Solar lights rely on solar energy for lighting. The lights are placed outside to receive light then convert it to energy. What is unknown to many people is, solar lights are not entirely dependent on the sun for charging.
As strange as it may seem, it is possible to charge solar lights without the sun. Although solar lights are designed to be powered by the sun, it would be odd not to acknowledge that some days may be cloudy, stormy, or snowy.
How then can one charge these solar lights without solar energy? This article is aimed at uncovering alternative methods to charge the solar panels. However, it is essential to note what solar lights entail.
Components of Solar Lights
Solar lights have 3 different parts. These include the solar panels, the batteries, and the bulbs. The solar panels have photovoltaic cells that convert light to energy. The batteries are then recharged to light up the bulbs during the night. These 3 components work hand in hand.
Ways to Charge Solar Lights Without Sun
1- Using Incandescent Lights
Incandescent light is a light that has a glowing wire filament while producing extreme heat.
Yes, incandescent lights can charge solar lights. How so?
Solar lights have receptors that convert sunlight wavelength to lighting. Instead, with the incandescent lighting, the solar light will use the heat for the lighting for charging.
Since the solar lights are programmed to convert heat to power, it will perform as if the incandescent lighting is the sunlight energy. The incandescent light should be close to the solar light for efficient charging.
Solar lights cannot detect that the light source is not the sun. All they need is the wavelength whether distant or close. This is why the incandescent lights can fully charge solar lights just like the sun. It may take longer but it is effective.
2- On Cloudy Days
With an overcast sky, it may be impossible for sun rays to reach the solar panels. However, it may come as a shock to you that the solar lights can still charge during this time.
The sun is miles away from the earth and solar lights have been built with this in mind. The receptors have been built to receive sun rays, store it then convert it to energy.
The receptors on the solar panels are so sensitive to the tiniest rays of sunlight. Even on cloudy days, these receptors can catch the wavelength and convert the rays to charge the lights.
It is, however, important to note that the quality of lighting produced on a cloudy day may vary from a sunny day. This is because the sunlight received on a cloudy day is a fraction compared to ordinary sunny days.
3- Use of LED Lights
Just like the incandescent lights, you can manipulate the solar lights by using LED lights. Since the receptors detect the tiniest wavelength of light rays for conversion, the LED lighting will play the trick.
Although the sun’s wavelength is stronger, the solar light will still get charged from the LEDs. The sun emits 1000Watts per square meter on our earth while an LED light bulb will only emit 40-100Watts. Since the sun is powerful but miles away, the LED compensates this with its proximity.
4- Use of Reflecting Mirrors
Do not blush off the idea too quickly. Mirrors can also charge solar lights without the sun.
If your panels are in a deep shadow and do not receive adequate sunlight, you can use mirrors to reflect light.
All you need is to position one or more mirrors to reflect the sun rays directly on the solar panels. It is not a preferred method since the angle of the sun keeps changing during the day. This means you have to reposition the mirrors with time.
However, when used, the mirrors will help charge the solar lights.
This article aims at dispelling the myth that only direct sunlight can power up solar lights. This notion has limited thousands of people from installing solar lights since they are scared of living in the dark during winter and cloudy days.
However, even on cloudy days, the sensors on the solar panels convert the tiniest rays to energy and light. One can also use incandescent and LED lights to charge medium voltage batteries.
Either way, your solar lights will remain lit even without the sun.