Solar Lights

The Benefits of Solar Indoor Lighting

Discover why solar lights can also be used indoors to help you to save money, and some of the different ways that solar indoor lighting can beautify your home with clean, safe, renewable energy from the sun.

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When we think about solar lighting, most of us think about solar yard lights and solar outdoor lighting. In fact, solar outdoor lights are becoming more and more popular, and you can now find them in many hardware stores as well as online.

But did you know that you can also use indoor solar lighting to help save on your energy costs? These are not yet as popular as solar outdoor lights, but have many of the same benefits.

Anything that is solar powered harnesses the sun's energy to produce light and heat. Solar heating and lighting is much more economical than gas, electricity or oil, and it is also a lot more earth friendly.

As other energy sources dwindle, and our overuse of them is damaging the earth's atmosphere, solar lighting is a viable and low cost alternative.

What are Solar Powered Lights?

Solar lighting is powered by energy drawn from the sun, and because the sun rises every day, it is a source of renewable energy, which makes it affordable and available to everyone.

Over the last twenty years or so in particular, both the US and the UK Governments have instituted a number of different energy policies aimed at standardizing fuel costs and trying to lower the amount of energy that we use.

More to the point, there has been a gradual revolution in the attitude of many people towards energy costs and the toll that our energy use has taken on the environment. It is no small wonder that people want to know more about solar lighting and how it works!

How Do Solar Powered Lights Work?

Outdoor lighting systems use solar cells, or photovoltaic, pv cells - measured in terms of how efficient they are at turning sunlight into electricity – to convert light from the sun into electricity. This electricity is stored in batteries inside the lamp and then, when darkness falls, the stored electricity or light is emitted.

However, these lights only work as well as the amount of sunshine they receive in comparison to what the manufacturers recommend as optimum.

Some lighting systems work just by themselves while others have lights that are separate from a solar panel; and it is only the panel that needs to be in a sunny location. In India solar power is being utilized with light emitting diodes, LED lamps, to provide lighting for a whole village.

Types of Indoor Solar Lighting

Although solar indoor lights are not yet as popular as solar outdoor lights, they can be used in a number of ways to reduce your energy costs. Some people use these types of lights for remote buildings such as barns that do not have electricity.

There are many new designs being developed that find all kinds of creative ways to light your home!

  • Some solar indoor lights attach to windows with rubber suction during the day to absorb sunlight, and then can be used at night.

  • Solar tube lights are small, flexible lights that are good for lighting hard to reach areas indoors, and can also be charged with batteries.

  • Other solar indoor lights use a separate solar panel that is installed on the roof which connects to the indoor light. These may need a solar regulator in order to prevent overcharging.

  • Many solar powered indoor lights use LED or fluorescent lighting, which is more energy efficient, although some people have difficulty with fluorescent lighting.

  • Solar skylights are perhaps the healthiest options for indoor solar lighting, as they bring natural sunlight in to your home rather than using fluorescent bulbs. Solar skylights do not need solar panels or mechanical parts, and can be installed in a day as a "do it yourself" solar project, or in a few hours by a solar professional.

Types of Solar Outdoor Lighting

Solar outdoor lighting is now evident in most people’s backyards and makes sitting outside very pleasant when the weather permits it.

The most common type of solar outdoor lighting is the kind that you just stick into the ground to catch the sunlight. This is sometimes called a solar power garden light.

Solar lighting can be manufactured from plastic, copper or stainless steel. You can get these lights in different colors and some will change from one color to another.

If you want solar power lighting that is a bit easier on the eye, and at a higher level, then you can get them encased in stone, almost like street lamps.

You can also get spot lights, which are usually encased in plastic but designed to look like stone. At one end is the spot light, and at the other is a barely noticeable solar panel. You can also get solar stepping stones, which is just a light with a ceramic casing that is made to look like stone.

You can get stepping stone solar outdoor lights in large sizes and they can make a garden or patio quite attractive looking. People also have solar lighting around their pond or swimming pool to light them up at night.

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