Save on energy bills with Solar Lamp Posts

Lamp posts have played key roles in some of our favorite movies, books and stories. Just imagine Gene Kelly dancing in the rain, or the four children who visit Narnia and you’ll see how enchanted we have become by lamp posts. They seem like magical things for many reasons – casting light into dark places, standing resolute in all kinds of weather and generally being decorative and reliable all at the same time.

Unfortunately they can usually be far too costly and difficult for an average homeowner to acquire and use…until now. Today’s solar technology has advanced to the point that it can be used to operate lamp posts. This means that homeowners can take advantage of the beauty of the fixtures and the effective lighting they provide.

Most solar lamp posts come in a variety of styles, and usually offer the shopper a single, double or triple bulb design. This means they can be used by a homeowner to create a gentle but distinctive ambience in their dooryard or driveway, or they can be used as a brilliant and effective lighting fixture to flood an area in the consistent light from LED bulbs – usually up to thirty feet in every direction.

In addition to good lucks and beneficial features, most solar lamp posts are designed for year round operation and are constructed with materials and methods that make them just as durable as their heavy, hardwired and costly counterparts. There too is another benefit, as they are easy to install and entirely free to operate. They can come equipped with a built in solar collector, or they also have panels that can be mounted in direct sun from which they feed power to the lamp post that can be placed in a shadier area.

In today’s economy many “luxury” items and hobbies are being set aside until things turn around, but with solar lamp posts and lighting a homeowner doesn’t have to eliminate home improvement plans from their budget. The fixtures require their simple installation, which allows the units to be bolted in place, and that is it! No expensive visit from an electrician who has to supply electricity to the site where the lamp will reside, no monthly electricity bill, and no constant need to replace burnt out bulbs.

Solar lamp posts present an ideal solution for anyone looking to create that magical lighting that only a lamp post delivers. They can be turned on or off at will, come at an affordable and reasonable cost and provide a hassle free lighting option for many years to come.

February 4, 2009 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Money Saving Uses of LED Lights

Do you own any LED lights? Chances are you may have more of these highly efficient little light bulbs than you are even aware of. They show up as indicator lights in computer and electronic equipment, appear in flashlights and remote controls, exterior solar lighting fixtures and even holiday light strands. They are remarkably efficient and durable, which makes them suitable to a significantly wider range of applications than traditional light bulbs.

What are LED lights? A simple definition is actually not that easy to provide in brief, but basically LED stands for “light emitting diode” which are small electronic units that light up when electricity passes through them. Traditional light bulbs are radically different from LEDs, as they use a filament inside of the bulb which lights up when an electrical current is completed. Such light bulbs burn out rapidly and generate quite a bit of heat – in fact touching a lit bulb can lead to a burn. LEDs however stay relatively cool to the touch because they do not operate in the same manner, and are actually more like an old-fashioned transistor than a light bulb. What this means is that they use electricity far more affectively than their old-fashioned counter parts, and are far less likely to fail.

What are the benefits of LED lights? Their main benefit is their remarkable efficiency. While they may cost more at the initial point of purchase, LED lights will last for a very long time. They are resistant to blows, dropping and shock, they are relatively unaffected by continual dimming or turning on and off, they are much smaller and provide a wide range of uses. Additionally, they can appear in many colors through a manipulation of their diode and semiconductor materials, which eliminates the needs for special filters or color applications, which in turn greatly reduces the overall cost of the lighting fixtures in which they appear. Additionally, they do not contain the toxic elements and components of other lighting options, including such heavy metals as mercury which frequently appears in fluorescent lights.

How are LEDs used every day? If you take a quick car trip you will see exactly how LEDs are used in “every day” applications – they are in street lights, automobile signals and tail lights, billboards and signs, exterior lighting such as solar spotlights on flag poles or strings of Christmas lights, and you may even notice them on security cameras where they are used for night vision purposes.

Clearly LED lights are all around, and their efficiency and ever decreasing costs will continue to make them a popular choice for home, commercial and technological applications, especially with respect to solar lights.

February 2, 2009 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

The Best Method of Illuminating a Flag Pole

There are few sights as patriotic and inspiring as a brilliantly colored flag snapping in the breeze. There are codes and rules for properly displaying a flag however, and while it is not illegal to leave a flag mounted on a pole twenty-four hours a day, there are some established guidelines about displaying a flag after sunset. The ultimate solution is a solar flag light.

Generally government, public and commercial buildings do not leave a flag hanging in the dark, and will usually install powerful lighting that illuminates the flag if it will be left on the flag pole round the clock. Many homeowners will also do this as well, with ground mounted light fixtures pointing up towards the top of the pole, lighting a flag after the sun sets.

While this looks great and is a respectful manner of handling a flag, all of these scenarios require the running of electrical wires to an exterior location and the installation of a lighting fixture at the base of the flag pole as well. It also requires the home, business or property owner to install a timer or some other arrangement for turning the lighting fixture on each and every evening. Of course this also means an ongoing electrical bill as well.

Many property owners wonder if there is a better, and less costly, method for illuminating their flag pole after dark, and the answer is a resounding “yes”. Thanks to modern technology and the “green” movement there are an amazing number of options in solar lighting. There are even many solar lighting fixtures specifically designed for the illumination of flag poles or exterior scenes throughout the evening hours.

Generally, a modern solar lighting fixture will come equipped with a solar charging panel, LED bulbs and an automated sensor that turns the fixture on at dusk and off at dawn. This means that a property owner can simply install the light and forget about it! LED bulbs are usually selected for their brilliance and durability as well as their long life spans, generally expected to run approximately twenty years before replacement is required.

Interestingly there are a number of styles of fixtures intended to illuminate a flag pole, and among the most popular are the pole mounted units. Unlike the ground lights, which can be buried under snow or damaged by lawn care equipment, the pole mounted fixtures are snugly secured directly to the pole and offer a much more direct light upon the flag area. They are usually available for large commercial poles as well as residential poles and require only minimal effort to install. A solar flag pole light can be an ideal solution to both light the flag pole, as well as save on energy bills.

January 29, 2009 at 12:17 pm Leave a comment

Simple and Elegant Solar Spot Lights

Ask any home or property owner if they think they need a spot light somewhere on their property and they are likely to respond “no” right away. This is usually inaccurate as most homes have a need for security, they may have a flag pole that requires illumination, or they might have a special or “specimen” tree or shrub that would benefit from the installation of a solar spot light fixture.

Of course many home and property owners shy away from installing exterior lighting strictly because they are not prepared to absorb the traditionally high costs of such items. This is not really an issue however when solar lighting fixtures are selected.

Solar powered light fixtures and appliances are becoming more and more popular, and even more heavily in demand. This is for many reasons, but in today’s economic climate it is generally because they can be installed and operated for the cost of the equipment and nothing more…no monthly electrical expenses, no service calls from an electrician, and no constant need to change burnt out bulbs.

One of the most frequently selected options in exterior solar lighting is solar powered spot lights. Such fixtures are usually installed with only minimal tools and very little effort. While some require a solar charger to be located in a sunny area and use a single wire to power the light fixture in any location, there are also fixtures that have their collectors built in and have no unattractive wires or concerns during lawn or garden maintenance.

Home and property owners rely on solar spot lights for many purposes, and there are several styles or configurations available. There are some fixtures designed exclusively for installation on flag poles. These are generally available in a larger, commercial style for the traditional three-inch diameter flag poles found in front of public or governmental buildings, and they are also available for smaller one-inch diameter poles used by a majority of home owners.

There are also single solar spot lights intended to be used by homeowners for security and landscaping purposes, and these are durable and weather resistant units that can be placed wherever desired and require little additional attention. This is because most solar lights operate on LED bulbs that have a much stronger efficiency rating than standard fluorescents and require replacement only after many years of operation. Most solar powered lights can provide from eight to twelve hours of light after the sun has set, making them the ideal solution for a home’s walkways and porches as well.

January 28, 2009 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

Lighting the Landscape with Solar Energy

Gardens and yards are “natural” spaces, even if they are very particularly landscaped and maintained. For this reason many people hesitate to use lighting or exterior illumination in their gardens, but this is unfortunate because well-chosen solar lighting can greatly enhance the appearance and enjoyment of a garden or landscape. For this reason, solar garden lights are a great solution when considering lighting options for any landscape.

How can lighting improve the look of a garden? Today’s consumers have an enormous range of styles and sizes to choose from when they are shopping for exterior lighting. They can choose whimsical fixtures that scatter light around a path or patio, or they can choose very subdued lighting that makes it easy to walk through a garden even in the darkest conditions. They can combine lighting styles to focus on particular garden “elements” such as a path, flag pole or “specimen” tree or shrub.

Most importantly, today’s gardeners and home owners can choose between “hard wired” or solar equipment with which to light their yards or gardens. Traditionally, hard wired exterior lighting required an electrician to create the safe exterior setup used to connect lights and timers. Such fixtures would also require the owner to frequently change burnt out bulbs or solar lamps. Finally, once the lights were in place they could not easily be removed or relocated without concerns about the cords, plugs and exterior outlets. All of this maintenance and expense, in addition to the monthly electrical bills are among the main reasons so many people frown on installing landscape lighting.

As stated earlier however, today a homeowner can opt for solar lighting in the landscape which is attractive, easy to install and free to operate. Solar lighting is the ideal solution to exterior lighting needs because it costs so little to get started. For the price of the lighting units, which usually come with their own solar collector, the owner simply sets them up properly in their chosen location and that is it!

Additionally, most modern solar landscape lights use LED bulbs which offer up to twenty years of service without any concerns of burning out, breaking from accidents or blows of any kind and provide a softer light than some harsh fluorescent bulbs.

Solar lighting units can be relocated whenever necessary simply by pulling them from the ground and replacing them wherever desired. This can be a real benefit if a garden begins to outgrow its original lighting, or if the fixtures are repeatedly hit during lawn maintenance or care.

Outdoor solar lighting will only add to the natural appeal of garden and allow it to be enjoyed, for no additional costs or energy consumption, long after the sun has set.

January 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

New Developments in Nano Tech

Check out this CNN article:

Researchers have developed a new anti-reflective coating that boosts the efficiency of solar panels and allows sunlight to be absorbed from almost any angle.

Scientists from the Future Chips Constellation (FCC) at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York have created the coating using nanotechnology — engineering devices on a molecular scale.

They are hopeful that it can transform the solar energy market in the coming years.

A typical untreated silicon solar cell absorbs just over two thirds of the sunlight it receives. But with the FCC’s nanoengineered coating, that figure rises to 96.21 percent.

In their paper: “Realization of a near perfect antireflection coating for silicon solar energy utilization,” published in the scientific journal Optics Letters, researchers report that gains in absorption were consistent across the entire spectrum of sunlight — ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared.

“To get maximum efficiency when converting solar power into electricity, you want a solar panel that can absorb nearly every single photon of light, regardless of the sun’s position in the sky,” said Rensselaer physics professor Shawn-Yu Lin, and head of the FCC research team. “Our new anti-reflective coating makes this possible.”

Good news.  Read the whole thing.

January 26, 2009 at 1:38 pm Leave a comment

New domestic applications of solar lighting technology

As you approach the garden gate you can hear the gentle splashing of a small solar fountain. You step through the cool shade of the overhanging vines into the brightly lit and wildly colorful world of the garden. There you see several small fountains, one on a tall pedestal where the birds dip in and out of the spraying droplets and another is tucked into a bed of succulent plants where a dragonfly sits and takes as “sun bath”.

You notice that the gravel path is lined with pretty little copper lanterns that seem to mix perfectly with the grasses and plants that also reside at the edges of the many walkways. Further on you notice a lovely flowering tree of some sort, and note its overhanging branches that sway in the breeze.

At the back of the flower garden you realize that there are rows of herbs and vegetables peeking up from behind a short fence which is also lined with those delightful copper lanterns. At the back of the vegetable bed is a small and brightly painted wooden shed where it is clear the gardener spends a great deal of their time. All of this beauty can be easily accented by outdoor solar lights.

So, this lovely daylight scene is clearly a beloved garden full of growing things and contented wild creatures. What happens to such a scene after the sun sets? Clearly the gardener has installed many lights along the paths and walkways, but they might also have installed a much wider range of lighting fixtures, particularly if they used solar powered lighting. Additionally, those tinkling fountains might also be powered by the sun as well!

Modern gardeners have the benefit of the rapid developments taking place in the field of solar energy, and one of the most immediate is the wide availability of solar powered lighting and even pumps. The garden discussed above could be gently lit during the evening hours by the pathway lighting fixtures, it could easily have a solar powered shed light installed at the back of the vegetable garden, and the two fountains and beautiful flowering tree could all benefit from solar powered flood lights.

Fixtures such as these could be installed with almost no tools and by someone with absolutely no knowledge of electricity or wiring. Solar fixtures will have their chargers either built in or connected through durable wires, they can be quickly and simply relocated, and rarely require bulb replacement. They will cost absolutely nothing to operate and add a whole new dimension to even the most beautiful garden. For a feeling of security and safety, a solar motion light can be installed on any exterior wall or surface of nearby structures.

January 23, 2009 at 3:47 pm Leave a comment

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