Solar Energy Lamps – How to Harness Solar Power Light Cheaply and Quickly
Solar energy lamps are a beneficiary of recent technology. With the advent of small, low-energy-burning LED (light emitting diode) lights over the last twenty years, solar power light has become more and more affordable. These bulbs last forever, cost almost nothing, and are easily charged with solar power. It seems they were made for the task. During the day sunlight charges their batteries, and at night that stored energy is used to provide illumination for porches, patios, and even whole rooms. This allows you to go “off the grid” for free, replenishable power that is literally limitless.
For reading, you can get solar lamps for around $50 that provide a “one to one light to charge time” ratio for up to four hours. The small, battery charged LED has a PV (photovoltaic) module is connected to a battery housing with bulb and power switch. Place the PV module outside in the sunlight during the day, and store the solar energy. When you need the light, connect the PV to the housing via velcro connectors and switch on.
Solar energy lamps can crank out a lot of light, but it is generally a “spot” light, focused in a small area. For reading, purchase a solar power light with an adjustable arm for precise placement. And if you are placing your light in a permanent position, tape or velcro the PV module to a window that receives direct sunlight. You will generally get more than enough solar power for the job. If not, it is a simple task to move the module to a better location.
You can always employ more than one light if needed, and there are several different styles, designs and colors to fit any décor. There are also more expensive lights with better light focusing and other bells and whistles.
Solar energy lamps also come in portable lights that send out more of a diffused light, for use with several people. Say you want to hang a lamp in your tent on a camping trip, or play cards with friends when you do not have any electricity. The technology is the same as a directed-beam solar power light, but the design of the light allows for a much wider coverage, for about $40.
Solar energy lamps provide a great way to go “off the grid” and create some energy savings and ecologically friendly power, and let you start slow and simple, building up as big and complex as you would like to over time. The self-contained camping light we discussed above is a simple light sensor, switch, some LEDs and a rechargeable battery.
And for those of you who are ambitious, you can take your new-found knowledge to a large-scale application, and make your own circuit. Companies like Edmund Scientific can provide all the optics you need at bargain basement prices. So get started today with a small-scale solar power light project, and let the simple and affordable technology of solar energy lamps shine a bright light on your life.