tend to go for a security light that is ideal for average usage. These have a lower wattage solar panel and a smaller battery capacity. They are ideal for installation in your garden, providing you with some light when you go to let the dog out or have some people over for drinks in the evening.
Low usage security lights are best suited to your garden shed or a gate at the bottom of the garden. These will have an average sized wattage to keep the area well-lit, but the battery tends to be a lot smaller as it is not expected to turn on very much over the course of the night.
General Garden Lights
A good set of general garden lights will not be cheap. If the price is low, it’s more than likely too good to be true. Most of the companies that produce cheap models don’t really care about the quality of the solar panel or the battery that they are inserting. Plus, they are more likely to break after a short period of time.
The high-quality lights will tend to be more expensive, but the batteries will be fully rechargeable, and they will work throughout the year instead of half of it. Usually, they will be made with good quality polycrystalline solar cells so that you get the best results and efficiency. The lights can be placed anywhere in your garden, and they will look fantastic.
Want to Know More?
Have you found yourself interested in solar panels? If you want to upgrade to full solar panels then contact one of the nations installers or call us for advice by simply ringing us using the number at the top of this page. You can find a range of solar garden lights on www.amazon.co.uk and www.ebay.co.uk for the best prices.
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