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LED Solar path light

Solar Post light for path

How did we get LED solar lights for outdoor use


The start of the LED solar lights for outdoor use was 1963.  A lamp with a solar panel, rechargeable battery and LED lamp was used.  The evolution has led to a fixture that can be very small.  Most have a solar panel on the top of the fixture to capture the suns rays and a rechargeable battery somewhere in the base of the main fixtures.  The LED lamp uses less energy than a regular bulb of the same brightness.

The solar panel turns sunlight into energy to charge the battery.  For more information on Solar Panels see my post here. The diode between the two will only let the energy go towards the battery.

The energy from the battery is controlled by some kind of switch (light sensor for dusk to dawn, motion sensor or timer) to turn the current on and off to the LED bulb.  The evolution of the switch has led to the current types, photo cell to function at dusk and dawn, motion sensor to turn on when something moves in front of it.

The LED bulb is now small enough to have multiple bulbs in a pod that fits in the palm of your hand.  The biggest drawback to this kind of light is that they are not replaceable by the homeowner.  Once the bulb has expired then entire fixture is no good, the up side to this is the bulbs have a 30,000 hours life cycle with normal use.

solar light circuit

What's inside your solar light

Rechargeable Batteries


Batteries  have changed since the first light.  NiMH and LiPo batteries 1.2 volt and 3.2 volt are used in today's lights.  Make sure that you check your voltage and miliamphours before purchasing replacement batteries.  These can be changed with just removing a panel that covers the battery. Charge a new battery for several hours before light is needed.  You can look at my article on Rechargeable Batteries in this post.



LED Solar post top light

Solar Post Top light

Where would you use a LED solar light fixture


Many types of fixtures are available for outdoor spaces today.  The post style is what most people think of when looking at solar outdoor lighting.  Step, post top, flag post, spot, decorative, Umbrella or string lights are a few of the different styles that are available at most stores today.

Around my home I have the post top on my deck post to give me enough light to use the deck at night an not draw too many bugs.  I have several spot lights to illuminate some features in my garden area.  Around a small patio area in the back yard, I have a set of six lights around the area to light it up after dark.


LED Solar lights for outdoor use

Lights after battery change



You may find many uses for LED solar lights for outdoor spaces.  The ability to move them from place to place, no real maintenance or upkeep, having a single fixture make Solar fixtures the favorite for most homeowners now and into the future.

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