There is a growing concern throughout the world regarding energy. Specifically renewable clean energy. The concern comes from the amount of greenhouse gases that is being emitted within our planet.
The production of electricity is the biggest producer of greenhouse gases in the whole world. This beats all vehicular emissions combined! However, this isn’t the only reason why renewable energy should be used.
Using clean energy will lessen the harmful smog in the world. It will also reduce toxic buildups in the air and even help fix the impacts from coal mining and the extraction of certain gases.
The fact is though that the current infrastructure is hard to get away from. Using fossil fuels is in our foreseeable future. However, we can still make a difference today. We can start reducing our usage of current energy. The goal is to be as energy efficient as possible.
Be aware of your electricity habits and always seek to conserve energy as much as possible.
We can also start by utilizing certain renewable energy sources. And what better energy source than the fiery ball in the sky. Yes, it is the sun.
The Earth’s sun will not last forever. Fortunately, our planet will be orbiting it for billions of years to come. The fact that it is ever-present, at least for many more years still, is what makes it a good renewable source of clean energy.
One of the ways we can utilize the sun is by harvesting the sun’s radiation using solar panels and solar lights. Let’s take a look at what solar lights are and why they are important.
What is Solar Lighting?
Solar lighting is more than just getting energy from the sun’s radiation and sucking it up using solar panels. Throughout this process is an interesting reaction inside the solar panel.
This reaction is the photovoltaic effect and it is largely responsible for solar lighting.
Believe it or not, the photovoltaic effect was discovered way back in 1839 by a French physicist. Edmund Bequerel found that certain materials exhibit the photovoltaic effect.
This effect is when light is turned into electricity on the atomic level. When a material with the photoelectric effect gets in light, it absorbs photos and then releases electrons. These electrons are then captured and kept, to be used for electricity at a later time.
In solar lighting, the energy is usually kept in a rechargeable gel battery cell. This kept energy will then be utilized when the sun has gone over the horizon.
There is a controlling device inside lighting that switches them on whenever they need to. This device is called the intelligent controller. This controller is made up of a multitude of crystalline silicon layers.
The panel itself has chemicals that allow for the creation of negatively charged electrons and positively charged spaces. When the sunlight hits the panel, it activates the negatively charged electrons and pushes them right into the positively-charged spaces.
Types and Advantages
Solar lighting is usually used to light outdoor areas at night time. Common types of solar lighting can be found in street lights and other small areas like gardens or porches.
Fortunately, companies and manufacturers have been developing different types of solar lighting for years. Let’s take a look at a wide array of solar lighting available.
Types of Solar Lights
Solar street lights
Solar flood lights
Solar lamp posts
Solar pathway lighting
Decorative and ambient lighting
There are two other uncommon solar lighting options to take a look at.
The first is called the solar sky lights. As opposed to traditional solar lighting, the solar sky lights are used for indoor purposes.When these solar lights interact with the sun and the clouds, they control the light inside a room or a whole house.
These are great as they allow for people to save more money. No matter the time of day, the solar sky lights can work out for any household. If the sky suddenly becomes overcast, the lights get turned on.
The solar panels for this type of solar light are usually installed on the roofs. They are also much smaller than regular solar panels. Apart from the cost, it is also much easier to maintain.
The other type is called the hybrid solar light. In terms of solar technology, this is by far the newest and most hi-tech. It mostly has to do with solar grids. There are three types of hybrid solar lights.
The first type is one that only consists of solar modules and doesn’t have any batteries. This type has a meter. Whatever sunlight gets absorbed by the panels goes directly to the grid.
The second type has a solar module and batteries. With this type, energy is absorbed and stored into batteries. These batteries power lights for some hours and then power is taken straight back to the grid again.
This system is used for consumers who want to reduce their cost of electricity.
Finally, the third type’s solar lighting system is capable of operating light fixtures 100% of the time. However, the grid is still available just in case the weather is not cooperating.
Advantages of Solar Lights
There are a great number of advantages that solar lights can offer. As discussed previously, the positive effect it has to the environment is paramount. It helps to reduce the world’s carbon footprint. It also helps keep our resources in check.
Let’s check out a few more advantages of solar lights.
The first is that it is cost-effective. People can argue that cost is actually a huge downside to solar lights. However, since a good number of companies are getting into solar power, the technology is coming along rather fast.
Medium-priced and medium-sized solar panels are now available in the market.
It is true that solar lights may be expensive on the outset. However, the money saved from using solar panels is big. The savings from using solar panels will pay off the installation and purchase in no time.
The sun will be here for many years to come. As long as a person’s house is in an area that has direct contact with sunlight, the energy is continuous.
Solar lights are very easily maintained. All people have to do is check up and clean them up annually, and the solar lights will keep generating electricity.
Solar lights have come a long way from when it was first invented. Various companies have created many different designs, shapes, sizes, and styles for solar lights.
The aesthetic aspect has caught up to the technological aspect.
Believe it or not, solar lights also help a country’s economy. First of all, this renewable energy source enhances the energy security of a country. It lowers the risk of fuel spills. Apart from that, it ensures that countries lessen the amount of fuels imported.
Having solar lights is also a great source of jobs. A renewable energy industry creates many jobs for many people. It also has a ripple effect that affects people’s income for the better. This is due to the many related businesses.
Finally, solar energy has a greater price stability. This is because this fuel does not entail any transportation costs.
Certain utility companies have already taken this into consideration. Customers who use renewable energies are exempted from certain charges.
Tags: photovoltaic, renewable energy, solar energy, solar lights