New Solar Energy Possibilities for Homes
Guest Contributor post by Matt J @ South Shore Roofing A renewable energy system can be used to supply some or all of your electricity needs, using new and eco-friendly technologies. There are many different systems and technologies for powering your house while being eco-friendly and saving energy. One of the most popular and efficient systems is solar electric system, which includes solar...
Full mAh capacity range of NiMH (the good chemistry) rechargeable batteries for Solar Lights are now available!
Solar lights for the home and garden come with pre-installed, pre-charged batteries from most (safe to say, all) manufacturers when you buy them online or directly at stores. What many people don't realize is that these rechargeable batteries will eventually run their course and lose all of their effective capacity after about 2 years of nightly use. These solar light batteries are almost always r...
CES 2016: Solar Powered Gadgets of the Future.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is a prominent global electronics and technology focused trade show that takes place every year in Las Vegas. Held in January each year, it is known for introducing the latest technology trends and most innovative electronics. This year, solar energy was at the forefront with a huge variety of tech that uti...
Holiday Gift Guide: Solar Tech for your Home, Kids, and the Outdoors.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor The gift that keeps on giving has never been greener, and the time to buy one for your friend or loved one is quickly approaching. This year for the holidays, instead of giving some trite piece of clothing or kitchen appliance, try looking for the perfect gifts for those eco-friendly friends who wants to help benefit the environment, or perhaps for a family...
The Benefits of Floatovoltaics.
by Maria Juniper, Contributing Editor Now that most governments, environmental organizations, scientists and even the Catholic Church have agreed on the need to combat climate change, innovative solutions are being sought in many quarters. The old ways of doing things simply won't cut it now that we're aware of the harmful effects of traditional means of power generation, such as the burning of...

Solar light batteries come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on September 19, 2015 in Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Size differences in Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries for solar lights. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Size differences in Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries for solar lights. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

We have received many inquiries regarding the various sizes of rechargeable batteries for solar lights. There are a few reasons why manufacturers choose one size over the other. They are as follows:

  1. Compact size means a smaller battery compartment and overall smaller solar light for the customer.
  2. Chemistry choice will determine the Voltage output for like-sized batteries.
  3. Commonly used battery sizes on the market will reduce the production costs and final price for the customer.
  4. Chemistry choice will affect the environmental impact of the battery once its life cycle has terminated.

So, we will address each of these points above in further detail.

Item 1. A smaller battery will give the manufacturer the option to create a solar light that is smaller than what it would be had a larger rechargeable battery been used. Smaller batteries can store the same amount of energy capacity (mAh, or milliAmp hours) for each night’s use. For instance, a 600 mAh 1.2 Volt rechargeable battery can come in either a AA or AAA size.  However, if you compare it to water flowing in a river, the AAA size is going to be a smaller river width, while AA batteries represent a larger river and thus more water can flow through.  They will both flow for the same amount of time, only the AA will be able to provide more current (water, in our river example above) than its AAA counterpart over the same amount of time.  The force of the water (ie: Voltage) is the same for both, only the AA will be able to provide more current and thus, a larger or demanding LED component (think, more current will allow for a brighter LED to be used). In the image above, two Lithium batteries with the same specifications are set side by side. However, the black battery is what is considered a 2/3 AA, while the grey battery is the more common AA size. The smaller battery will give the same output, but for a less powerful LED demand. The smaller battery is compact, but it is sufficient enough for a lower output illumination device (in this case, it was used in a solar spot light with 1 LED that was purchased from a big box store.) The advantage of the smaller battery is that it allows for a smaller solar light. The biggest disadvantage is that the replacements for these batteries are difficult to find, and when found, relatively expensive compared to their AA counterparts.

Item 2. The battery chemistry will play a factor in the design in a number of different ways. For one, the amount of electrical potential (Voltage) that a battery can provide will depend on the chemical makeup of the battery. AA Lithium ion batteries typically have a Voltage rating of 3.2 Volts; whereas the same size NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) or NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) will have a Voltage rating of 1.2 Volts.  So, using a Lithium battery in a NiMH light will burn out the LEDs of the NiMH light almost instantly. The LED will be brighter than ever, but that moment in the spot light, so to speak, will end in a matter of seconds. So it is recommended to not use Lithium batteries in either NiMH or NiCd battery lights. Using a Lithium battery will give the manufacturer the option of increasing the LED load capacity (thus a brighter light), but will ultimately cost the customer more in the long run as replacement batteries for Lithium lights are more expensive.

Item 3. Since AA and AAA battery sizes are more common (AA moreso than AAA) than fractional sizes (such as the 2/3 AA in the photo above), costs for production have been set to allow for the best available pricing for customers worldwide. Being that AA batteries have been around since 1907, their production infrastructure has had plenty of time to develop and take hold on the battery market. There are square 9 Volt and larger Lead Acid rechargeable batteries on the market for use in solar lights. However, since they are odd shaped for the purpose of streamlining solar light designs, they are less commonly used and ultimately will cost more (also for the fact that they hold more energy) and are weighty.

Item 4. There are a number of chemical components that make up solar light rechargeable batteries. The primary distinguishing components are Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), Lithium Ion and Lead Acid.  Developed in 1899 by Swedish inventor Waldemar Jungner, it would take NiCd batteries over 4 decades to hit the market for commercial consumption. At the time, the competitor for NiCd batteries was the Lead Acid battery. However, due to the latter’s dimension restrictions as a small and portable battery, NiCd took hold and was widely used as a consumer-ready battery. Not until 1989 (with subsequent years of development) was the NiMH battery introduced to the market as an alternative to its Cadmium-based battery. NiMH rechargeables are capable of a better performance over the long term (for solar garden lights, typical lifespan of both chemistries is about 2 years). NiMH rechargeables also use a mild toxicity chemistry as opposed to the heavy metal toxicity of Cadmium (which makes up about 18% of the battery). NiMH batteries are capable (although it is recommended to recycle them whenever possible) of being thrown out in the trash. Whereas NiCd batteries must be recycled/disposed of in the proper facility. Lithium Ion batteries are taking their hold on the market due to their unsurpassed performance compared to other chemistries. But their setbacks are their disposal at the end of their lifecycle (recycling costs more than mining, so they may likely be thrown in the trash), higher cost of the battery for the consumer and transportation restrictions.

The 16 LED Solar Motion Sensor Light uses a Lithium Ion battery to supply sufficient electricity to the numerous LEDs throughout the night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

The 16 LED Solar Motion Sensor Light uses a Lithium Ion battery to supply sufficient electricity to the numerous LEDs throughout the night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

So, with all the considerations above, you will be better able to find the right solar light for your specific project. All of the battery chemistries have proven to have working track records, but each have their own pros and cons. Just be sure that the specifications you are looking for match what your solar lights came with when you first purchased them. If you are still not sure about the correct solar light batteries to use, check out our previous posts on the subject. There is much to know, but it is all worthwhile as solar lighting has great potential when it comes to illuminating your home, garden and office exteriors.

NiMH rechargeable batteries in both AA and AAA sizes (as well as mAh capacities ranging from 300 to 1000) for solar lighting around your home and garden. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

NiMH rechargeable batteries in both AA and AAA sizes (as well as mAh capacities ranging from 300 to 1000) for solar lighting around your home and garden. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Should you have any questions or like to have us discuss other aspects of solar lighting around your home, send us an email at info@yoursolarlink.com. Be safe and stay solar!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

The Solar Plantern from Your Solar Link uses a powerful Lithium Ion battery to illuminate the lamp at night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

The Solar Plantern from Your Solar Link uses a powerful Lithium Ion battery to illuminate the lamp at night. Image courtesy of Your Solar Link.

Street light fixtures, the power of the sun and free energy for everyone!

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on December 18, 2014 in Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

You may have seen the new light fixtures that are going up around town where the light is a very bright white light and it is all coming from a relatively small and low-profile fixture. Chances are that the fixture is one that uses LEDs as a light source. The advantage of LEDs are numerous:

1. LEDs produce very little heat compared to traditional lighting sources (incandescent, halogen, sodium and mercury vapor).

2. LEDs are a little more costly at first, but they quickly recuperate their costs with minimal energy usage over the long term.

3. LEDs are safer for the environment than induction lighting (that have about the same life-span) which require hazardous materials clean-up protocol due to the use of mercury in induction lamps.

4. LEDs come in a variety of color ranges (measured in Kelvin).

5. LEDs can be incorporated into a variety of housing styles and configurations.

Solar street light fixtures.

Solar street light fixture options for high-output conditions. Image courtesy of www.soltekrenewables.com.

As fixtures incorporate LEDs, their low-demand of energy allows them to be used in solar lighting applications. As energy demand is low, off-grid system autonomy increases with the use of highly-efficient rechargeable 12 Volt lead-acid batteries (very much the same as what is in your car) and smart controllers to regulate the amount of energy fixtures use each night. Typical autonomy runs for about 5 nights. That means that when the solar panels collect sunlight (about 2 to 4 hours) on day 1, then the LED fixture will continue to illuminate at night for the next 5 nights assuming that days 2 through 5 are completely cloud-covered or occluded.

Parking lot light fixtures.

Parking lot and minor road light fixtures. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Pathways and home use applications are also options for off-grid solar lighting. Large driveways or park pathways benefit with the use of the Lita, Lumina and Brighta series lights. As each light is a stand-alone and fully-contained unit, no wiring to trenching is required. So getting light to hard-to-reach places or where you may not have considered illuminating (think, the end of a boating dock or on a rocky surface) is achievable with the sustainable and 100% renewable energy lights from SolTek Renewables.

Lita series pathway lights and turtle-friendly lights.

Lita series pathway lights and turtle-friendly lights. Image courtesy of www.soltekrenewables.com.

And let’s not forget lighting for smaller or design-specific applications such as signage lighting, interior lighting (within 40 feet of the solar panel) and event lighting. The SPG series allows for the solar panel, rechargeable battery (with integrated box) and smart controller (called an SPG) to be placed in areas where sun shines and a light fixture or fixtures can be placed away from the SPG unit. Spot, flood and bar lighting with a range of Wattages are available for each location. All fixtures again utilize LEDs to maximize the system autonomy while provided industry-standard white light.

Solar spot, flood and bar lighting.

Solar spot, flood and bar lighting. Image courtesy of www.soltekrenewables.com.

Solar lighting from SolTek Renewables is here to stay and will bring the power of free energy to users and owners of their autonomous lights. No operating costs mean that money is immediately being saved and the environment is spared the damaging effects of dirty energy sources. Each light is a stand-alone unit that uses 100% renewable energy, guaranteed. Stay tuned for our next component (the solar panel) of the lights offered by SolTek Renewables.

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

Solar string lights for more than just garden decor.

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on October 20, 2014 in Creative Solar, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

So we have used solar string and rope lighting for our gardens and landscaping around our homes. But if you think about it, this marvelous lighting feature can be used in creative ways that were perhaps not considered outside of the year-round settings at home. When applied correctly, solar string and rope lighting can be used for temporary installments at parties, get-togethers, dinner engagements and even at weddings! Think about it, you can charge the solar lights in the day prior to the event, keeping the switch in the off position. Then, when an event is planned, the lights can be installed and simply switched on for the party. No need for connecting to a power supply or having extension cords running all over the place. And when the party’s over, just pack them up and charge accordingly prior the next soiree.

String lights at a wedding.

Solar string lights can be used to complement other lighting for gala events. Image courtesy of www.itsabrideslife.com.

Solar string lights can be placed on table arrangements or other “islands” where an electricity supply is not available. And why bother with electrical sockets in the first place? Keep it safe and effective with solar string lights. The lighting method is the same (LEDs are used in 120 Volt string lights, why not just go solar to begin with?) and solar lights are a renewable product. There are several options of styles (string vs. rope), color (white, blue, multi-color) and lengths to choose from when considering solar lighting for your parties. Check out the selection at Your Solar Link today! Solar lighting is a simple solution to a sometimes difficult and costly decision. Also, once you pay for solar lights, you don’t have to keep paying the electric company to use your new string lights. The only cost is the replacement of the rechargeable batteries, but they have a typical (daily usage, mind you) lifespan of 2 years. So, if you use solar string lights for events, the lifespan will be even longer. Going solar is a logical and economic answer.

Creative arrangement of string lights.

Creative use of string lights for wedding decor. Image courtesy of www.itsabrideslife.com.

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

120 LED solar string lights.

120 LED solar string lights for gala events. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Solar garden lights can be fashionable and affordable at the same time!

Posted By: Mario Villalobos on October 15, 2014 in Solar Gardening, Solar News - Comments: No Comments »

Have you ever wanted to get some solar garden lights for your home, but were unable to find some that were chic and fashionable?  The ones they sell at the big box stores just aren’t fitting the aesthetic you are looking for?  Well, look no further.  At Your Solar Link, there are options that may fit that style you need and want for your garden and landscaping.  You can get solar lighting that casts a white light onto your landscaping to showcase the beautiful flowering plants you have, or you can get an ambiance feature such at the Tiffany-style glass mosaic solar light with shepherd’s hook that is simple to install and lights up every night with free energy from the sun.

Solar spot lights, 1 panel, 2 lights.

Solar spot lights: 1 panel, 2 lights, super bright! Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

There are also table-top items such as the solar glass mosaic pot light (blue) that can be charged in the sun and placed anywhere in your patio or indoors at night to add a pleasant light feature to your evening dining settings. Solar lighting works all year long when they are placed in direct sunlight during the day.  Don’t forget to change out the rechargeable batteries for your solar garden lights when the time comes (solar light rechargeable batteries last about 2 years under daily operation).  If you are not sure if it is the battery, be sure to go through the checklist to troubleshoot possible problems in order to get your lights back up and running.

Tiffany-style glass mosaic solar light with shepherd hook.

Tiffany-style glass mosaic solar light with shepherd hook. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

Affordable with a number of design styles and purposes, solar lighting for your home and garden is a great way to illuminate your garden with exterior lighting and save on installation costs, avoid dangerous high voltage wiring and help out our environment with using a renewable resource (solar panels) in 2014.

Solar on!

Mario @ Your Solar Link

Solar path lights as a set of 2.

Solar path lights as a set of 2. Image courtesy of www.yoursolarlink.com.

6 Tips on How to Choose Solar Landscape Lighting.

Posted By: Your Solar Link Team on May 30, 2010 in Latest Technology, Solar News - Comments: 9 Comments »

You may have recently moved to a new house and decided to add some twinkle to your garden, back yard, lawn or patio. Or maybe it is a place where you have spent all your life and now you’d like to do a few subtle or dramatic changes with outdoor lighting. It could be that you just want to add a bit of creative touch to your apartment balcony where you catch a breath of fresh air after a long day. Your neighbors across the yard have some nice string lights on their balcony and you are starting to think about doing something similar.
Where do you start?

Solar Path Lights
Solar Path Lights. Image by Your Solar Link.

It can be a challenging and at the same time a fun process when looking into creating outdoor lighting for your home, yard or garden. The fun part of the process is that you are in control of creating a unique outdoor environment, inspired by your own imagination. You can create a comforting, welcoming mood with unique and eye-catching outdoor lighting.
However two challenges come to mind – finding a good bargain on the lights themselves, and the cost of hiring a licensed electrician to do the installation.

This is where solar powered outdoor lights step in. Solar lighting has become an increasingly popular alternative to the conventional and costly electric lights that currently illuminate our homes and living spaces.
Solar lights are affordably priced, simple and safe to install yourself (no digging ditches, laying the wire and attaching it to a junction box), and solar lights can be relocated easily, and above all else, you also save on electricity costs.

Solar lights use photovoltaic cells that absorb sunlight during the day and turn it into energy. Rechargeable batteries store the energy, making it available at night when it is needed. LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, which require little power and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, provide the illumination. There is no wiring necessary to connect the lights to each other or to the electric grid.
Until recently, most solar lights emitted only muted light and were not all that reliable. With the latest developments in the solar lighting industry, this has changed and super-bright LEDs have replaced more conventional filament bulbs.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) create light without producing the waste heat of regular bulbs, are very bright, and yet require a minimal amount of electricity to function. The result is a reliable, long-lasting light source that will typically work for the life of the solar light product.
Other progress in solar lighting technology has been made in the development of more efficient, affordably-priced photovoltaic cells, improved circuitry, and more efficient batteries.

When shopping for solar lights, it’s important to match the light to the function you want it to perform. Consider these three primary categories of solar lights for use in the landscape: decorative accent lights, path lights and spotlights.

Decorative Solar Accent Lights.

Solar Butterfly Lights
Solar Butterfly Lights with Amber LEDs. Image by Your Solar Link.

Solar accent lights create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape. They are designed to mark a place. Solar accent lights can be used to mark landscape hazards, such as a step or a rock that could be a hazard in the dark. They also can be used as garden features themselves, such as decorative solar figurines.
This type of solar light is not used to intensely illuminate an object or light up a pathway. But they would be a good choice to softly illuminate shrubbery and low hedges. Due to their low light output, accent lights usually stay lit longer than other types of solar lights. A quality accent solar light can run many nights on just a single day of sunlight charge.



Accent solar lights typically use efficient multi-crystalline solar cells that allow them to charge even on a cloudy day or in partially shaded areas.
Some accent lights utilize amber LEDs to create a softer ambience. Some of them can change colors, blink or flicker to simulate candle light.

Solar Accent Lights

Solar Garden Lights
Color Changing Solar Accent Lights. Image by Your Solar Link.

Amber LEDs use less electricity than the white LEDs, meaning they are going to stay on even longer after a short sun charge.
Compared to the other types of solar lights, accent lights have the lowest light output and are among the most affordably priced.

Solar Butterfly Lights
Solar Butterfly Lights with Amber LEDs. Image by Your Solar Link.

Path Solar Lights.
Path solar lights are good for lighting paths, walkways, driveway perimeters or other regions around your home and in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.

Solar Post Lights
Path solar lights. Image by Your Solar Link.

Path lights usually come with a choice of ground stakes, flange mounts and hanging hooks. This gives the user a wide choice of placing options.
They also have on-off switches, a feature that allows the homeowner to store the electrical charge for a special event and ensure the longest potential run time. Some models may offer options such as high-low power, colored lenses, or timers. Solar path lights are in the mid-range choice in terms of price and light output.

Solar Post Lights
Motion Sensor Path Solar Lights. These Path Lights increase in brightness as people pass by.
Image by Your Solar Link.

Task Solar Lights (Solar Security Lights, Solar Flood Lights and Solar Spotlights).
These solar lights are the brightest group of solar lights and usually carry the highest price tag. They are designed to direct a bright beam of light on plants, statuary or entryways.

Solar Spot Lights
Solar Spot Light. Image by Your Solar Link.

Solar task lights and spotlights are usually designed so they can be mounted in a number of ways and can be adjusted to shine in any direction. Most often, the solar panel can be mounted independently from the light (the two connected by a wire), which allows you to place the panel in a position where it will get the sun, and the light where you need it to shine at night.

Solar Spot Lights
Solar Spot Light. Image by Your Solar Link.

What to consider when choosing solar lights for your exterior lighting needs.

Step 1.
Decide if you need decorative accent, path or task solar lights.

Step 2.
Find out whether the battery needs full sunlight to charge. Some lights charge with partial sun and work great under trees or in areas with low sunlight. This type of solar light can also be charged on a cloudy day.

Step 3.
Consider the operating time. Usually solar lights perform year round and even charge the battery to provide operation during long winter nights. Some solar lights shine for several days before needing to recharge.

Step 4.
Check the type of light bulb the solar light uses. LED lights offer the brightest and most efficient light when it comes to efficiency, size, price and energy usage. Some accent solar lights use amber LED lights to create a softer glow.

Step 5.
Compare extra items like timers or an on-off switch to the cost. Colored lenses change the look of the solar lights without compromising the brightness. Some solar lights mount to your house, hang from trees or can be mounted to your patio rail.

Step 6.
Match the lighting to your landscape theme. Decorative solar lights (figurines) can create an interesting theme for a landscape or lawn, or while positioned next to shrubbery trimmed to your taste. Country style solar lanterns will add that special countryside charm to your garden. Hanging Japanese Soji lanterns on your trees or patio will bring an Asian flare to your outdoors. Modern stainless steel solar accent lights complement contemporary landscapes. An ultra bright stainless steel solar light will be a great choice to light up your flag pole.

The possibilities are unlimited!


 
 


Juicebar Pocket Solar Charger.
This stylish, sleek and reliable pocket size Universal Battery Charger (Juicebar Solar Charger) is proven to be your best friend in a situation when conventional electric supply is not available or if you are trying to use eco-friendly renewable power supplies.
Great as a solar phone charger for any type of Mobile Phones, IPhones, PSA, PDA, Mp3 Players, Satellite Navigation, and much more.
Get it HERE.

Solar Lights Savings

Solar Garden Lights


SOLAR PATH LIGHTS.
Stainless Steel Conical Solar Path Light (Set of 2).
Path solar lights are an excellent choice for lighting your garden paths, walkways, driveway perimeters and other regions in your landscape. They are often used in multiples to guide the way along a set of stairs or a dark walk.
Featured Stainless Steel Solar Light set uses 2 ultra-bright LEDs for maximum light output and minimum battery usage.
The lights are safe around kids and pets and water and corrosion resistant.
Read more HERE

STONE SOLAR SPOT LIGHTS.

Stone Solar Spot Lights (also known as Solar Rock Lights) completely camouflage with existing landscapes and look like any other rock in your garden.

Green Gardener Corner


Solar Fountain Pump System

SOLAR GARDEN FOUNTAINS.
How to start using ecologically friendly energy to power up your garden fountains and other garden water features?
Why not go with a solar powered water pump?
To accommodate your needs the Solar Fountain Pump Systems we carry range from 2 to 8 Watt. Browse our collection of solar water pumps for your fish ponds and solar fountains.
Enjoy your garden water features and your energy savings at the same time. Make a note of the various power levels and the flow rate of the solar water pumps before your purchase.
Please write us your review after your purchase. Your opinion is important to us!

HOW TO INSTALL A SOLAR PATH LIGHT.

Stone Cylinder Solar Path Lights (Set of 2).
See how easy it is to install a solar light. No wiring required!
In this particular case a ground fastener and a stake are included for quick and easy installation. Read more HERE

Archives


DECORATIVE SOLAR ACCENT LIGHTS.

Solar accent lights (Set of 2) create an enjoyable and inviting glow for your landscape.
They are designed to mark a place.


Super High Output Spot Light

Solar Spot Light - $26.99
Super High Output Spot Light (4 Super Bright LEDs). Free Shipping!



Solar spot lights like this one rely on energy from the sun to charge their batteries and provide light throughout the night.
This means that there is no need to tap into the electrical grid for these lights to operate.
The solar spot lights will work consistently, even if the whole neighborhood is dealing with a power outage.
Learn more about Solar Spot Lights at http://www.yoursolarlink.com/solar-spot-lights, where we have a great selection of solar spot lights to choose from.

Solar Tags

Subscription Options:

Subscribe with web-based news readers!