Yes, you can use solar lights indoors.
Using solar lights can be advantageous than using the grid power to light up your houses. But there are some limits when using solar lights indoors. Most of the time, the efficiencies of solar lights reduce when you place them indoors.
Outdoor solar lights that used to light up the streets, gardens, fountains, pathways, etc. are very common. But using solar lights to light up the indoor spaces is not much common.
How solar lights work indoors?
Even though it is not common we can use solar lights to light up indoor spaces, if these spaces get enough sunlight you can get your solar lights to work without much problem.
The reason behind this is very simple. A solar light mainly consists of a bulb, battery, and solar panel. The solar panel is the part that converts the energy of the sunlight to electricity,
When producing electricity, solar panels or photovoltaic cells only require sunlight.
You do not need the heat of the sun to produce the energy. According to researches, solar panels work more effectively at cold temperatures.
So if your indoor space is rich with natural light you can use solar lights to light up that space during the nighttime.
Limits when using solar light indoors?
- You cannot use solar light to light up every space in your house.
Using solar lights indoors is limited by the availability of natural sunlight. If the indoor space does not have enough sunlight to charge the solar lights adequately, solar lights will only light up for a fraction of time. Most of the time this fraction of time will not be enough.
- You cannot use solar lights for a whole day.
Solar lights require some time to charge. Unlike outdoors some indoor spaces require artificial light even in the daytime. You cannot use solar lights for these spaces as solar lights need some time to charge during the daytime.
- You cannot get direct sunlight.
Solar lights do not need direct sunlight to work.
But if solar lights get direct sunlight it increases the efficiency. When the sunlight fell on the solar panels at an angle the energy conversion of the panels will be less. This results in less output voltage.
But if the indoor space gets sunlight for a sufficient time this will not be a matter as panels can convert enough energy for the given time.
- Ventilation of the space.
Having good air ventilation is very important to work the solar light properly. When there is not enough ventilation, indoor space tends to heat up quickly as there is no airflow. This will increase the room temperature.
The increased environmental temperature will decrease the efficiency of the solar panels. So the solar lights will not get enough energy to work properly.
How you should place the solar lights to get maximum output?
Solar lights should be placed in the way that the panels are exposed to the light as much as possible.
It is better if you can place them near windows.
Always make sure space has good airflow and less humidity.
What you can do if your indoor space does not get enough sunlight?
Instead of fixing solar lights at a fixed place you can use portable solar lights. That way you can place it under the sunlight during the daytime and use it to light up the spaces you want. Some solar lights can be used up to 2 to three days after a full charge.
Also, you can use long connecting wires to connect the panels and the batteries, and solar lights. Then you can place the solar panels at a place, where there is enough sunlight.
Can solar lights get power through glass?
Yes, they can.
As we said earlier solar lights do not need direct sunlight to work. But the problem with the glass is, glass reflects a fraction of incident sunlight. This reduces the amount of sunlight that reaches the panels.
If the glass is transparent and thin there will not be much of a problem as sunlight does not reflect much. So an adequate portion of incident sunlight can reach the panels. So the energy conversion will not be much affected. So the solar lights will get power.
But if the glass is thick the sunlight will reflect more sunlight and the fraction of the sunlight that reaches the panels will be less. So this decreases the energy conversion efficiency. So the solar lights will get less power.
Also, if the glass is thick, dark, or opaque then the glass will either absorb or reflects the entire sunlight incident on it. So the sunlight will not reach the solar panel at all. So there will not be energy conversion and so the solar light will not get power.
Can we charge solar lights using artificial lights?
Yes, you can.
But this is not efficient as using natural sunlight. Unlike natural sunlight the energy supplied by artificial light is limited. So the panels will not get enough energy to generate adequate electricity to power up the solar lights.
Some ask whether solar light can be designed to get power from its light. Even though it seems theoretically possible practically it is not. The reason is, the energy conversion efficiencies of the panel and the bulb are not 100%.
A large amount of energy loses every time energy converts from one form to another. So we cannot get enough energy to produce an adequate amount of electricity to power up the solar lights if we expose its solar panels to their light.
What are the advantages of using solar lights?
Using solar lights have many advantages over using grid power;
As we said throughout this article solar light gets the power from the electricity converted from the panels. Conversion of natural sunlight to electricity is a very eco-friendly process, unlike grid power.
Grid power generation uses fossil fuels. This generation process releases many greenhouse gasses that contribute to environmental pollution. Not just that, extracting these fossil fuels from the ground also causes lots of environmental pollution.
As solar power is clean renewable energy using solar-powered equipment can save the environment.
- Save your money.
When using grid power to light up your spaces, you have to pay a huge electricity bill at the end of the month. But when using solar lights you do not have to worry about a bill as sunlight is a free natural source.
You have to spend only to purchase the solar lights. Then it is free light every day.
- Perfect during blackouts.
Solar lights are standalone equipment. That means they work independently. So these are perfect during blackouts as they work without grid connection.
- You can install it anywhere without worrying about power sockets and overlying wires – safety.
As we said earlier solar lights are stand-alone equipment. They come with their solar panels to produce their power. So you do not have to connect them to any power source. It is very beneficial to light up places where there is no grid connection.
Also, as there are no overlying wires that connect with the gridline it is good for safety.
You can use solar lights both outdoors and indoors as long as there is enough natural lighting. Even though there is not enough sunlight you can solve it by using long connecting wires or portable solar lights. Even though solar lights placed indoors work less efficiently than outdoor solar lights, using them is still beneficial.