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Solar Energy and the Changing Environment

A recent study indicated that the cycle of global warming is “locked in” and will not stop for approximately one thousand years. This is going to cause some catastrophic issues, including the loss of habitat for many creatures, flooding and of course the disease that breeds in such conditions, and many other problems.

So many people wonder what on earth they can do to help reduce the affects of the human population on the planet, and the answer is to look for alternative energies and resources. Currently the most promising alternative energy is solar power. It has existed since the late 1880s and has been perfected since the first true solar panels were created by Bell Laboratories in the early 1950s.

Today’s researchers, engineers and scientists are moving even farther through experimentation with new methods of gathering energy from the sun, and helping mankind to reduce their vast use of fossil fuels which have set us on such a destructive path.

Okay, says the average homeowner, what does all of that mean for me? Well, any homeowner can look around and see a few places where they could replace or reduce their electrical usage with solar power. Let’s begin at the front doorstep – are there lights in the yard? How about solar deck lights along the deck? Is there a motion sensor light somewhere on the property? What about the back door, is that lit by an electrically operated light as well? Each and every one of these fixtures could be quickly, easily and affordably replaced with solar powered units. Not only will they save energy, they will save the consumer money on electrical bills and the annoying need to constantly replace light bulbs thanks to the use of LED lights in almost every solar lighting fixture available.

Where else? Let’s look at your cell phone. Do you leave it plugged into a wall charger all night? Do you have other gadgets and gizmos that require a regular recharging in order to operate? Well, you could invest in a small, portable and weather resistant folding solar charger. These items can easily power today’s most popular portable electronics like cameras, MP3 players and cell phones. Just imagine the immediate effects of every cell phone owner opting for a solar charger instead of their wall chargers!

Clearly, the solar power industry is just going to continue to expand and this is quite a relief to those who worry about the kind of impact our generation is going to make on the coming ages.

February 23, 2009 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

Exterior Lighting Solutions with Solar Lights

Exterior lighting can often present many challenges, and among the most difficult is the need to run electricity to the various fixtures and locations. This requires an expensive visit from a professionally licensed electrician who may have to dig trenches and create permanent locations for some desirable lighting units.

This too is one of the main reasons that some homeowners opt to just forgo any exterior lighting designs. Of course the monthly electrical bills that often accompany exterior lighting, not to mention the maintenance and bulb replacement, only add to the dilemma.

So, what is a homeowner to do? Well, many turn to solar lights for options that can be set in place and up and running in as little as a few hours.

Of course many people say they want much brighter lighting than what traditional solar bulbs provide, and the answer to that comment is “have you looked at solar lighting lately?” It is hardly confined to the dim and low-key “accents” of earlier years. Today, a homeowner can install an amazing number of solar lighting units, and one of the most astonishing options is solar lamp posts.

Many homeowners want solar lamp posts for their entryway or sidewalk as they are impressive, classic and add a beautiful ambient light to an entire area. Unfortunately they are also usually extremely expensive and quite difficult to install. Today, however, there are solar lamp posts that can provide a variety of lighting solutions. With units outfitted with one, two or three brilliant LED bulbs, solar lamp posts can gently or boldly light any exterior environment.

Some might think that solar light fixtures cannot be large, heavy-duty items that broadcast their light approximately thirty feet in any direction and stand over seven feet tall, but that is exactly what the solar lamp posts offer. They are crafted from sturdy and durable materials, comparable to a traditional flag pole, but are designed to create the kind of statement that only a beautiful and ornate lamp post offers. Solar path lights demand no wiring and little to no maintenance. They can provide exterior lighting for up to thirty hours on a single charge and can be left in place permanently, or year round.

If you have been wanting to create an impressive and decorative exterior lighting plan for your home or garden, now is the time. There are a remarkable number of styles and fixtures to choose from and your plans are only limited by your imagination, and of course your yard space!

February 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm Leave a comment

Total Home Security With Solar Security Lights

Have you ever come home after sunset and had a difficult time navigating your walkway or sidewalk? Many people frequently experience this frustrating, and often dangerous, issue. Unlit walks and front doorways can allow someone to take a fall, but they can also expose the same person to a potential for crime.

Burglars and thieves often “scope” out neighborhoods looking for potential targets, and unlit porches and doorways offer great cover for their nasty business. Many homeowners, however, don’t have lighting because they don’t have any electrical source running to their yard or doorway. What’s the best solution to their problem? Solar security lights of course!

Advances in solar technology have produced many helpful lighting fixtures, and not all are plain and unattractive utilitarian options. There are gorgeous solar powered accent lights, heavy duty motion sensor solar powered lights and even path lights with built-in spotlights. A combination of such fixtures could easily make a lawn beautiful and safe.

For instance, a homeowner could line their sidewalk leading to the front door with low-key accent lights and then set a large path light on either side of the stairs leading to their porch or front door. These units could have adjustable spotlights that add brightness to the steps or to any areas of shadow where a burglar could lurk.

Additionally, the same homeowner could use solar powered motion sensor lights to be triggered by anyone approaching their garage doors, front door and even back and side doors into the home. Quite often such lights serve as an effective measure against burglars and wandering animals.

One of the best features to such a system is the tremendous financial savings available through the use of an entirely solar powered lighting design. The small and easy to install collector units for all of the lighting fixtures can be placed within a significant distance from the units they power. This allows the lights to be situated in the most strategic locations, regardless of the amount of sunlight that actually strikes them.

For the relatively low cost of the individual units and the small amount of time required in their installation, a homeowner could have an effective security measure surrounding their entire property. Additionally, solar powered lights can be installed both indoors and outdoors and this means that sheds, garages and backyards can also be outfitted with solar accent and motion sensor units as well.

February 20, 2009 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment

Going Green With Solar Panels

Even primitive man was well aware of the power contained in the warmth of the sun. Solar cookers, water desalination and home heating were among the earliest methods through which human beings harnessed solar energy for their own benefit.

Within the last few hundred years, however, mankind has made incredible advances in both understanding and employing the sun’s vast energy. While only a fraction of the radiation that actually leaves the sun reaches Earth’s surface, there is still enough to create entire power plants which derive their energy from the sun’s rays.

The late 1800s saw the discovery of photovoltaic processes and the creation of some primitive solar cells. In 1921 famous scientist Albert Einstein received the Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the photoelectric effect and by the 1950s the first true solar panels were at work.

At this time the panels were far too costly and inefficient to have any sort of broad based commercial or residential application, but the wave of environmental interest that began in the 1970s put solar panels and solar power on the fast track. Immense investments in research and industry expansion allowed solar energy and solar equipment to become widely available in less than twenty years. They are no longer confined to pocket calculators or small lighting fixtures for exterior use, but are available for DIY installation on homes and in everything from portable panels for hikers and campers, to lamp posts and spot lights for commercial use.

What are solar panels? Any type of equipment used to convert sunlight into energy is considered solar cells or solar panels. The technology behind solar panels has varied widely throughout the past five or six decades and while solar cells were the true origin of modern solar panels, today researchers are shifting to new platforms and approaches to gathering energy from sunlight.

What a modern consumer can expect to find are solar cells crafted from silicon semiconductors configured to trap and convert the sun’s energy which are coated in an antireflective coating and contained under a glass cover plate to protect the cell from the elements. All of this is usually mounted in a strong frame which must be mounted at the appropriate position and angle to gather as much solar energy as possible. Domestic applications currently include outdoor solar lighting, garden fixtures, pool and hot water heating systems, home heating and some electrical supply.

The history of solar panels illustrate that the technology is rapidly advancing, and will continue to do so as environmental, energy and consumer demands require.

February 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Solar Security Lights – How Business Owners can Save Money and Provide Security

Modern business owners have a lot of security issues to address. They must ensure that their company’s computers are as secure as possible, they must create a daytime security system that protects their employees and any merchandise and they must keep up security after business hours have ended and all through the night.

Night time security measures often include burglar alarms, security cameras and strategically placed lighting. All of this adds up to costly electricity bills and the potential for some major problems if the electricity should fail. Are there any solutions for business owners looking to enhance or upgrade their night time security? Yes, and it’s solar lighting.

Solar technology has advanced to an amazing degree, and there are an incredible number of attractive, durable and effective solar lighting units available. Today’s business owners can make their property more appealing through the installation of the lights, but they can also add an enormous amount of security from them as well.

How is that? Most thieves and burglars prefer to remain hidden or under cover. During the evening hours this is quite simple, unless an area is flooded in light. Today’s solar landscape lights can provide a remarkable range of preventative lighting options. For instance, there are high powered spot lights that can be adjusted to flood any shrub, corner or doorway with a brilliant beam of light. There are also many path and sidewalk lights with built in spotlights as well. These can be set along a sidewalk with the spotlight pointed at a doorway or area of possible cover.

Additionally, there are many high powered motion sensor lights that can be mounted along roof lines or entry areas and these too will chase away would-be thieves from loading areas, cargo docks and rear entries that are often unseen by law enforcement or passersby on the street.

The benefits of using solar lighting options for a business include the low cost for installation as they require no professional electrical services, most are outfitted with long-lasting and extra bright LED bulbs that require little maintenance or replacement, and the fact that they can be placed almost anywhere and receive their power supply from their collectors which can be mounted at great distances from the actual lighting fixtures.

Clearly, it really pays to investigate options in solar lights for the exterior of a business. They can greatly enhance any existing security measures and also serve as a strong defense against would-be thieves who approach the business under cover of darkness even when the power is out.

February 16, 2009 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

How to protect your home or business with solar security lights

Home security and crime statistics indicate that a burglary occurs roughly every fifteen seconds in the United States. This means that such crimes take place almost round the clock. While daylight serves as a big deterrent to home invaders and burglars, the night time provides good “cover”.

So, how do you eliminate that cover without racking up big electricity bills and home security system fees? It is easy with the installation of solar powered landscape lighting. Walkways can be lined with attractive and effective lights, motion sensor units can be stationed at all entrances and unobserved areas of the home and yard, and they can even be placed inside such areas as garages and sheds!

With solar security lights the only expense for installing a complete home and yard lighting plan is the cost of the units themselves. Small solar panels and collectors make it easy to install the lights wherever they may be needed and gather the power of the sun to operate the system all night long.

Let’s consider a “typical” yard and home. There will be a driveway of some sort and perhaps a garage. Because the garage is the typical point of entry for many thieves, it is important to use solar lighting at this location, as well as good locks on all doors. A homeowner could install solar powered accent lights along the edge of their drive and a motion-sensor light above the garage door. This would be triggered by anyone pulling into their yard or walking anywhere near the entrance to the garage. Additionally, with the benefit of the solar collection panel, a motion sensor unit could also be positioned inside the garage. A good location for such a fixture would be immediately above the door that leads from the garage and into the home.

Strategically locating a solar motion light would remove a would-be burglar’s element of comfort or security that is provided by the cover of darkness, and the motion sensor lights may lead them to believe that they have also triggered a security system as well!

While the solar accent lights along walkways and the drive illuminate the entire area, and eliminate the chance for a burglar to approach any entryway under cover of dark, they also make it much safer for those arriving home in the evening. They provide a guide to the safe and level sidewalk or pathway and serve as a nice welcome home!

February 13, 2009 at 10:29 am Leave a comment

Enhance Your Business with Solar Lighting

You might spend your day busily working in your own business. There you try to create the best impression possible on your clientele. You keep the space clean and up to date, you hang colorful art or important advertisements and you work to make it as appealing and pleasing as you can. This usually means that you think about the exterior of the business as well, and you may have landscaping, signage and even a flag pole.

At the end of each work day you will turn off the lights, indicate that the shop is “closed’ in some way or another, and activate any security alarms. So, how does the business look now? Dark, dreary and uninteresting, right? It might also be a good target for a thief who can work under the cover of darkness to gain access through poorly lit doors or windows.

What can be done about this? If you are like so many modern business owners you must keep finding ways to reduce expenses, so adding more interior lighting that requires electricity or installing a security system with fees and added costs is probably not an option. Plus, will such things add to the appeal or good looks of the business after the work day has ended?

The answers to all of these issues can be found in solar lighting. Today’s solar security lights offer an enormous amount of function and flexibility. For example, if your business has some landscaping elements, solar fixtures can spotlight costly or attractive shrubs or garden areas. They can illuminate a flag pole, which allows you to fly an American flag all hours of the day and night. They can also spotlight your sign, which is probably the greatest way to present a professional face twenty-four hours a day.

If you are a savvy professional you do want each and every investment you make to continually “pay off”. This means that anything purchased as a way of increasing the good looks or appeal of the building should be working even after business hours have ended, and this is exactly what solar lighting can do for a shop, storefront or business.

The signs around the business, for instance, can have solar spotlights illuminating them throughout the night. They are such powerful units that they can brightly light a post mounted sign,or a sign close to the ground. They also require little maintenance as they use brilliant LED bulbs that seldom need changing.

Clearly, enhancing the look of a business is a sure way of attracting customers and with solar powered lighting on signs, flags, landscaping and doorways a business owner can add an inexpensive and efficient appeal to any building.

February 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm Leave a comment

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