Years ago, the idea of turning on lights harnessing the power of the sun sounded like science fiction. Today, however, you can see solar panels on the roofs of buildings and houses, as well as street lamps in some cities.
Have you ever stopped to WONDER exactly how these affordable solar lights convert the sun’s rays into electricity to power lights that glow for hours after sunset? Is magic? No! It’s science!
Solar lights work due to the photovoltaic effect. The most important part of a solar light is the photovoltaic or solar cell. The solar cell is the part that converts sunlight into direct electrical current. You can clearly see the solar cell as a dark panel on top of a sunlight.
A solar cell consists of multiple layers of crystalline silicone and chemicals that create layers of negatively charged electrons and positively charged spaces. As sunlight passes through the solar cell, it excites the negatively charged electrons and pushes them into the positively charged spaces.
The positively charged spaces then transfer the current of electrons as a continuous stream of electricity through wires embedded in the solar cell to a battery where the electricity is stored until it is needed. The battery charges throughout the day as sunlight continues to convert to electricity.
As night approaches, the solar cell stops converting sunlight as it weakens and eventually disappears. A photoreceptor in the light detects when it is dark and turns on the light, which is usually made up of several light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The battery supplies electricity to light all night.
This process is repeated on a daily cycle. During the day, sunlight is converted into electricity and stored in the battery. At night, the battery supplies electricity to the light until it is depleted or the photoreceptor turns off the light when daylight reappears.
Of course, adequate sunlight is necessary to fully charge the battery. During the summer this should not be a problem as long as the light is placed where it can receive direct sunlight for most of the day. If possible, make sure no trees or shrubs create shade that could affect the sunlight load.
The commercialization of all these led lighting products has been increasing notably, and that is why it represents a great investment opportunity.