I have been considering installing solar lights at night to illuminate my home and garden. Long and cold. So before I invest, I need to make sure that my solar lights can work in winter; otherwise, they will be useless.I researched some useful information, but I couldn’t find any place to put all the available information together in a simple and understandable way, so I decided to prepare one.For all you ever wanted to know, “solar lights work in winter” here is a complete and clear answer.
How Solar Lights Produce Electricity From Solar Energy
First, let’s take a quick look at the process of converting solar energy into electricity. The solar light contains a solar photovoltaic cell. This battery contains a semiconductor material, usually silicon, which reacts chemically when it is exposed to sunlight. This chemical reaction releases charged particles called electrons, which flow through the circuit in the form of electric current.
Next, we convert the current into the battery, where it is stored as chemical potential energy. Then at night, another light sensor called a photocell allows energy to pass through a circuit containing LED lights. Our light burns at night until dawn, the photocell displays the number again, and then the light goes out.
How To Get The Best Performance From Your Solar Lights In Winter
Here are some practical and straightforward steps you should take to ensure that you get the best performance from your solar lights during the winter months.
Buy Lights Designed For Winter Conditions
Some solar lights are specially designed for places with less sunlight in winter. These lights have some special functions, such as power saving mode, when the battery power is low, it will automatically reduce the brightness, so the use time is longer.
Although dimming the lights is a perfect solution, it is far better than turning off all your lights and leaving you in the dark. Therefore, it is necessary to choose lamps of your own brand and model around.
Location, Location, Location
When you install solar lights, what you are looking for is a place that can receive a lot of direct sunlight. Ideally, you want to put them in a place where you can see the sun uninterrupted from sunrise to sunset. In practice, this is almost impossible, but it is a good guiding principle.
However, when you install solar lights, you need to remember that the sun is in different places at different times of the year. In the northern hemisphere, these numbers are usually tracked in the sky in the southern hemisphere, so we need to find a location facing south that can provide the most exposure.
But in winter, the sun is further south and the sky is lower. It needs to pass through more atmosphere to reach the earth, and most importantly, it will cast a long shadow. When you observe how much sunlight your solar energy receives, be sure to check them in different seasons, especially in winter, to ensure that the surrounding buildings, vegetation, etc. will not block the sunlight.
Charge Solar Lights Using Other Energy Sources
We know that solar energy is charged by the sun; after all, this is in the name. But did you know that you can also use other energy sources to charge solar lights?
You can use ordinary light bulbs or home LED lights to charge outdoor solar lights. This is a good choice because you can take them indoors on the darkest days, place them under a direct light bulb, and they will charge.
Solar lights do not charge as efficiently under artificial lighting as they do under direct sunlight. However, this is better than nothing. If natural light cannot provide enough energy for your solar energy to work effectively, this is a good attempt.
Keep Your Solar Lights Clear And Clean
Clean solar light is a healthy solar light. Check and clean your solar lights, paying special attention to the transparent cover that protects the solar cells and photocells. If necessary, clean the surface with a soft sponge and mild detergent. If the cell overlay becomes turbid, then consider replacing it, as this will reduce performance.
Tilt Solar Panels
Depending on the type of solar light you purchase, it may be possible to tilt the solar cell’s angle to generate maximum power. If this is possible, then you should tilt the panel towards the south so that it is as perpendicular to the sun as possible.
But tilting the panel has another benefit because snow, dirt, and other objects will slide off the solar cell, ensuring that nothing obstructs its view of the sun.
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