Solar lights are one of the most popular renewable sources of energy available to humankind. With growing concerns among people all over the world for renewable sources of energy, solar energy has come in as a handy source of getting limitless natural energy.
Solar lights are charged by the direct rays of the sun. The lights create energy that is then used for running different appliances in a home or office. However many individuals often question whether a solar light can charge on its own. We understand that this is a very valid query for the individuals. Read this article to know more about the charging abilities of solar lights.
Can a solar light charge itself?
The solar light can charge itself by using natural sunlight or from an artificial light source like LED lamps or incandescent bulbs. The charging time will depend on the light source.
However, solar lights could not charge themselves using their own light. It’s just a myth. The generated light will not be able to match the spending current rates of the solar light itself.
The solar cells respond in the same way to all kinds of light. The only thing to remember is that the light has to be bright enough for the solar light to charge itself.
The solar cells convert the light wavelengths into electrical energy. Both the rays of the sun and the artificial light sources have these wavelengths. And hence solar lights can charge from other light sources effectively.
To get the maximum output from the solar light, one has to face it towards the sun directly. This helps in generating more power for the solar lights. It also shines brightly when used at a later time.
Can solar lights charge without direct sunlight?
Yes, solar lights can be charged without direct sunlight. They have been designed in such a way that they can power themselves by using light from any source. One can place them close to artificial lights, LED lamps, or incandescent bulbs. It will help the lights to become charged even without the presence of direct sunlight. Keeping the solar lights close to the artificial light source will help in charging the solar lights better.
How do you recharge a solar light?
For recharging solar lights, placing them under the sun is the most obvious way of recharging them. However, keep in mind that they can charge themselves even without direct sunlight. They simply need light in some format to power them.
However, if you want to recharge the solar lights without the sun, then place them under the household lights for charging them quickly. Placing the solar lights as close as possible to the artificial lights, LED lamps or incandescent bulbs will help in charging them instantly. The more distance between the solar lights and the artificial lighting, the more time it will take to recharge itself.
Cleaning the solar panels from dust and dirt helps the panels to get charged quickly. Using clean water and cloth to wipe away the dirt is the best way to clean the solar lights. Avoid using detergents as that can cause streaking. It will be difficult for the panels to get charged.
Do solar lights charge on rainy days?
This is one of the most common questions asked by users. Can solar lights be charged on rainy or cloudy days? Solar panels are smart devices. They have been designed so that they can capture any form of lightwaves from the direct rays of the sun. It consists of lightwaves from the electromagnetic spectrum like ultraviolet light, infrared light, and visible light.
Even during rainy and cloudy weather, the lightwaves are around. When you have daylight, the sun is there and hence the solar panel cells can be charged. The charge will not be as bright as it is on brighter, sunny days. However, one can get enough light to complete their regular work.
Using an amorphous solar panel is a good way of charging solar batteries on cloudy or rainy days. These are better than monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. The amorphous panels are not as efficient as the monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels. However, they gather more energy even during cloudy or rainy weather.
The photovoltaic cell however does not need sunlight for charging itself. It absorbs the energy of the sun from the environment. It is a great help for those individuals who have low-level light sources outdoors or they want to use solar lights during winter.
Will solar lights charge in the shade?
Yes, solar lights can be charged in the shade though the charge will not be as bright as the one you get from direct sunlight. Solar panels use the energy from daylight. They do not necessarily use the direct rays of the sun for producing the energy that is then converted to usable electricity. Even if the solar lights are placed in the shade, they will be able to use the energy generated from daylight.
There are photons present in daylight. They get converted and not the heat of the sun. The direct sun’s rays will help in getting a more powerful charge for any solar device like solar lights. However, it must be remembered that direct sunlight is not an absolute necessity.
Solar panels are forty percent effective on cloudy days. When the solar lights get more sunlight, they will produce more electricity.
One can place mirrors to help reflect the sunlight in the solar panels. However, the user will have to use mirrors that are twice the size of the solar panels. It will help to generate as much sunlight as required even in the shade.
Solar lights are a great way of using the natural, limitless energy from the sun for regular work. Solar lights are devised and designed in such a way that they can work on both sunny and rainy days.
It means that you can use them regardless of the weather. Though the efficiency and power produced are more on sunny days, it works equally well on cloudy and rainy days. Solar power is the future, and solar lights are a good product to invest in.
Eng. Matthew Joseph Nandirio is the Founder of walkingsolar.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2002, matt started working as an electrical and electronic engineer for several multi-national solar energy companies.
He has a wide range of experiences including solar system requirement analysis, planning, maintaining, debugging and even solar device development through research.
He now shares his 20 years of expertise through his articles on the walkingsolar website.
Further, he is also the author of two books on Solar Technology, “Solar Power for Villages” and “DIY Solar System for Dummies”.