Choosing "the best" outdoor solar lights is really a matter of individual style. You may want to feature lights that are decorative, traditional, modern or even fanciful. Solar lights are great for decks, patios, pools, walkways, driveways and gardens. Whatever your preference for a solar lights, it is not going to be difficult to find a type that you will like for years to come.
Solar Lights Explained
A solar light houses a solar panel that collects energy from the sun and then converts it into power for the operation of the light. A nickel metal hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery stores the energy. The battery is turned on and off by a sensor allowing it to come on automatically at dusk and extinguishing at dawn. An LED lamp emits the light.
How long the light last throughout the night depends on the size of the solar panel and battery. Usually solar lights will work for about 10 hours with a fully charged battery. The brightness of an LED lamp is comparable to a 2-watt bulb. It takes 12 volts of electricity to power a low voltage landscape light.
Solar rechargeable batteries last approximately 1,000 nights and are easily replaced when they stop charging.
Path, Garden and Driveway Solar Lights
Set of 2 Solar Lanterns - Create a charming welcome along walkways and flower beds with solar lanterns. The LED stays lit for up to 8 Â½ hours. Choose either soft amber or bright white light by pushing a button on the lantern. Set includes two 17-inch shepherd's hooks for hanging the lanterns or you can stake them in the ground.
Solar Lights - Low profile, staked solar lights come in a stainless steel or copper finish. The lights lend a contemporary look to your driveway or walking path. A top solar panel gathers the light during the day allowing it to stay on for 12 hours at night. Lamp maintains a bright LED white light. Solar lights have an 11-Â½ inch post that sits on a 5-inch stake.
Solar Color Changing Lights - Add some color to the night. Place the solar lights around a pool to give it a magical appearance. The constantly changing colors are yellow, green, blue and red. One AAA rechargeable battery is included with the light.
Solar Driveway Light - Mark the end of your driveway with the sleek solar driveway light. Constructed from stainless steel and plastic, the durable fixture will stay lit for up to eight hours.
House Solar Lights
3 Way Solar House Light - Versatility makes the 3 Way Solar House Light an economical choice. Classic, square shape will go with any kind of house. Secure the light to the outside of the house, stand it on a fence post or keep it on the ground for pathway lighting. Wall mount, base and stake are all available with the light.
Cordless Flood Solar Light - You are free to stake the flood light anywhere in your yard without cumbersome cords or the need for electrical wiring. All you have to do is stake it in the ground. Position the solar light to shine on decorations, garden features or house address. The floodlight gives you 12 hours of light.
Mini Solar Spot Light - The spotlight is perfect for those nights when you get home late. Use it to illuminate your house number, mailbox, or keyhole. The light continues all night until the morning.
Attach the light fixture with screws or double-sided tape.
Fun Solar Lighting
Solar Glow In The Dark Garden Lights - Delight passersby with beautiful garden lights that emit a green glow. Globes have a unique swirl pattern made from artist rendered glass. The design is meant to resemble the spinning earth. Lights come in a set of three and are connected to a solar panel by a 10-foot cord. Stake the luminous solar lights in flowerbeds.
Solar Animated Flower Lights - Surprise visitors with these flower lights. The flower petals remain open all day so the solar panel in the center can capture the sun's energy. At night, the flower closes and beams with light. The waterproof lights are packaged in a set of two.
Solar Tiki Torch - Give your backyard island flair with the solar tiki torch. The torch harmlessly burns with solar light. Light comes with mounting hardware.
Solar Lighted Toad and Turtle - Pay homage to our natural friends by placing a lighted toad or turtle around your landscape. No, they are not radioactive. They radiate with a soft low light from sitting in the sun all day.
It's the energy efficiency, helpful lighting and atmospheric illumination that make outdoor solar lights a common sight in many beautiful properties.
There are many watches out there and everyone has a style that they consider to be their favorite. Some people like flashy watches that have faces surrounded in diamonds, while other choose watches with plain faces that just show the time and date. There are watches that keep track of international time and watches that you can wear underwater without worrying about any damage being done to the time piece. Ways to tell time have been around for centuries. There are still sundials available that you can place in your yard to keep track of time.
There's a whole new generation of watches being offered and they do not require batteries or winding. Two such watches are the Citizen Eco Drive that uses solar energy to run and the Kinetic line of watches that are manufactured by Seiko. It should be no surprise that the two biggest names in watches should create an entire new time keeping technology.
Citizen's solar powered watches, such as the Eco-Drive will never have to have the battery replaced. The line doesn't just run from solar power. Any light source will do. They also have watches that are suitable for diving and aviation and they come in fashionable styles for both men and women. Pulsar attempted to produce watches with solar technology, but they did not have the same quality.
There is also another type of battery free watch put out by Seiko. These are called Kinetic watches. They were introduced during the late 1980s, in Germany. They are now sought after by people all over the world. It will never need batteries because of innovative technology that allows it to be powered by the movement of the wearer. The technology is so advanced that Seiko holds over 50 patents on it.
The watch contains small capacitors that the generator charges. These capacitors can store up to 6 months of power to keep the watch running even if the wearer takes it off. The watch has a pendulum that rotates. The pendulum is connected to a large gear and the gear is meshed with a small pinion. Movement from the wearer causes the pendulum to turn which in turn makes the pinion spin. The high speed that the pinion turns at, actually powers a tiny generator, which in turn charges the capacitors.
The Kinetic watches also offer a feature called the Kinetic Auto Relay. This feature saves power by causing the watch to "sleep", if it doesn't sense movement for over 72 hours. Other features include a perpetual colander that is accurate until 2100.
The next time you're in the market for a new watch, consider one these new innovations. They're stylish, low maintenance and friendly to the environment.
Why should we consider a backup solar power system? Not only have we seen how sudden power failures have crippled entire cities, but regions and even entire states. Everyone at one time or another has experienced how an unexpected power failure has interrupted the simplest of daily tasks. Suddenly the power goes out and we realize how much we depend on electricity and don't ever think about it until it's not available. Our society uses electricity to power nearly every aspect of our lives, from heating and cooling to basic communication with our family, friends, and associates. It is becoming ever more imperative that we have backup or reserve power for when the inevitable happens and a backup solar power system can supply this need with continuous and free source of power for as long as we need it.
When there is a sustained period of power loss, expected or unexpected, the most common backup power is supplied by generators or invertors. Commonly, these supply enough power to make things more convenient and a bit more comfortable, but they do not supply enough power to operate all the appliances and devices, or if they do, not for long. Normally these items are sufficient for up to eight hours. You may have to limit the times of operating your backup power to be able to last for the duration of the power failure.
For instance, after a hurricane you know to be prepared for extended power outages. We can expect the power to be out for up to a week, even in minimally damaged areas. If your household is running off a gasoline generator, you will have to have a supply of gasoline on hand to operate the generator. And quite possibly your generator is only powerful enough to operate the bare essentials of your household, such as refrigerator and lights, but not climate control.
There are times when there are deaths that occur due to power failures. Older people accustomed to air conditioning are unable to regulate their body to endure extreme heat. Or those that depend on electricity to operate in home life support systems. These people generally are unable to do the maintenance required to keep a gasoline generator operating during prolonged power outages. Not only that, but people have died from incorrect installation of a generator or carbon monoxide poisoning from improper ventilation or fire.
A backup solar power system could be your answer for a safe, efficient, and unending power supply as long as necessary. As long as the system is installed correctly, it can supply all of your power needs without interruption. Think of the security and convenience of reliable and safe power supply whenever you need it. Backup solar power is the obvious choice for the safest and reliable supply of power when the expected or unexpected power failure occurs. Much safer and little to no maintenance makes a backup solar power system the most reliable and obvious choice for your electricity backup plan.
Let's face it, the term "roughing it" has changed over the years. Camping and other outdoor activities are greatly enhanced by the use of some of our favorite electronic devices. Unfortunately, those devices require recharging and a power source.
Foldable solar panels are the perfect alternative to a generator. A 12 volt battery is great to store the solar energy so you can use small electric items like a small television, or simply just to charge your electronics.
Gas powered generators are simply too loud to use on a camping trip. They scare away the wildlife and make it nearly impossible to get a good night's sleep.
Aside from that, they're constantly expelling fumes into the otherwise fresh air. Good, clean power is the only result of a reliable battery and foldable solar panel combination.
Charging your favorite electronics isn't the only use for these devices. Your ATV or dirt bike likely uses a 12 Volt battery. Having the ability available to charge a backup battery without a cumbersome energy source is absolutely the way to go camping, fishing, or just on a day ride in the wilderness.
Campers are being built with more modern conveniences every year. Many of today's campers come equipped with solar panels, battery backup, small refrigerators, and cook stoves. Enjoy most of the comforts of home while you enjoy the peace, quiet and fresh outdoor air.
Solar Powered Gadgets
Solar is the cleanest power you can take into the woods on a camping trip. Some of the newest solar powered gadgets may help make your next camping trip the best yet. No one ever said camping had to be gadget-free to be considered camping.
Generator: A small, compact generator that creates a good amount of power to use some of your favorite electric items while camping. Most are fitted with a 400W inverter, USB sockets and a 12 volt car socket.
Lantern: Charge your lantern simply by leaving it sitting in the sunlight. Flashlights may also be charged this way. Never worry about your lighting or packing along extra batteries, as long as your sun-powered lighting has been properly charged.
Ovens and Stoves: Cook real meals like a pro and enjoy that morning pot of coffee with a wide array of sun powered camping items. Box cookers are a relatively new invention that greatly benefits those who love camping and good, fresh food. Temperatures may reach as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to bake or fry most any food.
Foldable Solar Panel: Flexible and light weight, this device provides the ability to generate electricity while camping.
Make your next camping trip more elaborate and enjoy the comforts of home with inexpensive sun-powered gadgets and rechargeable 12 Volt batteries. The batteries are a must if you plan to make the most of the power generated by the sun.
More and more scientists today agree that global warming is a serious issue and that the cause of global warming is carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. Politicians, too, are being swayed as they see increases in property damaged, injuries, and even deaths due to natural catastrophes which appear to have gotten worse in recent decades.
Because fossil fuels appear to be the source of worldwide atmospheric change, people have began to look to other methods of producing energy. In addition to causing atmospheric change, there's the reality that we will run out of fossil fuels. The world's economy is based on fossil fuels but they are a finite resource. Eventually we will run out of them. Fossil fuels are not a sustainable resource. Two methods of producing energy which have little impact on the environment and are sustainable are solar and wind power.
First, we'll take a look at solar power. Solar power is, of course, power derived from the energy of the sun's rays. The limitation with this energy source is the sun itself. The sun will never run out, except at night. Solar power sources have been designed to compensate for the downtime of night or cloudy days, but solar power works best in sunny climates.
Solar power is generally used in one of three ways: to generate heat, to generate electricity, and to desalinate salt water. Solar powered heating systems are usually either active or passive in design. An active solar heating system uses pumps to circulate water which has been heated by the sun. Passive solar heating systems use the nature of water to create circulation. This method relies on the fact that heat energy wants to move into areas of lesser heat.
In generating electricity, solar power is harnessed by photovoltaic cells which convert the suns energy into electricity. These cells have been widely used to power calculators for decades. In solar desalination, the power of the sun is used to evaporate water to separate it from the salt and other undesirable minerals.
Another type of clean, renewable power comes from the wind. Wind power, while growing in popularity, still accounts for barely 1% of the world's power supply. This is hard to believe considering how much the wind blows! Wind power is usually harnessed using wind turbines.
A centuries old version of harnessing wind power is the windmill. These lovely structures used the wind to grind grains and pump water. Today's wind turbines are advanced machinery employing the latest technologies.
More and more "wind farms" are sprouting up around the world. These huge arrays of wind turbines can be found on land and offshore. The biggest ones in the US are land-based farms in California, Oregon, and Washington. There are also more and more popping up the Midwest. Because of energy costs and damage done to the environment, alternative energy sources are receiving a great deal of interest. Two of the most promising are solar and wind power.
These days 'renewable energy' and 'solar power' are more than just buzzwords. They demonstrate a worldwide effort to reduce the consumption of and dependence on fossil fuels.
Power from the sun is one of the most common forms of renewable energy. One popular means of harnessing the sun's power is by using foldable solar panels.
These are quickly catching on among people looking to reduce their electricity bills. Like more standard types, these panels are designed to convert UV rays to useable AC energy.
As implied by the name, these products can be folded, making them highly portable. This is one of their more attractive features.
Using Foldable Solar Panels
These products are useful in a number of scenarios. It is wise to ask questions before buying one. In some instances additional accessories may be necessary.
They are ideal for when you are away from power outlets and need to charge the devices you use every day. You can take them on camping trips to ensure that your cell phone won't run low on power. This can be handy if an emergency should arise.
Many people take their laptops everywhere they go. As long as there is sunlight their computer use will be uninterrupted. Other devices like iPods, Smartphones, GPS and small battery chargers can also be connected to these devices.
Some types are sensitive enough to work in low light conditions. For the most part, these products are user-friendly and require little in the way of setting up.
What to Look For
As with any other buying decision there are pointers which indicate that some types offer better value. Some useful features of foldable solar panels are:
* Being weatherproof
* Available in different wattages
* Glare reduction coating
* Water resistant plugs
Finding the Best Products
It is easy to find product reviews online for these products. These products are rated on a number of criteria, usually based on the experiences of users. Independent reviews of these and similar products can also be found on technology websites.
The manufacturing company's reputation is paramount when buying these items. Since they are often connected to expensive equipment which might be sensitive to energy fluctuations, care has to be taken with selection. For the user, durability is just as important as reliability and all of this hinges on the manufacturer's quality standards.
While everyone wants to save money the price is not always the best basis for a good deal. Each type must be evaluated based on what they offer. As a first step you should look at your devices and evaluate your energy needs.
Buying Used Foldable Solar Panels
Many of these products will last for a long time if they are taken care of. Buying them used is not always a gamble but there is some risk involved. This should only be done in cases where these items can be properly inspected for signs of damage.
The cost should also be worth the effort if the plan is to buy them used. If the price difference is not significant it may be better to buy them new. This way you are certain to get all attachments and accessories.
The savings to be had from using renewable energy can never be overstated. Many new homes are constructed with alternative energy solutions. Some homeowners are making changes to their residences to use green energy where possible.
Some people are dissuaded by the initial costs of some brands of foldable solar panels and similar solutions. Admittedly, savings are not immediately realized but they will come in time. Experts in the field have pointed out that these products will more than pay for themselves in relatively short time.