How Solar Powered Landscaping Lights Work

backyard of the mansion with a flowerbed and a lawn of green grass with a marble walkway of square tiles in the evening with a garden lighting with decorative ground lamps illuminating a warm light.

Did you know you can install attractive landscaping lights without having to run electricity from the house or garage? It is possible thanks to the combination of solar and battery technology. Best of all, solar lighting prices have come down in recent years. Now anybody can install landscape lighting without breaking the bank.

Knowing which electricity company near me offer the most affordable solar energy plans is a good thing. This way, you can get the best rates and lower your power bill.

If you have ever been curious as to how solar-powered lights work, it’s not complicated. This post will explain it. By the time you’re done reading, you might want to run out and get yourself a set of lights to line the walk or accent the flower beds.

The Solar Collection Panel

There are three main components that make up a solar-powered light. The first is the solar collection panel. It is just a miniature version of the solar panels on your neighbor’s roof. They collect energy from the sun and convert it into DC power.

Known as photovoltaic solar energy, this form of solar power is not as efficient as solar thermal. But for the purposes of powering exterior LED lighting, it works well enough. Photovoltaic solar collector panels are a lot better than they used to be for low-power applications like exterior lighting.

In a rooftop solar installation, power goes directly toward running the house. Not so with landscaping lights. You don’t want them on during the day, so the power has to be stored until the sun goes down. That leads to the second component: the battery.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Modern solar lights are as good as they are because of lithium-ion batteries. A lithium-ion battery is more energy dense than alkaline, NiCad, and NiMH batteries. As a result, you get more energy potential commensurate with a battery’s mass.

All of the science aside, electrical energy generated by the solar collector charges a light’s lithium-ion battery. Any excess energy generated after the battery is full is dissipated by a small resistor. When the sun goes down, a photoreceptor cell is triggered to activate the battery.

Pale Blue Earth, a Utah company that sells USB rechargeable batteries, says today’s lithium-ion technology is perfect for exterior solar lights. Lithium-ion batteries offer a stable and consistent discharge rate. They can withstand moderate heat and cold. Best of all, they can be charged more than 1,000 times.

The LED Bulb

Last but not least is the bulb. Manufacturers use LED bulbs for the simple fact that these consume very little electricity. Moreover, some of the best bulbs can last as long as 10 years. It would be interesting to note, in a high-quality landscaping light, which component died first: the battery or the bulb.

The nice thing about LED bulbs is that they can be configured to glow in multiple colors. Some of the most advanced landscaping lights on the market can be programmed to change colors throughout the evening. All you need is a companion smartphone app.

Any Homeowner Can Do It

There are lots of reasons to appreciate solar-powered exterior lighting. At the top of the list is the fact that just about any homeowner can install solar-powered lights. There is no need to run electrical wires through conduit buried in the soil. There is no need to get local permits or make inspectors happy. Just take the lights out of the box and stick them in the ground.

Convenience is the number one selling point for solar-powered exterior lighting. If you have been thinking about landscaping lights for your property, forget traditional lights wired to your home’s electrical system. Go the solar route instead. It is a lot easier, more convenient, and customizable.