How to make solar lighting?
Device and principle of operation
The design of the lamp is quite simple and consists of the following elements:
- lighting unit (usually an LED mounted in the housing);
- solar battery (photovoltaic module that converts the energy of the sun into electricity);
- controller (controls lighting - turns on and off at the right time);
- built-in battery (accumulates electricity in the daytime for its consumption at night);
- support or fastening.
Based on the purpose of each element, we can understand the principle of operation of lighting on solar panels: during the day the battery is charged, and at night its charge is consumed by an LED lamp. Also, the design may include additional devices, for example, a motion sensor, which will turn on the lamp only when a person is detected in a certain area.
Advantages and disadvantages
The second, no less interesting question is what are the advantages and disadvantages of solar-powered street lighting. Both the pros and cons of the system are quite significant and make you wonder whether it is worthwhile to carry out such lighting in your country house.
So, among the main advantages are:
- Lamps and lanterns can be quickly installed with your own hands. No need to pull the electrical wiring underground to each support, thereby destroying the landscape design of the site. At the same time, you do not need to understand in electrics, compared to the option when you need to connect a spotlight or street lamp on a pole
- The light from solar lamps does not hit the eyes and gently fills the surface over the entire radius of action.
- Significant energy savings, as at least 3-5 lamps with a power of 50 watts or more will be required to illuminate the dacha. Using simple arithmetic calculations, you can find out the monthly energy consumption, which can be completely reduced by making autonomous solar-powered street lighting with your own hands.
- The system will be fully automatic, which is very convenient if you come to the countryside only on weekends. The rest of the time, the lamps will be a kind of protection of the territory from intruders.
- Solar-powered lighting does not pose a threat to the environment and humans.As for the latter, this means that there is no need to ground the luminaires, because they work from safe voltage.
- Maintenance of the system is minimized - occasionally you need to wipe the diffuser cover and the battery itself from dirt and dust.
- Long service life of the system. For example, the life of the LEDs reaches 50 thousand hours, the battery - up to 25 years (depending on the manufacturer and quality), the solar battery - up to 15 years. Total, once in 15 years it will be necessary to replace the device with new ones.
- Have high IP degree of protection from 44 to 65, so they are not afraid of rain and other adverse weather conditions.
As for the shortcomings, there are not many of them, but they are significant:
- Use only solar-powered lighting in the country will not work, because lamps will not give bright illumination of the territory. In addition, the charge lasts no more than 8 hours if the weather was sunny all day. All the same, important areas of the territory will have to be lit with lights operating from the mains - gates on the street, entrance to the house, parking zone, etc.
- The cost of powerful luminaires is high - from 12,000 and above. Not everyone can afford such a luxury, especially for installation in the country.
- There are customer reviews that in bad weather, solar-powered street lamps work poorly or don't work at all. It should immediately be noted that in cloudy weather, charging will occur almost 2 times slower, that is, at night the light will work for only 4-5 hours.
As you can see, the advantages and disadvantages of the system are really significant and here you must decide for yourself whether to purchase this option for your home. Usually, everything depends on material possibilities.
Variety of lighting
But the information provided below can still affect the fact that you close your eyes to some of the shortcomings of street lighting on solar panels. The fact is that today there is a wide range of lighting devices, which can be of various capacities, shapes, purposes, and even the installation method.
Of those models that are recommended to be used for summer cottages and gardens, it is worth highlighting:
- Solar lamps on short legs. Ideal for garden path lights and also have the lowest cost. Installation of products is quite simple - a sharp leg presses into the lawn where you want.
- LED spotlights. Such devices can be more than 10 watts, which is analogous to a 100-watt incandescent lamp. Ideal for fence lights, porch of a country house and even a garden.
- Pendant lights. They can be fixed on tree branches, in the gazebo, on the fence. Used for landscaping the site and for creating multi-colored festive lighting, as shown in the second photo.
- Street lights on poles or a leg. Suitable for highlighting a large area - parking, front of the yard, garden. There are devices with a power of up to 60 watts, but they are more often used for autonomous road lighting.
- Solar powered wall lights. May be involved for architectural illumination of the facade of the house, as well as to illuminate the recreation area - an open terrace, gazebo, patio.
As you can see, there are many modern lighting fixtures of various designs, purposes and power. For a summer residence, you can easily choose the most suitable option for cost, design and quality!
How else can you use batteries?
A more expensive but powerful system is a solar power plant for the home. This option will allow you to generate electricity not only for street lighting, but also for the operation of electrical appliances in the house, as shown in the picture.
The cheapest and weakest kit from the manufacturer will cost from 30,000 and it will be enough for the backlight, TV and low-power equipment (laptop or charger) to function. A full-fledged powerhouse for a cottage will have a price of 300 thousand. For this issue, we will definitely single out a separate article to understand the feasibility of using a power plant at home.
You can see the description of autonomous lighting on solar panels in this video:
That's all I wanted to tell you about how to make do-it-yourself street lighting with solar panels. As you can see, nothing is complicated and the system really has more positive points than negative ones!