Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Long Do Solar Panels Last?

Solar panels typically last about 20-30 years, including at least one swap of their inverter, which needs replacement every 10-15 years. 

There are a few different factors that can contribute to your solar panel’s wear and tear. Below you’ll find some of the most important things to know about a solar panel’s lifespan and how to answer the question “How long do solar panels last?” fully.

How Long Do Solar Panels Last on Average?

Most solar panels available on today’s market typically last between 20-30 years (1). The inverter mainly drives solar panels (also known as “photovoltaic, or PV, panels”). This is a component of the PV system that converts the sun’s rays into an alternating current, preparing it for use by the U.S. electric grid. 

The inverter consists of several pieces, including:

  • Active switches
  • Passive filters
  • Thermal management mechanisms
  • Weather-resistant packaging

All these elements are degradable. Once the inverter and its parts wear down past a certain point, it requires more repair and replacement than it’s worth. At this point, it’s more environmentally and economically responsible for replacing the panel altogether. 

So when you ask yourself, “How long do solar panels last on average?” Energy.gov puts it like this:

Solar panels on the market today can last for 20-30 years and now it’s time for their power electronics counterparts to evolve to help PV systems last even longer.

However, not all solar panels are of the same quality, so this range may change depending on your panel’s make and model and whether it’s been damaged or not. Knowing the average degradation rate for most solar panels can also help form your expectations for when you might need to look into a replacement for your energy system.

How Fast Do Solar Panels Degrade?

According to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) study, the average solar panel’s performance weakens by about 0.5% annually (2). Their work revealed that the famous “1% rule” of annual solar panel wear was significantly low and underestimated the technology’s longevity. 

Most people assume that solar panels degrade at 1% per year. This is an overestimation.

While this may have been the case for panels made several years in the past, the engineering has improved over the years and extended most panels’ longevity. Plus, the rate at which they break down depends on the material. 

For example, most commercial and residential solar panels use monocrystalline silicon, similarly to a typical 100-watt solar panel you’ll find for home use. Before 2000, these types would degrade at about 0.5%. As manufacturing techniques improved post-2000, this rate fell to 0.4%.

Engineering.com puts it like this:

A panel manufactured today should produce 92% of its original power after 20 years, quite a bit higher than the 80% estimated by the 1% rule.

That said, other products like solar attic fans can keep up with this timeline, especially when installed by a professional. This also stands true for other solar household necessities like solar pool heating systems (lasting about 20-25 years normally). In fact, here are a few more examples of the dramatically improved lifespans for various solar home goods:

  • Solar-powered waste compacting bin: 3-4 weeks, since it runs on a battery that is charged by the solar panel
  • Solar furnace or water heating system: 20 years (significantly longer than gas or electric system)
  • Solar pump: 2-4 years

Remember that another crucial factor in determining how long do solar panels really last is the environmental conditions in which it operates. 

Those exposed to more extreme conditions, such as exceedingly high UV exposure levels or heavy snowfall, will fall in quality much more quickly than a panel installed in a moderate climate. For instance, panels in the most moderate regions of the U.S. have been known to degrade at only 0.2% per year.

How Often Do Solar Panels Need to be Replaced?

The next step in answering our query, “How long do solar panels last?” starts with looking at their power generation performance.

To ensure optimal performance, you should replace solar panels as soon as their efficiency falls below an acceptable rate. For ballpark numbers to look for, you can think about it like this:

Solar panels should be replaced once they drop below 80% efficiency. Most manufacturers estimate this to be about 25 years.

Still, how do you know when your solar panel needs replacement or has fallen below the target efficiency level? Here are some things to look out for:

  • Voltage and output: Any readings that are 20%+ lower than the promised output is a sign that the panel is wearing down. 
  • Physical condition: If your panel was damaged by blunt trauma or a severe weather event, you might want to consider extensive repairs or getting it replaced. 
  • Mechanical components: As you learned, solar panels contain several different parts to gather and convert the sun’s energy. If pieces like the inverter, wiring, or battery start to wear, the entire system is compromised and won’t work efficiently. 

Remember to look for solar panels that come with at least a 20-25 year warranty. Also, make sure they’re built with durable materials to get the most out of your system with minimal maintenance. For example, Sun Power offers a 25 year warranty on their panels, and they’re flexible to the elements:

Ultimately, the advances in solar technology continue to increase their lifespan’s at a speed no one could have imagined just a few years ago.

FAQs

The clearest sign that your solar panels are going bad is if their output falls significantly far below the manufacturer’s listed standards. Specifically, if it’s more than 20% below what the maker guaranteed, it’s time to get a new panel.

The most common issue with solar panels after 25 years is that the inverter and its functioning pieces begin to break down. This prevents the necessary conversion of solar energy to usable energy for the grid, ultimately costing you power.

A solar inverter should last around 10-15 years and be replaced at least once during your panel’s lifetime. When the solar inverter and its components degrade over time, the replacement or repair becomes more expensive getting a new inverter that performs with more efficiency is the better investment.

  1. Extending solar energy system lifetime with power electronics. Energy.gov. https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/articles/extending-solar-energy-system-lifetime-power-electronics
  2. What is the lifespan of a solar panel? by TomLombardo. Engineering.com. https://www.engineering.com/story/what-is-the-lifespan-of-a-solar-panel

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Understanding The 100 Watt Solar Panel

you’re an RV owner, an avid camper, or a conservationist, solar energy is an excellent option to power your electricity needs.

100-watt solar panels are compact, moveable, and easy to find, making them great energy sources for camping, RV traveling, or cutting electricity bill costs. Here, we will explore all aspects of the 100-watt solar panel, so you know exactly what you’ll get if you purchase one.

100 Watt Solar Panel Cost

100-watt solar panels vary in cost because you can either purchase them as a singular product or by a solar panel kit which provides everything you need to install and connect the panels to a battery or your power source.

If you already have brackets, cables, and charge controllers, then you don’t need the kit and can pay significantly less for the panels alone. A 100-watt panel averages around $100, while a 100-watt solar panel kit costs $300 or more.

It’s important to note that many solar panels and kits are not of the same caliber. Remember to keep durability and efficiency in mind.

100 Watt Solar Panel Size

100-watt panels come in different sizes, influencing their harnessing capacity. Different brands design panels in varying sizes, each one proclaiming optimum efficiency. 

The standard dimensions for a 100-watt solar panel that you can expect are around 40 x 20 x 1.5 in.

100 Watt Solar Panel Power Capacity

100-watt solar panels are small and portable, which is incredibly convenient for camping trips and RV owners whose energy needs are significantly lower than an entire household. To help put this into perspective, the U.S. Department of Energy puts it like this:

A solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) system can reliably produce electricity for your home or office. These small or distributed solar systems are often installed by home or business owners to offset their electricity costs.

Taking that into account, let’s now answer address the big question of “What can a 100-watt solar panel power?” Ultimately, there are many factors involved in a 100-watt solar panel’s power capacity including:

  1. The size of your battery
  2. The energy each device you power requires
  3. The number of devices you want to power simultaneously

Generally speaking, you can think about the power capacity of a single 100 watt solar panel like this:

A 100 watt solar panel is best for powering small electronics rather than household appliances like microwaves, AC units, or refrigerators.

100 Watt Solar Panel Manufacturers

Various companies produce 100-watt solar panels, the most popular of which is Renogy, whose panels consistently rank as best sellers.

Again, companies manufacture panels and solar panel kits with varying designs that provide different degrees of efficiency, so it’s always advisable to read through customer reviews and manufacturer specs.

Our favorite manufacturers of 100-watt solar panels includes companies like Coleman, Eco-Worth, Newpowa, WindyNation, HQST, and Richsolar.

For my RV owners out there, you can find the Best Solar Kits for RVs Here with our list of curated manufacturers that we trust.

100 Watt Solar Panel Networks

If you want more wattage for your electrical needs, you can always buy multiple panels and link them together in a series. Logically, for every panel you add, you receive an additional 100-watts of power.

With 300-400 watts, you can effectively power larger appliances like Energy Star rated refrigerators. If you’re not sure of the exact power draw of your refrigerator you want to power, check out our full guide on how many solar panels you need power a refrigerator.

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Production

The solar energy production of a 100-watt solar panel depends on the amount of sunlight it harnesses, and consequently, the weather. The sunnier the climate, the more energy you will reap from your panels, considering how solar energy works. One hundred watts is the maximum amount of power you can harness, but it is hardly 100% achievable.

However, you don’t need 100% efficiency to generate a large amount of usable power. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, Space X, and many more innovative companies said it best when discussing the sun:

It just works. It shows up every day and produces ridiculous amounts of power.

That said, while the sun does its thing, there are ways to maximize your system’s efficiency including the accuracy of installation. You must ensure the panels point directly into the sun. Additionally, the sun produces varying amounts of energy throughout the day, with dawn and dusk making only a fraction of non-sun energy. (3)

100 Watt Solar Panel Energy Storage

A watt is the measurement of energy output, and an amp is the measurement of electrical current. Watts are the product of multiplying voltage and current. An amp-hour is the electrical charge measurement in a battery, and a watt-hour measures energy consumed in one hour. 

It’s essential to know these measurements because you will want to pair a battery with a 100-watt solar panel to store energy, optimizing energy usage. To help all this sink in and better understand battery storage, check out this clever video by RFTechGuy C.A.D.:

With (x2) 100 watt solar kits, including (x4) 35amp batteries, he managed to take his coffee maker off the grid. Now that’s energy on demand!

FAQs

No, you technically can not use a 100 watt solar panel without sunlight.

However, a battery will let you use power from the sun when it is no longer shining, which you couldn’t do if you relied solely on the panels for your power. When purchasing a battery, it needs to store twice as much energy as your panels can produce on any given day. 

We already know that, under optimal conditions, 100-watt solar panels produce 100 watts of power, but how many amps does a 100-watt solar panel produce?

A 100-watt solar panel can produce a maximum of 5.5 amps per hour (4). With this information, you can calculate the amount of time it will take to charge a battery of any given size.

The amount of time that you can use a a 100 watt solar panel to charge small electronics ranges, but generally speaking, for several hours to 24 hours under optimal battery conditions is fine.

Just remember to have a proper solar charge controller, and you’ll be able to charge smartphones, laptops, routers, lamps, and LEDs with a single 100-watt panel. For more solar tips to help you harness the sun’s natural energy, click or tap this for our homepage.

  1. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-solar-power#.WEV3IPkrJkg
  2. Tesla’s Elon Musk Lights Up Social Media With A TED Style Keynote. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2015/05/04/teslas-elon-musk-lights-up-social-media-with-a-ted-style-keynote/
  3. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-performance-and-efficiency
  4. WHAT SIZE SOLAR PANEL DO I NEED TO CHARGE A 12V BATTERY? Retrieved from: https://www.renogy.com/blog/what-size-solar-panel-do-i-need-to-charge-a-12v-battery/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How Much Does Solar Pool Heating Cost?

Heating a swimming pool can be costly, especially if you run thousands of gallons of water through a gas or electric heater. After spending around $3000 on a solar heater, the return on investment is substantial. 

But, the question is “How do you get there?”

Here we’ll breakdown all the costs you should expect with solar pool heating including upfront costs, installation costs, monthly costs, and FAQ to get the most out of your investment.

Upfront Costs 

The first step in answering the query, “How much does solar pool heating cost?” starts with knowing the upfront costs to expect.

Knowing how much pool solar heating costs helps you prepare your budget.

Solar heaters cost, on average, between $2000 and $4000.

The price depends on the size of your pool and the type of solar panels you purchase: glazed solar panels or propylene mats. 

You can save even more money if you buy a solar pool cover instead of purchasing solar panels or propylene mats. Solar pool covers range between $100 to $300, depending on their dimensions. Plus, you can install a solar pool cover yourself, like in this helpful video to minimize your upfront costs:

Alternatively, if you do choose to have a solar heating system installed, know that the panels are more durable than the mats. The panels and mats need pipes to run pool water through the heated system. The pool water can lose some heat as it passes through the pipes (1).

Solar panels have tempered glass in an aluminum frame. The panels collect the heat, and water moves between the glazed glass panels inside of copper pipes. Glazed solar panels are more expensive than propylene mats, and they heat water more effectively.

Energy.gov states:

Glazed collector systems are generally made of copper tubing on an aluminum plate with an iron-tempered glass covering, which increases their cost. In colder weather, glazed collector systems—with heat exchangers and transfer fluids—capture solar heat more efficiently than unglazed systems.

On the other hand, solar mats stretch across a roof, and PVC pipes hold the mats down and pass water through the lines. While slightly less effective, this method still works to warm your pool with a minimal impact on your energy bill.

Installation Costs

Pool solar panel installation costs between $3,000 and $4,000 on average and includes the system purchase (1). To find out how much solar heating costs to install in your area, contact a local pool company for a quote.

Your local installation company will visit your home to determine if your pool is positioned appropriately for solar heating. Your pool should face south or west to get the most light from the sun.

If you choose to use a solar blanket to heat your pool, you do not need anyone to install it for you. However, if you have a customized pool shape, you might need someone to measure your pool to cut the blanket to fit. 

Monthly Costs

Once you’ve installed a solar panel or mat, the last step in answering “How much does solar pool heating cost?” is determining your monthly costs. It’s important to note, you will have to pay for electricity to run water through the pipes.

Keep in mind that you are already using electricity to run your pool pump, so the cost to expect is around $10 max per month.

However, if you choose to use a solar pool cover to heat your pool, you shouldn’t incur any added monthly expenses. Energy.gov puts it best:

As prices continue to fall, solar energy is increasingly becoming an economical energy choice for American homeowners and businesses.

You can also reduce your monthly electric bill by using a solar panel to power your electric pump. The solar panel and electric pump will need a conversion kit, and you might be able to do the work yourself. 

Along with electricity, many pool owners pay higher water bills when they run their pools. Pool water evaporates, so pool owners use their outdoor hoses to refill their pools. Pool owners also need to keep their pools clean, so the cost of running the pool includes chemicals, too.

FAQs

Yes, in our books solar pool heating is worth it.

Solar pool heating can have a higher up-front cost than other heating methods. That said, with low operating costs, since solar energy is free thanks to the sun, you can significantly reduce pool heating costs over time with a solar heater for your inground pool (1).

Yes, you can heat your pool for free with solar, but some minuscule costs may remain.

Once your solar panels are installed, energy costs should drop (versus gas or heat pump pool heaters). However, while your solar heater can run independently of your electrical system, the pump may require electricity, and that involves an ongoing cost.

One option to further reduce costs is to ensure your pump receives solar power, too — then, water costs are your only remaining expense. For more ways to reduce your monthly energy costs, for your pool and all over your home, Check Out our Homepage.

A solar pool heater will cost around 0-$10 per month to heat your pool. On the other hand, other pool heaters like heat pumps, propane, gas, and electric resistance heaters average over $100 to heat a pool per month (3).

  1. Solar Swimming Pool Covers. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters
  2. Top 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Solar Energy. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/articles/top-6-things-you-didnt-know-about-solar-energy
  3. How Much Does It Cost To Install A Pool Heater? Retrieved from: https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/swimming-pools-hot-tubs-and-saunas/install-a-swimming-pool-heater/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

What Size Inverter Do I Need to Run a Microwave?

The last thing you want to do is set up your off-grid system only to find that your inverter isn’t powerful enough to run your trusty microwave.

All microwaves are different, but the average 1,000-watt microwave will run using a 1,500 to a 2,000-watt inverter. To make sure you end up with the right inverter, let’s take a look at how to determine what size inverter you need to run a microwave.

Determining What Size Inverter You Need to Run a Microwave

At some point, many of us who enjoy off-grid living have asked, “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Fortunately, it’s incredibly easy to figure out what size sine wave inverter you need to run a microwave. Naturally, you’ll start by taking a look at the microwave itself.

Figure Out the Microwave’s Continuous Wattage Rating

The first thing you’ll need to figure out is how many watts the microwave uses while running, which is usually as easy as finding where it’s noted. This can be on:

  • The inside of the microwave door
  • The serial number tag on the back
  • The user manual
  • The manufacturer’s website

If you’re unable to find it after looking in all of these places, you can get a pretty good idea using the USDA recommended method: “Time-to-Boil Test.” It involves placing one cup of ice-cold water in the microwave and waiting for it to boil.

If water boils:

in less than 2 minutes = very high wattage oven (1000 watts or more).
in 2½ minutes = high wattage oven (800 watts or more).
in 3 minutes = average wattage oven (650 – 700 watts or more).
in 3 – 4 minutes = slow oven (300 to 500 watts).

Now you should have a pretty good idea of your microwave’s continuous wattage rating. However, there are other factors to keep in mind when answering the question “What size inverter do I need to run a microwave?”

Power Consumption Versus Cooking Power

It’s important to note that a microwave’s cooking wattage is lower than the wattage it consumes, so take that into account when choosing an inverter size.

Most microwaves use energy with about 80% efficiency (2). So if you’re unable to find your microwave’s power consumption noted anywhere, multiply the cooking wattage by .8 and add the total to the cooking wattage.

Say you have a microwave that cooks at 700w.
700w x .80 = 560w
560w + 700w = 1,260w
That means your actual power consumption is around 1,260w.

Interestingly, even though they require more power to run than they use to cook food, microwaves are still one of the more energy-efficient cooking methods, making them ideal for off-grid living. Scientific American states in a recent article:

Cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

That said, your microwave’s power consumption is what you need to worry about when choosing a sine wave inverter size, not the cooking power.

Conversion Formula

If you’re not able to determine your microwave’s wattage but know how many AMPS it uses, there’s an easy conversion formula that will help you figure it out.

Just multiply the AMPS by AC voltage, which is 120. The product is your wattage.

So if your microwave uses 12.5 AMPS, the formula would be:
12.5 AMPS x 120V = 1,500w

Factor In the Microwave’s Peak Wattage

Now that you know everything there is to know about determining your microwave’s continuous power usage, which is the power it consumes while running, it’s time to take a look at its peak wattage or the maximum amount of power it utilizes.

Peak wattage usually occurs during startup and lasts for less than a second, but your inverter needs to be able to handle this surge in power. The process should look something like this, if you need a visual:

Ultimately, when you’re looking for sine wave inverters, you’ll notice on the specs sheet that both continuous and peak capability are listed, so it should be easy to tell if it’s large enough.

Your microwave’s peak energy requirements should be listed on the owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website. If not, it’s a good idea to choose an inverter that can handle two to three times its continuous wattage just to be on the safe side.

FAQs

A 1500-watt power inverter should be able to run a 700-watt microwave with no problem. You can use a pure sine wave inverter or modified sine wave inverter, but the modified sine unit may cause your microwave to run less efficiently.

You can use a modified sine wave inverter or a pure sine wave inverter to run a microwave, as long as they have a large enough capacity, aka battery power. Although, modified sine wave inverters tend to shorten appliances’ lives, so that’s important to keep in mind.

For more tips to get the most out of your home’s appliances, check out our Homepage.

Your inverter is big enough to run your microwave if it can handle its startup surge, and continuous wattage draw while it’s cooking. If your modified sine wave inverter or pure sine wave inverter can handle both successfully, you’re all set for your next road trip!

  1. How Do You Determine the Wattage of Your Microwave Oven? Retrieved from: https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/how-do-you-determine-the-wattage-of-your-microwave-oven
  2. Physics of the microwave oven. Retrieved from: http://clas.sa.ucsb.edu/docs/default-source/tutor-resources-files/physics_of_microwave_oven.pdf?sfvrsn=17582bfb_2
  3. Stove versus Microwave: Which Uses Less Energy to Make Tea? Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/stove-versus-microwave-energy-use/

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Heat Pump vs Solar Pool Heating

Do you ever feel like your pool is just taking up space in your yard during the majority of the year? With a heat pump or solar pool heater, you can take advantage of your personal oasis year-round.

In this article, we’ll compare the two and their associated costs, heating speeds, eco-friendliness, and lifespan to help you better understand these systems. Now let’s dive right in.

Heat Pumps

The general population most frequently purchases heat pumps for their pool heaters because they use electricity, making them quite efficient. While warmer temperatures make your heat pump’s job easier, they can operate in temperatures as low as 45 degrees in most cases. (1)

Since heat pump systems hook up to your electrical system, heat pumps often require regular maintenance to keep performing well throughout the years.  

Solar Pool Heating

Solar pool heating, just as the name states, uses solar energy to heat your pool. It pulls water through a filter where a solar collector uses its power from the sun to heat the water and transfer it back to the pool. Ultimately, solar pool heating systems are eco-friendly and will help reduce your energy bills. 

Comparing the Details: Solar Pool Heating vs Heat Pump

There are many benefits to each but there are also some disadvantages, let’s get into them. 

Upfront Costs

Be prepared to pay a pretty penny for either a heat pump or solar pool heating system. Angie’s List estimates in a recent article:

Labor alone runs $500 to $1,500 in most cases.

Solar pool heaters typically range between three and four thousand dollars for an upfront cost. Still, they will vary depending on your pool size, your solar resource available, and your local rules and regulations. 

On the other hand, the heating pump costs on average about $6,000 but will vary anywhere between three and $10,000 depending on the energy efficiency, pool square footage, and overall system quality.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Operating Costs

Over time, heat pumps and solar pool heating systems can both save you money on your utility bills. An efficient heat pump won’t be a huge draw on your energy bill, but it will require a payment each month, at a higher cost in winter, especially.

In contrast, a solar heating system goes even further to reduce your bills and gives you back the money you spent on the system in the first place. 

On average, with the amount people save, a solar heating system will pay for itself in anywhere from 1.5 years to 7 years (3).

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Heating Speed

What pool owners really want to know is, how soon can they jump in the warm water? The exact timeline of a heat pump vs solar pool heating will depend on the size of your pool, plus the power your heating source offers. However, heat pump systems are often faster at warming up the water because you can “crank up” the heat.

It’s not uncommon to wait one to three days for a solar heater to warm up your pool. A heat pump could take as long as a week, depending on the local climate and other factors.

Winner: Heat Pump

Eco-Friendliness

Heat pump systems rely on electricity, while solar heaters rely on solar energy. While both options are far more eco-friendly than the alternative gas heating pump, which burns fuel to heat your pool, the solar pool heating system is more eco-friendly than the electric heating pump.

The solar pool heating system converts the sun’s natural heat into energy whereas heat pumps demand energy straight from your grid. This makes solar pool heating much friendlier to the environment and more sustainable over heat pump systems in the long run. 

Winner: Solar Pool Heating

Lifespan

When considering solar pool heating vs heat pumps, you want a system that will last a while. A heat pump, on average, lasts around 15 years with adequate, regular maintenance. Manufacturers typically give solar pool heating, extremely durable systems, a warranty between 10 and 12 years.

However, to get the most out of solar pool heating, you can make sure to avoid these seven common mistakes:

With the right amount of care, solar pool heating can operate efficiently up to 20 years.

Winner: Solar Pool Heating 

Overall Cost

While both heat pumps and solar pool heaters have a considerable upfront cost, they also often require an installation cost and some maintenance throughout your ownership. Ultimately, both systems’ prices increase when adding these costs together.

The difference is that heat pumps will have a larger impact on your monthly energy bill.

The heat pump’s usage, while energy-efficient, is still hooked up to your electrical system and will require power to run. Depending on how frequently you use the system will change the billing price.

On the other hand, while solar pool heating has some extra costs after the initial pricing, they don’t affect your utility charges much. Around $10/month is the max to expect from most in-ground pool solar heaters. Due to their energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, in most cases, you will end up getting back the money you spent on the system in the long-run.

Energy.gov puts it like this:

You can significantly reduce swimming pool heating costs by installing a solar pool heater. They’re cost competitive with both gas and heat pump pool heaters and they have very low annual operating costs.

So, in terms of overall cost, solar pool heating has done it once again.

Winner: Solar Heating System

Final Verdict

For homeowners who live in an area with ample sunlight, in the battle between “heat pump vs solar pool heating,” solar pool heating wins. Solar pool heaters have a better overall cost efficiency, eco-impact, and lifespan when compared to their competitor.

It’s worth noting that heat pumps can help you to enjoy warmer water, sooner, as long as it’s above 45-50 degrees outside when you want to swim. (1) However, with solar pool heaters, you’re more likely to end up getting back the money you invested in it, given a favorable climate; making solar a solid choice for many home pool owners.

FAQs

Deciding whether pool heaters like heat pumps and solar pool heaters are worth it, depends on your needs.

If you want to use your pool year-round and if your pool doesn’t typically get much heat from the sun organically, then you might want to consider getting a heater. If you find yourself not using your pool enough, adding one of these systems is a great way to help you get the most out of owning a pool.

No, you should not run a pool heater overnight unless you have to. To save money on your energy bill, and be the most efficient, you want to use your heating systems as little as possible ideally.

The nighttime is usually the perfect opportunity to give your system a rest.

Yes, solar pool heating does work in the winter. The problem is that solar pool heaters won’t generate quite as much hot water as during colder months for obvious reasons.

Heat pumps, on the other hand, are more well-suited to warm your pool during the winter months because they’re tied to your electrical grid and don’t rely on the sun.

  1. Heat Pump Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/heat-pump-swimming-pool-heaters
  2. How Much Does It Cost to Install a Swimming Pool Heater. Retrieved from: https://www.angieslist.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-install-swimming-pool-heater.htm
  3. Solar Swimming Pool Heaters. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/solar-swimming-pool-heaters

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Disadvantages of Solar Energy

While manufacturers, governments, and green energy activists espouse many solar energy benefits as a clean, renewable source of power, it begs the question, “What are some disadvantages of solar energy?”

This article explores seven key issues if you’re wondering what the disadvantages of solar energy for at-home or large-scale operations are.

1. Initial Cost

The initial cost of solar panel installation is very expensive, averaging around $29,000 for systems producing up to 8Kw of power, which is enough to power a four-bedroom home. (1)

Installment costs cover the equipment such as panels, inverters, charge controllers, wiring, permits, labor, repairs, and maintenance. It is an investment that pays off over time, but it takes an extended amount of time for the savings made on solar energy to compensate for the initial costs.

2.  Pollution and Environmental Impact

One of the lesser-known disadvantages of passive solar energy is the environmental impact that materials, space, and production have. Solar energy fields take up a lot of land, invading agricultural lands and habitats for native flora and fauna (2).

Depending on their location, larger utility-scale solar facilities can raise concerns about land degradation and habitat loss.

While solar energy is certainly less harmful to the environment than non-renewable energy sources, it does present some obstacles to its green-energy proclamations. For example, solar panels use some toxic materials in their production. 

While the U.S. implements safety protocols to dispose of hazardous waste or recycle materials that people can still use, many other countries do not practice safe waste disposal and end up contaminating soil, air, and water sources.

3. Space Limitations

While homes, cabins, and RVs provide more than enough space to fit enough solar panels to power all their electrical needs, larger establishments contend with space limitations.

Office buildings, large apartment complexes, and high-rises would need far more solar panels than their roofs will allow.

However, many regions have solar fields in which panels span acres, harnessing power for larger populations. 

4.  Inefficient Energy Conversion

Solar panels have an average efficiency of 15-19%, with the most efficient solar panels reaching 22-23% efficiency. Therefore, the most efficient solar panels on the market can transform 23% of the energy they harness from the sun into usable electricity (3). 

The darkest panels — with the most reflection — are most efficient (4).

Anti-reflection coatings and textured surfaces help decrease reflection. A high-efficiency cell will appear dark blue or black.

While an average efficiency of 15-19% may seem like a small percentage, the solar energy industry steadily increases energy efficiency each year. With the right setup, customers using solar panels to power their homes receive more than enough energy to cover their daily needs.

5.  Energy Storage Cost

If solar energy isn’t used while the sun is shining and you don’t have a proper battery system and solar charge controllers, the energy will go to waste.

This makes cost-effectively storing energy one of the greatest disadvantages of using solar energy. Homes and other single-family units can purchase a battery that stores enough solar energy to power night-time activities.

However, storing a full day’s worth of energy isn’t possible without spending a large amount of money on multiple large batteries and charge controllers.

Solar energy storage for enormous companies is still too costly, although innovators like Tesla are starting to manufacture massive solar energy storage batteries.

6. Sunlight Unpredictability

When answering, “What are disadvantages of solar energy?” you must mention the sun’s unpredictability.

Sunlight production varies from dawn to dusk, day to day, season, and geographical location. The disadvantage to solar energy for inhabitants of northern latitudes with long, dark winter seasons is far greater than for inhabitants of sunnier latitudes closer to the equator.

The early morning and late afternoon hours provide less solar energy than the midday sun. This could be an issue, for example, if you’re a farmer using a solar electric fence charger to herd your flock with an insufficient sized battery.

Also, winter months have shorter days and less sun than spring and summer months, so you will harness less solar energy during the winter.

If you live in a shady area or a region with significant cloud cover, you may not get enough sunlight for solar panels to be worth the installation.

7. No Energy Production at Night

Since you must use solar energy as the sun produces it and your panels convert it, you will be completely bereft of energy at night when the sun no longer shines. This poses a problem for night-time activity if you rely solely on solar energy.

A fantastic video by Science at Sheffield, of the University of Sheffield in England helps to clarify this:

Ultimately, you will either need to use energy stored in a purchased battery or switch from solar energy to a grid at night. For RVS, cabins, and other off-grid establishments, you may not have an electrical grid to support night-time activity.

FAQs

One way you can optimize solar energy efficiency is by using monocrystalline panels, since they’re more efficient due to their uniform composition. (5) You should also ensure that your panels’ placement assumes the proper angle and direction to receive the most sunlight possible.

The initial cost of solar energy is usually worth the expense for smaller households, cabins, and RVs as you can buy a solar panel kit and install it yourself. Even for large businesses, solar energy is an investment that will pay itself off financially and ecologically over time.

For more information on solar energy and how you can recoup initial costs involved with switching over, Click or Tap This for our Homepage to see the latest in the industry.

No, solar doesn’t technically work at night. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels need sunlight to create energy, which there is none of during the nighttime.

However, solar energy offers two nighttime solutions so you’re not left in the dark. Net metering and proper solar battery storage can both help to provide you with the power you need when you need it. (6)

  1. Cost of solar. Retrieved from: https://www.sunrun.com/solar-lease/cost-of-solar
  2. Environmental Impacts of Solar Power. Retrieved from: https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/environmental-impacts-solar-power#.WEV3IPkrJkg
  3. How does solar power work?. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-does-solar-power-work/
  4. Solar Performance and Efficiency. Retrieved from: https://www.energy.gov/eere/solar/solar-performance-and-efficiency
  5. Solar Panel Efficiency – Pick the Most Efficient Solar Panels. Retrieved from: https://www.solar.com/learn/solar-panel-efficiency/
  6. Do Solar Panels Work at Night? Retrieved from: https://www.sunrun.com/go-solar-center/solar-articles/do-solar-panels-work-at-night

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

How To Cool An Attic

If a ridiculous amount of heat prevents you from enjoying your attic, there are solutions available. Whether you’re struggling with a scorching summer or you live in an area where it’s hot all year round, it’s safe to say it’s time to find a solution. Keeping an attic cool can be incredibly easy if you use the right tools, but where do you start?

Continue reading below to discover 11 easy hot attic solutions.

1. Consider Adding a Solar Attic Fan

If you Google “best way to keep attic cool,” Solar attic fans are likely to be a top recommendation. With a solar attic fan, you can take your worst enemy in this situation (the sun) and have it work for you. Solar attic fans harness the sun’s energy to remove hot air from the room, allowing cooler air to flow in from the outside.

We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.

2. Improve the Insulation

One essential step in learning how to keep the attic cooler is figuring out how to keep cool air in. You can start with insulation. Attics have insulation because they typically work as a giant shield against weather extremes for your home’s interior. Having the proper insulation will keep your attic cooler and reduce your energy costs. 

When choosing attic insulation, you want to consider the following:

The material
The density
The thickness

3. Radiant Barriers

The use of radiant barriers are a common way to help keep attics cool and prevent radiant heat from forming. The barriers contain reflective material that inhibits the electromagnetic transfer of heat. In short, radiant barriers reflect sunlight out of your attic so that the sun’s powerful rays don’t turn it into an oven. Most companies use aluminum foil for their radiant barriers, but you can also find other more durable materials as well.

4. Upgrade the Ventilation

Adding ventilation to a hot attic is one of the most effective ways to keep it cool since it allows heat to escape on hot days. If you don’t have a ventilation system, hot air and radiant heat can fester within your attic and lead to wood rot, mold, and other critical damages over time. There are numerous ways you can add ventilation to your attic, and some are relatively inexpensive.

5. Try the “Texas Cool” Technique

The “Texas Cool” technique is an energy-efficient method that not only keeps your attic cool but other rooms in the house as well. At night, when the weather drops, open up the window and place a fan to blow the cold air inside. When the sun comes up, close the window and use a shade to block any sunlight from getting in.

6. Sun Blockers

A significant amount of sunlight gets into the attic through the windows. You can use curtains or blinds to block the windows, keeping your attic cooler, and more energy-efficient during the daytime. Curtains and blinds are relatively cheap and easy to install.

7. Close Off Any Leaks

Air leaks are a leading cause of losing nice cool air and wasted energy. Take a flashlight and try to spot any air leaks in your attic that might let cold air escape. Once you find a hole, you can get expanding foam to fill them. This is how to remove hot air from the attic and other rooms long-term. 

Here’s where you’re likely to find air leaks:

Attic hatch
Windows/doors
Wiring holes
Plumbing vents

8. Use a Zoned Thermostat

Using a zoned thermostat can allow you to control your attic’s duct system individually, according to set temperatures. Using an individual system is far more convenient for keeping your attic space cool, mainly if you use it as a living space. In some cases, you can even get a zoned thermostat like Google’s Nest Thermostat for free to help keep your attic cooler.

9. Use a Portable AC Unit

If creating new ductwork in your attic isn’t a viable option, you can always go with a portable air conditioning unit. One excellent aspect of mobile AC units is that they come in several shapes and sizes. Therefore, you can find one suitable for your space.

10. Examine the Roof

The roof is the first line of defense against the sun. If you feel that your roof is letting in too much heat, you can consider investing in reflective shingles to deter some of the sun’s rays away from your attic. 

11. Oscillating Fans

Oscillating fans do a great job of keeping your attic space cool since you can buy as many as you want. We recommend finding one that rotates so that you can provide each area of the attic with cool air all day long. 

Oscillating fans provide better cooling because they rotate, thereby allowing better air flow around the room. The air in the room is moved around, as compared to stationary fans that only move the air straight ahead.

FAQs

Since attics sit just below the roof, they are the first room to get hit with the sun’s heat. Your attic space could also be too hot because you don’t have proper ventilation and hot air rises from the floors below.

Yes, mainly in three areas. Cooling a hot attic can help you feel more comfortable during the summer months during use, help protect your home’s structure from future damages, and increase your home’s overall energy efficiency.

For more tips on lowering your home’s overall energy usage: Read more here.

There’s no set amount of time you need to run an attic fan to stay cool, but in general, you want to run it as little as possible to be the most energy-efficient. Some hot attics may require a fan for several hours, where others only need 15 minutes.

  1. Thomas A. Edison Quotes. Retrieved from: https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/69333-we-are-like-tenant-farmers-chopping-down-the-fence-around
  2. Add an Oscillating Fan to a Room: 8 Advantages. Retrieved from: https://www.doityourself.com/stry/add-an-oscillating-fan-to-a-room-8-advantages

Let your friends know too:
Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

Latest posts by Mohammadreza Golzari (see all)

Best Solar-Powered Security Camera of 2020

Best solar security camera: top-rated reviews

“Someone is at your front door,” says Alexa.

“Alexa, show front door cam,” you respond. Then, as you look down at your phone you see it. “Sweet, my package is here!”

While this situation would likely bring a smile to pretty much anyone’s face, the flipside isn’t as pretty, unfortunately. For that reason, we’ve rounded up the year’s best solar-powered security cameras all in one place to help you, your family, and your loved ones stay prepared for any situation.

So without further ado, to aid your search, let’s examine a snapshot (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) of our top 13 picks.

Our Top 13 Solar-Powered Security Cameras at a Glance

To help you find the best solar-powered security camera for you, and make your search easier – here’s a quick look at our top 13 most-highly reviewed picks.

  1. Ring Solar HD Security Camera (Best Overall): Our best overall pick to buy, the Ring Solar HD Security Camera impresses with its smart integration, ease of use, easy installation, and many features it offers, such as two-way audio, excellent battery life, and straightforward and easy to see visuals.
  2. ieGeek Solar Outdoor Security Camera (Budget Pick): With its smart night vision feature, two-way audio, real-time notifications, and being usable through an app with iOS or Android, this ieGeek model earns our top wallet-friendly pick.
  3. Ankway Solar Security Camera (Easy Setup): With useful features like rotating and zooming in on videos, real-time alerts, an IP rating built to withstand -30 degrees, and quick and easy setup, this Ankway Solar Camera is more than worth the investment in our books.
  4. ZUMIMALL Solar-Powered Home Security Camera: With automatic file saving, a good IP rating down to -4 degrees, and being able to customize exactly what alerts you want to get, this is a well-rounded camera to look at for the price.
  5. Conico Solar-Powered Security Camera: Supported by iOS and Android, this camera will push real-time alerts to your phone and has customizable settings on what you want to be alerted to.
  6. YESKAMO Solar Security Camera: The Yeskamo has dual antennas for 50% more distance coverage, real-time alerts, and a battery charge of about four months if not getting direct sunlight for it to charge.
  7. REOLINK Store Argus Eco+: With a battery and solar-power panel combination the manufacturer claims you’ll never have to recharge; this camera gives you several features like two-way audio, easy installation, clear, crisp images, and real-time alerts.
  8. REOLINK Store Go+: Two-way audio, real-time alerts, 7-day playback, encrypted cloud storage, and extra storage through a micro SD card make this a great pick.
  9. REOLINK Store Argus Pro: You can use an app with this camera to control it remotely, and it is compatible with IOS and Android.
  10. Zumimall Solar Surveillance Camera: The Zumimall has night vision and micro SD storage capability, real-time alerts, two-way audio, and ability to operate down to -4 degrees to ensure that it doesn’t quickly drain in the winter.
  11. FUVISION Home Security Camer: A reliably built camera, the FUVISION is known for having an IP65 rating of working at -4 degrees, two-way audio, and rotating views while live streaming to check on things in more detail. 
  12. REOLINK Argus Eco: This REOLINK has motion detection, excellent battery life, and picture quality.
  13. EKEN Solar Security Camera: While solar-powered, this camera comes with a charging cable long enough for the mounting stand if you need it, so you don’t have to take it down to charge it depending on where it is.

Solar-Powered Security Camera Reviews

Here are our comprehensive solar-powered security camera reviews to further aid your search, and help you find the perfect one for your home, budget, and setup. Starting with our best overall pick, the Ring Solar HD Security Camera, let’s take a closer look, shall we?

#1 Ring Solar HD Security Camera (Best Overall)

I like that this camera is easy to install and that Ring’s customer service is extremely helpful. This model works great with the solar panels that go with it and keeps this one topped off at a good battery percentage without the need of a huge amount of sunlight.

It has neat top features like Live View, working with Alexa, and customizable privacy features that make it stand out above its competitors. It also can work with all your other Ring devices, making this a reliable all-around security system if you have over one item in their lineup. This would be handy in any situation, depending on where you set it up and our best overall pick.

#2 ieGeek Wireless Solar Security Camera (Budget Pick)

The first thing that’s great about this camera is its incredibly durable design meant to repel nearly anything that nature might throw at it. Then, it’s 100% wireless makes installation a breeze for those used to installing equipment with wires. In addition, according to the manufacturer, there’s no need to take the battery off to recharge it, as it houses a 1500mAh rechargeable battery. 

I like that it has those easy functions but great visuals through different sensors, and it’s smart about turning on night vision. There’s also two-way audio on this that would make it easy to communicate with anyone, such as delivery men. These factors all lead it to be my budget pick for this list.

#3 Ankway Solar Security Camera (Easy Setup)

The easy setup on this one alone makes it worth the money, allowing for a hassle-free set-up. The Ankway operates down to -30 degrees, making it even better in the cold weather for those that may live in colder areas. It has a lot of features like rotate and zoom on videos, real-time alerts (handy if you’re not home or on vacation!), and two-way audio. 

I especially like that it has real-time alerts that would be handy for knowing when packages are delivered or if there is anyone around my property while I’m away from home. An app goes with this to help with those features and sends a message directly to your phone, making it even handier.

#4 Zumimall Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

Zumimall says that this camera will only capture human motion when it’s on guard duty, and when it does, it will send instant alerts to your phone through its app. When it does this, it will save videos automatically, so you have them on file in case you need them. 

It can save these to either the cloud or an SD card, making it handy if you need to pull up footage in case anything happens. The images are stunning, and it operates down to -4 degrees, which is reasonable considering many batteries drain fast with colder weather. (1)

#5 Conico Wireless Outdoor Security Camera

WiFi capable and with instant notifications, this solar-powered security camera will get you 1080p image quality, all while being on a powerful 10400mAh rechargeable battery. This ensures that the Conico will be powered on its own when the power goes out. 

There’s motion detection, which is adjustable, so you’re not getting alerts all the time, and alerts get pushed to your phone in real-time for those you have enabled. The app is easy to use, and it’s great that it’s supported on both the iOS and Android platforms, which ensures that everyone can use this camera without fail.

#6 Yeskamo Solar Security Camera

Wire-free and easy to install, the Yeskamo security system is powered by built-in 18650 rechargeable batteries with 10400mAh capacity capability.  It has a lifetime charge before recharging of up to four months, assuming there are ten triggers a day. Still, with its solar panel and making sure that it gets proper coverage, you barely have to charge it for security coverage, making it efficient for energy needs.

I like that it has dual antennas for extra coverage, as sometimes that distance is hard to cover when you’re looking for an excellent place to put it. Real-time notifications keep you in the know, and with two-way audio, you’re looking at a reliable camera.

#7 REOLINK Argus Eco+ 

The Reolink is efficient in its power use and one that the company says that you rarely must charge. This is great for those who don’t want the hassle to worry about recharging a battery every so often and instead speak to the solar panels’ reliability to keep it charged. 

This is great for keeping you in the know-how with its real-time alerts, two-way audio, and clear, crisp images; plus, it’s easy to install, making this great for any situation. I’d find this useful anywhere I needed it, like where I needed to keep tabs on the front door, a driveway, or other areas that might have people coming up to the house.

#8 REOLINK Store Go+

As most are on this list, this is wireless and hassle-free in set up. That appeals to me because time is valuable, and I don’t want to fuss with cords, drilling, or anything else while installing one. Some outstanding features about this are that it has two-way audio, encrypted cloud storage, and the ability to slot a micro SD card. 

There’s also a seven-day playback feature that automatically comes with it to have videos on hand when you need them. The company claims that you can put this anywhere, including campers, RV’s and trailers, so you can keep tabs on them and ward off burglars.

#9 REOLINK Store Argus Pro

This is an affordable option that most people will like, as it’s easy to install, is wireless, so it’s tangle-free, and has a rechargeable battery. The battery is meant to be so efficient that you’ll never have to charge the battery and can only rely on the solar panels for its energy source. 

You can use an app with this camera to control it remotely. It is compatible with IOS and Android. It also has the capability of supporting SD cards with up to 64GB of data for videos and images, or you can store your data in the cloud. 

#10 Zumimall Solar Surveillance Camera

The night vision on the Zumimall is fantastic, and the camera is easy to set up, which is a bonus. Also, I like that it stays charged in a wide range of weather conditions and hardly ever needs to be charged, which is useful for when you want to put it somewhere that’s difficult to get to. 

This would be handy for placing it in places like the garage where a ladder might be impossible to access. It has micro SD storage capability, real-time alerts, two-way audio, and operates down to -4 degrees to ensure that it doesn’t quickly drain in the winter.

#11 FUVISION Home Security Camera

The FUVSION is a solidly built little camera that’s easy to install, making this great for those that are looking for hassle-free installation. The sturdy construction makes it durable and it gets an IP65 rating, which rates for various conditions. (2)

It can rotate views, which is a prominent feature that could be used for surveying the area after one of its real-time alerts. The sound on it is great with its two-way audio, and it’s an affordable option that will be kind to your wallet.

#12 REOLINK Argus Eco

I like that this camera has an easy-to-use app that you can install up to 4 cameras on, giving you more coverage depending on your needs. This would be useful when you have multiple areas that need to be covered across your home or several outbuildings. 

It’s easy to set up, like most of its predecessors on this list. It has motion detection, great battery life, and picture quality, and is well worth the money. The ability to get a second solar panel with this one makes the battery last even longer without having to be charged; though, with the use of its panels, this isn’t necessary.

#13 EKEN Solar Security Camera

Like all the cameras on this list, this one is easy to install and hassle-free to place in hard to reach places because you’ll rarely have to charge. Just make sure you have it in the right placement spot to get maximum sun exposure. (3) This is great for the outdoors and pans in and out for more detailed views. 

I like that it has a charging cable long enough for the mounting stand if you need it, so you don’t have to take it down to charge it depending on where it is. It has two-way audio and gives outstanding quality on its automatically saved images to any SD card. This is an additional storage space of up to 128GB with no monthly fee.

Buyers Guide (Top 5 Tips to Know BEFORE You Buy)

#1 Consider the Placement of Your Solar Security Camera(s)

The placement of your security camera is vital when you’re talking about where to place your panels for maximum efficiency. You’re going to want to make sure that your panels are getting at least a good solid 6 hours of sunlight a day. 

For placement, if you’re in the northern hemisphere, you’re going to want to place your panels facing as true-south as possible to get maximum sunlight. This will ensure that the camera is as efficient as possible for battery life. 

#2 Consider the Weather Your Camera(s) Must Endure

Waterproof Ratings

Most cameras will come with an IP rating, which goes from IP00 (the least durable in weather) to IP69 (the most durable in weather). You’ll want to get one with the best ratings possible; however, most usually come with an IP65-IP69 rating to withstand most weather that includes dust, cold, rain, wind, high pressure, and anything else that mother nature can throw at it. (4)

Dust Ratings 

IP ratings will also rate a camera based on its ability to keep dust out of the housing and how much it protects the equipment from harm. This is great for most conditions that the average person’s camera will endure. It’s wise to check on the conditions for your area and check the IP ratings of the camera you’re buying to ensure it’s suitable.

#3 Know What Type of Wireless Communication Technology You Need

WiFi

A lot of these cameras, use WiFi connectivity so they can communicate with you for real-time alerts, stream video, and be able to record and store data. Knowing what type of connectivity you need is vital to ensuring that you have great coverage. 

Most cameras come with a 2.4Ghz connection, however, some may need a booster depending on where your WiFi router is located. Some cameras come with dual antennas if you require extra distance to be covered.

3G/4G

For those areas where WiFi isn’t readily available, there are cameras that are 3G/4G internet capable. These are usually cameras that can be mounted on places like campers, trailers or RV’s so that you have easy viewing despite not having WiFi connectivity. 

Ensure that you’re looking for this with a camera before buying it if that’s what you need, as the majority of them will come with WiFi capability.

#4 Look for Bonus Features That Excite You

Once basic needs are covered, then it’s a good idea to look into the bells and whistles. Looking for features that excite you like two-way audio, streaming video, human-only detection, or other bonus features it’s a wise move to help you get the most out of your investment.

Real-Time Notifications

Real-time notifications are on almost every security camera with the help of an app, to your phone, giving you quite a bit of control over what’s going on. You can customize these in most cases to give you notifications during certain times, or for certain events. Some can even snooze notifications during a certain time frame that you specify.

Two-Way Talk

With this function, you’re able to talk through the camera to whoever is on the other side giving you instant communication. This is great in situations where your family or someone might be outside and needs to talk to you but you’re unable to come to the door.

Advanced Motion Detection

Most of these cameras have PIR motion detection on them, Pyroelectric (“Passive”) InfraRed Sensors. These help with detecting movement and heat signatures that come into range of your camera and send you alerts based on your preferences. 

User-Friendly Mobile App

Having a user-friendly mobile app makes things much easier, and most of these cameras come with one. This helps with getting real-time notifications, any live streaming, up to date information, and any other features that the camera might have. Some cameras can be controlled with their app in functionality when it comes to zooming, tilting, and other physical aspects.

#5 Find the Top Deal for You

On this list, there are some cameras that are more affordable than others. Balancing quality over price is something that you should keep in mind when shopping. 

For things like security, it’s not always best to get the cheapest thing on the market for obvious reasons. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to sell your kidney in order to keep your family safe and have peace of mind, either. With that said, to find the top deal for you it’s recommended to look at all the factors discussed above, plus overall shipping costs, speed, and of course, the final price.

FAQ

Here are some of the most popular frequently asked questions to know before you buy a solar security camera.

How Do Solar-Powered Security Cameras Work?

Solar-powered security cameras work through a solar panel to capture the sun’s rays and convert it into a current, which is then used to charge your battery. When sunlight isn’t available, the camera uses the battery as a backup to power it and then uses the solar panel again once it’s exposed to sunlight once more. 

Though you may not believe it, the panels can even get power from the sun on rainy or cloudy days as light does still filter through the clouds. (5)

What Security Cameras Work Without WiFi?

While there are security cameras out there that work without WiFi, they’re limited in their availability as WiFi-enabled one’s give you more flexibility in terms of features and accessibility. 

However, that said, there are those like the ones you can get with home security systems that don’t need WiFi to set up.  There are also cameras that use 3G/4G as their way of connecting instead of WiFi so that they can be placed in more remote locations or in locations where the internet is spotty or unavailable.

What Are the Best Solar-Powered Security Cameras?

The best solar-powered cameras out there are those with a large battery capacity, panels that are efficient, wireless, and durable, have a good weather rating, and are easy to install. Anything else that the camera might have in features, like two-way audio, 1080p visuals, and PIR motion detection, is just a bonus. 

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar-Powered Security Camera to Buy Today?

After researching, testing, and comparing over a hundred solar security cameras available on the market today, we highly recommend the Ring Solar HD Security Camera as the best solar-powered security camera in terms of budget, quality, and features. 

Not only is it great for encompassing all of your security needs, but it also has tons of bells and whistles that will keep you on technology’s cutting-edge. With this model, you can rest easy at night, feeling safe, secure, and informed.

With its customizable features like privacy settings, setting up multiple cameras, and working with Alexa, this solar security camera model provides homeowners with an easy and efficient solution.

Want more top-rated solar equipment to help bring your home into the future? If so, check out our best solar charge controllers for those with solar panels, or if you’re looking to add some, or our Homepage here at Your Energy Blog for our full list of highly-rated gear.

References

  1. https://www.thoughtco.com/why-batteries-discharge-quickly-cold-weather-607889
  2. https://www.enclosurecompany.com/ip-ratings-explained.php
  3. https://energyeducation.ca/encyclopedia/Solar_panel_orientation
  4. https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/dust-resistant-waterproof-making-sense-of-gadget-ratings
  5. https://www.seia.org/initiatives/what-happens-solar-panels-when-its-cloudy-or-raining

The post Best Solar-Powered Security Camera of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

Let your friends know too:
Mohammadreza Golzari

Mohammadreza Golzari

Electrical Engineering PHD student at Tehran University
Mohammadreza is a real computer geek and also energy efficiency lover. His favorite hobby is coding on MATLAB. :)
Mohammadreza Golzari

Latest posts by Mohammadreza Golzari (see all)

Best Solar Generator of 2020

Best solar-powered generator: top-rated reviews

We rely on electricity so much that many people don’t realize that an extended power outage could result in hundreds of dollars of wasted groceries and even refrigerated medication going bad. (1) Electronics such as laptops can also be vulnerable to power surges as the electricity comes back on, especially when it’s sporadic. (2)

It’s better to prepare yourself, and the best solar generators have brought backup power into more contemporary times compared to old gas-powered options. We’ve researched some of the top choices to give you reliable solar generator reviews.

Quick Comparison of our Top 11 Best Solar Generators (For Those in a Rush)

If you don’t have time to read the whole review, here’s a quick comparison of how our top choices compare to one another:

  1. Jackery 1000-watt (Best Overall): For those who want the best solar generator for all-around use, that’s not too cheap, yet still a reasonable price; this is our top overall solar generator.
  2. Jackery 500-Watt (Budget Pick): With a more affordable price, a portable build, and an exceptional track record, we’ve labeled this best for those on a budget.
  3. Pecron Q3000S (Most Powerful): For powering equipment that uses a lot of energy, running a full-sized fridge, and quiet operation, this model packs a punch.
  4. MAXOAK BLUETTI 2400 (Best 1000W “High-Load Continuous”): If you want an option for home power-outages to keep a fridge going, using a mini heater, and long battery life, this is the choice for running appliances for several hours.
  5. ExpertPower Alpha2400 (Best Solar Generator Kit): Those who want everything included—the generator, cables, and solar panels—as well as easy setup, and user-friendly design, this is a kit worth checking out.
  6. FF FlashFish 300: A compact model that is also reliable and incredibly affordable, this is our pick for the best small but mighty solar generator.
  7. BALDR 330: If you want to know if you can get a hold of someone with the brand, but also want quality construction and reliable use, one of the best customer service options for a solar generator is going with a BALDR.
  8. EF ECOFLOW 1800: Hands-down, the best solar generator for use with tools like a circular saw or a hammer drill–it also has a clear display and sleek design.
  9. MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500: If you want something not too expensive, not too cheap with outstanding customer service and a convenient carrying handle is the BLUETTI 1500.
  10. Aeiusny 500: For the best budget-friendly, small, camping solar generator with a light, look at the Aeiusny.
  11. Westinghouse 100: If the brand name is crucial, the best reputation on this list for a small solar generator is the Westinghouse. This unit also has a variety of outlets and ports, and is ultra-portable. 

Solar Generator Reviews

We’ve spent several hours researching solar generators, exploring features, and testing some of the models out ourselves. Here are our in-depth results to aid your search.

1. Jackery 1000 Watts (Best Overall)

The Jackery 1000 Watt solar generator is robust and sufficient for most individuals as an emergency device, and we’re labeling it the best overall solar generator. We tested it and could get 1000 watts from this generator for a solid hour without interruption. We like that you have four ways to recharge the Jackery (solar, car outlet, wall outlet with 163W max, or another generator).

This portable model is our personal favorite for the best solar generator, thanks to several features. First, you get plenty of outlets—USB-C, USB-A, car outlet, and three AC outlets. The Jackery 1000 can also power devices like mini-fridges, coffee makers, electric grills, blenders, and even support larger home appliances like a fridge.

Keep in mind; this model will not power items that are more intensive power-suckers, like a microwave or a hairdryer (although only the most robust models will).

You get pure sine wave energy with a long-lasting battery, and this generator is also lightweight, making it simple with which to travel. Better yet, this generator is incredibly quiet.

Compared to some generators we’ve researched, which can go for a few thousand dollars, this one is reasonably-priced. The fair price combined with the quality, longevity, low sound output, and the ability to use this generator while charging it makes it our top pick for the best overall solar generator. You’ll feel satisfied with the investment on this generator when the power goes out.

2. Jackery 500 Watts (Budget Pick)

The combined low cost mixed with the quality of Jackery models made this model our top budget pick solar generator. After hours of research, we’re a fan of Jackery solar generators, as you’ll see from our top overall pick. For a more affordable option—and we’re talking a remarkably budget-friendly model as far as generators go—the Jackery 500 is outstanding.

This ultra-lightweight solar generator can power items like small blenders (not full-sized models), RV lighting, portable movie projectors, and mini coolers. We recommend this model for those who only want a quiet solar generator for camping items, as it doesn’t have enough power to support things like drills, coffee makers, large blenders, or hairdryers.

While the wattage is lower, we love this generator for devices like laptops when you’re on the road. The Jackery 500 has a pure sine wave inverter, which means you can safely use it with laptops, phones, and tablets without damaging them. The inverter also makes this generator quieter and guards your electronics against overheating or voltage overload.

You get four ways of charging this model: solar, wall outlets with 80W max, a car outlet, and another generator. We’ve also noticed that Jackery generators hold their charge for a long time (several months and even a year).

3. Pecron Q3000S 2000 Watts (Most Powerful)

With 2000 watts to run high-energy devices, this is our favorite for the most powerful solar generator. If you want a robust generator that also has the eco-friendly and quiet benefits of solar, the Pecron Q3000S is one to consider. This 2000 watt power station can offer peak output of an impressive 4000 watts and has a lithium battery backup for those weeks when the clouds won’t dissipate.

This generator has pure sine wave output that can power a mini-fridge, a pressure cooker, electric grills, drones, laptops, and even an induction cooker (up to 1300w). Are you concerned about charging your laptop or tablet with this powerful solar generator? You’ll have no worries with its overcharge, over-voltage, and overheat protection.

This generator is slightly larger than the lower-output models, but it comes with wheels and a handle to roll it around with ease, much like a small rolling suitcase. You won’t get the lowest price tag with this eco-friendly generator, but for those who need a robust, quiet, solar-powered option for frequent RV trips or as an emergency backup for a house, it could be an ideal fit.

4. MAXOAK BLUETTI 2400 Watts (Best 1000W “High-Load Continuous”)

Not everyone wants a tiny device just to charge a smartphone, so for home power-outages, this is our pick for the best 1000W “high-load continuous” solar generator. For those who want a solar generator that will serve as an emergency backup for their home, the MAXOAK 2400 is an excellent option. You can power a standard refrigerator to this thing and run it for a couple of days! When you experience a blackout (3) for more than a day, you’ll be thankful for this eco-friendly generator.

With ample power and more prolonged use, overheating could be a concern. However, this generator has a cooling fan that automatically starts when attached to appliances with over 100 watts.

This solar generator is best for more extended use on emergency items, such as a refrigerator. For electric drills, emergency lighting, appliances like a full-sized fridge, laptops, a TV, and even a CPAP machine, this model is excellent.

You also get a convenient carrying handle and an LCD screen to monitor the amount of power left on the generator. One notable perk with this product is the customer service. As we sifted through hundreds of reviews, time and time again, feedback on the customer service was outstanding.

5. ExpertPower Alpha2400 (Best Solar Generator Kit)

Many solar generators are technically “solar compatible” but don’t include panels, so we found the Alpha2400 for the best solar generator kit. The Alpha2400 is a full solar generator kit with a detachable solar panel, an adjustable stand to catch the best sunlight, a cable to hook up the panel to the generator, and the device itself. This power source is heavy and durable. While something super heavy might not sound ideal at first, it does work as a slight theft deterrent, so that’s a feature to keep in mind.

You can power a decent array of electronics with this model, such as a mini-fridge, game consoles, fans, a CPAP machine, TV, laptops, and even a washing machine. Two standard, 1000-watt AC outlets pair with four USB ports to plug-in appliances and devices such as tablets or smartphones.

Like the other top picks on this list, the ExpertPower Alpha2400 also has over-voltage, low-voltage, and temperature protection for your more delicate electronics. This kit is convenient for smart buyers who want the whole solar setup in one package.

6. FF FLASHFISH 300 Watts

I like the FF FlashFish solar generator for the pure value you get from this little power source. This model is super budget-friendly, and you get a surprisingly long draw time from a single charge.

While you aren’t going to get days of power for a full-sized fridge out of this device, you can use it with a mini-fridge for up to seven hours. You also can power laptops, a TV, a CPAP machine, and an outdoor projector.

I like that this lightweight generator has three USB ports for charging a few electronics at once, as well as two three-pronged AC outlets. Built-in safety guards protect sensitive devices from over-voltage, and a cooling fan prevents overheating.

The solar panels come separately, and the manufacturer recommends an 18v/50w solar panel (that does not exceed 100 watts). So, you’ll have to get the right panels and connecting cables to use this generator. Still, it’s an affordable option for emergencies and road trips.

You won’t find an abundance of small, super-portable, budget-friendly solar generators that offer such a reliable charge. For those who want an affordable generator that is lightweight and can help with emergency lighting or small devices, this is one to consider.

7. BALDR 330 Watts

This portable solar generator is lightweight (only 7.1 pounds) and simple to use. You only need an MC4 cable connected to a solar panel to get it up and running, and it does not require an MPPT or PWM charge controller. For lightweight, easy-to-use solar generators, this one is an excellent option.

This generator has a lower wattage than some of the heftier models, but the upside is that the charge time is relatively short. You can fully juice this one up in about six or seven hours instead of 12 or even 18.

Note: the solar panels are sold separately, and the manufacturer recommends TogoPOWER panels.
Don’t expect to power blenders, coffee makers, hairdryers, electric kettles, or other devices over 330 watts with this generator. However, you can run a mini cooler, 32” TV, emergency lighting, tablets, phones, and laptops with the BALDR 330.

Even with the small size and lower wattage, you can still power a CPAP machine for a few nights with this generator. Another bonus—customer service is fantastic when dealing with BALDR. If a reliable brand with a fast-response service is crucial to you, BALDR might be an ideal fit.

8. EF ECOFLOW 1800 Watts

So far, we’ve covered a handful of solar generators that can power many smaller devices, and a few that can support a mini-fridge, or even a full-sized refrigerator. However, if you want an eco-friendly generator with enough power to handle everything from a microwave and a standard refrigerator to a circular saw and air compressor, look at this model. You can even run a welding machine (up to 1800 watts) from this generator.

You’d have to pay a bit more than some models for this solar generator, but the battery life and power do not disappoint. Whether you want a power source for your RV or a reliable emergency backup to power your fridge and lights at home during a blackout, this is a worthwhile investment.

This generator has plenty of safety features, including sensors that will prevent quick-charging right after you quickly drain it. However, most of the time, you can get a rapid charge of roughly four hours through the solar panels.

Pure sine wave energy makes this generator safe for juicing up your laptop, and it’s compatible with any solar panel (up to 400 watts).

9. MAXOAK BLUETTI 1500 Watts

If you like the MAXOAK brand and considered the BLUETTI 2400, but don’t want to spend that much on a solar generator, the 1500 version of the BLUETTI is worth considering.

You don’t get quite the “oomph” as the 2400 model with this one, but it’s still robust enough to power a mini-fridge, a car vacuum, a 32” TV, an electric drill, and even a full-sized refrigerator for up to an hour and a half.

Customer service is excellent. For most users, this handy solar generator works well and holds a charge for a long time. This model can blend the reliable power you might need in a blackout with a savvy sense of purchasing something that won’t break the bank.

Like the other generators in our top picks, the pure sine wave energy makes it safe to charge electronics like laptops. Over-voltage, overcurrent, and temperature control are some of the added safeguards. We particularly like that the LCD screen shows the remaining power and error codes for potential malfunctions. Like some of our other favorite generators, you can juice this one up with solar panels or a wall socket for those rainy days.

10. Aeiusny 500 Watts

The Aeiusny solar generator comes fully charged, which is a nice little perk for this portable, affordable power source. This model is also super quick to power up—you’ll probably be able to juice it up faster than you can figure out how to pronounce the company name.

Don’t let that stop you from considering this handy generator, though. Customer service is easy to reach with their email, and this device is well-built. You can refill the battery with solar power, but you can also recharge with a wall outlet, cigarette lighter socket, or another generator.

This generator is not suitable for keeping a full-sized fridge going during a blackout, but it’s fantastic for camping trips. You can run a computer, car cooler, camping lights, and even a CPAP machine (with the heater and humidifier off) with this portable generator.

This solar generator works best if you refresh its charge at least every six months. For the person on a tight budget who wants a backup generator for their smartphone, laptop, small lights, and would also like an emergency flashlight built into the unit, the Aeiusny is one to check out.

11. Westinghouse 100 Watts

Westinghouse is an exceptionally reputable name in generators, whether they be solar-powered or traditional gas-powered. So, when we found this portable, budget-friendly, solar-optional iGen 160s model from Westinghouse, we had to take a look.

I like that you get a two-prong and three-prong outlet, a USB-1, USB-2, and USB-C ports, as well as three 12-volt DC ports on this small generator. This ultra-quiet generator can power laptops, tablets, headlamps, cameras, and other small devices. All of the standard electronic safety features are built-in, including over-voltage, over-current, low-voltage, and short circuit protection.

A handle and a flashlight are also designed into this 3.75-pound generator. Solar panels are sold separately, but you can plug in any solar panel to the DC13V-25V/2A max port that fits 5.5 x 2.1mm.
If you don’t get a solar panel immediately, or have a long stretch of rainy weather, you can charge up this model with a house outlet or car cigarette lighter. Those who want a small generator with a reputable name and top-notch quality will be happy with this long-lasting, tiny powerhouse.

Buyers’ Guide (Top 3 Tips – How to Buy the Best Solar Generator for You)

Investing in something potentially-pricey like a generator can be daunting. We did the homework first to make it simpler for you.

1. Know how much wattage you’ll need (in 3 easy steps)

Wattage is crucial and one of the most vital components when selecting a generator.

STEP 1: Find out the “wattage draw” of your equipment (estimate: minimum, maximum, & continuous draws)

If you don’t know where to start, you can try out an energy calculator (4) to get an estimate. For appliances like refrigerators, you can multiply volts x amps. Most refrigerators will have a sticker with these numbers either within the door, at the back, on a kickplate, or listed on the rear interior wall.
Typical fridge use consumes somewhere between 100 and 250 watts or roughly 1 to 2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a single day. (5)

If the power goes out, a fridge can be an essential item to keep running. However, many people think big appliances like these suck up the most energy, partially because they need to stay powered to keep your food cold.

You might be surprised to find that running a hairdryer takes about 1500 watts—15 times the power it takes to keep your fridge going! (6)

A standard-sized microwave can suck up between 850 and a whopping 1800 watts during use.

STEP 2: Estimate the “runtime(s)” you’ll need for your equipment

If you purchase a small generator that cannot power hefty power-users, like a microwave, the runtime won’t matter because you won’t be able to utilize these items with your power source.

If you get a more robust generator, you should be able to keep a full-sized refrigerator going, and even items like a blender (which can use up to 1000 watts) or a coffee maker (anywhere between 600 and 1500 watts) when in use.

You’ll need to keep track of a general runtime for any item you plan to plug into your solar generator. A hairdryer might only use five minutes of energy at 1500 watts. A full-sized fridge using around 200 watts is less but needs to remain on continuously.

List all items you will need to plug into your generator, roughly how many minutes they will continuously run, and what they drain in wattage.

STEP 3: Find a solar generator that can both power all your equipment and satisfy your desired runtime(s)

If you know that you won’t use a generator for much besides powering your smartphone and a small fan while camping, a small, budget-friendly model will likely work well for you.

However, if you plan to invest in a solar generator that can help out while traveling in addition to being an energy backup for your house in the case you lose power for a couple of days, consider something heftier. Generators can be tough to justify when everything is fine with your energy, the weather, and you have no plans for travel.

If your entire city loses power, and hotels aren’t even a backup option, what sort of generator will you need to keep your food fresh and at least a small heater or a few lights running?

2. Look for bonus features that excite you

Once you’ve settled on the general requirements you need in a solar generator, check the “extras.” Each model has specific little features that set it apart from others for varying reasons. Some things to consider that might or might not work best for you:

  • USB ports to charge smartphones, work laptops, or tablets for kids
  • A built-in flashlight
  • Lightweight to carry with you
  • Heavier to prevent theft if you leave it outdoors
  • Three-prong outlets to plug in anything from a mini-fridge to an electric grill
  • Various charge options, such as recharging via your car, a solar panel, or your wall outlet
  • Included solar panels (some are not)
  • The ability to support a variety of power tools
  • Extra-long battery life when not in use
  • Weather resistance
  • Pure sine wave energy (just like our best pure sine wave inverter of the year)
  • Notably-exceptional customer service
  • Rolling wheels or a carrying handle
  • LCD display to monitor the remaining charge

3. Find the best deal for you

Just because generators can be expensive doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. Don’t forget to check these factors when picking your solar generator.

Shipping

If you’re buying through Amazon (worth doing if you want an ample amount of reviews to check through), you can get free shipping on many solar generators. Prime members don’t have to worry about shipping.

However, if you’re not a Prime member (even if you shop elsewhere), consider shipping before you checkout. Bulky items like generators can cost a heart-stopping amount to ship if you buy from a random outlet or don’t get Prime’s benefits from Amazon. Next to “shipping,” click on “details” to read the short but fine print.

Limited Time Deals

Sellers will often lower an item’s cost, like a solar generator, during off-seasons or around certain holidays. You can keep an item “saved for later” in your cart and check back on the price. Our favorite way to get notified of lowered prices lately is Honey. (7) You might have heard of Honey recently, as it’s become huge for snatching deals.

It’s free, and you install it into your internet browser. We are not always the best at keeping track of the exact amounts of items we plan to buy in the next few months, and we’ve used this add-on to automatically notify us when something we’re looking at falls to a lower price.

Warranty

Most generators will come with the option for a warranty, usually a one-year or three-year option. The decision on a warranty for your unit will ultimately be up to you, but a few things to keep in mind:

Most warranties will not cover damage such as you accidentally cutting the cable that connects your unit to the solar panel, the only breakdown of manufactured items or batteries that are “lemons.”
If you only plan to use the generator as an emergency backup, you may need a warranty in the first year or initial few years, but less likely than ten years from now.

Consider the cost of a more extended warranty versus the price of the generator you choose. If you spend over $1,000 on a solar generator, getting a more extended guarantee is likely a smart idea.

Final Price

Remember that your final price will include the product cost, tax, shipping (if applicable), and any warranty you decide to purchase. Some of these costs might bump up the price of your solar generator a bit.

Don’t let this scare you out of buying a piece of equipment that can help keep you warm, keep you fed, and charge up potentially vital devices like a phone when you need one. A unit can be like insurance—when you don’t use it, you might grumble, but when the day comes you need it, you won’t regret investing in it at all.

FAQ

Here we answered some of the most frequently asked questions to know before buying one of the best solar-powered generators of the year – to further aid your search and help ensure you find the perfect one for you.

What size solar generator do I need?

It’s not so much the generator’s physical size, but instead, the power it can support that matters. Check back to the three steps on calculating your wattage needs and run time of the equipment you plan to use your solar generator with and focus your sights on models that can handle your power needs.

If you don’t have any units at all, you might want to consider one that can power your fridge in case of a home blackout, and will also work for trips in an RV. Make sure you use proper safety when utilizing any generator. (8)

Are solar generators worth it?

In our opinion, solar generators are an exceptional innovation and worth it when you need them. Not dealing with the noise, fumes, and handling of gasoline is a perk, no doubt, and getting the variety of charging methods is also a bonus.

If a real emergency arose, these units could supply you with power and keep that power going without any electricity to charge the battery, and without needing to travel to a gas station to refill your gas can.

All you need is the power of the sun and a proper setup, and then you’re ready for a wide range of situations.

Consider this: A solar generator could be potentially lifesaving. If you need to keep a small heater running during a frigid winter power-outage, you don’t have to worry about poisonous fumes from a solar generator as you do with a gas-powered model. You don’t have to keep a solar generator outside for that reason. (9)

You can charge most solar generators with a wall outlet, so even if solar panels aren’t ideal in the winter, you can still use these and have them on standby for such situations.

As we mentioned, a generator is much like insurance—you might not want to spend the money at the moment, but when you desperately need it, you’ll feel so thankful you invested in protecting yourself. Setting out a solar panel to recharge your generator in a potential city-wide loss of power is a benefit worth every penny if you ask me.

What is the best solar generator to buy?

In our books, the best solar generator to buy this year is the Jackery 1000-watt, our best overall choice. At the end of the day, the best unit for you will depend mainly on what equipment you’re looking to power, what main features you’re looking for, and your budget — but overall this model provides most with what they’re looking for.

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar-Powered Generator to Buy Today?

Now that you’ve seen all our top solar generators of the year here at Your Energy Blog, most important buyers’ tips, and answers to the most popular faqs – you’re well on your way to choosing the best one for you.

However, if you’re still not quite sure which one to go with, we highly-recommend our #1-rated Jackery 1000-watt. For most people, this model would work well in many situations, it’s able to power a massive range of equipment, and it’s in a sweet spot when it comes to price. It’s not too cheap and tiny, but it’s not the most expensive option by a long shot. Ultimately, it’s pretty tough to beat!

  1. https://www.ready.gov/power-outages
  2. https://www.ready.gov/sites/default/files/2020-03/power-outage_information-sheet.pdf
  3. https://nbc25news.com/weather/stormready-survival-guide/how-to-pick-the-right-generators-to-keep-power-on-during-outages
  4. http://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_refrigerator.htm
  5. https://reductionrevolution.com.au/blogs/news-reviews/fridge-power-consumption#:~:text=Domestic%20fridge%20power%20consumption%20is,%24150%20per%20year%20per%20fridge.
  6. http://energyusecalculator.com/electricity_hairdryer.htm
  7. https://www.joinhoney.com/explore
  8. https://www.energy.gov/ceser/activities/energy-security/emergency-preparedness/using-portableemergency-generators-safely
  9. https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather

The post Best Solar Generator of 2020 first appeared on Your Energy Blog.

Let your friends know too:

Mozaffar EtezadiFar

Founder at Energykade
Mozaffar owns degrees in electrical engineering as BSc and power management as MSc. He has worked in fields of energy and e-commerce. He believes that energy and IT can help each other to save more energy and our planet. So here is energykade...

Latest posts by Mozaffar EtezadiFar (see all)

Best Solar Lantern of 2020

One of the oldest, free, renewable, and nature-friendly energy sources, solar power is growing in popularity because of its energy efficiency, low maintenance, and cost savings. (1) Are you looking for the best solar lantern for your yard, emergency kit, or next camping trip?

We can help. Not only will we list our top picks of 2020, but we’ll try to answer any questions you might have about buying a solar lantern and what to look for before you buy–ensuring you get the top fit for you and your next camping trip or outdoor gathering.

Quick Comparison of our Top 13 Picks (For Those in a Rush)

  1. Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack (Best Overall): An attractive lantern with excellent run time, functionality, and romantic design that can hang or be set on a hard surface—best for people who want a balance between function and aesthetic.
  2. Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights (Budget Pick): A dancing flame lantern with the most affordable price for the quality, unique design, and excellent solar run time. This is the best lantern for people who need a lot of lanterns at a decent price.
  3. LuminAID’s 2-in-1 Solar Lanterns (Best Camping): A lightweight, collapsible lantern designed to be multi-functional, efficient, and reliable which is best for long camping trips or unforeseen disasters. T
  4. TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lanterns (Best Multi-Finish): A flicker-flame, old-world style lantern that is very affordable and comes in three finishes of antique silver, bronze, or white. This lantern is best for someone who needs their lantern to blend well with their landscape.
  5. TomCare Retro-Style Flicker Flame Solar Lanterns (Most Stylish Design): An affordable, flicker flame metal lantern with a distinctive traditional lantern design that’s high quality and sophisticated. This lantern is best for impressing guests at a party.
  6. Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns: A clean, modern design with flicker flame LED lights, this lantern is easy to hang and has excellent run time.
  7. YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern: Another dancing flame solar lantern that imitates a realistic flame and is an affordable, no fuss, easy-to-hang lantern.
  8. LampLust Solar Candle Lantern: A unique, durable, sophisticated design that is eighteen inches tall, making it the tallest lamp on our list.
  9. EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns: Flicker flame LED lantern that is affordable, versatile, and durable to create a mesmerizing outdoor atmosphere.
  10. LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth: A high tech, multi-functional, collapsible lantern can connect and be controlled from an app on your phone.
  11. TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern: Designed to look like a tree stump, this lantern is the most unique design on our list, and it’s definitely a conversation piece.
  12. Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light: High quality, durable and unique, this lantern will spark conversation while creating the atmosphere of a Morrocan festival.
  13. Greenlight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern: A lightweight, multi-functional, portable light that’s great for camping or doing projects around the house.

Solar Lantern Reviews

Now that you’ve seen our top thirteen solar lanterns for outdoors at a glance, let’s examine them closer, shall we? Check out our comprehensive solar lantern reviews to further aid your search, and find the perfect one for you. Without further ado, here’s our top overall choice of the year, the Superdanny 8-Pack.

1. SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack (Best Overall)

The Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack is the best solar lantern and our best overall pick for excellent run time, functionality, and romantic design. If you want a gorgeous lantern that can hang or sit on the ground or table, then you’ll love the Superdanny Outdoor Solar Lantern.

Using warm light LED bulbs, this solar lantern’s run time is tough to beat. It fully charges after four to five hours of direct sunlight. And will run for six to nine hours depending on the season, giving you dusk to dawn capability if needed. It also has a switch to turn on an automatic sensor.

This lantern is designed to be multi-functional for any weather condition. Made for all-weather outdoor use, the lantern is made from high-quality, waterproof plastic and metal. It also comes with a nineteen-foot rope for stringing the lanterns to illuminate an outdoor gathering.

Its modern design lends itself to creating ambient light on a table, hanging above a patio for late-night activities, or lighting a pathway to your home. And the swirl of fairy lights creates a romantic, whimsical environment, giving it an air of sophistication for your next outdoor party.

2. Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights 4-Pack (Budget Pick)

The Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights wins our budget pick because it has the most affordable price for the quality, unique design, and solar run time. The solar lantern uses a flickering LED light that mimics the look of a real flame.

The antique flame effect elevates the atmosphere for parties, gatherings, barbecues, and camping trips. The lanterns use warm yellow light to set the mood. The lanterns can hang, be clipped, or placed on a level surface to provide adequate lighting.

Made from high quality, durable plastic, the Ollivage Dancing Flame Outdoor Solar Lights are waterproof and can be used during any weather condition. It also comes with a one year warranty and excellent customer service. For what you get, you can’t beat the price.

The lanterns can charge using solar or USB power. When fully charged, the solar lanterns can run for up to twelve hours and have automatic sensors that will turn on the lights when it gets dark. The USB charger is a nice touch to help out in a pinch when sunlight is scarce.

3. LuminAID 2-1 Solar Lantern (Best Camping)

Our pick for the best solar camping lantern, the LuminAID’s 2-in-1 Solar Lanterns, are practically designed to be multi-functional, efficient, and reliable for long camping trips or unforeseen disasters. This is a great solar lantern to pack with your tent or keep in your emergency kit.

Designed for disaster relief, the lantern is collapsible, waterproof, and lightweight. This lantern also has an added feature of floating on water, making it ideal for river trips or camping by the lake. And the collapsible, lightweight design makes it easy to stash in your pack for a long hiking trip.

The lantern has the 2-in-1 function of being a light and a phone charger. It can recharge your phone or tablet with a 2.1 Amp output port. When you’re out in the middle of nowhere, having a phone charger is a bonus.

And these lanterns can be charged by solar or USB power. The solar panels need ten hours of direct sunlight to charge fully. If you don’t have time, you can also charge it quickly using the USB cord. When fully charged, it provides up to 24 hours of light. Set to its low mode setting, it can run for up to 50 hours.

4. TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lantern 2-Pack (Best Multi-Finish)

The TomCare Classic Flickering Flame Solar Lanterns are our pick for best multi-finish because of their old-world style, affordability, and high quality that comes in three finishes. These attractive solar lanterns come in antique silver, bronze, or white.

Made from durable, rust-resistant metal, these solar lanterns are surprisingly affordable. Other solar lanterns at this price point are generally made of plastic. And coupled with the flickering flame LED lights that create a real flame simulation, these lanterns easily create old-world ambiance.

Made to endure all weather conditions, these waterproof solar lanterns have a white light that can fully charge in direct sunlight after eight hours. The lanterns will run for up to ten hours and give off a fair amount of light.

The manufacturer does point out that the lanterns won’t work if the two lights are installed too close together. That being said, it does come with a one-year warranty and quality customer service to address any issue you may have.

5. TomCare Retro-Style Flickering Flame Metal Solar Lantern 2-Pack (Most Stylish Design)

Very similar to the TomCare Flicker Flame Solar Lanterns, these retro-style solar lanterns are our pick for most stylish design because of their distinctive traditional lantern design, affordability, and high quality that comes in two finishes. These stylish solar lanterns come in bronze or white.

These solar lanterns are very affordable and are made from durable, rust-resistant metal. The flickering flame LED lights create a real flame simulation, which really adds to the vintage-inspired look. These lanterns will create an old-world ambiance for your next gathering.

Made to endure all weather conditions, these waterproof solar lanterns have warm light that can fully charge in direct sunlight after eight hours. The lanterns will run for up to ten hours and are fairly bright. However, they’re better for setting the mood rather than lighting up the basketball court.

The manufacturer does point out that the lanterns won’t work if the two lights are installed too close together. That being said, it does come with a one-year warranty and quality customer service to address any issue you may have.

6. JIAN YA NA Solar Lantern 10-Pack

A clean, modern design, the Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns, will impress your guests at your next gathering. Easy to hang using the large ring or clip can attach to many surfaces. These lanterns also have a flickering flame LED light that mimics a real flame without the fire hazard.

Made from all-weather, rust-resistant plastic and metal, these lanterns are entirely waterproof. It’s warm white light is very bright, making these lanterns a solid pick for lighting a patio or outdoor entertainment area.

When in direct sunlight, the solar lantern only needs four to six hours to charge depending on the season. Using an automatic sensor, the lanterns will turn on when it gets dark and shine brightly for up to nine hours.

Incredibly easy to install, the Jian Ya Na Solar Lanterns only requires two steps for operation. Turn the sensor to automatic and peel away the protective film from the solar panel before hanging it in sunlight to charge.

7. YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern 4-Pack

Another dancing flame solar lantern that imitates a realistic flame, the YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern, is an affordable, no fuss, easy-to-hang lantern. These warm light lanterns create a welcoming atmosphere for relaxing around the campground or patio lounging.

The YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern is built to last and made from durable, waterproof ABS plastic for all-weather outdoor use. It comes with a metal hanging ring and clips for easy set-up. Lightweight and easy to use, this is a great camping accessory.

These solar lanterns provide excellent light and long run time. You can charge them using solar or USB power for times when the sun isn’t optimal. The lantern charges within four to five hours and will run for up to twelve hours for dusk-to-dawn illumination.

The YoungPower Hanging Solar Lantern provides quality lighting and looks like a real flame. They’re very durable for everyday outdoor use, and they come with a one-year warranty to ensure you’re satisfied with the quality. Truly, a fantastic all-purpose lantern.

8. LampLust Solar Candle Lantern

The LampLust Solar Candle Lantern has a unique, sophisticated design. Standing at eighteen inches tall, this is the tallest lantern on our list. Perfect for setting along a pathway or as a centerpiece on a table, the solar lantern creates an intimate atmosphere for your next gathering.

Made from durable, rust-resistant metal and glass, this attractive lantern also comes in a fourteen-inch model to create a complementary pairing for extra table light. The LampLust Solar Candle Lantern is high quality and beautiful, garnering the envy of neighbors.

The solar lantern is built to run. As long as the lantern gets adequate sunlight, it can illuminate any yard or patio for six to eight hours. And the candle’s flicking warm light creates an inviting ambiance and decent brightness.

A unique hexagon shape with a black finish gives it a touch of elegance while still providing practical, energy-saving illumination. Known for quality products, LampLust offers a 90-day warranty to ensure complete customer satisfaction.

9. EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lantern 4-Pack

The EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns cast a yellow firelight using flicker flame LEDs to create a mesmerizing atmosphere. While these lanterns can sit on a table, hanging them around your patio, porch, yard, or pathway would be a good choice.

Relatively inexpensive, the EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns have an upgraded, thick ABS plastic shell. So they are great for all weather conditions in any season. In a black finish, the lantern has a more masculine style, reminiscent of a barbeque grill.

The EOYIZW Hanging Solar Lanterns have an upgraded solar panel making them more efficient. They only need six to eight hours to charge in full sunlight for a run time of ten hours. This unique designed solar lantern also comes in purple or blue flame to create a party atmosphere.

The clip makes them easy to hang, giving your yard torch light ambiance. And because they are solar, they are easy to maintain and very energy efficient. The solar lantern comes with a one-year warranty.

10. LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth

Going high tech, the LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern with Bluetooth can connect and be controlled from an app on your phone. This is an ideal lantern for on the go, whether you’re headed camping or to the beach, just collapse and put it in your bag.

The app has many features, allowing you to change colors, adjust brightness, check the battery, and set light timers to a specific time. You can customize the lantern’s light to any color. Built for functionality over decorative design, the LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern is collapsable, lightweight, and easy to carry.

The LuminAID Bloomio Twist Solar Lantern can run all night. It does take longer than other solar lamps to charge completely at around twelve to sixteen hours. But it also comes with a USB port for charging in a pinch. And you can adjust the brightness for longer run time.

It has an origami design and can fold up flat for easy storage and portability. It’s also waterproof so it can hang by the pool. And it’s dustproof, so it’s the perfect lantern for overnight hiking.

11. TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern 2-Pack

The TomCare Vintage-Stump Solar Lantern is the most unique design on our list. Designed to look like a tree stump, it’s definitely a conversation piece. And when the flickering flame LEDs illuminate, it almost has a volcanic feel.

Meant to blend into the landscape of your yard or garden, the solar lantern stumps are quite large and provide a warm, firelike ambient lighting. They come in two sizes of seven-inch or eight-inch height.

It is made from quality, durable resin for all weather conditions. The lantern stumps are waterproof, heat resistant, frost resistant. It also comes with a one-year warranty and quality customer service.

12. Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light

Make a statement with the Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light. High quality, durable, and unique, the lantern will spark conversation. These round solar lanterns are very stylish and will create the atmosphere of a Morrocan festival.

The lantern produces cool blue illumination that casts a fun pattern on the ground. Fully charged, the Smart Garden Solar Damasque Morrocan Lantern Light can last up to six hours. Energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, this lamp will beautify any patio or garden.

It is made from durable metal made for all-season use. And despite the thick metal pattern, the light still gives off quite a bit of light. Be careful if you set this lantern on a table instead of hanging because the base can rust in high humidity environments.

13. GreenLight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern

The Greenlight Planet Sun King Pro Portable Solar Lantern is a very functional pick. Not intended for decorative purposes, this solar lantern is all business. A lightweight, multi-functional, portable light that’s great for camping or doing projects around the house.

Meant for everyday use, the portable lantern offers adequate light when your project calls for it. Whether you’re working on your car, have an emergency, or just want to read in the dark, this lamp has got your back. It has three light modes so you can customize brightness based on your needs.

A handheld solar lantern that also comes with a stand when you need both hands. It has 120 lumens and can provide up to forty-five hours of light. It also has a USB port for faster charging or charging your phone or tablet using solar power.

Ranked by MIT as the best solar light, this is an essential light to throw in your tool or emergency kit. It’s also very compact and lightweight, making it ideal for taking on hiking trips. It’s also very affordable for the high quality and excellent run time.

Buyers’ Guide (Top 5 Tips – How to Buy the Best Solar-Powered Lantern for You)

Want some useful buying tips for finding the right model for you? We’ve got you covered. Here we’ll list our top five tips, so you can feel confident buying a solar-powered lantern.

1. Keep in Mind Your Solar Lantern’s Main Purpose

While solar lanterns are revolutionizing light for third-world countries (2), they’re also convenient to have around the house and in the yard. Because of their energy efficiency and cost savings, solar lanterns have many uses.

Decoration

As solar technology advances, the design and cost of these lanterns are transitioning from functional to decorative. Many companies have capitalized on solar panel technology to create stylish, elegant lanterns that people want to buy as decorative accents.

Solar lanterns are an attractive way to provide sustainable, cost-effective lighting while still creating an elegant ambiance for your next gathering. No longer just for the environmentally conscious, these lanterns are an affordable and stylish alternative for outdoor lighting.

If you’re buying a model for decorative reasons, this will come down to personal preference. There is no wrong answer at the end of the day. If the design appeals to you, it appeals to you. Don’t be afraid to be unique, and stand out.

Practical Lighting

According to the Climate Technology Centre & Network, solar lanterns are a cheap alternative for providing four to five hours of high-quality light. Most solar lanterns use LED lights like most outdoor solar equipment you’ll see today including solar gutter lights, because their ability to produce high-intensity lighting, and their bulbs can last for up to twenty-seven years. (3) This makes them an ideal solution for practical lighting.

Because solar lanterns can produce high-intensity light, you can use them for many practical situations such as lighting a home, yard, parks, streets, and even schools. A Stanford University study found that solar lamps can even improve education in off-grid regions. (4)

Camping

When you go off-grid or for long backpacking trips, these lanterns are essential. As a renewable source of light when electricity isn’t available, solar lanterns are a smart choice. Not only are they safer than kerosene lamps, but they are also brighter and more environmentally friendly than kerosene lamps. (5)

Solar lanterns are practical, lightweight, and compact, making them ideal for stuffing into a backpack. And many solar lanterns designed for camping have multiple functions like allowing you to charge small electronics like your phone. Which is handy, that is, if you can get a phone signal.

Emergencies

Probably one of the best uses of a solar lantern is for emergencies. Often the first thing to fail in an emergency or natural disaster is the electricity. Having a solar lantern is an essential part of an emergency kit, according to New York Magazine. (6)

Solar Lanterns designed for emergencies are often multi-functional, durable, and compact, making them easy to store in a kit or your car. When buying a solar lantern for emergency purposes, you should look for functionality over aesthetics.

2. Look for Waterproof and/or Snowproof Ratings

If the intended use for your lanterns is outdoors, you’ll want to find ones that are waterproof and/or snowproof. This is critical for the durability and longevity of your units.

Most manufacturers love to tout their lanterns’ durability, so finding the information about whether the light is weather resistant should be relatively easy to find. But, to help make your life easier almost all of our picks on our list are all-weather, waterproof outdoor models.

3. Consider What Material is Best for Your Environment

Depending on where you’ll use your unit, it will affect which material is best for your outdoor use. Most lanterns that are all-weather are either metal or ABS plastic. Both of these materials are very durable and can last a long time outdoors.

Metal

The best metals for outdoor solar lanterns are iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Most solar-powered lanterns are made from rust-resistant aluminum because of its affordability and lightweight composite. The Aluminum Association states that aluminum is:

  • Lightweight
  • Non-corrosive
  • Non Sparking
  • Noncombustible
  • Nontoxic
  • Strong

And aluminum can be recycled, making it a sustainable choice. (7)

ABS Plastic

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) plastic is the most common plastic used to make products. The total global production of ABS plastic was 11.2 million metric tons in 2018. (8) ABS is incredibly strong and non-corrosive. ABS plastic doesn’t degrade under heat or cold, and it’s waterproof, making it an all-weather material.

Because it’s also relatively inexpensive, it makes solar technology more affordable. ABS plastic is very easy to clean and is dust resistant. When camping, you’ll probably want an ABS plastic model.

4. Look for Bonus Features that Excite You

Several solar lanterns come with lots of bonus features. Here’s our list of the top ones to look for.

Extra Lumens

Lumens measure how much light you get from a LED bulb. The more Lumens the light has, the brighter the light. A typical model will have five to forty Lumens. (9) Solar-powered lanterns that have more than 40 Lumen are much brighter.

Although, if the light has more Lumens, you may want to look for brightness control settings. Some have app-based brightness control settings, while others may have a switch to dim or brighten.

Dancing Flames

Dancing flames is a popular feature because the LED flickers to mimic realistic flame. This gives a torch-lit illumination that is both romantic and mesmerizing—all the benefits of candlelight without the fire hazard.

2-in-1 Phone Chargers

Another popular feature, the 2-in-1 phone charger feature, is nice to have for emergencies and camping. Because many of the solar-powered lanterns have a USB port for electrical charging in a pinch, this port also doubles as a way to solar charge your phone or tablet.

More LEDs

Many lanterns differentiate themselves by offering more LEDs than others. This is typical in dancing flame lanterns to achieve the firelight effect. The more LEDs the lantern has, typically, the better light it produces.

One-of-a-kind Designs

One of the biggest differentiators between lanterns is the design or style. While many models have classic or modern designs, you’ll notice a few will have one-of-a-kind designs that stand out from the pack.

If you’re looking for a decorative model, you may want to buy a one-of-a-kind design as a conversation piece among friends. Some designs also follow more cultural styles for a more sophisticated ambiance. Whether you buy a tree stump model or a Morrocan model, this comes down to personal taste.

5. Find the Top Deal for You

To find the top deal on solar-powered lanterns, we have a few tips that may help.

Shipping

When shopping for a solar-powered lantern, check for free or minimal shipping costs to get the top deal for your money. Instead of going into the store, searching for a unit, and buying it then hoping you like it – you can find a model you love online, with free shipping, and get it delivered straight to your home. Isn’t the future great?

Limited Time Deals

Sometimes the big retailers or manufacturers offer limited-time deals that you can find on their websites. Usually in the spring and at the end of summer is the best time to find these deals.

Final Price

The last factor you should consider is, of course, the final price. This is the price when all these factors are rolled into one. When you find these deals, snap them up quickly.

FAQ

Do you still have a few questions about solar-powered lanterns? Here are the most common questions:

Which are the brightest solar lights?

A standard model will have 5 to 40 Lumens. Five Lumen is a very dim candlelight brightness. But some models have upwards of 120 to 150 Lumen. These are very bright lanterns.

If you decide to get a model with 120 or more Lumen, make sure it comes with a brightness control setting. Not everyone enjoys being blinded by the light, you’ll want the option to turn it down. And remember, the higher the Lumen, the faster it will drain the battery, so your run time will be shorter.

What are the best rated outdoor solar lights?

In our opinion, the best rated outdoor solar lights are the LITOM 12 LEDs Solar Landscape Spotlights. These waterproof solar spotlights easily stake into soft surfaces like grass or dirt. They are designed to highlight gardens, driveways, porches, walkways, pools, and patios.

While these aren’t your typical lanterns, per se, they are high-quality solar lighting. Keep in mind, you will not be able to stake the spotlights into hard surfaces like cement or wood.

What is the best solar lantern?

The best solar lantern will vary from person to person and by need, but in short, we recommend the SUPERDANNY 8-Pack for those looking for the top overall option. Then, for those on a tight budget, we recommend the Ollivage Dancing Flame 4-Pack. However, if you stick to any of our top picks, you’re likely in really good shape.

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Lantern of 2020 to Buy?

Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you found a solar lantern that will best fit your needs. Or least, maybe now, you know exactly what to look for before you buy one.

But, if you’re still on the fence and not sure which model is right for you, we highly-recommend our top overall choice the SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack. It has excellent run time, functionality, and a romantic design. If you want a set of gorgeous lanterns that can hang or be set on the ground for a fantastic price, then this is the one to buy.

Want more top-rated solar equipment to help illuminate your home like the SUPERDANNY Outdoor Solar Lantern 8-Pack? If so, I recommend checking out our best outdoor solar post lights of the year, or our homepage, to see our full list of highly-reviewed solar gear.

  1. https://solargardenlightshq.com/amazing-solar-energy-facts/
  2. https://acumen.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Report-The-Economic-Impact-of-Solar-Lighting.pdf
  3. https://www.ctc-n.org/technologies/solar-lamps
  4. https://siepr.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/WP1029_0_61.pdf
  5. https://www.cnn.com/2012/01/10/tech/innovation/solar-powered-led-lamps/index.html
  6. https://nymag.com/strategist/article/how-to-build-a-blackout-kit.html
  7. https://www.aluminum.org/aluminum-advantage/student-educational-resources
  8. https://www.statista.com/statistics/856670/acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene-global-production-capacity/
  9. https://www.homedepot.com/c/ab/how-many-lumens-needed-for-outdoor-lighting/9ba683603be9fa5395fab90170e343cd

Let your friends know too: