- Renewable & Alternative Energy
How a Solar Post Light Brings the Light of Day into the Night
What to Look For in a Solar Post Light
First lets establish that a Solar post light is just a solar powered light on a post. This would include a variety of solar garden lights, solar lamp posts, and an array of other solar powered outdoor lighting. Now while there are many differences in these, they are fundamentally the same in principle. There is generally a solar cell or small solar panel at the top where it can attain maximum exposure to the sun and charge a battery during the day. The battery then powers an LED light when the sun goes down and depending on the quality of the system it may shine until dawn. There are several factors that determine how long they will stay bright. Among these are how long the Sun shines, the quality of the solar cells, the quality of the battery, and the LED light.
There is a wide difference in the quality of these systems and with this comes a wide variance in price. You can get sets of garden lights at a price from $10.00 to $50.00 and at the lower end there is a high probability of at least some defective lights so be sure you know what sort of warranty you are getting when you buy them. Now you might of course have no problem with your lights but it is a good idea to cover your bases.
If you live in California or some other sunny area you will probably be able to get by with the cheapest lights available, but if you live in a less sunny location you need to be sure to look for certain things in your system. You should look for monocrystalline solar cells because these have the most efficient at turning light into electrical energy, but since they are the most expensive solar cells they may not be on lower priced lights.
Another thing to look for is NiMH batteries because these charge faster and hold their charge longer than most other batteries used in this type of lights. This is not a big problem however because these are generally AA or AAA batteries and can be replaced if your lights didn't come with them.
Solar Post Lights
Solar Post Lights on Amazon
Lets look at what are some of the multitude of Solar Post Lights that are available in today's market. First we have lesser expensive solar lighting such as you find on Amazon.com. Many of these are made of plastic, and some are made of metal. I strongly recommend that you read the reviews and see what others have had to say about any of these. If you remember I said that that there was a comparatively high probability of problems with some of the cheaper solar lighting and by reading the reviews you can get a feel for this. Remember however that the people who write reviews tend to either be real happy with a product or real unhappy with a product. The people who were at least marginally satisfied don't usually write reviews. If a product is getting many bad reviews, however, it is not a good sign.
These are only a small sample of what they have available on Amazon for solar lighting but you can see that solar post lights come in many styles and configurations. They often come in sets of 4 or more and the good thing about them is that they need no expensive wiring or complicated installation. Some you just push the post into the ground and you are done.
They use no power from the grid so the cost of purchase is pretty much the expense you will pay, except for battery replacements in the distant future. There is a variation in how bright they are. The less expensive ones tend to be dimmer, but how bright you want them is a matter of personal preference.
On the higher end I happen to like Gama Sonic. The City of LA has used
the Solar Lamp post in their parks. I was surprised when I first saw
one in Hollywood. Gama Sonic has a variety of solar post lights and
while they tend to be a bit more expensive they also tend to be a
quality product.The following pictures will give a description of some of these.