Solar-Powered Outdoor/Landscape Lights

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Material Information

Title:
Solar-Powered Outdoor/Landscape Lights
Physical Description:
Fact sheet
Creator:
Whiffen, H.J.H.
Publisher:
University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agriculture Sciences, EDIS
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Acquisition:
Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Melanie Mercer.
Publication Status:
Published
General Note:
"Publication date: March 1993."
General Note:
"EES-96"

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:
IR00004848:00001


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FactSheetEES-96 TheInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesisanequalopportunity/affirmativeactionemployerauthorizedtoprovideresearch,educational informationandotherservicesonlytoindividualsandinstitutionsthatfunctionwithoutregardtorace,color,sex,age,handicap,ornational origin.Forinformationonobtainingotherextensionpublications,contactyourcountyCooperativeExtensionServiceoffice. FloridaCooperativeExtensionService/InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences/UniversityofFlorida/ChristineTaylorStephens,DeanMarch1993Solar-PoweredOutdoor/LandscapeLights1 H.J.H.Whiffen2 INTRODUCTIONNighttimeoutdoorlightingalongpathsand stairwaysinyouryardareniceforsafetyand convenience.Theycandirectcompanytoyourfront door,relieveworriesofeveningguestsstumblingin thedarkandhighlightyourartisticlandscape creations. Gettingtheelectricityfromyourutilitytothe appropriateplacesinyourlandscapemightbea barriertoinstallinglandscapelighting.Digging trenchestoburyelectricalwireundergroundmight requiretearingupsomeofyourlandscape.Thiscan betime-consumingandcostly.Iflow-voltagewiring isnotused,buried110voltwirescanbehazardousif cutbygardeningtools.Also,improperelectrical connectionsaredangerous. Solar-poweredlightsareanotherlandscape lightingoption(Figure1).Theyrequirenoelectrical wiring.TheyarepoweredbyDCelectricitygenerated fromsunshineandcaneasilyberelocatedshouldyou redesignyourlandscape.Theyhavebuilt-inphoto sensorssotheyautomaticallyturnoffduringtheday andturnonatnight.Bestofall,lightfromsolarpoweredlampsdoesn'trequiretheburningoffossil fuelsandthegenerationofcarbondioxide(CO2)and pollutantsassociatedwiththegenerationofelectricity byautility. Figure1. Solar-poweredlandscapelightSOLARPHOTOVOLTAIC(PV)ELECTRICITYThesandonthebeachismadeofsilicon,the secondmostabundantelementonEarth.ManyPV cellsarealsomadefromsilicon,butfromahighly purifiedform. 1.ThisdocumentisFactSheetEES-96,aseriesoftheFloridaEnergyExtensionService,FloridaCooperativeExtensionService,InstituteofFood andAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida.Publicationdate:March1993. 2.H.J.H.Whiffen,AgriculturalEnergySpecialist,EnergyExtensionService,AgriculturalEngineeringDepartment,CooperativeExtensionService, InstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciences,UniversityofFlorida,Gainesville. TheFloridaEnergyExtensionServicereceivesfundingfromtheFloridaEnergyOffice,DepartmentofCommunityAffairsandisoperatedbythe UniversityofFlorida'sInstituteofFoodandAgriculturalSciencesthroughtheCooperativeExtensionService.Theinformationcontainedherein istheproductoftheFloridaEnergyExtensionServiceanddoesnotnecessarilyreflecttheviewsoftheFloridaEnergyOffice. Theuseoftradenamesinthispublicationissolelyforthepurposeofprovidingspecificinformation.Itisnotaguaranteeorwarrantyofthe productsnamed,anddoesnotsignifythattheyareapprovedtotheexclusionofothersofsuitablecomposition. Theterm"plates,"whereusedinthisdocument,referstocolorphotographsthatcanbedisplayedonscreenfromCD-ROM.Thesephotographs arenotincludedintheprinteddocument.

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Solar-PoweredOutdoor/LandscapeLights Page2APVcellhastwosides;onesidehasextra Table1. PVoutdoor/landscapelights Size Type Providelight(upto) Approx.1992Prices small redincandescent(Plate1,2) 12hours $25 whiteincandescent(Plate3,4) 6hours $50 10hours $60 halogen 12hours $35 large fluorescent(Plate5,6) 10hours $90 securityfluorescent 2weekswithoutsun $200electrons,andtheothersidehasashortageof electrons.WhensunshinehitsaPVcell,thesolar energydetacheselectronsfromthesidewithtoo many.Thesehomelesselectrons,whichhavea negativecharge,aredrawntothepositivelycharged sideofthePVcellwiththeelectronshortage.This setsupaflowofelectronsinthetinywiresconnected toeachPVcell.ElectronsflowingfromallthePV cellsformonecircuitandgeneratedirectcurrent (DC)electricity.Landscapelightsstorethisenergyin abuilt-in,rechargeablebatteryandusethisenergyto powerthelightatnight. TheonlythingsthatmoveinaPVcellarethe electrons.Becausetherearenomovingpartsto break,PVcellscanlastmorethantwentyyears.SOLARPVLIGHTS:TYPESPVlandscapelightfixturescomeinavarietyof shapesandsizes.Selecttheonesthatbest complimentyourlandscape.Therearesmallones thatcanoutlineadrivewaywitharedglowforsafety; therearebrighter,4-wattflorescentlights (comparabletoa16-wattincandescent)tomarka fencegateordockramp(Table1).Forshadyspots therearelampswithdetachablePVpanels;placethe lampwhereyouwantittoshineatnightandattach thePVpaneltotherooforanothersunnyspot. TherearealsoPVsecuritylightsthatautomatically turnonwhentriggeredbyheatormotion.SOLARPVLIGHTS:TIPS Toprovideasmuchlightaspossible,thePVcells thatpowertheselightsneedtoreceiveasmuch sunlightduringthedayaspossible.Mostofthe PVlandscapelightscurrentlyonthemarkethave thePVcellsbuiltintothelamp.Theselights mustbeplacedinyourlandscapewheretheycan receivethefullestsunlight.Scoutyouryardat severaldifferenttimesduringasunnydayto makesurethattheinstallationsitesselected aren'tshadedasthesunmovesthroughthesky duringtheday. PVlandscapelightsshouldcomewithatleasta 12-monthwarranty. Installthelampstakefirmlyinthegroundbefore attachingthelamp.NeverapplyforcetothePV panelitself. PVlightsareveryeasytoinstall.Theyarealso Figure2. Cutawayviewoflamppostsecurity veryeasytoremove.Ifyouareconcernedabout theft,thePVlightsshouldbeinstalledmore securely.Onesuggestionistodrilltwoorthree holesthroughtheplasticstakenearthepointed end(Figure2).Theseholesshouldbelarge enoughfora3-inchgalvanizednail.Fillaplastic plantpot,atleast6inchesindiameter,with cementandstandtheplasticstakewiththenails

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Solar-PoweredOutdoor/LandscapeLights Page3straightupinthecenter.Allowthecementto harden.Buryinthesiteselectedandattachthe lampappropriately.