How Do Solar Post Cap Lights Turn On At Night?
Despite solar post-cap lights being a popular option for outdoor lighting, you may need to learn precisely how they work. This is a fast information tidbit if you’re interested in more advanced details about these sun-powered lights.
First of all, solar lights have something called the photovoltaic effect. To keep matters short, this photovoltaic effect helps convert the electrical current in a solar cell when it touches sunlight. Therefore, similar to a plant in photosynthesis, your solar post cap is a self-sustaining powerhouse.
What is a Solar Cell In A Solar Post Cap?
If you recall from the information earlier, the photovoltaic effect occurs when the solar cell receives power from the sun. Therefore, the solar cell is the primary component of what makes your solar post cap, calculator, or solar panel convert sunlight into an electrical current.
The solar cell is the dark panel at the top of your post cap. Since this is the part that will consume the energy from the sun, you want to ensure this area of your solar post cap is visible to the sun and not blocked by any obstructions.
How Exactly Does The Solar Cell Convert Sunlight Into An Electrical Current?
If you want to delve further into the scientific process, there are two types of electrons in the solar cell: negatively charged and positively charged. Since the solar cell is created from crystalline silicon, it adds layers that enable the electrons to reside in spaces on the solar cell.
When sunlight passes through the solar cell, it encourages the negatively charged electrons to move toward the positively charged electrons. Then, the positively charged electrons take the electron stream created and transfer it into electricity through the wiring in the solar cell to the battery in your post cap.
How Does A Solar Post Cap Illuminate At Night?
After the last step, the battery stores all the electricity it receives from the sunlight until it needs to use it. When it turns dark outside, solar cells will no longer go through the conversion process of electrons, and instead, the battery will supply the needed power to turn on the light.
Solar post caps have a special photoreceptor that is made from LEDs that give the post cap an indication that it is time to turn on the light. This process repeats time and time again to illuminate your outdoor space.
How Do You Ensure A Solar Post Cap Receives Adequate Light?
One of the first steps to ensure a solar post cap receives adequate light is by placing your post cap in a place where trees, bushes, or other obstructions will not block the solar cell. If your solar cell at the top of a post cap is not cleaned regularly, dirt and other grime could cause issues. Use a non-abrasive cleaner like Windex to clean the top of the solar cell, so it always works its best.