Closeup of a solar lamp in a yard

Solar lamps are an energy-efficient and cost-effective household fixture. They make renewable electricity accessible for homeowners that can’t afford to install a residential solar grid.

In addition, solar lamps are available at different prices and often require little or no help during installation. These factors make them a convenient and budget-friendly purchase for small homes. 

This article will discuss the solar lamp lighting system and its cost-effective mechanism. 

But before we get into it, here’s a down and dirty answer to how much money you can save with solar lamps.

How Much Money Do Solar Lamps Save?

You can save anywhere between $0.25 to $0.40 per day when using off-grid solar lamps at home. However, total savings depends on solar light wattage consumed during usage and the local utility costs in your area. 

Using this benchmark, you save approximately $91.25 to $146 annually after switching to solar lights. Plus, most LED lamps consume only 10% of the energy utilized by traditional lighting systems. It can’t get any more sustainable. 

The Basics: How Do Solar Lamps Work?

Most solar-powered lamps use strategically assembled mirrors or photovoltaic (PV) panels to direct solar radiation. The thermal energy gets converted into electrical energy used immediately or stored in a battery.

The lamp includes numerous other components, including an LED light, charge controllers, inverters, batteries, solar panels, and cells. 

A portable solar lamp with power bank

The controllers prevent solar batteries from discharging too much energy and inhibit charging when there’s sufficient energy stored inside the cells. Simultaneously, the inverter converts direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC) when switching on the lamp. 

Most solar lamps operate on rechargeable batteries that require adequate solar energy. 

Many outdoor solar lighting systems automatically switch on when the sun sets. This automated mode can prove highly convenient for yards during nighttime as you won’t have to walk in the dark. 

The advantages of solar lamps include:

  • Easy installation and usage – solar lamps work without wires and cables. The cordless mechanism makes everything from installation to handling user-friendly.

    Without worrying about wires or outlets, you can position the lights anywhere. They are also available in versatile shapes and sizes, making it easier to redecorate your home with accent solar lamps. 
  • Hassle-free maintenance – premium-grade solar lamps have a long life. They last for many years and only require a battery change every 3-5 years. However, you should still ensure that dirt and dust don’t build up in the main components of your lighting system. 
  • An excellent power outage backup – stormy weather and local electricity issues can cause voltage issues. Alternatively, your grid might fail due to some system error. Solar lights keep your house and yard illuminated during these times, making it easier for you to exit safely. 
  • Safe and sustainable – conventional lights are potential fire hazards. They might overheat, discharge excessive carbon emissions or electrocute someone during fluctuating voltage problems. In contrast, solar lights are less likely to overheat or cause a fire. 

The benefits of solar lamps do not end here. These lights are energy-efficient and cost-effective. These characteristics make them an excellent investment for residential properties. 

But, how much do solar lamps cost? Are they worth it? 

A couple calculates the cost savings of solar lamps at a table

Costs and Savings: How Much Do Solar Lamps Save?

Most solar lamps cost around $20 to $100 in online marketplaces. In comparison, buying standalone solar bulbs and lights will cost roughly $5 to $20. That’s a few dollars more than regular bulbs and lamps. 

A complete solar energy installation can cost hundreds of dollars more. As a result, many homeowners are reluctant to commit to solar energy systems because of the high prices.

However, you can adapt to renewable electricity systems with solar lamps without paying for expenditures. You can start with a single purchase of a solar accent lamp before investing in more sun-powered lights. 

Moreover, the investment dollars do pay for themselves after some time.

How Much Energy Do Solar Lamps Save? 

Conventional lighting systems account for 15% of your electricity consumption. However, solar lamps can reduce daily consumption significantly because most certified lighting products use “90% less energy than standard bulbs.”

Additionally, solar lights cut energy costs associated with HVAC systems because these lighting systems do not emit as much heat. 

As a result, using solar lamps keeps your home greener and cooler throughout the year. 

Energy consumption rates vary region by region. You can calculate yours by multiplying your conventional lamp’s operating wattage (in kWh) with the number of hours your light operates each day.

For example, assume you use a 40-watt lamp that works for 12 hours each night. 

You can calculate the daily consumption of 40 x 12 = 480 watts. When you convert this into kWh, you get 0.48 kWh per day. 

After this, you can check how much your electrical company charges per kWh. Expect additional fees related to fuel, maintenance, rentals, and other variables that influence energy supply. 

Conversely, you save almost 90% of the energy per kilowatt when using solar lamps.

These eco-friendly lightning products are not connected to your main supply line. Since they generate their electrical power independently, you won’t be charged for daily usage. Only electrical products related to the grid will add to your utility bill—anything running on solar power will not be included. 

Energy prices rise by roughly 1.5% each year, going up to 13.15¢ per kWh in 2020. Local weather conditions, electricity distribution rates, availability, and hourly supply are some factors that impact costs. 

Switching to solar lamps saves you from the rising electricity costs because the primary grid isn’t connected to your lights. Since they do not use energy from the power lines, the utility companies will not be charging you any extra dollars. 

Do Solar Lamps Have High Maintenance Costs? 

Conventional electrical lamps and lights do not last too long. Most lamps operate on unreliable photosensor cells that can break down quickly.

Due to this, your light might stay switched on for hours, overheat or stop functioning. The continuous upgrades and maintenance charges result in a hefty bill at the end of the year. 

You might even need to replace your standard lamps within a short time. Of course, that adds to the total cost of energy consumption and monthly expenditure. 

As mentioned earlier, solar lamps don’t require a lot of maintenance. Depending on the size and mechanism of its internal system, the lights function without breakdown for years. And they typically only need a battery upgrade every 3-5 years. 

One of the reasons for its low maintenance costs is the simple construction. Solar lamps operate on small photocells with no moving parts or heavy-duty machinery. In this regard, these lamps are less likely to get damaged during operation. 

That said, your fixture might require repairs from time to time. Outdoor solar lamps, in particular, may stop operating due to environmental damage.

You should examine the lamps for dust buildup, storm damage, or other signs of breakage if you notice a change in its light-emitting capabilities. 

However, it’s still a reasonably inexpensive upgrade compared to the maintenance costs of standard electric lights. 

How Long Do Solar Lamps Take to Pay Off Installation Costs? 

The answer depends on different variables, including your geographical location, operational costs, and requirements.

Standalone solar lamps do not have installation costs since you don’t have to deal with wires or cables. On the other hand, floodlights and artfully designed outdoor solar lights might require professional installation if you’re not handy with electrical supplies. 

If you plan to adopt a large-scale solar lighting project, it can cost thousands of dollars. 

Most solar lamps manage to pay off this price within five years of use. So your solar lights will run on independent electricity without costing you a penny by then. 

Other solar lamp installations can take longer to compensate for your expenditures. It’s typically true for bespoke lamps and solar lighting systems that cost a fortune. 

In other words, the estimated return on investment value can reach $146 per annum for a standard-sized installation. But, it can be far more if you invest in a large-scale solar lighting system.

More significant investments can ultimately take a decade or more to pay off. 

Bonus: How to Finance a Solar Grid? 

Solar lamps allow you to save a reasonable amount of money within a designated usage period. Imagine how much you will save if you switch to a solar grid. 

two different solar grids on a hill in front of a home

Despite their upfront expenses, financing solar power homes aren’t as challenging as it seems. You can upgrade from solar lamps to complete solar-powered homes through government provisions. These funds pay for a significant chunk of your installation costs and make it relatively easy to maintain a sun-powered electricity system at home. 

The government offers federal and state incentives to support households interested in installing solar panels.

Those who qualify for the federal solar investment tax credit (ITC) will receive 26% of the total cost of home solar systems. State credits vary by region, and different municipalities encourage residents to shift to solar by offering financial provisions.

You should conduct thorough research before finalizing anything.

 Your due diligence can help you install your solar panel with government assistance. 

Alternatively, you can install solar panels by applying for other financing options, including:

  • Personal loans 
  • Home equity loans or home equity lines of credit
  • Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) 
  • A lease 

In short, there are multiple avenues to adopt sustainable, solar-powered lighting systems for your homes. Property owners should consider these funding options and evaluate the overall return on investments to make an educated decision about solar lamps. 

In a Nutshell

Solar lamps might have a steep installation price if you light your yards and full residential property. In these instances, you might need extra help for installation, and maintenance costs might increase relatively if the lamps are operated under rough weather conditions. 

However, these sun-powered lamps are more cost-effective than standard lighting options because they consume reusable electricity.

The estimated amount solar lights save can be up to $55-100 per year after the initial installation. However, it takes almost five years for the new system to generate a sizable return on investment. 

Additionally, you can multiply these savings by putting your home on a solar grid. It can reduce utility bills significantly and allows you to operate your home systems, charge digital devices, and work with renewable energy without costly consequences. 

Therefore, we believe that solar lamps are a good investment and sustainable choice for your homes.

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