Lighting doesn’t always have to be for practical purposes. Different types of lights can help to enhance the appearance of a swimming pool or add ambiance to a garden.
There are many ways to change the look of your home with lights, and these can include color lighting on your driveway or even uplights. Adding uplighting to the front of a home can add a dramatic feel to the facade at night time.
Of course, lighting has other purposes, it can add security, make places safer, and just increase visibility. The only problem with lighting is that it uses electricity, and this costs money.
However, a popular solution for this issue is to use solar power. Surely though, solar power can only be used where there are external photovoltaic panels? Or, can solar power be used for indoor uses as well?
How popular is renewable energy around the world?
When it comes to renewable energy sources, there are three main options. While biofuels and geothermal energy are indeed being explored and used, it is wind, water, and the sun’s power that are most commonly utilized.
Wind farms cover wide areas across Germany, the US, the UK, and India. In small underdeveloped countries such as Laos, Hydro dams have been built on the Mekong. And solar farms cover uninhabitable spaces across Egypt and China.
In fact, China leads the way when it comes to renewable energy sources. They have more solar farms, more wind farms, and more hydropower facilities than any other country.
Is solar power popular in the US?
The US is not far behind China in terms of alternative power sources. The states are one of the leading countries when it comes to renewable energy, and they have millions of solar farms.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, in 2019 there were around 2 million utility-scale installations plus residential and commercial solar farms. Back then, these installations were capable of powering 12 million US homes. Today it would be more like 18 million homes.
Solar power is being used for a number of applications across the states. This includes everything from adding lighting to decking to powering street lights. The latter is something that San Diego has adopted, and it reduces the city’s bills. This means more money is available for infrastructure, schools, hospitals, etc.
Can you really use solar power indoors?
Of course, there are many uses for solar power, including camping showers, vaccine refrigerators for regions with little electricity, and even wristwatches. There is one area that you may never have considered, indoor lighting.
Solar-powered lights need sunlight to be effective right? So, that means that indoor lights wouldn’t function because there is no sun inside the home.
This is true and also false. Indoor solar lights can work very well inside a home as long as there is some natural light. The lights themselves would need to be fitted somewhere that sunlight falls for at least part of the day.
However, they can also receive a charge from elsewhere. Solar-powered lights can also be charged by artificial lighting, so any light source that falls onto the solar panels will help to charge the cell.
Technically, you could charge a solar-powered device by shining a flashlight on it. But this wouldn’t be very cost-effective, or environmentally friendly, which is what solar energy is all about.
Are solar-powered indoor lights eco-friendly?
All devices that are powered by the sun are eco-friendly, although how you use them can make a difference.
To be fully effective, they should be fully charged by solar power. There is little point in using another form of lighting to charge your solar-powered lights. But besides the use of electricity, solar-powered lights have other eco-benefits.
Very often, indoor solar lights will use LED bulbs instead of standard incandescent ones. Indoor lights using LEDs will need to be replaced far less than when using incandescent or other types of bulbs. Less waste, less landfill, less expense.
Solar-powered devices need to have a cell to hold the charge. These will eventually run out, but they will last a long time before they do. The batteries may last ten years or longer, the LED lights perhaps 50,000 hours. Altogether this means they are a far more eco-friendly way to light your home than by standard means.
What is the purpose of having indoor solar lights?
This is a fair question, and you may wonder if it is worth having indoor solar lights, or whether you should concentrate on using this form of power elsewhere.
If you have solar panels on your roof, then you could happily power your entire home, or at least partially. This would mean that your appliances, along with your indoor lights, were powered by the sun.
If you don’t have solar panels installed, then you are reliant on either electricity and gas, or a combination of these along with solar power. Many people use solar energy in small ways such as to light the garden at night, or for external security lighting. This is a good idea, and commendable, but indoor solar lights have their uses too.
As you have seen, they are eco-friendly, save power, save you money, and produce less waste over a period of time. They also have many options.
Indoor lights can be used in an outdoor shed. Where the shed has windows that allow the sun to enter, lights can be charging during the day for you to use when it is darker.
Emergency indoor lighting
Solar-powered indoor lights don’t need to be a replacement for your standard lights. You could have them for emergencies when the power is cut, perhaps in a storm. This avoids the need to search for flashlights or light candles.
To save power
You could use indoor lighting as a substitute for your other lights when they are powered as a way to reduce your energy consumption.
There are many creative and unusual lamps and you could have solar-powered ones too. As long as your office receives sunlight, you could have a solar-powered lamp.
There are many uses for solar-powered lighting now. RVs can come with solar panels that charge up the whole of the living area, including the lights. There are off-grid options for camp lights, to illuminate the inside of a tent or the campsite.
Businesses can even use LED as a replacement for neon signs and lighting but have it powered by solar energy. One of the blessings of LEDs is that the diodes give off very little heat, so they can be safely left on all night.
Solar-powered indoor lights might sound like an oddity but they are very much a genuine option. Solar power in general is becoming more popular as it is a very simple way to switch away from electricity.
Although there are some concerns about the materials used to make solar panels, and the manufacturing processes, they are by and large eco-friendly. Certainly, solar power itself is a clean and fully renewable energy source.
Unlike coal and gas, the sun isn’t going away anytime soon. So, it makes sense that everyone should try and use it as much as possible to power and light their homes, even inside.