Solar lighting is the newest form of lighting that works on renewable energy resources. This is a useful alternative for powering up the indoors and is highly efficient as compared to the traditional lighting. This is also a highly cost-effective option as you’re getting all your energy from a source that is free of cost: the sun! Because of this, these lights are environment-friendly as they have zero emissions. The world is consistently moving towards solar power and so are power consumers. More and more people are opting for solar power to save their electric bills.
Solar lights are more than popular nowadays and so many people are already choosing these to light up their porch and gardens, and even their inner living rooms. While there are many solar lights available in the market, we have done the strenuous work of scouring the web for the best solar lights you can currently buy. So, without further waiting, here are our top picks for the best solar pergola lights; but first, let us get you through some of the essentials that you need to know before buying.
It is very simple. A solar panel charges by using a panel called the “photovoltaic panel”, or better known as the PV panel. This allows the plates to absorb energy and convert it into electricity. The transformed electricity is then stored into battery cells which are then used to power the lights.
What makes solar lights so useful is that they turn themselves off during the day and automatically detect night time to turn themselves on. You do have to install these panels somewhere where they receive direct sunlight for them to charge. More exposure to the sun will charge them faster. There are special components designed to sense the sunlight and automatically control the LEDs based on the time of the day.
The PV panel has what is normally known as silicon wafers. These are several silicone layers stacked up together with a couple of other materials. The layers have negatively charged electrons and positively charged spaces between them. When light falls on the plates, it pokes the electrons and they move to the positively charged spaces. A bit of an intricate physics going on there, isn’t it?
Outdoor solar lights are very common these days as they not only increase the beauty of your porch but also security as well. Studies have shown that the crime rate is lower in well-lit areas as compared to dark ones. Lighting always discourages burglars and decreases chances of a robbery. The lights get charged from the sun and they can last for up to 10 hours once fully charged.
These lights are also known as Christmas lights. They are mostly used for decoration and you can easily hang them and wrap around trees. They are also called series as they are LEDs that are connected in series. You can easily hang these in your backyard.
These are multipurpose lights that can be used for many purposes. You can light your parking, garage and they can be installed on the streets as well as in your backyard.
Also known as patio lights, they are best suited for installing in patios and staircases. They have very rich and vibrant colors and give a classy look to your patio.
Solar spotlights are best for floors, doors, walls and for lighting up the upper walls as well.
If you need something to light up or decorate your garden with, then post lights are the best choice. They provide a street look from the early times of England and give a very soothing look in the evening.
These are perfect for power outages.
As evident from the name, these lights can be used to light up your fence. They come in a lot of varieties and they are suitable for both the outdoors and indoors.
Solar lanterns can be planted in gardens. They are very portable and are perfect for installing in remote areas.
If you want to decorate your walls, then wall lights are a perfect solution.
These lights are best used in driveways. This helps you drive safely back home at night.
If you want to illuminate your lawn and add good ambient lighting, then lawn solar lights are the best.
They are just the same as indoor lights, with the only difference being that outdoor lights have their solar modules present within them while indoor lights have to be connected to other solar panels that can be placed on your roof.
Security lights are the most common type of lights that you can find almost everywhere like outside pavements, in porches, around driveways, etc. They look just like normal lights but are extremely bright. They also have sensors built into them so, if they detect any unusual movements, they can either sound an alarm if it supports it or increases its light intensity.
If the light detects someone passing by its coverage area, they turn on and, if there is no activity, they turn off.
We are going to get you through some of the essentials you need to know before choosing a good quality solar light for yourself. We suggest reading this section thoroughly to better understand these lights and how they will correspond to your requirements.
The very first thing to consider is why you are purchasing it. What is the purpose behind your purchase? Where do you want to use it? Asking this question to yourself will set you on the right track to choosing the best light for yourself.
For instance, if you need security lights, then you only need a basic security lamp with bright LEDs. But if you need something beautiful that will be aesthetically pleasing, then you can buy hanging lamps. If you want something for indoors, like for your desk, you can use low power focus lamps. For your garden paths, you can use pathway lights.
The next thing is to choose your desired brightness level. The brightness of lights are usually measured in lumens and they provide different outputs. Lumens can range anywhere between 12 to 1500. There are very rare lights that have 5000-lumen intensity. How well they work on solar power is still debatable as they need quite a lot of energy.
Here is a reference for you to know how many lumens each light can project:
Step Lights - 12 to 100 lumens
Landscape Light - 50 to 300 lumens
Path Light - 100 to 200 lumens
Pond Light - 200 to 400 lumens
Hardscape Light - 50 to 185 lumens
Motion Sensor Light - 300 to 900 lumen
Flood Light - 700 to 1300 lumens
As a solar setup operates with battery, you have got to be extra careful when choosing the right batteries. Batteries come in many types. There are li-ion batteries, nickel-cadmium, lead-acid, and Ni-MH batteries. If you want to operate low powered lights, it is better to go with the Ni-MH batteries as they have high capacity and can go for long hours.
If you want to run power-consuming solar lights like security lights then you should go with lead-acid or the lithium-ion batteries, as they have the highest capacity and are smaller in size as well. They also have a huge life span. But this power comes at a cost as they are very expensive.
Batteries come in different capacities. However, each type of battery can only go so far. Energy is stored in batteries in mAh. If you want a longer standby, go for the highest capacity. Here is a reference for you to judge what kind of battery will suit you the best:
Lead-acid batteries - 4000 mAh to 6000 mAh
Lithium-ion batteries - 2000 mAh to 6000 mAh
Ni-MH batteries - 2000 mAh
NiCad batteries - 600 mAh
Every machine has certain efficiency and it will depend on the quality of the machine. Same goes with the setup of a solar-powered light.
Solar panels can be divided into three types:
If you want something that is highly efficient at storing energy, then you can trust these panels. They have the highest efficiency rate of about 21%.
These panels are somewhat similar to the monocrystalline panels but with lower efficiency. They have affordable prices and their build quality is also amazing.
They are the thinnest of all panels and are very delicate as well. They have an efficiency of 10%.
Wattage determines how much energy a panel can produce. This is measured under normal climatic conditions which means under a lot of sunlight. This factor is dependant on other factors, such as the solar panel or battery efficiency.
The basic rule is that the more watts a light works on, the more powerful its luminosity will be. If you want quality lights, then always check the wattage. For instance, a solar panel that consumes 10 watts will provide 10 watts per hour. If the bulb has more luminosity, then to run at its full power you will need to have a higher wattage battery as well.
The larger the solar panel, the larger the wattage it can produce. However, as described above, it will depend on the efficiency, climatic conditions, as well as the quality of the overall setup. That is why you see high-powered solar-powered lights having much bigger panels.
The very first one on this list are the Aootek LED Solar Lights, which is a security lamp that is powered with solar power technology. It has a high quality motion sensor which makes it a perfect light for security purposes. It comes with a large solar sensor that makes this light a best choice you can buy right now.
What we particularly liked about this product is that it has three operational modes. First is for monitoring that uses the sensor to turn the lights on.
The second mode is used to keep it turned on all night. In this mode, the light keeps itself in a standby state while still on, but turns bright when any motion is detected. This is achieved by a technology called the PIR motion sensing. The angle at which the light detects is as high as 120 degrees.
Inside the light, you will find a 2200 mAh battery with good efficiency consthat umes only 3.7 watts in total when at its highest power. The body is made of heatproof certified material which is also waterproof as well. That is why we recommend installing it on the porch or patios, or in the gardens.
Brightech Ambience Pro Solar String Lights are one of the best decorative lights on our list. It comes as a series and is shaped to decorate your outdoor. This is especially suited to Italian restaurants owing to its looks. These lights can be placed over a canopy or a porch grill as well.
The solar panels accumulate enough power by 6 hours in sunlight and they will also give about six hours of backup time as well. This is great when you have a party in your backyard. Whether it is a grilling fiesta or cooking week, these lights will be a perfect choice.
The body is made of industrial-grade materials that are waterproof. The bulbs are not like traditional bulbs. They are made of shatterproof plastic and can withstand high wind speeds as well. They have also shown to be extremely resistant to rain and heat as well. It can take up to 122 Fahrenheit.
The solar panel comes separated from the lights, which means that you will have no issue with placing the panel and you can practically place it any place that has a good amount of sunlight. The line length is 20 feet, which means that if you are to place it on the roof, you are not going to need extra wire.
It has a beautiful white glow and it operates for more than 20000 hours. You also get 3 years of manufacturer warranty, so you have nothing to worry about.
The Tomcare Spotlights are flickering garden flame lights that are aesthetically appealing; appear to be very delicate yet are very sturdy. These lights are waterproof and consume very low power. If you want to save energy, then this is the best choice. They are a great alternative to real candles. They create a flash of beautiful ambient lightning and a soothing glow that greatly enhances your mood. You can easily use them during your parties and in the garden.
The good thing is that their height is adjustable. With an adjustable height, you can adjust the stick to suit the height according to your garden’s pathway. The max you can reach is 43 inches. You can be very creative with these lights and the only limit is your imagination.
For such low power consuming lights, they come with a pretty large battery. The battery works in connection to a power panel that is separate from the lights. The lights get charged in about 8 hours and you can use them for a maximum of 10 hours. During the winter, however, their efficiency drops and can be used for only 5 hours due to lack of sunlight.
They are also dustproof and resistant to extreme weather conditions, which means you can use it in all seasons. Made up of certified waterproof material, these lights won’t be affected by rain. You also get one-year manufacturer’s warranty, which is quite nice as well.
The Litom Solar Landscape Spotlights are much like flickering lights but they function more like a spotlight. As compared to the flicker lights, they are highly bright and are focused just like a spotlight. These lights are a great choice for landscape lighting.
It has atotal of 12 bright LEDs which projects around 600 lumens of bright light and has a light projection of 120 degrees. The bulb can be adjusted to about 90-degree angle and you can use it according to your setup. It comes with lithium-ion batteries that can accumulate a high charge in them and can go for as long as 12 hours, which is extremely good for lights that are these bright.
They come in two versions and you can buy one according to your taste. They come in cold LED light and a warm tone. Many people prefer a cooler color temperature but for some reason we liked the warm LED much more as it adds more contrast to the surrounding ambient lighting. The cold color is 6000k, while the warm is about 3500k.
When it is about night time, it automatically senses decreasing light and turns itself on so you are never short of light. It has a good build quality as it is made of heat-resistant and waterproof materials. The ABS plastic is highly durable and it has an ip65 rating as well.
Installing these is a pretty simple process. It is very simple and just like putting a nail in the ground. Just stick them in and you are done. However, if you want to mount them on a wall, you can easily do that too. It has got all the certifications from MSDS, FCC, etc. It also gives you a 45-day money-back guarantee; no questions asked. Furthermore, it comes with almost a one and a half year of manufacturer’s warranty, which is excellent.
The Baxia Technology Security Solar Lights is a pack of security lights that you can install outside your house. It comes in a four-pack and has turned out to be pretty amazing considering its price. The good thing is that you can either wall mount these lights or put them on the ground to light up any pathways. It will work out good in both situations.
They have a very sensitive sensor that turns on with the slightest movement and can detect movements of objects within 3 to 5 meters. It is power-saving as well because it turns off when the object is removed from its coverage after 30 seconds, which is indeed very intelligent.
This light is a powerhouse as it has 28 LEDs, each with a luminosity of 400. The sensors can sense moving objects within a range of 120 degrees. Although we can not say that the battery is one of the best, it works well and, as far as its capacity goes, it works pretty well for a 1200 mAh battery. It can last for 7 hours, which means you will not have any kind of issues for the entire night. With a solar panel that can be placed practically anywhere, you can have a good amount of exposure to the sunlight.
The body is made to be waterproof, dustproof plus heat-resistant as well. The overall material is very durable and you also get a full refund within 30 days and half a year’s manufacturer warranty as well. We think that the price is justified for the features it provides.
It does not come with other fancy functions like strobing or dimming but, for what its worth, it is indeed a good choice for those who want simple to use yet powerful lights.
Over the years, we have learnt to light up the dark which has proven to be extremely beneficial for the survival and growth of humankind. The good thing is, we keep on getting better. We have now switched from candles to manual electrical light to fully automatic solar power lights, which are amazing when you see how they work just by not letting all that juice from the sun go to waste. These lights do the same thing and can be used for multiple purposes around your house.
We have chosen these lights after careful research and have made sure that we only finalize those products that pass our standards. Although all the products on this list function well, there was one that stood out amongst all of them and that is none other than the Aootek LED Solar Lights. These lights have the best price to performance ratio and have the biggest battery capacity as well. They are highly efficient and consume very less power, which means that you can expect a long battery backup from them.
However, if you want something with a lot of features and a little bit more quality, then Litom Solar Landscape Spotlights are your way to go. With an option to choose between the warm and cold light options, it makes it the best choice for lighting up areas with beautiful ambient lighting.
Although all of the 5 solar pergola lights mentioned above would work great for you, we would suggest first evaluating your needs and preferences. Only buy the lights that suit your needs and budgetary limit the best.
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