It’s no secret that the amount of sunlight we receive yearly varies. So, it’s a natural concern of homeowners when installing solar panels – are there alternative ways to charge them when daylight dwindles?
You probably know about grow lights if you’re familiar with horticultural technology. Or, this term may pop up while searching for alternative ways to charge solar panels.
Well, it’s electrical energy that emits an artificial light source dedicated to stimulating plant growth. Solar energy is simulated by growing or plant lights when electromagnetic radiation is cast in a visible light spectrum. Keep reading to discover if this energy can power solar panels.
Will a Grow Light Charge a Solar Panel?
The world is moving to sustainable energy sources, thanks to solar energy. This technology uses photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight into electrical energy and store it in a battery.
The same radiation is required for photosynthesis, which grow lights can simulate, thanks to the LED components.
So, the short answer to your question is yes, grow lights can charge solar panels. They emit an energy light that solar panels can synthesize to generate electricity. The energy from the LED lights will simulate sunlight radiation and is strong enough to power the panels.
How Grow Lights Are Able to Power Solar panels?
Grow lights power solar panels by providing a light source like sunlight radiation. And the photovoltaic cells can convert the beams into electrical energy and store it in the inverter in DC form.
Here’s how it works – solar panels are embedded with semiconductors that absorb light and convert it into electricity. The photovoltaic cells are responsible for this, moving electrons through the required electricity conversion and storage process.
Light is essentially made of small photons, and when those small particles hit your solar panels and cells, they provide energy that can be used to generate electrons. However, a substantial amount is required to power your home or property efficiently, so you need a huge energy source.
Now, grow lights are able to power solar panels through the wavelength of the photons they emit. And studies have shown that it’s more efficient for photovoltaic cells to absorb blue wavelengths more than other colors like red and yellow. Plant lights are made to release blue wavelengths that run between 300 nm to 800 nm, which meets color and range requirements.
You can use grow lights to power solar panels by placing a high-intensity LED panel close to the solar panel. That’s it.
Various Types of Grow Lights
A grow light is an artificial light source that provides an energy similar to what sunlight offers. It’s commonly used to make up for insufficient solar energy indoors.
However, whether you’re buying grow lights for growing house plants or solely for charging your solar panels, choosing from your available options can be challenging. There are several types too, and each has upsides and downsides.
Fluorescent Grow Lights
This is the ideal choice for seedlings and most indoor plants. They emit a potent low light intensity even when you position them inches away from your vegetation. There are two types – T12 and T5 grow lights. The former is better for seedlings, while the latter is better for plants that require more sunlight or higher intensity.
They’re lightweight and durable and are more popular among users who desire a broader energy spectrum. However, this is one of the least intense options for growers.
High-intensity Discharge Grow Lights
High-intensity discharge grow lights are also called HID lights, and they’re structured as single bulbs which produce energy through an internal ignition. There are three common types of HID lights; high-pressure sodium plant lights, metal halides plant lights, and hybrids.
They’re efficient and designed with tungsten electrodes which emit a high-power energy source that maximizes plant growth.
HID plant lights pass electricity through hermetically-sealed ceramic tubes containing a combination of gases. They work with the conventional 120-volt current but are far more efficient than fluorescent lamps.
LED Grow Lights
These are light-emitting diodes, and they’re a prominent energy source in the horticultural business. The structure is made of a circuit board, and a panel of LEDs, and they may also have a heat sink or fan for dissipating heat and increasing shelf-life.
However, the most prominent advantage of this energy source is that it allows users to adjust the light spectrum. Because plants react better when exposed to higher wavelength levels, LED lights to allow users to manipulate the light spectrum to create the ideal one for photosynthesizing.
And although the first generations of LED grow lights were incapable of providing the intensity high-intensity discharge fixtures offered, today’s products can seamlessly compete with the HID options in the market.
Some LED grow lights have been designed with higher wavelength ratios to penetrate deeper into the plant canopy. Coverage is still a problem for this technology, but when you compare its lower heat signature and enhanced energy efficiency, you’ll see that this is still one of your top choices.
This is a grow light that uses a sealed bulb structure. Induction light is different from traditional fluorescents and HID because it relies on electrodes to generate electricity. This is done through radio frequencies or microwaves that travel through the sealed bulb, exciting the metals and gases inside.
And you can either buy induction fluorescents or sulfur plasma. Induction fluorescents are better because they degrade slower; they can maintain a high color rendition index and photosynthetically active radiation for lengthier periods.
On the other hand, the sulfur plasma emits light from a quartz sphere. However, this technology is ideal for growing house plants because it provides the closest spectrum to sun radiation than the other artificial sources.
Advantages of Solar Grow Lights
Grow lights have been designed to imitate the sun’s radiation, serving as an indispensable component in photosynthesis for indoor plants. And the benefits of this energy source are many, including:
1. It Has an Output
Solar grow lights are more efficient because they use natural light to charge their battery. This allows storing adequate electricity, providing up to ten hours of energy at night. And they don’t need a power source, which means they can be installed anywhere.
2. It is Cost-Effective
This is one of the most endearing features of solar grow lights. Unlike electric lights, you’re not required to pay monthly bills. Once you pay your lump sum for the solar system, you only need to worry about minor maintenance like bulb replacements.
You can install many lights too, as long as you’re not connected to your electricity grid; use adequate energy without mentally stressing about charges for it.
3. It is Safer
Solar grow lights are safe because they cannot electrocute anyone. So they can stay in the house without harming you or your loved ones.
Do Solar Panels Need Sun or Just Lights?
Solar panels don’t need sun, just lights. The photovoltaic cells are components located at the surface, absorbing enough photons to generate energy for electricity. They don’t require heat for efficacy, and studies have even shown that they function better in colder climes.
Solar panels don’t require the sun to produce electricity, even though they rely on solar energy to function. This sustainable technology can work with indirect sunlight or any light source with potent photons that can be converted into valuable energy for powering homes and commercial structures.
Each solar panel contains photovoltaic cells for this process, with the individual cells held together by adhesive and durable silicone. However, they don’t rely on heat from sunlight to function because they’ve been designed with advanced and suitable mirrors and reflectors that capture and maximize sun radiation.
The photovoltaic cells multiply the amount of energy they amass and convert it into useable electricity. And although they’re most efficient when exposed directly to sunlight, the solar cells will still function without it.
Think about it like sunburn – the longer you spend in direct sunlight, the higher your skin’s exposure to sun damage. On the other hand, if you spend time in indirect sunlight, you may still get sunburned, but there’ll be a delay before it happens.
Apply this to the solar system, too – when you expose them to adequate sunlight, they have access to more photons.
Can Grow Lights Charge Solar Watch?
Thanks to advanced technology, solar systems don’t require sunlight to work efficiently. A solar watch is a device that benefits from this sustainable energy, and it works day-in, day-out.
However, many people don’t know that there are alternative ways to charge solar tech. For instance, if there’s artificial light with robust photons that can be captured and converted into energy, you can charge your watch without sunlight.
Now, thanks to grow lights, you can simulate sunlight seamlessly. Moreover, you must choose a product capable of emitting the required wavelengths for imitating solar radiation.
LED grow lights are among your best options for charging a solar watch without sunlight, but the efficiency will never measure up to what solar radiation offers. This technique works, but the charge time will be significantly longer and less powerful.
Charging your solar watch with grow lights is easy, but your device must first indicate that it needs charging. Then, place it near the LED grow lights, but about twenty inches away, to reduce the effects of radiation.
It’s also ideal to use a smaller, low lux bulb to charge your solar watch. They emit less heat, which is safer for charging solar watches. You should also avoid using the LED grow lights to charge your solar watch all the time. You can do it occasionally when you’re in a pinch. But you’ll spoil your gadget when you frequently expose it to artificial light.
Can Grow Lights Burn Plants?
Grow lights are fast becoming a popular, horticultural technology because of the enhanced growth it elicits in house plants. However, LED grow lights emit heat, which makes them a danger in the hands of careless operators.
These devices can burn the leaves of plants when they’re exposed at intense levels and in proximity. Moreover, the chances of this fixture burning your plants are significantly low.
The most important thing is paying adequate attention when growing indoor plants. Put a safe distance between the plants and the LED fixtures; it shouldn’t be too much or too little.
Can Solar Lights Charge in The Shade?
Absolutely, solar lights charge in the shade. But they won’t charge as effectively as they would in the sunlight. There’s still radiation even in the shade – this is how powerful the sun is as an energy source.
And photovoltaic cells have been designed with advanced tech that efficiently traps the required protons for electricity generation.
However, the solar panels won’t charge as effectively because the photons are insufficient in the shade.
Solar panels provide a cheaper way to reduce our carbon footprints, and many people are welcoming this technology. If you’re one of such property owners, we implore you to use this blog post to get the best of your solar system.