Do you enjoy fairy lights? Are you believe in the term “solar fairy lights” sounds futuristic, environmentally responsible, and, above all, cool? Do you know how solar fairy lights work? Does secondary school physics seem like a long time ago? Continue reading, fairy light fan, as we strive to address how do solar lights work. We’ll start with the basics: the sun, the solar panel, and the fairy lights. The solar panel eagerly takes the sun’s energy in the form of light, and the fairy lights come on.
But why does my solar panel have batteries?
They are rechargeable solar batteries. Many people believe (and you’d be excused for believing this, because this is difficult stuff) that the solar panel absorbs sunlight and transfers it straight to the LED bulbs in your fairy lights, but you’re overlooking an important middleman: the battery. In reality, the solar panel never communicates directly to the lights. During the day, the solar panel collects energy from the sun and sends it as electricity to the solar battery (or batteries). The battery then converts the energy into chemical form and stores it. Until it is needed to power an electrical device.
Okay, but what exactly is a solar panel?
Yes, that’s an excellent question!
The panel is a flat surface composed of silicon chips known as PV (or photovoltaic) cells. These cells are placed in layers on the panel and are supported by a piece of metal. When sunlight goes through these layers, all sorts of things happen very quickly inside the structure of the silicon, resulting in a charge in that piece of metal at the bottom of the panel. All of the energy is stored in the battery, which is connected to the metal base through the cables.
Right. So, how do the lights know when to turn on?
A photoresistor is someone who does not like having their image taken. It’s a little gadget that regulates the circuit within your solar lights based on how bright or dark it is in the region where you’ve placed your lights. Basically, throughout the day, the solar panel happily charges the battery, but the photoresistor prevents the lights from turning on. The battery activated when the photoresistor senses darkness, turning on the fairy lights. It accomplishes all of this automatically, like some kind of small circuit overlord. It’s a little component, yet that photoresistor pretty much controls everything within.
Is the solar panel on my fairy lights weatherproof?
Because solar panels exclusively use outside, they are all waterproof. We’d merely recommend wiping it down with a clean cloth every now and then to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated on the panel’s surface. Since this may make it somewhat less efficient at charging the solar battery within.
So, do my solar lights require continuous sunlight to charge?
No, we’re not suggesting you move to the Bahamas just so you can install solar lights in your backyard (but if that ends up being the best option). We’re well aware that the weather in the United Kingdom is, at best, unpredictable; as a result, solar lights in Yorkshire wouldn’t have been a good idea 15 years ago. However, technological advancements over the past decade or so mean that, yes, solar lights are the right choice for you even in a nation as drizzly as ours. However, the solar panel does still need some sun. And we’re talking about direct sunshine, not sunlight that needs to battle its way through an evergreen canopy and a canvas awning to reach your lights. Some solar panels can even collect energy through a layer of snow. But you won’t be able to use one to power your shed’s lights unless you mount the panel on the shed’s roof and run wires through an open window.