The end of the year is nearing and – probably just like you – we at Outbax are dreaming of a white Christmas… you know, just like the ones we used to know where the treetops glisten – nowadays thanks to solar Christmas trees and other holiday lighting solutions.
While we are still waiting to hear sleigh bells in the snow instead of honking cars outside of the office, we can however already rejoice in Santa Factories’ various nice solar items specifically designed and produced for the most commercialized time of the year.
Large variety of solar Christmas lights
Several companies, particularly those with manufacturing bases in China, have in recent years specialized in the design and production of original and useful solar PV-integrated electronic items, including those specifically geared to Christmas.
Not requiring any electrical socket, they overwhelmingly serve the purpose of providing flexible, cost-efficient and environmental-friendly (Christmas) lighting.
There are plenty of different types and modules when it comes to solar Christmas lights. Apart from the common chains of lights, other main types include stake lights, figure-shape lights and lamps.
Chains of lights
Chains of lights, also called: fairy lights, are the most common type of solar Christmas lights.
Typical applications are the festive decoration of (fir) trees and stair rails or even the complete Christmassy coverage of houses.
The two main types of chains of lights are:
Rope lights, which basically consist of an electrical cable that can be many meters long and comes with several small light bulbs integrated in sequential order
Net or mesh lights, which are large mesh networks of electrical cables cables with integrated small light bulbs
Solar Christmas chains of lights basically consist of thin cables in either string form or mesh form and come with energy-saving colored or standard white light emitting diodes (LEDs).
The LEDs can be of different forms and shapes, such as stars, deers, angels, snowmen and more… possible designs are only limited by imagination capacity.
Operating independently from the grid, small devices with integrated solar PV modules and a built-in, usually Nickel-based battery, are the core power source of a solar chain of light.
Removable stakes and clamps to fix the device onto the ground or a roof are usually part of the whole set and allow for a variety of positions and locations to install the lights.
While the string lights are very practical for classical cone-shape Christmas tree decoration, the net lights are more commonly used outdoors to decorate bushes, doors or walls.
Stake lights and figure-shape lights
These are figure-shaped solar Christmas lights that come in the form of all kinds of imaginable figures, such as deers, Santa Claus, Christmas trees,
Snow flowers, snowmen, Christmas trees,angels or even in the form of hanging mistletoes/ cherries – which is a nice item especially for those who ever wanted to have a romantic kiss under a solar PV module.
The figure-shape lights can both be hung up or mounted on a stake and then placed at a suitable location in the garden.
Since they are solar-powered, they can basically be put anywhere and provide for nice Christmas lighting as long as the modules get sufficient sunlight to charge the batteries.
Another subtype of solar-powered devices suitable for Christmas are decorative lamps. There are many different forms and solutions available, particularly attractive for Christmas purposes are:
solar candle lights
solar night lamps
Solar candle lights are devices in the form of small or large candle-shaped bulbs that are mounted on an enclosure with an integrated solar cell and a battery and basically look like a candle and can provide romantic, Christmassy light for many hours.
Solar night lamps come in different theme designs and shapes and can thus be used for a wide range of applications even beyond Christmas. A particularly beautiful type of solar night lamps consists of either a porcelain or glass bowl in different colors and design patterns, including picturesque winter landscapes.
On top of the bowl is a removable solar cap with an integrated solar cell, built-in battery and an LED that can light up in either standard white or rotating multicolor light modes.
Advantages and disadvantages of solar Christmas lights
Many solar Christmas lights are conceptually based on classic Christmas decoration items that require external power supply to provide for a nice, festive illumination. But, instead of being dependent on a nearby electrical socket, integration with solar photovoltaic makes them not only more environmentally-friendly but also more flexible in terms of location and application.
There are many advantages that have been making solar-powered Christmas lights becoming more and more popular all around the globe.
Only a few hours of sunlight during daytime in cold winters are usually sufficient to charge the battery and provide for enough power for Christmas illumination throughout the night as the energy-saving LEDs do not consume a lot of power.
Moreover, Most manufacturers equip these devices with photosensitive light sensors that turn the lights automatically at dusk or when ambient light conditions are weak.
Solar Christmas lights are flexible electronic items that do not require electrical sockets/ outlets outdoors. They can be used for decoration indoors and outdoors and anywhere off-grid.
Basically all types of solar Christmas lights produced worldwide use LEDs which feature comparably high luminosity with low energy consumption – ideal for hardcore house decorators that are worried about high electricity bills in January…
Large and original variety of solar-powered Christmas light items
Energy-saving: many devices come with integrated light sensors that light up the LEDs at weak ambient light conditions
Sensitive to incorrect installation: the solar module must be placed in a way that they directly face sunlight
The solar module requires cleaning when covered by snow, leaves, dirt etc.