Solar Myths Debunked: Misconceptions About Solar Powered LED Lights
Posted by Stephen Shickadance in Most Popular. Solar FAQs. Solar Lighting Design.
In this day and age, it has become essential for consumers to be more mindful of how much energy they use throughout the day. Energy-efficient appliances and features can help to reduce your carbon footprint, conserve some of the Earth’s resources, and in some cases may even offer you a tax break. They’re generally agreed to be a win-win for all, not just in the home but in workplaces and in city development as well.
This is why outdoor solar lighting like solar powered LED lights can be such a benefit to your business, community, and the world as a whole. Outdoor LED lighting powered by the sun has many practical uses: parking lot or pathway lighting, security perimeter lighting, sign and bus stop lighting, and so much more. It seems cleOutdoor LED lighting powered by the sun has many practical uses: parking lot or pathway lighting, security perimeter lighting, sign and bus stop lighting, and so much morear that sun-powered lights are the future.
Unfortunately, there are also many misconceptions surrounding LED solar lights that may leave you with questions. For instance, what happens on cloudy days when the sun isn’t easily visible? Can they be used at night, when outdoor lights are actually needed? What about winter? And do these lights need batteries?
Allow Greenshine New Energy to dispel some of these misconceptions and answer your questions in this article.
What Are LED Lights?
You may have heard of LED lights before but have little idea about what they are or how they work. You may also be unsure what they have to do with solar power. LED stands for light-emitting diode. It’s a partially conducting device. When an electrical current of some kind passes through an LED panel, it allows it to emit a bright light. LED lights typically need less energy than other light conductors, and they don’t have to use coal energy. In fact, solar powered LED lights are quite popular and make for excellent outdoor LED lighting.
How Do LED Lights Work?
Another mystery for some is how LED lights work. LED lights function similarly to photovoltaic cells, using a p-n junction within the semiconductor that is the LED light. These two boundaries interact when they come in contact with an electrical current, in this case a solar powered electrical current.
In the case of LED lights, the p-n junction works in reverse to the performance of photovoltaic cells, the cells that make up solar panels. The “p” energy band supplies the electrons into the “n” energy band’s energy holes. In a practical sense, think of nuts and bolts. When the energy holes are filled with energy from the “p,” light emits from the LED semiconductor. In the case of LED lights, they gain that energy from solar power.
How Do Solar Panels Work?
What about solar panels? How do they work? It’s a similar, if somewhat inverted, process. Solar panels are made of silicon dioxide, a tried and tested semiconductor material. Solar panels also use a p-n junction. In the case of solar panels, solar energy passes through the bandgap in between these boundaries, which then causes the semiconductor to absorb light, rather than reflect it. Solar panels are often used to conduct solar energy, which is then used in solar powered LED lights.
Are All LED Lights Solar Powered?
You’ve likely heard that LED lights are very energy-efficient and are a great alternative to traditional light bulbs for homes or businesses and even for outdoor lighting. Is that because all LED lights are solar powered? Well, no. It’s not a requirement for LED lights to be solar powered. It’s just required that they be light-emitting diode semiconductors. However, solar powered LED lights are among the most popular kinds of LED lights. If you want to find the most energy-efficient option for outdoor lighting, the answer is solar powered LED lights.
Are Solar and LED Lights the Same?
Solar and LED lights are not exactly the same, but they are intertwined. A solar lighting system includes several different elements in order to offer efficient, eco-friendly outdoor lighting. That system may include LED lamps, solar panels, batteries, and charge controllers. The end result that you enjoy is a solar powered LED light. The solar light is the system that makes it up. The terminology may be interchangeable depending on your place in the process.
Do Solar LED Lights Need Batteries?
Solar LED lights do require batteries in order to charge up on sunlight and emit that energy. However, they are designed to be used with rechargeable batteries that can be used over and over again. They often come with these batteries, making installation that much easier. Solar panels and batteries help store energy for days where there is less visibility from the sun so that the lights can still work. But more on that later.
Do Outdoor LED Lights Need Electricity?
All outdoor LED lights require electricity to function. But solar LED lights won’t add to your electricity bills. This is a huge boon in favor of solar powered LED lighting. Instead, they gain power from the solar energy that has been converted and collected by the solar panels and stored in the battery. That way, even at night, you’re getting lighting from the sun at a lower cost both financially and to the environment.
Can a Solar Light Charge Itself?
Solar lights charge themselves by soaking up sunlight or soaking up light from an artificial source, such as LED. They charge rather easily and can even charge on days with low visibility from the sun. They charge during the day, emit light at night, and then start again the next day. It’s an effective renewable energy source — convenient, eco-friendly, and predictable. After all, the sun always rises.
Do Solar Lights Charge on Cloudy Days?
This is one of the most common misconceptions and the one that, on the surface, makes the most sense. After all, if solar lights need sunlight to charge, what do they do on days where the sun is blocked by clouds?
The truth is that although cloudy days may feel sunless to us, there is still partial sunlight breaking through the cloud cover. That’s why the sky looks gray instead of black. Solar lights can use this to charge. Solar lights are designed to charge with partial sun visibility. They store battery power for days and even weeks at a time, which makes it easy to retain power for consecutive days of cloud cover or storms.
Do Solar Lights Work in the Rain?
At night, solar LED lights are lit by energy that has already been stored in the battery from the previous day. But what about during the day, when solar lights are meant to be charging? And what about water damage?
It depends on the quality of the manufacturing for the solar lights, but well-made solar lights are designed to still work in the rain. They will continue to emit light at night and will continue to charge with that partial visibility during the day. The water should not damage the structure of the LED lights or interfere with the lighting itself. Remember, solar panels — which are a part of that solar light system — are made with silicon diode, which has been used throughout history for lighting and other construction solutions.
Can You Leave Solar Lights Out All Winter?
So, sure, solar lights take in sunlight during the day, convert it into energy, and save that energy in their batteries so that it can last for days or weeks. Winter, however, lasts for a whole four months. This can leave many wondering whether or not solar lights can be left out all winter. If not, you may feel that you need to turn to another solution during the winter, and why not go with an option that can be used year long?
The good news is that solar lights can in fact be used year long. These lights are designed to withstand cold temperatures and winter storms, so if the manufacturing is strong, there’s no need to worry about solar powered LED lights any more than any other outdoor lights. Even in the winter, there is still sunlight every day — at the very least partial sunlight — so solar panels can continue to absorb light and convert it into energy. The solar light system continues to function, and you can stay energy efficient and eco-friendly with your outdoor lighting all year long.
It’s always best to do your research before you seriously invest in any outdoor lighting solution, solar powered LED lights included. However, when you do the research and break through the misconceptions, what you might find is that solar powered LED lights are not just energy efficient but also reliable.
When you need outdoor lighting solutions, turn to Greenshine New Energy. Our specialty is developing and manufacturing solar powered LED light fixtures for a variety of outdoor uses. Contact us today to learn more or to get a free quote for your solar lighting.
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