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What Are The Benefits Of Solar Lighting Over Incandescent?

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-How do Solar Lights work?

Solar lights consist of three major components: a solar panel, the light itself (which is an LED), and a battery. Solar panels are made of a semi-conducting material, often times silicon. When the sun strikes the panel the light waves get converted into electric current through a process known as the photoelectric effect. The generated electricity is stored in the battery throughout the day, and is then used to power the LED at night.

-What are the advantages?

Solar LED's are the safest and the easiest kind of outdoor lights to install. They require no external wiring. Solar has no operating costs. They are the most environmentally friendly form of lighting that you can find. You will never have to worry about the LED light burning out. They will pay for themselves with the amount of money saved on external energy costs.

-Is Solar as bright as Incandescent?

Solar lights are generally not as bright as their incandescent counterparts. When properly measured in lumens (candle feet), an outdoor LED light generates the equivalent brightness of a two watt bulb. However, the type of illumination generated by the LED is much more efficient. The LED light is more intense and also has different angles of dispersion than its incandescent counter-parts which radiate in all directions. So, the light generated is much less harsh and glaring, which provides a softer, more natural looking light which can make any outdoor space look radiant instead of blinding.

-How are Solar Lights different from incandescent lights?

Solar lights contain LED's or Light Emitting Diodes in leu of a traditional bulb. An LED, generally speaking, consists of a semi-conducting material that emits a light when an electric current is applied to it. LEDs offer several benefits over incandescent lights including lower energy consumption and a much longer lifetime.

Justin Buck is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Design with a bachelor's of science degree in architecture. Looking for more information on Energy Saving Lights?

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