Using solar LED lighting outdoors can be a lifesaver when outdoor outlets are not available. But do solar-powered LED lights really work? How do they measure up to hardwired electric lights? And what if your yard is shady or you live somewhere that rarely sees the sun? Here’s the full scoop on choosing and using solar-powered lights in your yard.
SOLAR LED LIGHTING
How solar LED lighting works
Photovoltaic cells absorb sunlight during the day to charge the batteries, which then light the bulb at night. Because solar lights are powered by the sun, they must be placed in an area that receives full sun — ideally eight or more hours per day.
What if you don’t have direct sun?
If you are putting solar LED lights in your desert yard in Tucson or Palm Springs, they are sure to operate at maximum strength — but what if you live in Seattle or simply have a heavily shaded yard? It’s not quite as simple, but you can still have solar-powered LED lights, even in a fully shaded area. A solar or landscape lighting pro can help position a remote photovoltaic panel on your roof or in a sunnier area of your yard, which can then be wired to the lights in the shady area.
If there simply isn’t much sunlight to be gathered, even on the roof (for example, you live somewhere like Seattle or Portland), the solar lights will still work, but they won’t shine as brightly or for as long each evening.
Types of Solar LED Lights
Solar path LED lights
These are small solar LED lights on stakes, which can be pushed into the ground alongside a walkway to softly illuminate the path at night. They are not as bright as electric path lights, so plan to use more (up to twice as many) to light your path with roughly the same glow as electric.
Where to use solar path LED lights
Solar path LED lights are ideal for illuminating walkways far from exterior outlets, and can provide an enchanting glow along winding garden paths.
Ambient and decorative solar LED lights
Decorative solar LED lights, including colourful blown glass, decorative lanterns and string lights, are not as bright as solar path LED lights. However, used in multiples or alongside path LED lights and LED spotlights, they can provide a warm ambient glow.
Where to use ambient solar LED lights
Place a few windblown glass solar LED lights on stakes in your garden beds for soft landscape lighting. Or hang solar string LED lights, like the charming mason jar lights shown here, over an outdoor dining table for a welcoming touch at your next gathering.
A solar table lamp, like the one shown here, can be a welcome (and unexpected) touch in an outdoor seating area.
Solar-powered LED spotlights
The brightest solar LED lights available are called task lights or spotlights, and the best ones can provide light that’s roughly equivalent to a 40-watt incandescent bulb. That is still not as bright as a typical outdoor spotlight, so you may want to double or triple up in areas where you want bright, direct light.
Where to use solar LED spotlights
Motion-sensing solar LED spotlights can be used near doors and in the driveway. Spotlights can also be placed in the garden, with the beam of light directed at a tree or another landscape feature.
Pay attention to the hue
Since most solar-powered lights today use LED bulbs, the light they emit is bright white. If you want the look of incandescent bulbs, look for solar lights with tinted covers — they may be labeled “amber” or “soft white.”
You get what you pay for
The brightness of a solar LED light depends on the brightness of the sun and the amount of daylight it is exposed to — but it also depends on the quality of the photovoltaic cells and the size of the LED bulb. Higher-quality photovoltaic cells and larger LED bulbs tend to cost more, so to a certain extent, the higher-priced solar lights do tend to shine more brightly.
Source of the article: www.houzz.com
How many of you thought about using LED lights not only for energy saving purposes but for embellishing your own house?
In fact, LED lighting technology has got so many applications that today only the sky is the limit for all the ideas of the architects or designers all over the world. Changing from incandescence lighting to LED lighting means more than changing a bulb and diminishing the costs with electricity bills.
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR GARDEN
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS BY YOUR POOL
Anybody with a pool around the house knows the beauty of some spectacular lights placed strategically by a designer – this will not only embellish your pool but also your entire yard, not to mention the safety reasons of this feature.
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR HALLWAYS
Hallways can be so much spectacular if embellished with LED light strips, such as the way the owner of this house did; please notice the use of different colors which makes everything look like an out-of-this-world urban environment. Of course, for the traditionalists or for the ones with other taste in interior design, the LED light strips can have a single color.
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR KITCHEN
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS FOR STAIRCASE
Have you ever needed climbing the staircase at night? We bet any of you did… Unless you had a torch with you or maybe using the flashlight of your smartphone, you had to turn on the lights at the bottom of the staricase and turn them off at the top, right (for those who have such a system installed)? What if you could have a LED illuminated staircase like the one in the picture bellow? Exactly – due to the low energy consumption, you could even have the lights turned on the entire night, just for fun of it…
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR BEDROOM
After using LED lights all over the place, of course, you’d like to also make an ambience in your bedroom as well. Use white LED lights, like the designer of this beautiful bedroom did, or use a much more warm color – the choice is yours!
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR BATHROOM
HOW TO USE LED LIGHTS IN YOUR CLOSET
Now that you’ve read about the led lighting advantages in front of the classic ones, which use incandescence technology, and you’ve set your mind to buying LED bulbs, it’s time to move on a bit and explain all the data you’re about to see on the packages of LED Light Products.
Have you ever wondered what those figures and letters meant? Do you know what CRI stands for? What about WW? No, it’s not the World War or something, it’s all about the LED data you have to take into consideration when buying LED. And it’s not complicated at all…
Let’s take, for example, the data of one of our best selling products – LED Bulb B020. This is the description of this LED bulb:
In order for you to understand how to read the LED lamp data, we’ll take all the information and make it easy for you to compare it to other lighting fixtures characteristics.
Model No. – this is the model number of the specific product. Don’t try to interpret it – usually the producers use internal codes to name their products and we, at EXE Holding, do exactly the same. Instead of giving the LED bulbs fancy names, we prefer using internal codes which tell us at a glance all the characteristics of the product just by looking at the model no. itself. For example, the B020-4W-WW model tell us it’s about a LED Bulb from the B020 family of products, using 4W power and displaying a warm white light. Cool?
Power – the LED bulb efficiency is displayed in Watts. The less watts are used, the lesser the energy bill, right? Right! But still – DON’T CONFUSE LIGHTING EFFICIENCY WITH POWER!!!
In the era of incandescence lighting, it was easy to pick up a brighter classic bulb – of course, a 100 Watt incandescence bulb is brighter than a 60 Watt incandescence bulb. Now, comparing LED bulb Watts with incandescence bulb Watts would be a mistake – you simply won’t find anything like 100 Watt LED Lamp – it would be too strong to mount it in your home!
So, you simply take this table beautifully designed by the guys from CNet:
Now you’ve grasped it, right? Watt is the unit we use to measure the consumption of electricity and, during the incandescence era, when a LED bulb had 100 Watts, it used more electricity than another one of, let’s say, 60 Watts, but in the same time it displayed more light than the second one.
In the era of LED Lighting, though, things have changed – the LED bulbs are designed to be more efficient than their incadescence “ancestors” and therefore they use less energy from the very beginning. As you can see above, a 8-12 W LED bulb lights as bright as a 60 W incandescence bulb while the 16-20 W LED bulb lights as much as a 100 Watts incadescence one.
So, don’t be confused – Watts is about power consumption, not about lumens, ok? Next time when you see a 10 W LED bulb displayed on a shelf somewhere, you’ll know it is like a 60 W classic bulb only 5 times more efficient!
Color – white LED Light can basically have the next hues:
- White (W)
- Natural White (NW)
- Warm White (WW)
Of course, LED Light bulbs can have any color you might imagine, but the “whites” might be confusing to some of the clients – what is white, what is natural white and what is warm white?
First, you have to know that the color of the LEDs is measured in Kelvins. It means, the more Kelvins a certain LED bulb has, the “warmer” is the color (yellower).
As a comparison, when it comes to incandescence bulbs, their light has between 2700 and 3500 Kelvins. If you’re looking for this kind of “warmth”, buy LEDs that display this amount of Kelvins. If you’re looking for a warmer (yellower) or a colder (whiter) light, buy LEDs bellow those figures or above those figures. As simple as that.
For additional information check the next chart:
Lumen – this is the measurement unit for the luminous flux and it shows the level of light emitted by the lamp. As you can see in the characteristics chart of our LED bulb, it emits between 340 and 560 lumens. If you check in the other chart, you’ll notice that this kind of luminosity is acquired by an incandescence bulb of 40-60 Watts. Now you know where to look when you need this kind of comparison for deciding upon the best product to buy when it comes to LEDs.
Voltage – here it is very simple – if the normal socket voltage of your country is displayed (100-220), than the LED product is good to be used for the circuit from your home. As you can see in the chart of our B020 LED bulb, it uses both 100 and 220 Voltage systems – it means the product is good both for the American market (arguably the most important one that uses 100 Voltage system) and for the other markets which use 220 Voltage in their national electricity systems.
CRI – Color Rendering Index – this one is important and it shows the ability of that particular LED bulb to reproduce the colors of the various objects faithfully in comparison with “ideal” sources like natural sunlight or incandescence light. Basically, you’ll find numbers above 95 CRI for sources like incandescence or halogen lamps. LED bulbs tend to have 80 CRI or bellow, at this moment. It means they tend to approach “natural light” CRI but they’re still not there. In the near future they’ll solve this problem as well – have no doubt about that!
PF – Power Factor – on everybody’s language, Power Factor shows how much energy a certain LED Light bulb wastes. If the ideal is a PF 1, all those 0.9-0.8, for example, shows that 10%-20% of the energy is wasted on anything else than lighting. The above 0.9 of the LED Bulb B020 is a good number, by the way…
Beam Angle – this is important as well when it comes to comparing LED Light with Incandescence Light; LED bulbs are superior to classic bulbs – while first have the potentional of directional lighting, the last ones difuse the light around them. Thus, you can use LED bulbs of a certain type to direct the lighting to a certain spot, making it more efficient.
Now you know…
Have you ever imagined how it is to pay 80% more on electricity bills just because the incandescence light bulbs use 80% of the energy to heat your house? Yes, you read it well: to heat your house. In fact, you do it month after month – 80% of the cost of the electricity bills go to…heating your household! Of course, there is no such major improvement for the overall temperature inside your cozy home, but you still pay for it, don’t you?
This is just one of the weird facts and disadvantages of incandescence lighting compared to LED lighting…wanna see some of the benefits of LED over conventional technology?
5 LED light benefits over incandescence lighting
1. Longer Lifespan
We all know conventional or incandescence light bulb’s lifespan – it’s about 1,200 hrs. Pretty impressive, right? 1,200 hrs seems so much… But it’s not! It’s only 50 days. Of course, you won’t keep any light bulb lit for 50 days, but still – if you intend using it 24/7, it will last for only 50 days…if it does!
Imagine a more realistic scenario – you came home at 7 pm and turn on the incandescence bulbs in your house – you keep them on until 11 or 12 pm, when you turn them off. It means 4-5 hrs of artificial lighting every day. Well, at 5 hrs of lighting every day, an incandescence light bulb will last only…240 days, which means 8 months. Of course, if you’re a kind of person who needs a light bulb on all night, it will last only about three months or so.
Anyway, let’s get to serious stuff now – how would it be if that particular light bulb will last…50,000 hrs? Yes, you read it right – 50,000 hrs of continuous functioning! This is impressive and it can’t even be compared with 1,200 hrs.
Yes, the LED light bulb is guaranteed for 50,000 hrs! It means almost 6 years of functioning without any problems! 6 years! Compare it to 50 days…
By the way – the latest LED technology guarantees some of the products for 100,000 hrs! You do the math now…
2. Energy Efficiency – LED Light bulbs are much more energy efficient than conventional ones!
As we told you in the beginning of this article, incandescence bulbs use 80% of the energy just to heat the room! Of course, they are not intended to do that, but the reality is that 80% of the energy used by the conventional light bulbs is consumed on any other thing than lighting, including heat.
80% – pretty huge… Imagine your electricity bills with this percentage off! Get it?
Of course, if you’re concerned only about your household energy efficiency, than this percentage means a hundred or a few hundred dollars a month – a decent sum by most of the people’s standards. But what if you’re the manager of a warehouse and you spend a few thousand dollars each month on electricity bills – 80% off means a lot more, isn’t it?
This is in fact the main reason why people choose LED fixtures instead of incandescence ones – the energy efficiency of the LED technology, which finally have a strong impact on the electricity bills. As simple as that!
3. Durable Quality – LED Lighting fixtures are made to survive in any conditions
Unlike incandescence bulbs, LED Lighting is a technology which outstands the harshest environment conditions – heat or extreme cold exposure, rain, snow, strong winds, etc. LED Light fixtures don’t need a vacuum glass chamber, nor an incandescence filament of any sort. LED means Led Emitting Diode, as we showed you. Have you ever seen a diode? It’s a sturdy tiny component which…emits light! It doesn’t need any glass or any other breakable materials to do that.
This leads us to another advantage of LED Lighting fixtures over the incandescence ones…
4. Design flexibility – LED Lighting fixtures can take a variety of shape and sizes
Incandescence lighting means bulbs, vacuum chambers, filaments, etc. In other words, conventional light fixtures are supposed to be of certain shapes and dimensions to be able to “host” the incandescence light bulbs. So, this is the reason why the design of the conventional ceiling lamps hasn’t changed a bit since the beginning.
But what if your ceiling lamp fixtures would take any shape and size, without any “silly” questions from the designers like “where should we put the light bulbs if we draw the fixture like that”?
Now, due to the dimension of the diodes (a few millimeters), only the imagination is the limit for LED lighting fixtures designers…
5. Safety – LED bulbs are much safer than incandescent ones
Because it doesn’t produce heat, you can let a LED bulb functioning for no matter how many hours or days without the fear of overheating itself or something around it, let alone “put fire” to something, God forbids! You can touch a LED Light bulb while functioning without the fear of getting burned, you can drop the LED light fixture without the fear of causing short-circuits or breaking or even damaging it. It is simply much more reliable, more durable, much more safer than any other lighting technology on the planet.
Have we persuaded you into buying LED bulbs instead of conventional ones?
If so, it means you understood perfectly the 5 advantages of LED over incandescence bulbs. For those of you interested in buying LED Lighting technology, whether individuals or representing companies, please check our LED products page. You might find something you really like.
Apart from that, please call us for any details we might provide you regarding LED Lighting Technology or with answers you didn’t find in our article.
Till next time!
No, its not for you, professionals…it’s for the ordinary humans who want to buy LED bulbs in order to save the energy consumption and don’t know what’s with all those numbers and letters on the package of the products…let alone the utility of them all.
So, we basically thought about writing this article like a guide for all of you who don’t know what to look after when browsing our webpage or any other webpage of a LED lighting technology producer or distributor across the world.
LED bulb technology made friendly
We told you on short in a previous post the history of LED lighting technology and why this sort of technology is the future of lighting for our planet – it saves costs with the energy and it saves costs for producing the lighting devices. It is simply more reliable, more cost-effective and more durable from all the existing technologies of the moment.
LED technology, compared with incandescence or fluorescence technologies, doesn’t need a vacuum chamber in order to function; it simply uses light-emitting-diodes (LED) which produces light when the electric current goes through them. It doesn’t mean that one cannot find LED light bulbs that resembles the incandescent bulbs, but it is simply a design choice for making the transfer to the new technology much more easier for all the people. For that particular reason, most of the LED bulbs will have the same screw-type sockets as the incandescence light bulbs – this way it will be easier for any buyer of the LED products to replace the old incandescence bulbs in their homes.
You can view how the LED bulbs were adapted to the actual incandescent or fluorescent sockets for making it easier for the buyers to use the products:
Are you curious about how an actual LED Lamp will look like in your home? We actually used some of the pictures from EXE Holding LED Lighting projects and we hope you like them:
Pretty bright, right? How about the next one?
The same, right?
You have to understand something – when it comes to LED Lighting Technology, the sky or the imagination is the limit for the designers of the lighting fixtures. The designers are not limited to creating a fixture based on the dimensions of the incandescence led bulbs – the LED technology allows you to have light from a diode as small as 1 mm – as simple as that! This is why the LED Light fixtures have so many beautifully designed shapes and forms.
LED Bulbs – what to consider before buying one
In everybody’s prediction LED bulbs are the first to be bought by the ordinary home users – they use the same screw-type socket and they resemble the incandescent lamps – of course the LED bulbs will be the first choice for anybody wanting to replace the old light bulbs around the house. Anyway, before you can jump on our residential solution LED light offer, you have to consider the next ones.
First of all, a few advantages of the LED Bulbs compared to the incandescent or fluorescent bulbs:
- LED bulbs saves energy compared to the incandescent or fluorescent ones; as for 2016, the LED bulbs consume as little as 10% of the energy used by incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.
- LED bulbs have an impressive life-span (20 + years, which is huge compared to the incandescence or fluorescence technologies).
- LED bulbs reach the full brightness as soon as you push the button; compare this to the time needed for a fluorescence fixture to reach its full brightness!
- LED bulbs come with a minimum 3 year guarantee! As for us, EXE Holding decided to expand, on its own costs, LED bulbs guarantee to 5 years! Do you know any incandescence or fluorescence bulb to offer 5 years guarantee? Neither do us…
- LED bulbs come with the same screw-type socket as the incandescence or fluorescence bulbs – it means you won’t have to change any electricity wiring in your house for replacing the old technology with the new one! Just unscrew the incandescence with the LED bulbs and you’re set!
Second of all, a few things to take into consideration when buying LED bulbs
Yes, unfortunately, new technology needs to be learnt in order to be used properly – while not needing any guide for replacing the incandescence bulbs with the LED bulbs in your house, you do need a guide for buying the proper products. Here they are:
- BRIGHTNESS – Forget about watts! LED Bulbs don’t measure their brightness in watts! You’ll be confused if searching for watts on their package and you won’t find any 100 watts or 75 watts to indicate the brightness of the LED bulbs…don’t! It’s normal. LED bulbs measure their brightness in lumens not in watts! The explanation is simple – they draw less energy than the incandescence ones. If you’re a math fan, just do this simple math – for a brightness equal to a 60 watts incandescence bulb, a LED bulb uses only 8 to 12 watts! Get it, now?
- COLOR – As we showed you in our previous article about LED Lighting, the first LEDs were red; this color was due to the technology used for manufacturing them. Later, LEDs became blue, green, yellow and after that the sky was the limit for the LED producers all over the world; now, the colors of LEDs allow cities to look like this during Christmas time:
Nevertheless, if you’re not looking for LED Christmas Decorations, then you have to know that LED bulbs for home use come in 3 popular colors – warm white, soft white and bright white.
Warm white and soft white offer a warmer (yellower) light, while bright light is whiter. Light color or light temperature is measured in Kelvins and an incandescence bulb has between 2,700 and 3,500 K. Looking for LED products similar in light warmth as the incandescence bulbs? Then, look for this Kelvin range values and you’ll not mistake in your choice when shopping for a LED bulb!
- Dimming, flickering, buzzing – it’s good to know that on the LED market you’ll meet some standard products and some better products; some of the substandard LED products will flicker or buzz when used with a dimmer and some of them won’t even work with a dimmer used for incandescence lighting. All we want you to know is that you should choose specifically those products mentioning on their package they do not flicker or buzz. Use a specific dimmer for LED Lighting products and your LED bulbs will have a longer lifespan.
Apart from that, EXE Holding offers its customers only no flicker-no buzzing LED products – we guarantee it, along with the regular 5 years guarantee for each of our products!
- Heat dissipation – LED bulbs need special fixtures but they also can be used on the original incandescence fixtures as well, using the screw-type socket – the only catch is that LED bulbs use heat dissipation sinks at their bottom which dissipate heat generated during using. If the fixture has an enclosed housing for the LED bulb, then the heat won’t be able to be dissipated into the air and will deteriorate the LED bulb itself. So, use light fixtures with an open housing for the LED bulb or original LED light fixtures altogether!
Interested in buying LED bulbs?
You can use our LED bulbs offer or choose any LED from our LED Light Catalogs 2017. The important thing is you understood from our article what this LED bulb buying is all about – by reading us you’ll not mistake in your choices.
Till next time!