Solar Garden Lights
Why use solar garden lights?
If you have a yard and need lighting at night in a dark corner, along a path or driveway, or around a pool, you probably don’t want to run a lot of wires or hook up a complicated system of lights.
If this is the case then you should look into installing a system of solar garden lights.
While they may have a higher start-up cost as compared to conventional lights, once they are in action, they operate on minimal cost. They also do not require any complicated setups or wiring. In fact, you can set them up in any spot you like, so long as the solar panels can get sufficient sunshine during the daylight hours.
These garden lights work by storing light energy during the day and then using that energy to power the bulb once the sun sets.
The basic components of the solar garden light include the plastic case, the solar cells on the top of the case, a single battery, a small controller board, the LED light source and a photo-resistor to detect darkness.
Inside the plastic case, the solar cells are wired directly into the battery through a diode which prevents the current from flowing back to the solar cell once the sun has set. The battery is usually a standard AA variety which will typically produce 1.2 volts of energy and can store a maximum of about 700 milliamp-hours. This battery will be charged during the daylight hours until it reaches its maximum charge. Factors that affect the amount of charge the battery gets during daylight hours include the presence of overcast skies or shorter winter days.
Once the sun sets, the solar cells will stop producing power. At the same time, the photo-resistor detects darkness and will automatically turn on the LED light source, which runs on the power in the battery. These LED’s do not produce a lot of light, but are sufficient as trail lights along the edge of a pool or sidewalk to guide guests around the house.
Some of the more expensive models of garden solar lights come with a small halogen flashlight bulb in addition to the LED. In these cases, the LED remains lit at all times once the sun sets, but when an attached motion detector senses movement, the halogen bulb will be turned on for a period.
These lights are great for the environment because they run on clean and renewable solar energy, instead of electricity (which is produced through the burning of fossil fuels).
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