Solar power as a source of electricity for powering outdoor lights has met its ideal technological match in LED (light emitting diode) components for outdoor LED lighting.
Let’s start by discussing solar power as a reliable source of energy for outdoor lighting. The benefits of using the power of the sun to gather energy which is then converted to electrical power for outdoor lighting, is undisputed.
Managers of public spaces, large estates, sporting venues and harbors, railway stations are installing solar outdoor lighting almost as a matter of course. Opening trenches, introducing meters and laying cables makes no sense when you can install a light wherever you want with its own energy producing “factory”, namely the photovoltaic cells mounted on the light itself. The solar energy is converted to usable electrical energy and stored in batteries for use whenever the light has been programmed to switch on. The bottom line is that the battery in such a device can be used to power any kind of bulb, just as an ordinary battery does.
Outdoor LED lighting is perfectly suited for solar applications
In line with solar power’s low-maintenance and eco-friendly characteristics, LEDs produce more light per watt than incandescent bulbs, making them ideal in battery powered or energy-saving devices. Another positive factor keeping prices down is that LEDs can emit any color light required without the use of filters such as traditional forms of lighting require. This substantially reduces initial costs. In addition, the solid package of the LED can be designed to focus its light. In contrast, fluorescent and incandescent sources often require an external reflector to collect light and direct it suitably.
Outdoor solar lighting is subject to frequent on-off cycling
When the lighting system is gathering solar power during the day, the light itself is programmed to be switched off. When dusk comes it switches on. Again, LEDs are perfectly adapted to the situation. Unlike fluorescent lights that burn out quickly when subjected to frequent cycles, LEDs can take the pace.
Another factor that makes LEDs such a good match when it comes to outdoor solar lighting is that LEDs, being solid state components, are incredibly resilient and tough. Even a hard blow to an outdoor LED lighting unit will cause no damage. This is obviously in marked contrast to fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, which are as delicate as eggshells.
LEDs also have long lives; a desirable characteristic is devices that are meant to be low maintenance devices, as solar powered outdoor lights are. An LED typically has 35,000 to 50,000 hours of useful life, whereas fluorescent tubes last about 30,000 hours and incandescent bulbs just 1,000 to 2000 hours. Also, LEDs tend to fail by dimming over time, rather than suddenly burning out. LEDs are eco-friendly in the long term, just like solar power. They do not contain mercury, unlike compact fluorescent lamps. More on LEDs