The global community is switching to green living slowly but surely, as more concerned citizens are making their lives increasingly environmentally friendly in an effort to help with the environmental crisis. Going green is not only environmentally responsible, but there are also additional benefits. Adding solar energy and solar lighting to your home or business helps the planet and can save you money without making any functional compromises. Solar energy and solar lighting do require an initial commitment and investment to set up, but these systems can save you money, time, and lower your carbon footprint once they are in place.



Solar Panels

Living Green: Reasons To Use Solar Power and Lighting 

Roof or ground-mounted solar panels are the most common methods homeowners and business owners use to incorporate renewable energy. Solar panels generate energy when sunlight hits photovoltaic cells, which excites electrons and produces electricity. Energy generated by solar panels can be stored for later in batteries or immediately sent out and used.

The number of solar panels you install, the direction your solar panels face, and your geographic location are all factors that will greatly affect how much energy your solar panels can generate. The more sunlight your solar panels absorb, the more energy they can produce. If you live in a sunny climate with no shadows on your solar panels, you will likely generate more power than someone with solar panels in an overcast environment with a building casting a shadow other their panels. Even in ideal situations, a solar panel system might not be enough to eliminate your monthly home or business energy bill, but they can put a large dent in it.

Solar panels save you money by reducing your monthly energy bill with an average home saving between $10,000 and $30,000 over the lifespan of the solar panel system. These numbers are impressive and attractive, but you must factor in the cost of the system to determine how much money solar panels can save you in actuality. The price of a solar panel system generally ranges from $11,000 to $15,000 after tax credits and most owners pay off their panels in 5 years. Most solar panels have a lifespan of 25 years before they should be recycled, meaning you will have roughly 20 years of essentially free renewable energy.



Solar Lighting

Living Green: Reasons To Use Solar Power and Lighting 

Solar lights take the same technology used in solar panels and apply it to lighting. Solar lights commonly take the shape of small lamps mounted on ground spikes with a solar panel on top, but there are other types of solar lights. Instead of a solar panel generating power for a building, the solar panel on top of a solar light generates power only for that light. This lets solar lights soak up sunlight throughout the day and use the generated energy to let the light shine at night. A solar light’s ground stake lets the light be pushed into the ground anywhere without power cables making them popular garden or pathway lights.

You will not have an energy or installation cost with most solar lights, as solar lights are essentially unlimited energy and light source. There are no monthly bills connected to solar lights since they are not wired into an electrical system and rely entirely on the energy they generate to produce light. You also do not need a professional to install solar lights as you would for traditional solar panels; the ground stake on solar lights lets you place the lamps where ever you see fit. Solar lights might seem like they have a high sticker price, but when you consider the light itself is one of the only expenses, the price tag becomes less of an issue. Maintaining and repairing solar lights is as easy as following the manufacturer’s simple instructions with replacement parts being the only maintenance cost.

It is important to read the features of a solar light before you bring it home. Each solar light has a different capacity, meaning they can only shine for so long. Some solar lights can only shine for a few hours while others can last through the night if they absorb enough sunlight during the day. The box, product description, or technical specifications should explicitly state the capabilities of a solar light letting you decide which light best suits your needs.



Solar power is more pervasive than ever. Solar technology has expanded beyond solar panels and now includes solar lights. Add solar panels to your home or business to reduce your monthly energy bills by generating your own energy. Use solar lights to generate essentially free energy and light without a monthly bill, complicated installation, or network of power cables. Consider adding solar technology to your life to live more environmentally friendly.


Guest post by Gwen Lewis


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