The development of solar power and applied technologies has given an unintended boost to the world of outdoor lighting, providing unimagined flexibility where designers were bound to wiring before. Exterior lights powered by solar energy come in all designs and shapes.
Many of the outdoor installations we see today are indeed powered by solar energy. We see it especially in Italian outdoor lighting plans where path lights, cycle tracks, much of the security lighting, and landscape lights are completely powered by solar energy. The benefits of these outdoor lighting systems are many.
How does solar lighting work?
The principle of a solar-powered outdoor lighting system is very simple. A solar panel collects the energy from the sun and transforms it into light. The energy is stored in a battery in order to be used when there is no sunlight (that’s the point of outdoor lighting).
Solar energy for lights is used commonly with street lighting and can be used in gardens and lawns. Most of these panels are designed to just work with lights, meaning the whole system is easier to maintain than those panels dedicated to providing a whole house with electricity.
There is also a newer option that’s called hybrid because it combines solar energy and it’s also connected to the main power grid. This intelligent system decides where to take the energy depending on the availability of solar energy or not.
Main reasons for choosing solar outdoor lighting
While the initial expense of installing solar panels is steep, it’s an investment that soon proves in your favour. With years of service, simple maintenance, and even DIY installation, solar energy is a smart and cost-effective solution.
Outdoor solar systems also have an extended life span that means no other costs to keep your external lighting working for years.
There is no doubt that one of the main reasons for people to choose solar energy is the fact that it reduces your carbon footprint notably. This option is a step in the right direction if we are to protect the planet for coming generations.
However, it’s when we combine solar energy and the latest innovation on LED lights that we get a perfectly eco-friendly system that lasts for a long time and effectively illuminates our outdoor areas.
In recent times, solar lighting for exterior spaces has evolved into esthetic options that will surprise those learning they are powered by the sun. Not only is there a wide variety when it comes to design and style, but also solar lighting now offers features that will suit all your needs in visually pleasing forms and shapes.
Solar panels can be placed in different areas and heights and as long as they have access to solar light, they will perform without problems. Even in areas that are away from the main solar panels, a separate panel can be installed and wired to the desired lights.
Unlimited source of energy
True, the cost of installing a solar system in your house may be high, however, the fact that it is a never-ending source of energy and allows your system to be off-the-grid means that you don’t depend on the electric companies and their supply, as well as their imposed fees.
An interesting point of using solar energy for your outdoor lighting is the fact that there is no risk of having external wiring. Having cables outside comes with a risk, especially in humid regions. On the other hand, solar lighting provides a safe option, even connected to a timer or a motion sensor detector, making illumination more effective and saving costs. Additionally, these measures may prove useful for those leaving on holidays and wanting their home to look inhabited to avoid petty thieves or burglars trying to take advantage of a dark house.
Simple to maintain
Finally, there is a massive benefit of choosing outdoor solar lighting: low maintenance. The whole solar energy system is designed to take care of itself with automatic features. After the initial installation, there is very little to do. Apart from checking the system now and then and maybe cleaning the panels, it all works by itself, letting you enjoy your external lights without having to constantly worry about fixing cables and dealing with the common wear and tear.
Are there any disadvantages of solar lighting?
In fact, if we have to think about a disadvantage it would only be the price. Solar panels are rather expensive, and while in the long term is definitely a worthy investment, it is discouraging for some people.
With the technology improving and becoming more and more popular, it has been noted an increase in the competition of providers and therefore more chances of seeing a reduction of the prices in the short term. We may start finding cheaper solar panels soon.
In the meanwhile, it’s clear that the benefit outweighs whatever the initial cost may be. In the long term, they will literally pay for themselves.