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Solar Christmas Lights

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Christmas Lights

Energy Efficient Solar Christmas Lights

Powering your Christmas lights can be an expensive part of decorating for the holiday season. Traditional Christmas lights can be an electrical drain and typically use as much as 100 watts of electricity per strand of lights. However with the introduction of solar Christmas lights, there is now an alternative to standard Christmas lights and with the efficiency, electricity cost savings and environmental factors they are a great choice. With solar Christmas lights you are significantly reducing the amount of energy you are consuming and you can save hundreds on your electric bill during the holiday season.

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How Solar Christmas Lights Work

Solar Christmas lights use energy efficient LED bulbs and come in a variety of strand lengths, shapes and colors. The light produced that is produced is bright and clear. As long as your lights are placed in an area that receives sunlight, you won't be able to tell the difference between your new solar christmas lights and your old electric ones, other than when the holiday electric bill arrives.

Solar Christmas LightsSolar Christmas lights work in the same way as typical outdoor solar lights. The solar Christmas lights strand is attached to a controller board that contains solar cells, a battery and a light sensor. The solar cell powers the battery during the day with the energy it receives from the sun and stores it to be used at night to light your Christmas lights.

One solar cell is able to produce about 0.45 volts of electricity. A typical solar Christmas light controller board will contain four solar cells, which will produce 1.8 volts of electricity on a sunny day. On a day that receives a lot of sun, the battery for your solar Christmas lights will completely recharge. Even on an overcast day the battery will charge, but it will not charge completely so the lights won’t stay on as long as on a really sunny day.

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Solar Christmas Lights

Solar Christmas lights turn on by themselves using a light sensor that tells the solar cell to stop producing power and turn on the LED Christmas lights. When a bright, sunny day has completely charged the battery, the lights can run for up to fifteen hours. On days that are overcast with not as much sun, the battery will not charge as full and the lights may only run for up to eight to ten hours.


     
 


Positives & Negative of Solar Christmas Lights

The biggest drawback is the fact that, for most of the country, the days are much shorter during the holiday season, which does not allow for long sunny days to power the lights. Keep in mind that solar Christmas lights need at least eight hours of sunlight to power up properly, and they need at least three of these hours to be direct sunlight. When using solar Christmas lights, make sure you place them on a sunny part of your home or on bushes or trees that receive a lot of light. If the area you are wanting to decorate does not receive direct sunlight, then you may want to consider a different alternative to solar powered Christmas lights.

Another drawback is the cost, the average cost of solar powered Christmas lights is about $35 for a forty foot strand of lights. This is a bit more expensive than traditional electric Christmas lights, but since you will not be paying for electricity to power them, you will ended up saving in the end. Prices also continue to drop every year with more affordable and efficient lights being produced.

Solar Christmas lights tend to last longer than standard electric lights, as long as you take care not to damage the solar panels or bulbs themselves, solar powered Christmas lights should last you at least three to five years. While an average life span for a regular electric set of Christmas lights is usually only a couple seasons at best.

Common uses for solar powered Christmas lights include outlining doorways and windows. This is really the best use because the sunlight reflects off of the glass on windows and doors to give a bit of extra power to the lights. It is not recommended that you put solar powered lights in trees or anywhere else that direct sunlight can easily be blocked. Decorating the bushes in the front of your house should be left, at this time anyway, to the old fashioned outlet Christmas lights.

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