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Advantages of Solar Lighting
Anyone who believes the Earth needs our protection has likely read up on the benefits of solar power. Because the technology draws its power from an unlimited source – the Sun – this approach to saving energy is widely considered one of the most practical and viable for long-term use. From major solar panel arrays to portable electronics that make use of ambient light, designers have continually pushed the envelope to generate new and better technology for solar panels. Today one of the simplest is also one of the most affordable: solar lighting.
Although most people immediately think of a well-lit outdoor scene when they hear this term, generally it is used to describe a particular breed of self-powered footlights. Solar lighting fixtures get their name from the fact that they use solar panels to power the bulbs at night, essentially charging and discharging daily. Some of the finest versions include dimmers and double-wide arrays to ensure they store adequate energy even on foggy days. And the best versions come with lengthy warranties on every part – testament to solar panel manufacturing protocols that include some of the most modern renewable materials.
Why would you want to opt for solar lighting rather than the traditional kind? The simple answer is money. Outdoor lighting can be notoriously expensive to run, particularly if you aim to illuminate a wide swath of your property during the evening’s darkest hours. Many homes require extensive lighting arrays to maintain safety and deter criminals, and the cost of powering so many bulbs can easily run to three figures a month. With solar lighting, you get the energy for free, ensuring the entire property stays lit at minimal cost – even if your neighborhood sees a blackout. Consistency like this makes the higher installation price seem well worth it.
Of course, energy isn’t the only way you save with solar lighting. One of the major costs associated with traditional outdoor lighting is the extensive electrical work required to keep everything up and running. From digging and landscaping through installing transformers and junction boxes, wiring your lawn can be a costly process. The costs tend to multiply exponentially if there is existing plumbing in the way – sprinkler systems in particular can mean major expenditures. With solar lighting, there are no wires and no technicians – the freestanding lamps are utterly self-sufficient. In most cases, they can be installed in a single afternoon using nothing more complex than a garden spade.
Another great advantage is safety, particularly in high-traffic areas such as walkways and gardens. No wires means minimal electrical risk – children can play nearby without having to worry about injuries from an errant connection. Most of the modern versions of lamps such as these can even withstand torrential rain, nearby swimming pools and other spills without ceding their sky-high safety ratings. Because they are entirely self-contained, the devices never pose a risk to family pets and backyard visitors – even concerted gnawing will not succeed in releasing a shock.
Larger solar lighting products work on similar principles, essentially drawing in a far wider patch of sunlight and expelling it with greater power. Streetlamps, floodlights and illuminated runners all make use of similar solar panel technology – a bit costly at first, but sure to pay for themselves over time. You can even get solar panels for more general use on your home’s roof, powering the lighting and other systems in a single elegant package. Some of the more ingenious designs purport to reclaim some of their own energy as well, essentially running on the spillover from their own lighting elements.
Solar lighting is as versatile as it is inexpensive, offering homeowners and CEO’s countless ways to save. If you are in the market for something truly innovative, you may also want to check out the new market for optic fiber lighting that pump the sun into every room in your building. There may be no more natural and pleasing light source in industry today. Whatever you choose, be sure to stick with manufacturers whose efficiency ratings and customer service have earned high marks from the conservation community.