The use of solar power has indeed carved a name in several countries, including Australia. Aside from everyday residential applications, obtaining renewable energy from the sun has also made its way to the holiday season in the form of solar Xmas lights. Solar Christmas lights are basically just your normal festive twinkles—the only difference is that they too are reliant on generating energy from the sun via solar panels for stored power.
Solar Xmas lights are often used in the outside spaces of homes. They are charged throughout the day and run during the evening to add dazzling effects on traditional Christmas trees, pre lit Christmas trees, and in any area of your house you choose to install them in.
These lights are mainly beneficial in the sense that they allow you to beautify your household minus the additional electricity bills. Since you're using renewable energy, you get to save up especially in favourable weather and enjoy flexibility in arranging your ornaments too. Solar powered Christmas lights are backed with a rechargeable battery, meaning you no longer have to find the nearest plug or haul an extension when decorating.
Solar Christmas lights outdoors have several types. There are solar icicle lights, solar rope lights, lantern solar lights and more that you can mix and match to create the most impressive holiday scene in your neighbourhood!
They're pretty easy to find as well, given the numerous local stores that sell them especially when the ber-months start to roll in. You can easily get a Bunnings solar Xmas light, Kmart solar Christmas lights, and so on. Here at Outbax, we also have a collection of solar Christmas decorations that you can check out. They come in a variety of forms and designs, perfect for those who want to go all out with their holiday decorations this year.
Do Solar Xmas Lights Charge on Cloudy Days?
There is no need to worry about cloudy days when you opt for solar Xmas lights. You can still charge them on a not-so-sunny day because the charging components of most solar panels are extremely sensitive to light. Even when most of the sunlight is covered by clouds, the available light that seeps in still allows your portable solar panels to collect energy and begin the charging process.
Solar panels are designed to absorb even sunlight reflected by the cloud and light density also still exists in cloudy afternoons, so your solar Xmas lights outdoor will still receive a charge. The only issue you might encounter here is the charging speed. Lack of sufficient sunlight decreases irradiance and gives you only 1/2 to 1/5 of what you normally get on a sunny day.
Despite this, your charging efficiency is better on a cloudy day compared to a particularly hot one. Solar panels mainly use the incoming light (photons) to excite electrons. This means that the hotter your panels are, the more electrons are already in the excited stage which reduces the voltage it can generate and lowers its efficiency.
What Types of Batteries Are Ideal For Solar Xmas Lights?
The most recommended battery types for solar Christmas lights would be NiCd (Nickel Cadmium) or NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries. These are both designed to hold
ample solar energy. NiMH batteries specifically also boast not having a memory effect for an extended lifespan and better stability during use.
Outdoor solar Christmas lights also require different sizes and capacities of 1.2V NiCd and 1.2V NiMH rechargeable batteries. The most popular of them would be the AA battery size which is about 50.5mm in height and 14.5mm in diameter. Aside from this, there are less popular and harder-to-find sizes too, such as the 2/3AA power packs, which are a lot smaller than full-size AAs.
No matter how good your solar Xmas lights are, you are bound to replace them after a few years. Keep in mind that when you do get new ones, they should be of the same voltage and similar capacity to your old batteries. You can replace them with a slightly different mAh, but make sure the voltage stays the same and that the mAh is in the nearest possible number to your existing battery pack.
Another thing you need to take into account is that high-capacity batteries are not necessary for solar powered Christmas lights. Solar light batteries use relatively low capacities, but this doesn't mean you can just use any battery type available either.
Using non-rechargeable AA or AAA batteries to power your solar light is only applicable for a short period of time. Using them for longer than a week can damage both your batteries as it leads to corrosion, which will eventually result in complete lighting system failure.
How Do You Charge Solar Xmas Lights With Little Or No Sun?
Solar Christmas lights can still be charged with little or even no sunlight available. Contrary to popular opinion, they don't necessarily need direct sunlight to charge, but they need light in some form in order to run. Here are some tips on how to top off your solar Xmas lights on a cloudy day or when no sunlight is available:
Clean your solar panels
One of the easiest ways to boost charging especially during non-sunny days is cleaning your solar panels. Dust and dirt build-up may affect your solar panel's efficiency, so wiping them clean and using the proper cleaning tools is a must to keep those solar powered lights running for a good amount of hours.
Transfer your solar lights
Check the positioning of your solar Xmas lights and panels. Maybe it's time to move them to an area more exposed to the sun, especially during winter or cloudy days. See to it that they receive ample sunlight and are not covered up by shadows even when the day progresses.
Redirect the sunlight with mirrors
If your solar lights are underneath a shadow, using a mirror to reflect the sunlight back to your solar panels will help—just make sure you use a mirror twice the size of your panels.
Use artificial light bulbs
Yup, you heard that right. You can actually use your incandescent bulbs at home to charge your solar lights! Place them as close as possible to the light bulb for faster charging even on days when there is not much sunlight available.
Go for LED lights
LED lights are well-known for their energy efficiency compared to traditional Christmas tree lights. In fact, more and more holiday shoppers are switching to LED lit Christmas
trees! They also offer a good source of light when you need to charge your panels indoors. Use them to top off your solar panels for about 10 to 12 hours and get maximum efficiency when powering your solar Xmas lights.
Start your Christmas shopping early this year and check out our solar Xmas lights at Outbax. We have various solar fairy lights, solar garden lights, and even inflatable Christmas decorations here! You'll be having a house ready for the holiday season in no time, plus, everything retails for affordable prices with free shipping too. It's definitely a merry Christmas over here!
Those with outing plans will also be thrilled with our collection of camping equipment such as inverter generators and LiFePO4 batteries. Are you more of a homebody but would like to enjoy the outdoors? We have a range of spas and above ground pools here as well, perfect for family bonding time over the Christmas break. Shop now and be the first to get our best items.