Solar power is becoming more and more an acceptable and preferred renewable energy source. Developers are finding many uses for the power of the sun, and lighting may in fact be the quickest growing solar industry. With the push toward green living and a consumer’s need to save money, solar powered lighting may just be the right option. There are many advantages to the lighting; however, there are also disadvantages to the systems. Every plus and minus should be weighed carefully before a person makes the decision to purchase solar lights.
With these lighting systems, each light is individually controlled with a photovoltaic panel and rechargeable battery package. The lights do not have to be wired together. This can be very advantageous, for a consumer will not have to bury electric lines or string them from one light to the next. For safety reasons as well as aesthetics, this can be a great advantage.
If one is considering buying more than one solar powered light, like walkway lighting for example, packaged sets are available for purchase. These sets will include the LED light bulb(s), rechargeable battery, housing, and the PV panel and any other required parts, making set up extremely simple for the purchaser. In most cases, the consumer can set up their own lights without having to pay the money to hire a professional.
Since the lighting systems recharge themselves everyday, the maintenance and care of them is extremely low. And, the lights will continue to work for years to come. LED bulbs last ten times longer than a standard bulb and the batteries will continue to recharge themselves. At worst, the only regular maintenance that the light will need is a cleaning every once in a while to make sure the panel is not covered with dust.
Zero Cost of Energy
The sun is a continuous energy source that is free to everyone who feels its rays. By using the power of the sun, a consumer no longer requires the use of electricity to run their lights. This means zero cost for the energy. This is especially pleasing for owners of parking lots or anyone who needs certain lighting on twenty four hours a day.
Ease of Installation
As mentioned before, these lighting systems are extremely easy to install. In most cases, they will need some minor assembly and then they are ready for installation. Set up rarely requires the work of a professional, for it requires no wiring, so no electrical work is needed.
That Green Feeling
Everywhere one looks it seems there is something saying that we all need to go green in whatever ways possible. With fears of energy sources running dry, a chance to add something green is a satisfying opportunity. By choosing solar powered lights, one has made one more step into a green way of life.
Photovoltaic lighting sounds great, but there can be some problems. Since the batteries depend on the sun for recharge, just a few days of storms and overcast skies can mean no lighting at night. Plus, the lights would be absolutely no good in an area that is always in the shade.
Best for Non-critical
The power of the sun is an excellent option for lights that are decorative or serve a fairly non-critical role. But, solar power technology is not yet dependable enough to say that all situations can benefit. In situations where dependable lighting is an absolute must, regular electricity is still the best option.
Although the maintenance costs of solar powered lighting are little to none, the initial investment can be quite pricey, since the whole new system must be purchased. It can be a big investment to go from electric power to solar, and it may be too large of an investment for some.
With careful thought and a little study, one can weigh the advantages to a new lighting system to the disadvantages. After considering all of the options, it will make the choice of whether or not to choose Solar Lighting much, much easier.
About The Author
Kriss Bergethon is a writer and solar expert from Colorado.