There is an increasing shift towards renewable energy worldwide. By 2030, the global solar panel market is expected to exceed $130 billion. In fact, in 2020, more than 80% of the world’s newly commissioned electric power came from renewable sources, with almost half coming from solar generation alone.
Indeed, going solar is the trend. Aside from solar-powered roofs and more complicated solar panel systems, solar cells are increasingly used in smaller appliances like solar clocks and calculators. As the price of solar cells constantly declines, their use in households as solar lamps and other products will become more widespread as well. Here are three reasons why solar lamps are the low-cost lighting solution of the future:
More energy-efficient components
Each component in a solar lamp is designed to be energy-saving. The PV panels, built-in battery, LED fixtures, smart sensors, and charge controller are all arranged on the printed circuit board (PCB) to create a compact unit. However, its motion and light sensors can present a complicated PCB layout for the solar lamp, which would require careful planning. A well-designed solar lamp PCB would utilize the space efficiently and prevent the connections from turning into a rat’s nest.
Keeping the PCB organized will increase system performance and make component placement logical. You can design the PCB so that the arrays of the charge controller would turn on selectively, based on the amount of power available from the panels. The light would turn on to its fullest brightness at night when activated by human movement, and reduce its intensity when it’s bright enough or there is insufficient power in the panels.
Minimum operational costs
Off-grid solar lamps incur minimal operational costs. Although the installation may require some upfront costs, it would be much cheaper than installing traditional electricity systems. Solar distributed generation systems allow people and utility companies to avoid infrastructure investments, so there is no need to trench in traditional grid power, install meters, or wrangle with root systems, underground utilities, and other obstacles. You simply install the panels above ground.
As there is an absence of external wires, solar panels require almost zero maintenance. Using LED fixtures for your solar lighting system means investing in a fixture with a lifespan of over 20 years. The batteries that run the solar panel can also last from five to seven years if properly sized, so it would take five years before you need to change the battery, check panels and fixtures, and clean components as needed. Most of the time, you simply need to let the rainfall clean your solar panels.
Positive impact on health and environment
Solar power has always been lauded as a green alternative to traditional lighting, as it doesn’t rely on coal or oil to create electricity. Burning kerosene for light not only releases carbon dioxide — as other fossil fuels do — but it also emits black carbon. Black carbon is a potent greenhouse gas that plays a role in climate change, due to its high warming potential.
Kerosene is estimated to emit an average of 25g of black carbon particles for every kilogram of fuel burned, so going solar can reduce these emissions and lead to a lower carbon footprint. Reducing kerosene consumption can also decrease air pollution that may be causing us health issues, as kerosene lamps contain many health-damaging pollutants, which can lead to respiratory infections, dry eye disease, and safety hazards like burning or poisoning. This means you won’t have to spend as much on any long-term health costs caused by your surroundings.
Solar energy is completely safe and does not produce any fumes, gasses, or waste that harm us and our environment. It’s a free, self-sufficient energy source that can light up your home without any interruptions.