FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS WHEN PURCHASING SOLAR LIGHTING
What’s the difference between solar lights and other conventional lights? Solar lighting converts energy from the sun into electricity whereas conventional lighting relies on power from the grid.
I’m new to solar lighting. How does it work if there is no wiring? Solar lighting captures the power of the sun using a photovoltaic cell and stores it in rechargeable batteries. A photosensor in the light detects sunlight and when it can’t, the LEDs automatically turn on, powered by the energy that has been stored in the batteries during the day.
What are the benefits of solar lighting? Solar lighting offers a multitude of benefits. The obvious one is that it will reduce your electricity bill. Solar lighting also requires no wiring and is self-contained, so fixtures are easy to install and move around the yard as you wish throughout the year. This lack of wiring also makes them incredibly safe - a bonus for households with pets and children who play in the garden. Because solar lighting does not rely on a power source, it’s ideal for use in South Africa where loadshedding is a regular occurence.
I’m shopping around for solar lighting fixtures but there are so many options on the market. What qualities should I look for when selecting a fixture? When buying a solar lighting fixture look at the LED brightness level, the type of solar panel it features, the batteries, and the lifespan of the fixture.
I really want my new solar lighting fixtures to stand the test of time. What can I do to maintain them? Solar lighting is powered by the sun so it’s important that you clean the solar panels regularly in order for them to function optimally. Once a month use a damp, lint-free cloth to gently wipe the solar panel. This should remove all dirt, dust and grime. Once the panel is clean, wipe it with a dry cloth. If you live in a place with relatively cloudy overcast weather during the winter then it may be best to store your solar fixtures away for the season.
I’m installing solar lighting as an additional security measure so it’s important that they stay on during the night. How many hours of illumination can I expect to get out of a solar fixture? If you’re installing solar lighting as a security measure then it needs to be reliable. Go for a fixture with a big panel and quality battery as this will ensure you more hours of illumination throughout the night. The average solar light runs for 10 hours straight once fully charged.
I want to install a few key solar lighting fixtures in my garden but I’m not sure where to place them. Where will they function best? Any spot that receives sunlight throughout the day is a good spot for solar fixtures. Scout around your garden for areas that get ample sunlight. To get the most out of your fixtures, install them in a location that won’t become shaded by trees or structures as the sun moves (south exposure is best).