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Principles of Doing With Solar Lights in Winter

Everyone is aware that LED solar lights are ecologically beneficial and energy-efficient lighting options. Although LED solar lights are widely utilized nowadays, many people are concerned that the winter months not only bring low temperatures but also poor sunshine. Will solar lighting fail to function effectively in this situation?

After all, many solar lights only operate for three to four hours on winter evenings as opposed to six hours every night in the summer. Many people decide to stop using solar lights in the winter and reinstall them in the spring.

Principles to use solar lights in winter
Solar Lights in Winter

So, can solar lights not be used in winter? it's not true.

Principle to Choose Solar Lights that are Suitable for Winter

Some people are concerned about whether solar panels would be harmed in extremely cold conditions, but in reality, solar lighting equipment is specifically made to resist deformation from temperature changes. Additionally, the majority of solar lights are IP65 certified, which means that water cannot readily enter the interior parts.

Winter weather may be unpredictable, therefore it's important to evaluate if the solar light can be used in conditions with heavy rain and snow. This calls for consideration of the product IP value (Ingress Protection). This number denotes the solar product's protection level, which is often made up of the alphabet IP plus two digits. The first number, which ranges from 0 to 6, indicates the degree to which the electrical device is protected against dust penetration and the entry of foreign items. Level 6 provides total protection. The second number shows the equipment's degree of waterproofing, showing how well the electrical appliance is sealed off from moisture and is watertight when submerged. The level of protection increases as the number increases. The greatest protection level, which runs from 0 to 8, is level 8.

Criteria of choosing solar lights for winter
Explanation of Ingress Protection

The solar light‘s protection rating is typically IP65 or IP66, with IP67 being the highest and dustproof being the highest level. Protection from submersion in water is represented by an 8 grade.

So long as the solar lamp has at least an IP65 protection grade, it may be used in winter and other severe weather conditions.

Principles to Use Solar Lights in Winter

We now understand how to select solar lights during the winter. But how can we make sure they work properly with them? The working day is certainly shorter in the winter than it is in the other seasons, as was already noted.

Principles to use solar lights in winter
Solar lights in winter

The solar lights' reduced operating times in the winter can be attributed to a variety of factors. Let's first go over how solar lights work. Solar panels are used in solar lights system to collect heat energy from the sun, transform the heat energy into electrical energy, and store it in batteries. The battery provides the LED lights with the electrical energy needed to illuminate at night.

With an understanding of how solar lights function, we will review each factor that contributes to their poor performance throughout the winter and provide solutions.

1. Seasonal factors: the sun moves south, the angle of the sun's rays decreases, and there is less sunlight in winter. As a consequence, the solar panel collects less light energy, and the battery's energy storage is also lowered accordingly, leaving the battery partially charged.

The larger the solar panel is, the high conversion rate it can be
Use a large solar panel to increase the electricity conversion per unit time

Solution: Depending on the discharge power needed by the solar light, increasing the solar panel and adding more contact area can significantly increase the amount of solar energy collected per unit time. If the area is limited, think about using a solar panel with a greater conversion rate. (Conversion Rate: Monocrystalline silicon > polycrystalline silicon > amorphous silicon. Utilizing a battery with high power is another efficient method. More heat energy may be turned into electricity per unit time when the power is higher.

2. The solar panel's installation position is overshadowed by tall things like buildings and trees, which reduces the amount of power that can be stored to support the LED.

The solar panel is overshadowed by a tree
The solar panel is overshadowed by a tree

Solution: To ensure that the solar panel receives sunlight for as long as possible, adjust the solar panel's location and orientation in accordance with the actual sunshine time.

3. The battery is not buried deep enough. The battery's performance is also affected by the temperature, particularly during the winter when it is cold. Less power is available for illumination as a result of the battery having to work more to heat up and function efficiently in a cooler environment. The illuminating period of solar lights is substantially shorter in the winter than in other seasons since the discharge efficiency of batteries is usually only 70% of that in the summer. Wintertime daylight hours are much shorter in colder regions, particularly plateau areas with ice and snow.

solar battery buried in the ground
solar battery buried in the ground

Solution: To help the accumulation of water dissipate, the battery should be buried as deeply as possible, with 20 cm of sand placed at the bottom. The lithium battery can also be kept warm by using insulation cotton. Reducing the battery's exposure to low temperatures, increases battery lifespan. However, keep in mind that the battery used typically lasts for 5-7 years, so replacing the battery will be more difficult if you decide to bury it to shield it from snow. However, I n inclement weather, the battery can be protected.

4. The solar panel is not cleaned promptly. If the solar panel is not cleaned promptly, it will build up a lot of dust, which will impair the solar panel's ability to absorb and transform energy. Snow will also cover the solar panels, which will prevent them from receiving sunlight and generating enough heat energy to turn into electricity for solar lights to illuminate, especially in the winter when it often snows.

snow on solar panel will lower the efficiency of energy conversion
snow on solar panel will lower the efficiency of energy conversion

Solution: The snow on the solar panels has to be constantly cleared away in order for solar lights to be used as usual during the winter.

Please tilt the solar panel while placing it to make it easier for snow to slide off, so that even during a severe winter storm, the installation won't likely be damaged. Snow can build up on the solar panel, but a brief tap with a broom handle or other similar instrument can remove it.

Additionally, you should be aware of the local climatic conditions when installing LED solar lights. You must take precautions if the snow is heavy and easy to build throughout the year.

5. The solar light is nearing the end of its useful life: The battery has a limit on how many times it can be charged and discharged, and the amount of stored energy will progressively decline as the number of uses increases. This is a normal phenomenon.

Solution: The energy storage battery should be checked regularly, and if it is found to be damaged and unable to operate properly, an immediate battery replacement is required.

What Kind of Solar Lights are Ideal for Winter?

Currently, the lack of sunshine during the winter months is the major cause of the inefficiency of using solar lights. As a result, in the winter we may use solar lights with relatively low power, such as fairy lights. Because their light beads are so tiny, little electricity is used. They can nevertheless contribute positively to illumination and ornamental effect, even in winter when there isn't enough sunlight.

How can you tell whether the solar lights may be used in the winter? And if it isn't appropriate, how can we store solar lights throughout the winter to preserve their functionality so that they continue to function properly in the spring and summer? That will be covered in the next article.

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