for Cold Climate Housing and much more

Last Updated: , Created: Thursday, November 22nd, 2001

Solar powered garden lights.

Making electricity directly from light has become a common practice. We have small calculators that have no batteries and only require a lamp near-by. We have remote ocean beacons that function non-stop without fuel. These do have batteries, but they are charged all day long by the sun. We call this procedure photovoltaics, and we are seeing more and more everyday objects that use this technology, including light sensitive switches that turn on our lights at night.

In this TV segment we showed some really nice garden path lights much like the low voltage lights that many people have installed in their yards, the difference being, these have their own batteries, and their own solar battery charger, so they charge all day and automatically come on when the sun goes down, with no wires going anywhere. The only draw back is that you need to put them in safe places, or people may just walk away with them as there are no wires to slow down a thief.

With all of this increasing use of photo cells why don't we run our whole house from the sun?

Some remote houses do run with large photovoltaic arrays on the roof, but for the moment it is still cheaper per Kilowatt to buy our electricity from the power utility. But the margin is getting closer and closer and someday soon, the sun will seriously compete for running your household lights, even your appliances. Already you can purchase lights and appliances for solar cell houses. You can purchase little arrays that will run your walkman, radio or computer for ever on that desert island.

Keywords: Lighting, Photovoltaics, Electrical

Article 1495