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How Do Outdoor Solar Lights Work?

If you’ve had a yard and have considered lighting it at night, you’ve most likely heard of solar yard lights. They’re still pricey, but the benefit is that you won’t have to run any cabling for them. You can set a light in a spot that gets direct sunshine in around 15 seconds.

These lights are fascinating because they resemble little satellites. Throughout the day, they produce and conserve their own energy, which they subsequently release at night. This is similar to a satellite that collects solar energy while on the bright side of the planet and then consumes it when the planet is dark. You’ll find out how it occurs in this article!

The Basics

The following are the elements of a solar light:

When you remove the lid, you’ll notice that all of the components involved are grouped together. On the reverse side, you may see:

We’ll look at some of the other components in more detail next.

How do they work?

You have a basic knowledge of solar-cell technology if you have read any article on solar cells. For example, solar up lights are a simple application that uses conventional solar cells.

Based on the scale of the cells and the intensity of sunlight impacting the surface, a single solar cell can produce up to 0.45 volts and a variable amount of current. As a result, 4 batteries connected in series are required in a standard yard light. In full, bright sunshine, the 4 cells in this yard light will generate 1.8 volts and a maximum of roughly 100 milliamps.

A diode connects the photovoltaic panels to the battery, preventing the battery’s electricity from flowing backwards through the solar panel at night. The battery is an AA Nicad battery, which is entirely ordinary. This type of battery produces roughly 1.2 volts and has a maximum capacity of 700 milliamp-hours. The battery is charged during the day, attaining maximum charge except for on short winter days or days with thick overcast.

The solar cells quit generating power at night. The LED is turned on by the photoresistor. When it gets dark, how do the lights switch on instantly? illustrates how to regulate a light with a photoresistor using a basic circuit involving a transistor and a relay. The relay is substituted by two more transistors in this light.

The solar cell and batteries provide electricity to the controller board, which also receives input from the photoresistor. When the photoresistor detects darkness, the LED is turned on using a three-transistor circuit. The LED consumes 45 milliamps, and the battery produces 1.23 volts (0.055 watts). It emits about half the amount of light as a candle does. When completely charged, the Nicad battery can run the LED for roughly 15 hours.

A single LED is used in this yard light. A mixture of an LED and a tiny halogen flashlight bulb may be available in more costly lamps. When a motion sensor senses movement, the LED stays on all the time, and turns on for a minute or two.

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