Instead of being hard-wired into the electrical circuits of your home solar lights form a self contained unit which is powered by converting the rays from the sun during the day into an electrical charge, storing that charge until night falls and then using the charge to power the lamp providing light in your garden.
This article is intended to provide a simple explanation of the key components of solar lights in order to enhance your understanding of why this type of light is a sensible choice for your garden.
Solar lights have three principal components.
The quality of each of these components is critical to the longevity of both the product itself, but also of the length of time it is capable of providing the illumination you desire.
It is well worth therefore spending time researching particular models before purchase as otherwise you may not achieved your desired effect.
Solar powered lights comprise the solar panel, which is a plastic panel which houses the photovoltaic cells.
These photovoltaic cells are the component that converts the suns energy into electricity.
Because solar lights are only required at night, but the charge can only be generated during daylight hours the unit needs to store the electrical current.
It does this through the use of a rechargeable battery.
This battery is most often nickel metal-hydride NiMH as they tend to be capable of frequent charge and discharge cycles and are also environmentally friendly to dispose of.
The remaining component is the lamp.
This is most often a light emitting diode or LED lamp which has lower power utilization and does not generate significant heat, which is useful if the lamp is place closed to vegetation that may otherwise be a fire hazard.