How to Build a Solar Generator?

There are so many people out there looking for an adequate alternative source of energy due to the fact electricity became pretty expensive. Now, given that solar is the most affordable energy solution at the moment, besides the fact it has some great environmental results, it is not strange that more and more individuals are becoming interested in its implementation.

The solar generator is only one part you will need for this endeavor to be working, but it can be pretty affordable making it on your own. So here is how you can build a DIY solar generator and what are things you will need for this project.

Things You Need To Build A DIY Solar Generator

The reason people decide to create DIY portable solar generators is mostly because of the fact they can save up some money that way, but there are also some adventurous solar enthusiasts who see an opportunity to learn more about this technology through this endeavour. 

But since the first reason is the most common one we will say that the most important thing for starters is to have good information about the cost of each part you will need, in order for you to be able to calculate whether or not this is something that will pay off. Bear in mind that things can easily get out of control because it’s super easy to build an awesome generator if you are not counting each dollar you spend. On the other hand, you do need to invest in some good parts if you want this solar generator to last and to withstand different weather conditions and environments.

Parts and Components

Sturdy casing

When it comes to all the parts you will need for this project, firm and sturdy casing is in number one place. It needs to be very durable and high-quality made, waterproof and weather-resistant because it will hold all the important parts of the generator. The one we recommend is the Pelican 1620 Case that’s padded with foam and comes with an automatic pressure equalization valve that will keep the water out of the case. It’s pretty customizable, and it has stainless steel reinforced padlock protectors.

Solar Inverter

It is a well-known fact that solar panels can generate only DC power, which is inadequate for any sort of home appliance, so you need to have a solar inverter that has the ability to transform direct current into alternating (AC) current. This part is a bit expensive, you should know that from starters, but it’s necessary for the whole system to work. Even though the market is full of solar inverters, we recommend you think about investing in WZRELB 2000W Pure Sine Wave, given that it is high-quality made and suitable for both grid and backup battery power supply.

Solar panel

Every solar construction needs to be based on solar panels because generating power from the sun would simply not be possible without them. Solar panels have the ability to absorb the sunlight and transform it into electricity we can use for everyday needs. This element is exposed to all weather elements, which is why you need to consider its quality and durability. The solar panel that’s on top of our list is the Renogy 100W Eclipse that’s completely waterproof and compatible with all types of batteries. It has great performance levels in any sort of environment, and it comes with a protective casing.

Battery

We cannot forget that every solar generator needs a solar battery that will collect and store the energy produced by solar panels. This is the part where you will have to conduct serious research given that the market is overflowed with these solar elements, but especially because solar batteries come in all shapes and sizes. However, according to experts, you should definitely go with a deep-cycle lead-acid or lithium-ion battery for the purpose of creating a well-working solar generator. Lithium-ion is especially popular because it has high-efficiency, because it’s portable and lightweight, and because it usually has a pretty good and long warranty.

The charge controller

The whole solar installation would not be complete without a solar charge controller. It is a small compact device that will take care of your battery and its longevity by making sure it doesn’t overcharge every time the sun is high in the sky. It will regulate the current levels and voltage that are travelling to the battery from solar panels. Since we are here talking about building a solar generator, it would be best to purchase a solar charge controller that has a moisture-tight coating.

Battery maintainer

Every DIY solar power generator also needs a battery maintainer. Now, you may be confused thinking this part is the same as the solar charge controller, but it’s not actually. A battery maintainer is another device that will keep your battery protected, but in this case, by supplying it with small amounts of electricity when needed – which is when the battery is completely inactive for a long period of time. It is a piece that will prolong its lifespan.

AC power inlet

AC power inlet is a connector, an exterior one you can find on the hard case. It is a small part most people would forget to think about, but a key one in order for the generator to work in the end. It would be best to choose the AC inlet that doesn’t need hand wiring or cable modifications and the one that comes with a long extension cord.

LED flood light

If you have room in your budget, you could buy a LED flood light in order to install it on your solar generator. That way, you can be sure you will have the source of light whenever you are somewhere off the grid, like in a camp, in a shed, on a boat, etc. Also, it will be a great addition to your home in case of a power outage or some other emergency situation.

12V DC Meter

And the last piece of equipment you need in order to make your solar generator a complete masterpiece is a 12V DC meter. We are talking about a device that’s in the form of a display that has the ability to show you what’s the status of your generator – how much power it has stored, so you can know whether or not you can count on it in specific situations. This part is quite an affordable one, and it is a great addition, so don’t miss purchasing it.

Tools

Every person who is wondering how to build a solar generator probably knows it is expected to have some tools at disposal. In this case, you will need some basic items like a utility knife, a wire stripper with a cutter, a drill with drill bits or grinding extensions, a hot glue gun, and a set of screwdrivers.

Step By Step Instructions

Okay, now that you know what all the parts you need to acquire are and what are the tools you will need during the process of building a solar generator, it is time for us to lead you through a step-by-step guide that will make it all much more understandable.

Step 1

In order to build your own solar generator, you need to start from scratch. And that means thinking about the logistics. Your solar generator needs to be fully functional and easy to operate. That’s why you need to think through every step you are going to make regarding installing all the components into the casing. 

For instance, you need to think about how you want your generator to be positioned when in use, and based on that to consider where to place all other parts. A DC meter is a device you should locate in an easy-to-read place, and outlets like chargers or plugs should be approachable and preferably next to each other. 

Also, you need to consider the size of your casing and establish whether or not everything will fit nicely in it. That means you will have to think through how each part will be mounted and to find a way for them not to interfere with each other. After all that, you can start drilling holes and inserting one part after another very carefully.

Step 2

Step 2 should be based on connecting all the electrical components. So after positioning things like the DC meter and other outlets, you should install the battery into the casing. Then you will have to connect battery terminals with a DC meter using only insulated wires. And please don’t forget to first connect the negative and then positive wires.

The same process applies to other outlets. You should also use insulated wires to connect them to the battery. And it is important to check if all connections are properly secured and tight. After you do all that, the next move should be to connect the solar panel to the battery, and when it comes to this step, you can create a temporary or permanent connection of this kind.

In order to attach the solar panel to the battery permanently, all you need to do is to make the connection directly, from one part to another, like with all other outlets. But if you want that to be just temporary, you should use quick-connect plugs as a bypass solution. At the end of this process, your solar panel will be ready for usage.

Step 3

The next step is basically the last one, at least when it comes to building your solar generator, and it demands testing it, its functionality and its performance level. In order to do that, you will have to place your generator at the location where there’s a lot of sunshine and let it do its magic. 

Depending on how long are the power wires of your solar panel, sometimes you can place the panel out in the sun and keep the battery box in the shade to protect it from extreme weather elements.

At this point, your DC meter should start showing the voltage that your panel is drawing into the solar generator. If everything seems normal, you should leave it that way so that the generator and solar panel can do the work properly and to the maximum.

Step 4

If you subject your solar generator to thorough testing, and you establish that everything is fine with it, you can feel free to start using it for your needs – for powering up your appliances. It’s up to you now to decide whether or now you want to keep the solar panel in one place and only disconnect the case and bring it with you wherever you go, or you want to make it portable as well.

In the beginning, you should monitor your system and see how much time it takes for your devices to get fully charged on your solar generator and what’s its status afterwards, so you can understand better how long you can count on it. Also, make sure to know how long it takes for the battery to get recharged in the sun.

Why Build Your Own DIY Solar Generator

We made sure to explain to you how to make a solar generator in many details. But now, here are the reasons why you should do it or at least some of them:

Safety

It’s been proven that solar generators are much safer to use than those based on fossil fuels, no matter if you need them for indoor or outdoor reasons. Solar generators simply cannot leak or cause a fire.

Green energy

There is no doubt that solar generators are environment friendly and that they come with zero emissions. They simply won’t pollute the air and the entire environment like fossil fuel devices would for sure. 

No running cost

Okay, yes, you will have to invest a certain amount of money in order to create your solar generator, but it will all pay off pretty quickly, given that using and maintaining this device won’t cost a thing. Also, most of the components you are about to use for your solar generator come with more than 20 years warranty.

Easy to repair

As you can see, it’s not that hard to build a solar generator on your own. It just needs a bit of time and quality research. The same is with maintaining and repairing it. Unlike generators that work on fossil fuels, these mechanisms don’t have such a complex structure.

Affordability

The fact is – building your own solar generator will cost you much less than buying one in a store. The secret lies in buying each component separately and knowing how to connect them. According to some experts, you can save up a lot of money this way.

Accomplishment

And in the end, let’s not forget about the feeling of pride and accomplishment when you finish working on your solar generator and see it running smoothly. It’s simply priceless, and it can allow you to spend some quality time with other members of your family. 

FAQ

Can a solar generator power up the entire house?

Solar generators aren’t designed for the purpose of supplying the entire house with enough power. So no, they won’t be able to provide enough electricity for all household needs. The reason is simple – they don’t have enough wattage capacity for that. Solar generators are ideal for your boats, RVs, for some emergency situations or camping needs.

How to determine what size of solar generator do I need?

The answer to this is pretty simple – you need to establish what are your power needs, for starters. The simplest way to do that is to do the calculation based on all power ratings of appliances and tools you use the most. You should take into consideration only those you want to charge with a solar generator. 

What is the lifespan of solar generators?

If you are wondering for how long you will be able to count on your solar generator, you should know that most of them last for about 20 to 30 years. That means your investment is pretty much safe and that it will pay off for sure.

What can solar generator power?

There is a huge list of devices, tools and appliances that can be charged by a solar generator. We are talking about all the regular electronic devices we use every day like a smartphone, television, laptop, but also lights and most smaller applications. But know that you shouldn’t try to use them on bigger items like your refrigerator, washing machine, etc.

Conclusion

If you are a solar enthusiast, you will most likely appreciate this article and maybe feel encouraged by it to dive into this process and maybe do your first DIY solar project. Sure, you can always take your credit card, visit some online sites or regular stores and purchase a ready-build solar generator, but if you have at least a little sense for adventure, you will get the components and tools you need and slowly build one by yourself. The truth is that it’s not that hard, you will just have to be patient and to believe in yourself.

How to Get Cheap Solar Power in Your Home?

Going fully solar is a great idea, but the fact is this technology is still out of the budget reach for so many people, and it can be really demoralizing knowing you need more than ten thousand dollars in order to make your entire home solar. But that’s not the reason to give up on this significant environmental endeavour.

There are ways you can implement cheap solar elements that could help you save up on electricity and rely on low-cost solar power.

Here are the four most affordable solar solutions.

Outdoor lights

One of the easiest ways to get cheap solar power is via solar outdoor lights. As you probably know, there are so many different, both portable and stationary lights that work solely on the power of the sun, and you can get them for pretty much a low amount of money.

Most of these lights are very simple in their design, and regarding their setup, so you will be able to install them on your own, without the help of professionals. The only important thing is to make sure the solar power has direct exposure to the sun throughout the day.

There are solar path and walkway lights, garden and patio lights, garage and porch lights, etc. And most of them cost somewhere between 20 and 50 dollars.

Device chargers

If you are in search of affordable solar power, you should definitely think about investing in solar chargers. If we are being honest, our lives are pretty much based on our phones and other portable devices like tablets, and they all need daily charging.

So why not provide them with the power by using the sunlight and its benefits through solar device chargers. The market is overflowed with different types of solar chargers, you just need to choose the right one for you, and they will provide you with enough electricity all the time if you let them generate power during the daytime hours.

The truth is, they are a bit slower than regular wall outlets, but they will save you a lot of money looking long-term. Just don’t forget to check how many devices your solar bank can charge at the same time.

Kitchen appliances

Most people don’t know this, but you can power up a lot of your regular kitchen appliances with solar power, it’s not reserved solely for your smart devices.

We are talking about allowing your foster, coffee maker, sandwich maker, instant pot, and slow cooker to work properly without plugging them into a wall outlet. Okay, given that they are not big electricity spenders, your electricity savings won’t be huge, and they won’t make a big difference in terms of your budget, but you will go green this way and make a huge contribution to the environment.

Another benefit is that you will be able to use your kitchen normally, even if there’s a blackout. What you need in order to make this happen is a 25-watt bank, as well as an inverter that will convert DC to AC.

These devices are based on affordable solar panels, so they don’t cost much, and they are super practical.

Water heaters

Solar water heaters are not cheap, you should know that. Some regular kits cost between $250 and $500, which is not an insignificant sum, but they sure will pay themselves off very quickly given that the average power consumption on water heaters is around $400.

So yes, you will have to invest some money immediately, but according to people who did this, it was one of the best decisions in their lives. You should know that there are several different types of solar water heaters and that you will have to consult with some experts in order to conclude which one is the best one for you.

But the way they all work is simple – they will use the generated sun power to heat the water during the daytime, and then they will store it and keep it warm for later when the water is needed. We have flat-plate collector heaters that are based on heat-absorbing plates and evacuated tube collectors that are more reliable and more productive but more expensive as well.

Conclusion

As you can see, you don’t have to go for all or nothing, there are ways for you to start your solar journey with small but significant steps and to achieve some great results by investing a low amount of money.

This is probably the better way to go solar because it will allow you to see if that sort of sustainable lifestyle suits you, so it will be easier for you to decide later whether or not you are going to take the whole experience further and invest in additional solar systems.

10 Things You Need To Bring on a Boat Ride

There’s probably nothing better than enjoying the long summer days on a boat’s deck, staring at the image of an endless blue horizon. But in order for this trip to go well, each captain needs to have the essential pieces of boat equipment. We are talking about super practical and potentially life-saving items you need to bring with you each and every time.

So here are the top ten must-have boat accessories we believe should be an indispensable part of every amateur or professional boat captain.

First aid and safety kit

No matter if you are alone on your boat ride or you have a company of several people, it is crucial to make sure you have a first aid and safety kit prepared. You never know what sort of accident you may face at the water, so you need to be prepared for all sorts of emergency situations. But bear in mind – you need to know how to use all of the items from the kit, to be informed what procedures in several different scenarios are, and to constantly replenish these supplies.

Each kit of this kind should contain bandages, disinfectants, some multi-tool, a whistle, and flares that will mark your location in case you need help. Also, you should think about purchasing a waterproof case that will keep all of these items safe.

Paddle

Okay, this item needs to be on your top ten boat accessories list only if you are planning to sail on a smaller-sized boat. In that situation, this little piece of plastic and metal could be a lifesaver, but it would be ridiculous to bring it on a yacht, for instance. In case of an engine failure, this way, you would always be able to bring yourself back to the shore safely. Most modern paddles are telescopic, so you can fold them and place them in small spaces. Also, some of them have a hook on the other side of the stick, which could be very useful, and they are not an expensive piece of boat gear.

Fire extinguisher

If we are talking about safety, and we most certainly are, having a fire extinguisher on a boat is super important, but also abiding by the law. This is not something you can decide not to have, you are required to do it. And don’t forget that you have an obligation to check on a regular basis if it’s working correctly, as well as if it’s charged. How many of these items you will have to have on your boat depends on its size.

For smaller ones, only one will be enough, but larger yachts will ask for two or three fire extinguishers. Also, know that we are talking about a special marine fire extinguisher, not the regular one you use for home purposes.

Battery bank

Let’s be honest and admit that phones became an inseparable part of our lives and that we most certainly need to know we will be able to charge them all the time, even when we are on our boat, in the middle of nowhere. But besides for social networking and other fun reasons, we can use our phones as a GPS, like a flashlight, for calls in case of an emergency, etc. So a solar power battery bank can actually be quite an important part of boat accessories. 

Solar panel

One of the 10 things you need on a boat these days, at least if you want to make sure not to face a dead battery, is definitely a marine solar panel. This piece of equipment will allow you to charge your main battery as well as all other boat appliances without the fear of power ever running low.

Each day the charging process will start all over – your solar panel will collect and generate sun rays into the electricity you will be then able to use for whatever you need. Now, it’s not good to fully rely on the solar panel as the main source of energy, but it can be a perfect alternative solution.

Life vests

Among all other accessories for a boat, you most definitely need to have a life vest in proper size. Every member of the crew needs to have their own life jacket that fits them perfectly, their body shape, and particular weight. If there are children on the boat, you need to make sure to provide them with adequate smaller life vests that will allow them to act normal while having them attached. Bear in mind that kids under a certain age are required to wear a life jacket all the time, it’s not optional. For more information about this subject, check the laws and regulations in your state.

Fenders

Boat fenders or boat bumpers are another thing you need to have on your deck in order to make sure your vessel is well protected from each side. They will provide a protective layer between yours and other boats or some other items that could damage it when waves rock the vessel. Fenders are usually used when you tie your boat to another boat or dock, and you can place them on every side of the boat whenever they are needed.  

Anchor

It is a must to have a good anchor on your boat every time you sail off. It will make sure your vessel is steady when you are somewhere in the middle of the sea and when you are not using your engine. But it is important to know what anchor type is adequate for what sort of vessel and water bottom. That’s why some sailors will advise you to own two different types of anchors, especially if you don’t know what type of water bottom you can expect on your sailing trip. Also, you can use both of them if you want to make sure you are extra steady.

GPS

This one is a no-brainer. Every boat needs to have a GPS navigation device, no matter how good and experienced the captain is. The new age GPS devices have a high-frequency sonar system that will show you what’s in the water, they will point to good and safe spots, and they will show and follow your position all the time. It is especially important to have one of these if you are going into unfamiliar waters.

Most of them will show you the depth measures, which is crucial if you don’t want to find yourself in some sort of trouble and to damage your boat. Because if the water is too shallow, and you don’t know it, you could hurt your engine, for instance.

Navigation lights

It is a well-known fact that each boat should have an adequate navigation light for safety reasons. They are used mostly in cases of low visibility due to heavy rain or fog. Also, experts suggest you should make your vessel more visible with these devices in a short time frame between sunset and sunrise because the light shift could endanger you for a moment.

They are usually made from durable and waterproof materials, they are super easy to install, and they are very practical given that they will allow you to better see the other vessels, but also to allow others to see you more clearly, which, in foggy water can be crucial for safety reasons.

Tesla Charging Cost: Is Tesla charging cheaper than gas?

There’s no doubt that electric cars are our future. Mainly because they will greatly contribute to saving and protecting our planet, but also because they will allow us to conduct serious cost-saving measures.

However, at this very moment, when electric vehicles are present on our streets but in very small numbers, there’s a debate going on pretty much constantly, and it refers to – whether or not investing in an electric car right now is a smart move. 

There are so many questions that are relevant to this subject, like where you can charge your car, how convenient this process actually is, how long does the charging last, and finally – how much charging an electric car costs. Given that Tesla is the world’s most famous electric car manufacturer, we were wondering how much does it cost to charge a Tesla, and is it really cheaper than charging a regular car with gas.

We are now going to move to this topic, but before we do that you need to know that the cost of charging Tesla will depend on two factors – the model of your Tesla vehicle, and the way you use your car.

So let’s see what you can expect from Tesla Model X, Tesla Model 3, and Tesla Model S.

Tesla Model X charging cost

If you are thinking about investing in a Tesla Model X, you should know that the Tesla charging cost will be determined by several things. First, it will depend on whether you decided to use Tesla supercharger stations and free charging offered for this model or some other charging station, but also it will be dictated by the size of the battery that comes with the car. The company will offer you battery packs that have a capacity between 60 and 100 kWh.

Now, let’s presume you purchased this Tesla model with 100 kWh battery and that you are paying 13 cents per kWh, which is the national average cost for power across the US. Also, we will say that the car’s charging efficiency is 85%, which is typical for standard home charging stations, and that this model has a range of 305 miles. The conclusion is you will have to pay a little more than $15 for a full charge, which means the cost for one mile will be 5 cents.

Tesla Model 3 charging cost

If however, you are calculating how much it will cost to charge a Tesla Model 3, the answer is even less than Model X. This car, or more precisely the Long Range version, comes with a 322-mile range, and with 75 kWh battery pack.

We are doing the calculation based on the average national electric pricing of 13 cents per kWh, and on presumption, the charging efficiency is still 85%. And in that scenario, it will cost you exactly $11.47 to fully charge your electric vehicle. That furthermore means you will be paying $3.6 cents per mile when driving Tesla Model 3. 

What you should know is that this is way less than what you would be paying for a refuel of the gas-powered car. More precisely, it’s 80% less than what you would spend on a gas car. The average cost of fuel consumption is around 15 cents per mile. So it’s already pretty clear that charging Tesla is much cheaper than charging a regular gas-powered vehicle.

Tesla Model S charging cost

There are two versions of the Tesla Model S vehicle – Long Range and Performance, and both of them come with a battery that has 100 kWh capacity.

Now, the Performance electric car has the range of 348 miles, and if we take that the average cost of electricity is 13 cents per kWh and that the vehicle has 85% charging efficiency, the price of a fully charged car will be somewhere around $15, which is 4.4 cents a mile. But this model too, just like the Tesla Model X can be charged for free at Tesla supercharger stations.

Solar-powered charging station

Even though it’s obvious that you will be saving a lot of money after you buy an electric vehicle, the truth is you can save a lot more if you charge the car with solar power instead of regular electric charging stations. Home solar systems are the ideal solution for you if your house is suitable for this sort of installment.

In general, solar power can be generated for 5 cents per kWh, and that should lead to paying only 35% of standard electric car charging cost, which is impressive, you have to admit that. 

In some states where the electric utility rates are significantly higher than the national average, like in New York, California, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, charging Tesla through a home solar panel system will be 65% cheaper than if you are to use grid electricity. Now, you probably won’t install a solar system solely for the purpose of charging your car, but if that’s something you were considering before, buying an electric car could be additional stimulation for you and a push you needed in order to finally decide to go solar.

The cost of setting solar panels at your home can be more or less affordable, depending on where you live and how big of a system you want. If you want it to be provided with the best possible production, you should consult with the solar installer about the number of solar panels, and you should face directions by zip code and see what the best angle for your solar installation is.

How much to charge a Tesla vs how much to fuel a gas car

This is a very tricky subject given that the price of fuel is not the same at every state, as well as the price of electricity. So it can happen that in one state the price of fuel is extremely high, while the cost of electricity is very low. Also, the matter of range is another thing we need to consider. 

But in general, according to recent studies, driving a car with an internal combustion engine will cost you around $90 a month, or $1100 a year. Now, if you calculate the average cost of charging an electric car per mile, no matter which model we are talking about, it will be clear that gas-powered vehicles are a much bigger burden on your budget. 

But in this matter, there is another thing we need to focus on – the type of vehicle. There are ICEs, or internal combustion engine vehicles, which include diesel, gasoline, and biofuel options, then we have electric cars like Tesla that are fully based on battery power, and hybrid vehicles where we have two options. We differentiate plug-in hybrids that will shift to gasoline after the battery is empty, and hybrids that use gasoline to power a generator in order to create electric power.

Pros and cons of electric and gas car

In order to have a clearer picture when deciding to buy a new car, you should know about all the benefits and shortcomings of both gas and electric vehicles.

When it comes to gas-powered cars, their biggest advantage is that their upfront cost is usually lower, as well as the fact there is a huge variety of both new and used cars you can choose from.

Another important thing is that gas stations are pretty much located around every corner, so you won’t have to logistically plan when or where you are going to refuel the vehicle. Regarding the downsides, gas cars are more expensive to maintain and constantly refuel, and they are generally bad for our environment given they are based on burning fossil fuels and therefore contributing to global warming.

On the other hand, we have electric cars that are much cheaper to operate, which is a huge deal looking long term since that factor only will allow you to save up a lot of money each year. And with a Tesla supercharger, the cost of charging your vehicle will be extremely low. Also, they are great for the environment because there is no emission of hazardous substances, and they are easy and cheap to maintain.

The disadvantages of electric vehicles lie in the fact they are pretty expensive to buy at the moment, the insurance for them is pretty expensive as well, but that’s something that’s probably going to change in the future, so they will become more affordable to most people. Now, if you already have or you decide to build a solar installation at your home, you will reduce your charging costs significantly. Also, charging stations are not that common still so you will have to plan well where and when you should go when you need to recharge your car.

Overall, we can conclude that both car types have their good and bad arguments, but the fact is electric cars have the tendency to overpower the standard gas vehicles. There’s no doubt that they can be equally good performance-wise, Tesla electricity vehicles proved that to be true, and better in two most important aspects – money and environment wise, so it is pretty much expected to see this shift in the near future.

Conclusion

We can say with certainty that we provided you with an answer to the question – is Tesla charging cheaper than gas. And you are now definitely aware that it is, significantly. Yes, there are still other things to concern about when buying a new car and thinking about investing in an electric vehicle, but given that EV is our future we believe those problematic aspects will adapt to our needs pretty soon.

The idea of using a solar power system for charging a vehicle makes it even more appealing than before, given that this move can lower your expenses dramatically for years to come. You can even think about building a solar carport which will have double function – to protect your car from bad weather and to generate electricity from the sun.

We suggest you take your time and think about all that with calm, but to keep in mind all the benefits you will gain and bring in your everyday life if you decide to go with electric cars and latest technologies.

Is Tesla Powerwall the Best Solar Battery on the Market?

There’s no doubt that purchasing a solar battery you can connect to solar panels is a great investment – it is an essential part of solar equipment. Solar storage is actually becoming an absolute must in solar home systems because of its unprecedented value. But the fact is the solar market is offering us so many options regarding this subject, and it can be quite hard to decide which solar battery is the best.

Now, the newest addition in the solar battery category called Tesla Powerwall brought a great buzz and made us wonder if that’s the device we wanna buy for our solar needs. The things are pretty clear here – Tesla battery is a great solution given it’s high-quality made with some fantastic features, and it’s pretty affordable. But let’s take a closer look at it and see if this claim is the right one.

Main Tesla solar battery features

What most people who are considering buying a Tesla home battery want to know is what they are going to get if they decide to invest in this device.

Well, according to experts, Tesla Powerwall has some of the best specifications, including the Gateway management system that will allow you solar monitoring. Also, it is built with one of the highest capacity ratings, at least when it comes to residential solar batteries.

It can keep up to 14 kWh of electricity at any moment, which is enough to support around half of your daily energy needs, on the average.

The Tesla battery pack has a 5 kW power output, which means it can support electrical outlets and lights, as well as small appliances, but when it comes to larger electricity consumers, this battery won’t be able to do the work on its own.

The thing that makes this Powerwall so popular is the fact it comes with three modes – solar self-consumption, time-based control, and backup power. Thanks to that, you will be able to dictate when and how you want to store or release energy cumulated inside the battery.

For example, if you set the firs mentioned mode, you can store the solar energy for later, for the night hours or situations when there’s a blackout.

Tesla Powerwall cost

At this very moment, Tesla batteries can be bought and installed for around $11.000. The battery itself is $7.000, but the Gateway management system and installation are additional $4.000. But bear in mind that the cost of installation and Gateway will remain the same even if you decide to install more than one battery pack.

Tesla Powerwall can be found at Tesla official website, or you can purchase it from Tesla installer. Now, if you believe $11.000 is too much, you should check what solar battery incentives are available. That way, you could lower the cost of this device significantly. We are talking about the federal tax credit that will take off 26% of the price, but also about some other rebates and incentives that are state and utility-oriented. For instance, in Vermont or California, you can cover almost the entire cost of a Tesla battery and its installation if you take the right steps.

Tesla Powerwall vs other solar batteries

As we previously mentioned, the market is full of many different solar batteries, especially now when a number of people who are willing to go solar are rising every day. Currently, the biggest competitors to Tesla Powerwall are new sonnenCore battery and LG Chem RESU battery.  Here is a detailed analysis that will showcase all benefits and shortcomings of these devices.

Capacity and power rating

If you compare all three of them, you will see how Tesla has the biggest capacity – 14 KWh, while LG Chem supports only 9.3 kWh, and sonnenCore is on 10 kWh. Based only on that you can conclude your appliances will be powered for a longer period of time with a Tesla battery, than if you are to use the other two batteries.

When it comes to power rating, Tesla and LG Chem are the same – they have 5.0 kW continuous, and their peek is on 7.0 kW. SonnenCore, on the other hand, has a higher peak power of 8.6 kW, and a bit lower continuous power of 4.8 kW. That means Tesla and LG power up more appliances, but that sonnesCore is designed to better handle short spikes in power consumption.

Operating modes

Now, the fact is all of these batteries are built to store the electricity generated by the solar panels for later when we actually need to use it.

Since we are analyzing Tesla Powerwall, you should understand that self-consumption mode will make sure every surplus of energy generated during the day goes to the battery storage, so you can use it later on for powering up your home when the night comes and solar panels are no longer generating electricity.

On the other hand, the backup mode implies the battery will be stored with electricity either from solar panels or from the grid. This mode is set in a way to allow this power to be used only in case of a grid outage. The battery has the ability to detect blackouts and to start supplying home appliances with stored electricity almost immediately.

But the best thing about Tesla batteries is their time-of-use functionality that will dictate how the battery will be charged depending on the price of electricity, and based on time-of-use rates. In reality, it looks like this – when the price of electricity is low, your Tesla Powerwall will be charging from solar panels allowing you to power up your home with cheap energy from the grid.

And then when the price of electricity goes up, it will power up your lights and appliances, so you don’t have to spend so much on expensive energy from the grid. That way you will be able to save a lot of money on electricity looking long term.

Warranty

People who are familiar with solar industry trends say that the warranty Tesla Powerwall comes with is pretty standard. You will get a 10-year limited warranty on this lithium-ion battery that should be on its 70 percent capacity after a decade. Certainly, the operating mode you use the most will affect its lifespan. 

Now, even though all of these three batteries should last for ten years at least, Tesla’s warranty isn’t the best one. SonnenCore is a leading name in this matter given that it will work on 70 percent capacity either after ten years, or after it releases 58 MWh of electricity – depending on which condition will be fulfilled first. And Tesla Powerwall will be at the same 70 percent after releasing 37.8 MWh of electricity, which is significantly less.

Also, it seems like sonnenCore battery will last longer than the Tesla. It’s lithium iron phosphate-based, unlike the Powerwall which is a lithium nickel manganese cobalt battery, and according to experts, the first one is known to have a longer life span. Besides, sonnenCore battery is easier to recycle, and it’s less likely to catch fire because it doesn’t contain cobalt.

Price

And finally, we came to the price issue. Tesla may not have the best warranty in the market, but it sure is the most affordable solar battery, especially if you consider all the great features it comes with. The calculation implies that Tesla Powerwall cost around $592.59 per kWh of storage capacity.

The next in line is LG Chem whose price per kWh is $ 735.68, so if you decide to go with that device, you will be definitely paying more for the battery that has smaller capacity. And in third place, as the most expensive solution, comes a sonnenCore battery that cost around $950.00 per kWh.

Is Tesla Powerwall worth the investment?

We will be absolutely honest and fair when we say that Tesla Powerwall is the best energy storage you can currently find in the market. It is an ideal solution if you are looking to purchase a battery, you can connect to your home solar system. It has some great features and advanced technical specifications, while it’s being the most affordable product of this kind. You will be extremely pleased with how it works, and especially with its ability to shift between three modes.

Now, you should bear in mind that Tesla customer service isn’t something the company can be proud of, so the chances you will be waiting for installation for quite some time is pretty much certain. So if you are in a hurry to set it all up as soon as possible, this may be a problem. In California, for example, this is a huge issue, given that a great number of people are purchasing solar batteries due to great incentives and often blackouts.

But overall, once it’s installed and in work, you won’t have anything to complain about, that’s for sure. Its capacity is outstanding, continuous output quite decent, and the number of features it comes with cannot compare to any other solar battery.

Pool Solar System Guide: Learn About Solar Pool Heating

During the hottest summer days, your pool water will be warm enough for you to have a nice and pleasant swim, but if you would like to enjoy your pool from early spring to late fall, or even during the winter months, you will have to find a way to heat your pool. The ideal solution is to install swimming pools solar heaters that will not only make your pool water well warmed, but that will help you save a lot of money on electricity bills.

We are talking about solar systems that are pretty cheap, so even if you are on a budget, you will be able to afford one. According to some research, they will be a great investment because, among all other reasons, these systems can last much longer than regular gas or electric pool heating installations.  

Solar pool heating can be used for both in-ground and above-ground pools, and it can cover the needs of any pool size. They are very versatile in their design and the way they work. Now, we are going to present you with everything you need to know about this subject in order to understand better what you can expect from solar pool heating systems.

How does a pool solar system work?

When properly set and installed, the heating pool system will first pump the water out of the pool using a filter, after which the thermal collector will heat it up and send it back to the pool. The heat is provided by solar panels that will absorb and transform solar power into usable electricity. Additional parts of this system, besides the collector, are the flow control valve, check valve, and temperature sensor.

Usually, these systems are capable of automatically detecting the temperature of the water and sending it straight to the solar collector to heat it up. And with the help of a flow control valve, the water will be directed from the solar collector back to the pool.

What you should know is that there are solar pool heating systems that can work year-round, even in a colder climate and during the winter months. The oversized solar collector will keep your pool water warm no matter what in those situations. The best part is you can use a solar system of this kind together with traditional gas or electric pool heating installation, so you won’t have to be worried if there’s not enough sun in the sky during the entire year.

Solar thermal collector

You understood by now that there is no solar heating system without a thermal collector. It’s the key part that uses solar power provided by solar panels to warm the water before bringing it back into the pool. There are two main types of thermal collectors – glazed and unglazed.

Glazed thermal collectors usually come with quite a complex design that includes iron-tempered glass covering, aluminum plate, and copper tubing. They are also known as flat-plate solar collectors, and they are pretty expensive. These collectors are very efficient when it comes to heating the water with the help of the sun’s power, and they won’t ask for much space. Glazed collectors are suitable for systems that will work during the entire year, even when the winter months come.

The unglazed solar collector is definitely more affordable and simpler in its design. It’s mostly made from high-quality rubber or heavy-duty plastic, and it’s UV treated for the purpose of having a prolonged lifespan. These solar collectors are not as efficient as glazed ones, but they will do their job correctly. They are an adequate solution for warmer climates where the temperature doesn’t go below zero degrees.

Solar collector size

According to the Department of Energy, solar collectors should be between 50% and 100% of the square footage size of the pool you are planning to use it on. That actually depends on how long you are planning to use your pool during the year and how warm the pool water you would like to have. Now, those people who would like to use their pools throughout the entire year should purchase a thermal collector that’s the size of the pool or even larger.

Solar pool system cost

If you are wondering what the pool heater cost is and how huge of an investment this will be, you should know that the price of a fully installed solar pool heating system is somewhere between $3000 and $4000. Now, the general estimate is that you will be able to pay off this investment in less than two years, after which you will be saving a lot on electricity bills, especially if you plan on heating the pool water through the entire year. If your appetites are even bigger, and you would like to go fully solar, you can additionally install a solar water pump as well, which will cost you an additional $1000 to $3000.  You can choose to use a submersible or a surface mounted water pump.

Way are solar pool heaters a good idea?

We already mentioned that with solar pool heaters you will be able to save a lot of money on electricity bills looking forward, but also that you will contribute to preserving nature and protecting the environment from the bad influence of fossil fuels. But those aren’t the only reasons why you should think about investing in this sort of system. Pool solar panels will provide a long lifespan to a solar heating system, and it’s most likely it will last longer than any regular electric or gas heating installation.

Conclusion

Using solar energy for making and keeping your pool water warm is nothing but smart. It is a great thing we are even able today to do such a thing, and for a very affordable price, if we are being honest, given that the benefits of a solar pool heating system are huge. Just imagine being able to swim in your pool during winter days and without having to spend hundreds of dollars on making the water feel pleasant.

We hope we helped you understand better why installing this heating system is our recommendation and how exactly it works, but before you purchase it and set it all up, make sure to consult with your installer to see what are his recommendations regarding the type of thermal collector and the size of the system.

What Equipment Do You Need for Setting Up a Solar System for Home?

mounting solar panels on roof

It’s pretty clear that solar systems are becoming more and more popular as time goes by and that there are more and more people willing to do their part regarding environmental preservation and reducing their own carbon footprint. Now, let’s not pretend that we all decided to go solar only because it was the right thing to do for our planet. The truth is, that’s only one reason, while the other lies in the fact we could save so much money on electricity bills if we were about to have a solar system installed upon our roof. But let’s be clear – there’s nothing wrong with that, on the contrary. 

According to statistics, during the previous year, 23 percent of growth has been detected when it comes to the number of residential solar systems being installed. And what’s been pretty obvious by now is that this number will be even higher at the end of 2020. The reason for that huge growth lies in the fact efficiency of solar systems has been drastically improved in the last few years, but also, the cost of solar panels has dropped significantly. So if you are interested in installing solar panels, here is what you need to know and have.

Solar panels for household

Usually, solar systems for home usage will be installed on the roof of your home, and they will convert the sunlight into the electricity you can use to power up your house appliances. Quite often, these solar panels systems are being called PV, as photovoltaic systems. 

If you choose your system wisely, and if we are talking about only high-quality solar installations, the roof-mounted solar construction will eliminate or reduce your home’s dependence on the local power grid, and therefore you will be able to save on electricity bills month after month.

We cannot deny that a home solar system is quite an investment, but the truth is it will most definitely pay off, and you will find yourself in a position to count on and use mostly clear and renewable energy that will prolong the lifespan of the planet we all live on.

Now, be aware that we have off-grid and on-grid solar power systems but that most solar systems for the home will remain connected to the grid. The off-grid solar installation is more appropriate for remote areas that have limited access to electricity in general.

Main components of the solar system

In order to understand how exactly the solar system works, you need to know what are its main components and how they work. We are referring to:

  • Solar panels
  • Solar racking
  • Solar inverters
  • Solar monitoring system
  • Solar storage

Solar panels

You cannot have a solar power system without solar panels. In other words, they are the main part of every solar installation, and when choosing which to buy, you should consider their efficiency rating, quality of the materials they are made of, warranty periods, their price and type.

Residential solar systems are usually based on one of these two types of solar panels – monocrystalline and polycrystalline. There are no huge differences between them, except the fact monocrystalline panels are a bit more expensive and slightly more effective.

Now, how many solar panels you will install and where you are going to place them depends on several factors, like what’s the climate like in the place you live in, do you have enough surface on your roof for solar installation, do you want to generate enough electricity for your entire household’s need or you would like just to cover one part, etc.

That’s something you should consult with a professional installer, but there’s also an option of using an online solar system size calculator. Also, be aware that if you have an extensive capacity solar system, you can probably send a surplus of electricity back to the grid in exchange for credits via net metering.

Solar racking

Even though it looks that way, solar panels aren’t actually attached directly to the roof. They stand on a solar ranking that can be constructed in different ways and in different angles, depending on what’s the desirable position of the panels regarding sun exposure. The racking is mounted on the roof, and solar panels are lying on top of it. This element needs to be built in a good quality manner and to be very durable and sturdy, so you can be sure your solar system won’t be endangered in case of bad weather.

Solar inverter

Solar panel systems cannot work without solar inverters. It is a device that has the ability to receive direct current (DC) solar panels generated and to transform it into alternating current (AC) our home appliances are working on. So without it, the power produced by the sun would be useless.

There are three types of inverters – micro inverters, centralized or string inverters, and power optimizers. Microinverters are pretty expensive, and solar systems based on these inverters need to have more than one – each solar panel is connected to one inverter. They will allow your system to work well even if some of the panels do not perform at their maximum at the moment.

The centralized inverters are more affordable, but they can fail to do their job properly, given there’s only one inverter on the whole solar system, regardless of the number of solar panels. And if there’s shading, the whole system could experience production loss. When it comes to power optimizers, they actually optimize the output of DC current, and they need to be installed in each solar panel. The system with power optimizers will need a centralized inverter as well.

Solar monitoring system

If you would like to be familiar with how your system is performing, how much electricity you were provided in the previous period, you should rely on the solar monitoring system. It will be able to show you how much electricity your solar installation was generating per day, per hour, or per year. Also, it will alarm you if there are any changes in the system.

Solar storage

When mentioning solar storage, we are actually talking about solar batteries. There are those that can store and save energy your solar system generated for later on, when you need it, or only overnight until the sun rises again and the system starts working again. They are a very important part of the solar installation because they will enable you to have a fully functional home even when the power is off or when the grid connection is not available. But also, they can keep the excess electricity before you are ready to send it back to the grid and use the net metering services.

The cost of a solar system

The overall cost of your specific solar power system will be determined by several factors, so we cannot speak about this subject in general. The fact is, solar panel systems are not cheap, but another fact is that there is a federal solar tax credit that will deduct 26 percent of the cost that installing a solar system brings from your federal taxes, as well as other solar incentives.

Regarding the calculations, you should know that the average payback period is usually six to seven years, depending on the size of the system, and that most solar panel manufacturers will give you a 25-year long warranty. That means there will be around 18 years where you won’t have to pay a dime for the electricity you are using, or that at least these expenses will be drastically reduced.

Solar installers

Who to trust with your solar system is always a huge question. Because not every installer is a good one, and because the overall performance, as well as the lifespan of the solar system, will depend on the way the system is set up. It can also affect the return on your investment. It is essential your installer is well experienced, licensed, and recommended by a significant number of people.

Conclusion

When you decide it is time for you to start thinking about your future solar system, and you begin to search for the best solar panels, know that three things are crucial in that matter – for them to be reliable, highly efficient and that they are covered with the warranty. The efficiency will show you how much electricity your system can generate per square foot.

The reliability depends on the quality of materials solar panels are made of and the technology they are based on. And finally, the warranty period will let you know for how long you can count on your solar system to provide electricity.

Solar Monitoring System: How Does it Work?

Not all people are familiar with this fact, but there are solar monitoring systems that can be quite helpful in the matter of providing insight on how your solar system is performing. Thanks to it, you can get information on your system’s energy generation and consumption, you can find out if there’s any damage to your system, and if it needs to be better optimized. Solar panel monitoring is extremely important because, without it, you won’t be able to know if your solar installation is productive and effective enough. 

How solar monitoring works?

Storedge-monitoring-RedSolar inverters are crucial for solar PV monitoring, given that the whole process goes through them. You probably know that you can purchase a solar inverter that has adequate solar monitoring software. Now, when your inverter transforms DC current into AC power you can use for your home appliances, all information about your system’s production and power levels is being gathered and sent right to the monitoring system if you have one.

Every homeowner can access this data in several ways, but one of the most popular is via a smartphone app or other smart home devices. In most cases, you won’t even have to have a WiFi connection. There’s an on-site monitoring option as well since you can set it all up to receive monitoring information on a monitoring device that’s located at your property.

When it comes to the Internet connection, you should know that microinverter monitoring systems rely on a WiFi connection and that they won’t be able to gather information on each individual solar panel in real-time without it. But monitoring systems with power optimizers will transmit data even when the WiFi connection is down.

Besides the fact solar monitors will provide you with information on systems performance and consumption, a monitoring system can offer you several tools that will help you better understand the whole solar setup of yours. This way, you will be informed when there’s some sort of a problem detected or a panel defect you need to take care of. Sometimes, these monitoring systems will allow you to get a history of data. That can be quite valuable because you will be able to predict the output of your solar system based on information about how it was impacted by the weather in the past.

Most popular monitoring systems

Enphase and SolarEdge are the two most popular solar inverter providers, and homeowners in most cases are looking for their products because they can come with a solar monitoring system that’s very reliable and high-quality designed. Now, they do offer two very different types of solar monitoring, and you need to figure out first which one you need.

SolarEdge has a power optimizer that needs to be tied up to a central inverter, and you can use a wireless connection to send the data to your mobile application. On the other hand, Enphase offers a system of microinverters that are attached to every individual solar panel. They are designed to communicate with the main device using WiFi, which will then provide you with monitoring information on your app.

These two systems are the most wanted at this very moment, but of course, there are many other companies that are selling solar monitoring systems. They can be quite different regarding their type and the way they work, which is why you should consult with an expert before you decide which monitoring system to invest in.

10 Types of Security Cameras

You may think that purchasing a security camera for your home is a simple and easy task, but as soon as you start researching the market, you will discover that there are so many different options regarding this subject. There are many types of security cameras, and each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages. So it’s necessary to establish what is that you want and need first, and then to see what your choices are in that narrowed area.

Here is the list of the ten most common types of home security cameras you can find in the market right now.

Bullet cameras

Bullet cameras are the most popular outdoor cameras. They have a specific cylindrical shape that looks a little bit like a bullet, so hence its name. We are talking about quite recognizable cameras, so if you place them at some visible spot, it’s very likely potential intruders will detect them and give up on attacking your home. But at the same time, there is a huge chance some vandals will try to destroy it for the very same reasons. These cameras will provide you with fixed views, so they are usually placed at the entering and exit points of the building. But given that their recording area is pretty limited, you will need more of them to cover a certain field. You can mount these cameras on the wall or ceiling, and even though they are most suitable for outdoor purposes, you can also place them inside of your home or office space.

Dome cameras

Dome cameras are, in most cases, used indoors, but they can also be a good choice for outdoor purposes. They are much more discreet than bullet security cameras, they have a round shape and are mostly attached to the ceiling. Therefore they are also called ceiling cameras. When it comes to their features, they are quite similar to a previously mentioned type of cameras, but they have some additional advantages. They have a much wider viewing angle, so you won’t have to install many of them in order to cover your entire building area. Also, dome cameras are more resilient toward vandalism. You should know that both dome and bullet cameras can come with a night vision and motion-detecting technology and that they can be connected to the NVR or DVR recorder.

IP cameras

Internet Protocol or shortly IP camera works entirely via the Internet – it will collect control data and send the images using this global network. Unlike CCTV cameras, these do not need recording devices, everything goes directly on the web, it’s just the matter of choice if they are going to be wireless or wired. One of the biggest advantages of these types of security cameras for home is that they can allow you to see your security footage no matter where you are at the moment. They can have different shapes and sizes, and they can be installed inside of the place you want to protect, or on the outside, it’s up to you to choose.

ip camera on white background

Wired and wireless cameras

As we already said, there is a difference if the data from the security camera will transmit via a wired or wireless system. Wired cameras are powered by the cable connection, which they need in order to receive and store filmed footage. They need to be attached to a video recorder, and they usually ask for professional help when it comes to installing them. The good thing about wired cameras is the fact you won’t have to wonder if they are working, because there is no changing batteries or some adjustments of other kinds, they will always have a power supply. On the other hand, wireless cameras are much easier to install and maintain, and they are more suitable for people who move a lot since their set up is super simple, and you won’t have to drill some holes. They may need cable for power, but mostly they will use Wi-Fi for storing data.

Indoor and outdoor cameras

Some of the security cameras can be used both indoors and outdoors, but there are many specifications that will tell you what they are made for in the first place. First of all, all outdoor cameras must be weather and especially water-resistant. Second of all, they should have some kind of a patent that helps to minimize the glare, like the enclosure at the tip of the barrel on bullet cameras.

And the third thing is, they should be based on infrared sensing, not only motion detection because, in that case, they will be triggered by many meaningful events that happen in nature. Indoor cameras usually have a quite wider field of view, HD video, night vision, and two-way communication feature as a must. So, in case there is an intruder in your home, you will be able to record the high-quality image of that person, to see in the dark, and to warn your loved ones about the danger.

Voice integrated cameras

Modern-day security cameras sometimes come with an integrated voice assistant, which is the latest addition to the smart home system. If you get one of those, you will be in a position to give voice commands to your security camera to control and monitor your surveillance system, hands-free. These features will make the usage of the camera simple and more flexible, but you need to make sure to speak clearly and a bit louder than usual if you want for your system to get you right. Mostly these cameras are integrated with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Solar-powered cameras

There are many types of outdoor security cameras, but lately, those that work solely on the power of the sun are becoming the most popular ones. We are talking about solar-powered cameras that are made in a way that includes a little solar panel, which is sometimes integrated into the body of the camera, and sometimes it comes as a separate part. These cameras need to be placed outside, under the direct sunlight, so their panels can collect and generate the sunlight into the usable electricity. Only if that’s achieved, they will be able to work properly and provide you with the footage. They come in different shapes and with different specifications.

PTZ cameras

Some people like having more control in their hands, so they usually choose PTZ cameras, which are based on pan, tilt, and zoom features. That way, the operator of the surveillance system will have more freedom to move and zoom the camera’s lens and to get better images. Now, there is an option to do all those things manually or to set everything up, so the camera follows a certain composition of rules. These cameras are quite advanced, so they are rarely used just for home monitoring, and mostly for television and sports broadcast, event producing, video conferencing, and for more serious security. They are almost always designed for a specific application.

Hidden cameras

If you would like to have a discreet security camera that’s not easily noticed, you can go with the one that is hidden behind some other objects like motion detectors or smoke alarms. These cameras will provide you with an extra layer of security if you place them in some strategic places. They are great for surveillance of the employees and customers, and they usually come with a wide-angle lens and high resolution so that the footage remains in good quality. Also, they can be, in most cases, controlled remotely, even if you are away from the object under the cameras.

Cameras with a security system

Security cameras are sometimes just part of a bigger and more advanced surveillance system. These complex structures demand to have a couple of different types of devices that will give you full and flexible recording features. Quite often they are coupled with home automation and remote monitoring, which means you will be able to see who is in your doorstep even if you are somewhere else, and to unlock the door and give these people access, all while being far away. There’s also an opportunity of using a video splitter in order to view multiple feeds simultaneously.

Conclusion

So, it is pretty clear that there are many different types of security cameras and that it will take some time for you to figure out which one will be the best for surveillance of your property. You should bear in mind, however, that you can combine a couple of them and create a customized security system that will answer to all your needs. But for starters, you need to estimate what are your true home security risks.

How to Install Motion Sensor Lightning?

So, you have finally decided to try on solar motion lights! We congratulate you on your decision because, as it turns out, they are an ideal way to illuminate your front or back yard and to have a great security tool that will alarm you when someone approaches your property, all at once. Now, if you would like to do the work on your own and set up the lights without the help of professionals, we present you with short but detailed instructions on how to install motion sensor lights that work solely on the power of the sun.

Step 1 – Prepare necessary tools

Before you start, you should prepare everything you will need for this endeavour. You will probably have to use a 4-in-1 screwdriver, maybe a drill, and leather, if you wish to mount the light on a wall of the house, above the driveway or pathway.

Step 2 – Choose the spot

You need to decide where you want to place your solar motion light. The experts suggest mounting it six to ten feet above the ground, in a zone that’s mostly used by visitors so that the sensor can catch the movements – the driveway, front door path, and back yard main path. That way, the light will always turn on when you are coming home at night or when you are stepping into your yard, but also, they will warn you if someone else does the same. You can also use these lights to illuminate the darkest places of your property, your patio, pool area, fence gates, etc.

Step 3 – Mount the light

Solar-powered motion security lights can come in two ways – with a solar panel as a separate part, and with a solar panel integrated on top of the light. If we are talking about the first option, then you need to mount both parts, usually closely one to another, because they are connected with a wire. Another option is much easier since you will just have one task – to mount the light in a proper place. In both cases, you need to make sure solar panels will have good exposure to the sun during the whole day, so it can charge the battery as soon as possible, and make sure your lights are ready for the night time. When it comes to specifics of the mounting process, each manufacturer will provide you with a manual that will explain all you need to do.

Step 4 – Aim the sensor and the light

During the mounting process, don’t forget about the motion sensor that comes with a light. You need to aim it correctly, so it remains pointed to the pathway, driveway, or any other area you want to be covered with its range. Both lights and sensors can have an adjustable head, so you can adapt their angle to your needs. So adjust the light as well, you probably want it to illuminate certain sports.

Step 5 – Set the controls

And finally, if you have a bit more advanced motion sensor lights, this is the part where you should adjust all the settings you can. That includes the detector’s distance range, the time period your lights will be on when motion is detected, and the brightness of the lights. Some of them come with several modes and possibilities, like when they turn into dim lights if the person stays on the illuminated spot for more than 30 seconds. And that’s it. You can now enjoy your brand new motion lighting!