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How to Choose the Best Backpacking Solar Charger

A solar power charger is invaluable as a charging source when you go backpacking, camping, or hiking. The best backpacking solar charger will help in recharging all battery-powered electronic equipment (camera, smartphone, flashlight, laptop, and much more). The portable solar charger enables you to have fun on the go.

Top Recommendation

Anker PowerPort Solar

It delivers the fastest possible charge under direct sunlight. The solar charger is efficient and has enough power to charge two electronic devices simultaneously.

 Anker is our choice as the best solar-powered charger for backpacking available in the market. 

The charger is powered by innovative technology. In terms of features, it offers the best value for money.

Solar Panel, Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable Panel, PowerPort Solar for iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Galaxy S9/S8/S7/S6, and More

Upgrade Option

RAVPower Solar Charger with USB Ports

This is a waterproof solar charger that delivers big power. This solar charger is a good upgrade option. 

The weatherproof design ensures that you get the most efficient charge every time. The small size charger enables you to charge from sunrise to sundown anywhere.

 

Value Option

Solar Phone Charger Power Bank

It is a premium solar battery charger that will never run out of battery. Enjoy your backpacking, camping, fishing, and hunting adventure by letting the sun charge all your electronic devices. 

The solid performance of this solar phone charger makes the iBose our value option choice.

Solar Power Bank, Qi Portable Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack Type C Input Port Dual Flashlight, Compass, Solar Panel Charging (Black,10,000mAh)

Alternative Option

BigBlue Solar Charger

It is an economical alternative option. BigBlue solar charger is perfect for someone on a budget. 

The highly efficient solar panel works automatically without electricity and this makes it an ideal choice for any backpacking and camping trip.

When it comes to buying the best backpacking solar charger there are plenty of options available. This can be overwhelming for any person buying solar chargers for the first time. 

We have spent many hours researching different sources of information. This has helped us come up with this useful buying guide.

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter, 2USB(5V/4A Max Overall), Portable Waterproof Solar Panels Phone Charger Compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/XR/X/8, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Google Pixel etc.

Things to Consider When Buying Best Backpacking Solar Charger

When buying the best backpacking solar charger there are several things that you need to consider.

Power/Wattage

If you want to charge your electronic devices in an efficient manner, you should be aware of the wattage, amperage, and voltage information of the solar charger.

Wattage is the measure of the power of the solar panels’ output capacity. Five watts is enough to charge a mobile phone and ten watts is ideal to charge a tablet. Amperage measures electrical current. Amp-hour is the amount of time a rechargeable battery will be able to supply that current.

Voltage is the charge stored in a battery. The voltage required to charge a smartphone and laptop will vary. Examine the voltage and wattage information of the batteries before making the choice. A mismatch of wattage and voltage will affect the performance of the batteries.

Output Connections

If you want to charge multiple devices, you will need a solar charger with more than one USB port. Most backpacking solar chargers have two or three USB ports. The multiple USB ports use smart technology to evenly distribute the power between different devices.

Size and Weight

Size and weight are important factors that you need to consider when choosing the best backpacking solar charger. Large solar panels are more efficient in charging. Most solar chargers can be folded and take up little space.

The weight of the solar charger should be less so that you are able to carry it easily on long hikes. Check the weight of the charger before you make the choice.

Integrated and External Batteries

There are some solar panels that include internal and external batteries. The external batteries charge from solar panels during the day. This will let you harness the power of these batteries to charge the devices anywhere. It is best to choose solar chargers with integrated batteries. This will give you more charging options.

Rugged and Waterproof

The solar charger should be durable so that it is able to withstand tough outdoor conditions. Waterproofing is also necessary as you might leave the charger outside in the rain. Lighter panels are costly but less durable.

Controlling System

Two types of charge control systems are available in solar chargers. Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) and Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) are the two charge control systems. MPPT is efficient and will enable you to gain 30% more power.

AC/DC Outlets

Some batteries and devices are designed to run on AC (alternative current) outlets whereas others run on DC (direct current) outlets. It is important that you are aware of the device requirement so that you make an informed choice. There are some solar chargers that offer both and you can use them to charge multiple devices.

Types of Portable Solar Panels

Types of Portable Solar Panels

CIGS

The CIGS solar panels are flexible and lighter in weight. The lightweight panels offer great performance. This makes them a good option for backpackers and hikers. The CIGS panels are not as durable as monocrystalline panels. If you are looking for an ultralight panel then this is a good choice.

Monocrystalline

Monocrystalline are traditional solar panels and have been on the market for many years. These panels are strong, heavy, durable, and efficient.

The monocrystalline panels provide the best performance in cloudy weather. The combination of durability, efficiency, and quality makes them a popular choice.

Polycrystalline

Polycrystalline panels are not as efficient as monocrystalline panels. New advances in technology ensure better quality panels. These panels are heavy and offer good durability. Polycrystalline is a good option if you are looking for solar panels on a budget.

Best Backpacking Solar Charger Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Backpacking Solar Charger

Solar Panel, Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable Panel, PowerPort Solar for iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Galaxy S9/S8/S7/S6, and More
Anker PowerPort Solar

The compact size of the solar charger makes it highly portable.

RAVPower Solar Charger with USB Ports

Can fit different applications including pathways, lawn, porch and patio.

Solar Power Bank, Qi Portable Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack Type C Input Port Dual Flashlight, Compass, Solar Panel Charging (Black,10,000mAh)
Solar Phone Charger Power Bank

The string lights are easy to install since you can hang them anywhere.

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter, 2USB(5V/4A Max Overall), Portable Waterproof Solar Panels Phone Charger Compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/XR/X/8, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Google Pixel etc.
BigBlue Solar Charger

The string lights are easy to install since you can hang them anywhere.

Anker PowerPort Solar

Solar Panel, Anker 21W 2-Port USB Portable Solar Charger with Foldable Panel, PowerPort Solar for iPhone 11/Xs/XS Max/XR/X/8/7, iPad Pro/Air/Mini, Galaxy S9/S8/S7/S6, and More

The lightweight solar charger offers an excellent solution for backpackers, campers, and hikers looking to charge their electronic equipment. Canvas lined and foldable, it can be attached to sides of tents and backpacks. You can also pin it to the windows of RVs or campers so that it captures lots of light.

RAVPower Solar Charger with USB Ports

The solar phone charger is small in size but delivers big in power. The smart power charging technology delivers large amounts of energy in a quick and safe manner. The portable charger can be folded into four segments. This makes it easy to carry anywhere.
Pros
  • The innovative signature solar cells increase the efficiency of charging up to 21.5% – 23.5%.
  • The three USB ports are equipped with iSmart technology. The technology helps in automatically detecting and delivering the optimal charge for all connected devices.
  • The smart IC frequency technology is another feature that adds value to this product. The technology detects and distributes (evenly) output current to all three USB ports. This ensures that every device connected to the solar charger is evenly charged.
Cons
  • The solar panel is susceptible to heat. The output wattage and conversion rate are reduced when the solar panel overheats.
  • No integrated battery.
  • The materials are rugged but not durable.

Solar Phone Charger Power Bank

Solar Power Bank, Qi Portable Charger 10,000mAh External Battery Pack Type C Input Port Dual Flashlight, Compass, Solar Panel Charging (Black,10,000mAh)

 

The backpacking solar charger is the ultimate emergency survival device for all your outdoor adventures. The iBose phone charger is compact and practical. The premium 10.000mAh solar panel power bank is designed to offer fast charging. The foldable and space-saving design enables you to carry the solar charger wherever you want.

Pros
  • Easy to cut design. The warranty is also unaffected when you cut the solar cover to perfectly fit your pool.
  • Diamond-shaped air pockets give you more heating per square inch than other types of solar covers.
Cons
  • ​No UV protection to keep it from getting damaged by the sun.

BigBlue Solar Charger 

BigBlue 28W Solar Charger with Digital Ammeter, 2USB(5V/4A Max Overall), Portable Waterproof Solar Panels Phone Charger Compatible with iPhone 11/Xs/XR/X/8, iPad, Samsung Galaxy, LG, Google Pixel etc.
The BigBlue solar charger is the ideal companion for any kind of outdoor adventure. The charger is lightweight and easy to carry. When folded it has the same thickness and size as a magazine. The pocket with zip closure will help keep the electronic devices clean and safe.

Pros
  • The SmartIC technology is an inbuilt intelligence chip. The solar charger detects the device to deliver a fast charge speed. This ensures charging stability. The solar panel efficiency is up to 21.5% – 23.5%.
  • The PET polymer fabric (industrial strength) protects the solar panel and electronic devices from wet fog or rain.
Cons
  • The solar panel is not suitable for small current charging products.
  • No integrated battery.
  • The solar charger is relatively heavy.

Conclusion

The backpacking solar charger is helpful for people who love the outdoors and travel a lot. The solar charger will enable them to charge their electronic devices anywhere they want. With advanced technology, you will be able to charge multiple devices at the same time. This will help save energy and money.

Anker PowerPort Solar is our top recommendation when it comes to a solar charger for camping. RAVPower Solar Charger with USB Ports is a good upgrade option. Solar Phone Charger Power Bank is a good value option. BigBlue Solar Charger is one of the best backpacking solar chargers on a budget.

How to Choose the Best Solar Shades for Blocking Heat

 Homes in warm climates without air conditioning can become hot in the summer months. Solar blinds can provide relief from the heat by acting as a window covering with added features. This includes UV protection and light control. 

The best solar shades come with functions to keep out the sun’s harmful rays as possible. Below, you’ll find our guide to sun-blocking shades. The top product option available today and factors to look for is included too.

 

Top Recommendation

Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (6′ X 6′)

The Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade measures six feet by six feet and offers 90% UV protection. Solar shade with a knitted fabric in a light beige color may be an excellent choice for windows. 

The HDPE fabric is breathable, resistant to mold and mildew blocks heat, and minimizes glare. It can also be used for patio areas, decks, porches, and gazebos. This shade is child-safe and operates without cords or chains; a crank is included.

 

Upgrade Option

Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (8′ X 6′)

This roller shade is a higher-end option from Coolaroo, the same brand that offers our top product recommendation. This shade measures eight feet by six feet and features a breathable knitted fabric. 

It comes in the “southern sunset” beige tone and operates using a crank, without cords or chains. The material is resistant to mold and mildew, and the shade blocks out 90% of UV rays.

 

Value Option

Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade

Due to its omission of a crank or a rail for installation, this Coolaroo solar mesh window shade is very affordable. It measures six feet by 15 feet and comes in a beige “wheat” color. 

This shade is made from high-density polyethylene that can block out up to 90% of UV rays. Plus, the fabric facilitates the rising of heat and humidity, cutting down on ambient air temperatures as much as 30%. 

The material is also weather-resistant and can be cleaned just by rinsing with a hose.

Gale Pacific, USA 302245 6X15 90% Uv Wheat Shade, (6' x 15')

 

Alternative Option

GoDear Design Cordless Roller Shade

The GoDear Design Modern Free Stop Roller Shade is great for those looking for indoor thermal shades. 

Measuring 27 inches by 72 inches, this silver-colored thermal shade is both attractive and can block out some of the light from outside. It allows some natural light to enter the room. This roller shade also has a free stop feature and is cordless.

GoDear Design Modern Free Stop Cordless Roller Shade with Cassette Valance, 27' x 72', Room Darkening, Silver, Thermal

How to Choose the Best Solar Shades for Blocking Heat

 

Solar shades for blocking heat come in a variety of forms. While many features, such as light ray protection and weather-resistant fabric, stay consistent across numerous products, these shades can vary in a few key ways. Read on to learn about the key features that distinguish solar window shades and how these factors can impact the quality of a product.

 

Material Color

Due to the effect of color on heat absorption, the lightness or darkness of your solar shade’s fabric will impact how it keeps out heat from the sun. Light-colored solar shades have different pros and cons than dark-colored shades, so it mainly comes down to your personal needs.

 

Light-colored shades can reflect heat well. This type of shade allows more light to seep into the room for those who prefer natural light in their homes. The best light-colored shades can block out approximately 80% to 90% of exterior light. This is less than dark-colored shades, so light options may be more fitting for common areas where you may gather socially during the day instead of bedrooms.

 

Dark solar shades minimize visible light that comes into your home. These shades provide superior control over glare compared to their light-colored counterparts, and 94% to 96% of visible light can be blocked out with a dark shade. The darker the color is, the more heat it absorbs, so dark-colored shades effectively absorb heat from the sun’s rays and keep it from entering your home (Source).

 

Openness

Home shades have a characteristic called “openness,” which refers to the volume of light shining through the shade. Generally, when you’re looking at sunscreen shades, you want a low percentage of openness. That way, most of the sunlight is blocked out, keeping your home cool and protected against UV rays.

 

The average solar screen has a 7% openness. This means that 7% of the shade’s fabric is permeable by the sun. The more open a shade is, the more natural light will enter the room, which may be the desired effect for some individuals. However, a higher openness percentage also makes for more significant heat transfer, which diminishes the shade’s effectiveness at blocking heat (Source).

 

 

Protection Against UV Rays

UV rays are known to be harmful to our health. Skin cancer, skin damage, premature aging, eye conditions, and the weakening of our immune systems are the main issues that can arise from overexposure to UV rays (Source). Solar sun shades are an accessible and convenient way to keep UV rays out of your home. Over time, the use of UV window shades will reduce your exposure to these rays and, in turn, your risk for the conditions mentioned above.

Solar sun shades that filter out UV rays present their protection level as a percentage. Most of the products included in this article block out 80% to 90% of UV rays. So, by consistently using these solar window shades, you’ll cut down on your exposure to UV rays by a significant margin.

 

Shade Mechanism

Different shades operate using other mechanisms. Most solar shades are considered to be roller shades, meaning that it uses a cylinder and firm sections of fabric to roll down over the window. To operate a roller shade, you generally just pull it down manually. Many shade options have a locking feature to keep the shade securely in the desired position.

 

High-end window shades may operate electronically, powered by an external remote. These motorized shades may be great for homes with large windows or with windows that are high up and out of reach.

 

One primary consideration for window shade mechanisms today is child safety. Some shade models include chains or cords, which can present a hazard for both children and pets. Cordless, chainless shades are the safest options for households with young children and pets (Source).

 

Best Solar Shades for Blocking Heat Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Shades for Blocking Heat


Top Recommendation Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (6′ X 6′)

Fabric won’t fade, even after years of use.

Value Option
Gale Pacific, USA 302245 6X15 90% Uv Wheat Shade, (6' x 15')
Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade

Can install it with any mechanism that you want.


        Upgrade Option          Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (8′ X 6′)

The 8′ by 6′ dimensions provide enough length for large windows.

Alternative Option
GoDear Design Modern Free Stop Cordless Roller Shade with Cassette Valance, 27' x 72', Room Darkening, Silver, Thermal
GoDear Design Cordless Roller Shade

Material is of good quality.

Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (6’x 6′)

The 6 inches by 6 inches exterior Coolaroo shade comes with tan fabric. It can stay in excellent condition for years. The material is designed to withstand the sun’s powerful rays to reduce fading. Also, this solar shade features a crank operation, free of cords or chains. This is safe for children or pets. It is also manageable to operate if you’re older or disabled.

This product from Coolaroo filters some natural light into your home instead of a gray or cool-toned solar shade. The light will be warm-toned, easy on the eyes, and maybe quite pleasant at all times of the day.

The crank used to operate this shade is constructed entirely of plastic. With each part made of the same material, the crank may get stuck or otherwise malfunction. Also, the crank may take more time to operate than other varieties of shade mechanism. Although this solar shade blocks out up to 90% of UV light, it’s still a bit see-through. So, if you’re looking for a shade that provides complete privacy, this product may not be a perfect choice.

 

Pros
  • Fabric won’t fade, even after years of use
  • Crank operation is easy to operate
  • Tan color casts warm light into your home
Cons
  • Crank mechanism is made of plastic
  • Manual crank can be slow to operate
  • Shade is not completely opaque

Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade Fabric

Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade Fabric may be one of the best solar shades for blocking heat if you’re on a tight budget. It’s sturdy and designed to maintain a good condition for many years. Even amidst the outdoor elements, this shade fabric may resist fraying and tears.

This shade option may be inconvenient. It doesn’t include the hardware needed to install it over your window, which . This also allows you to hand-pick the hardware you want; it’s a trade-off. This also allows you to hand-pick the hardware you want; it’s a trade-off.

While budget-friendly, this shade fabric has an industrial look that may not be the most visually pleasing option that you can find. Also, the edges aren’t hemmed, which may give it a rough, unfinished look.

Pros
  • Can install it with any mechanism that you want
  • Fabric is resistant to tears, damage, and fraying
  • Highly affordable
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with hardware for installation
  • Isn’t hemmed at the edges
  • Not the most attractive option

GoDear Design Cordless Roller Shade

 

This GoDear product is a good option for homeowners in need of a window shade with nominal thermal capabilities. The material is durable and has a high-end look. The silver-tone of the material may contribute to a beautiful interior. Additionally, this shade offers the convenience to be mounted on the ceiling.

This sunshade is sheerer than other options on this list. While it will let in natural light, it won’t block out as much heat as you may want. It doesn’t offer complete privacy when it’s dark outside as well. And this shade may be tricky to install if your windows don’t provide enough leeway.

Pros
  • Can be mounted to the ceiling
  • Material is of good quality
  • Silver color is attractive
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer complete sun protection
  • See-through; no privacy at night
  • Can be difficult to install if measurements are tight

Final Thoughts About Choosing a Solar Shade for Blocking Heat

The best solar shades offer a combination of sun protection and durability. Among the top solar shade options on the market today, the four products listed here are the best of the best. Between these top options, the Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade, 6’x 6′ comes out as the winner. 

Despite its highly competitive price, it blocks out up to 90% of UV rays. Plus, it’s built to resist sun and weather damage. This thermal shade may satisfy different consumers because it lets in natural light.

How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Aerator

The best solar powered aerator helps in increasing oxygen levels in the water. The solar-powered aerator mixes the oxygenated water from the top of the surface with the water at the bottom. This not just spreads oxygen throughout the water but also keeps the water at an ideal temperature.

Top Recommendation

Beckett Corporation Solar Kit Air Pump

It is one of the most efficient aerators you will find in the market. Even though it is small in size it is powerful. Beckett Corporation is our choice as the best solar powered aerator available in the market. 

The aerator is powered by innovative technology. In terms of features, it offers the best value for money.

Beckett Corporation SAP1.5 Kit Beckett Solar Air Pump, Boost O2 in Water

Upgrade Option

AEO Air Pump Kit, Solar-Powered

This is a smart solar-powered aerator that delivers big with its elegant design and energy-saving capabilities. 

This aerator is a good upgrade option. The energy-saving solar panels make it a popular choice.

AEO Solar Powered Air Pump Kit, two airing stones, 3LPM Air Pump & 2.5W Solar Panel for Fish Pond, Aquaculture, Hydroponics, Bubbleponics

Value Option

Sunnytech Air Pump

This is a hassle-free, eco-friendly, energy-saving solution for your pond. It helps keep the pond algae-free and clean. The aerator requires no electricity, and this makes it an environmentally friendly product. 

The solid performance of this solar-powered aerator makes the Sunnytech our value option choice.

Sunnytech Solar Power Pond Oxygenator Air Pump Oxygen Pool Aquarium Fish Tank Sea Fishing
 

Alternative Option

Sunsbell Solar Powered Air Pump

It is an economical alternative option. Sunsbell is perfect for someone on a budget. The highly efficient smart aerator is widely used for adding oxygen to the pond, fish tank, and pool.

 When it comes to buying the best solar powered aerator there are plenty of options available. This can be overwhelming for any person buying aerators for the first time. We have spent many hours researching different sources of information. This has helped us come up with this useful buying guide. 

Sunsbell Air Pump Solar Kit Solar Powered Pool Pond Fish Tank Oxygenator Oxygen Aerator Air Pump

Things to Consider When Buying the Best Solar Powered Aerator

There are many things that you will need to consider when choosing the best solar powered aerator. Aerators differ in type, size, output, capacity, purpose, and price. It is important to take all of these factors into consideration when making the choice.

Types

There are two different options you can choose from. These include the floating aerator and solar pump kit (solar-powered aerator).

The floating aerator is placed on the surface of the water. The aerator sprays oxygen into the water from below the surface. This helps in diffusing harmful gases such as ammonia and carbon dioxide through a stone diffuser.

As it floats on the pond it prevents water stagnation and distributes oxygen throughout the water. It is available in different decorative shapes and this adds beauty to the pond. The floating aerator can provide sufficient amount of oxygen when used on small ponds.

The solar-powered aerator kit consists of a small air pump. No electricity or extra wiring is required. It works efficiently under direct sunlight. This makes it an ideal choice in spring and summer. The aerator is effective in small water tanks and ponds. It is not effective when used in large ponds.

Location

One of the important things that you need to remember is that the solar-powered aerator should be kept in direct sunlight for it to work effectively. You should find a location that gets adequate sunlight to power the aerator.

When choosing the location, you should also pay attention to the size of the aerator. Ensure there is enough space in the pond or pool for the aerator. If you live in an area where sunlight is scarce, you will have to consider other conventional alternatives. 

Capacity

The capacity of the aerator should be considered before you buy the product. If you choose the right capacity, the aerator will be able to deliver the correct amount of oxygen to the pond or poll.

Check the GPH to ensure that the capacity of the aerator matches the size of the pond. GPH is the number of gallons that the aerator will be able to treat every hour. If you have a large pond with 2,000 gallons of water, a 300 GPH solar-powered aerator will be the right choice.

Solar Panel Size

The solar panels absorb solar energy and convert it into electricity. A larger solar panel will be able to absorb more light. Larger solar panels will also be able to create higher amounts of electrical energy.

The choice of solar panel size will depend on the size of the pond. If you have a larger pond, then it is best to opt for a large solar panel. A small pond will work best with a small solar panel.

Battery Size

The size of the battery will determine how well the aerator works in low light conditions. Check the battery runtime before choosing an aerator. A good quality aerator will be able to last at least four hours on a full recharge.

Backup Battery

If you want to use the solar aerator all through the day and night, it is advisable to opt for a backup battery. Recharge the backup battery when there is bright sunlight. The recharged backup battery can be turned on during nighttime so that the aerator functions in an efficient manner.

Water Flow

The amount of water flow that an aerator can create will depend on its power. Pay attention to the wattage of the aerator to determine its power.

Price

Not all solar-powered aerators are priced similarly. The prices will vary depending on the type, capacity, and features.

Benefits of Choosing Solar Powered Aerators

User-Friendly

Solar-powered aerators are easy to set up and install. No wiring and electricity is required. This simplifies the installation process. All that you need to do is to set the solar panel in the direction of sunlight and the aerator will start working efficiently.

No Running Costs

You don’t incur any running costs when you opt for a solar-powered aerator. This is because the product relies only on solar energy. You don’t have to worry about energy costs.

Portable

Aerators are small in size and don’t weigh much. This makes them portable. You can carry them anywhere you want. They can be adjusted as per your specific needs.

Environment Friendly

As these aerators rely on solar energy, they are environment friendly. They don’t cause any kind of damage to the environment and are completely safe to use.

Best Solar Powered Aerator Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Powered Aerator
Beckett Corporation SAP1.5 Kit Beckett Solar Air Pump, Boost O2 in Water
Beckett Corporation Solar Kit Air Pump

The solar panel is efficient and powers the aerator under sufficient sunlight.

AEO Solar Powered Air Pump Kit, two airing stones, 3LPM Air Pump & 2.5W Solar Panel for Fish Pond, Aquaculture, Hydroponics, Bubbleponics
AEO Air Pump Kit, Solar-Powered

The solar kit is available with two airing stones.

Sunnytech Solar Power Pond Oxygenator Air Pump Oxygen Pool Aquarium Fish Tank Sea Fishing

 

Sunnytech Air Pump

The small-sized design is light in weight. It is easy to carry and you can take it anywhere you want.

Sunsbell Air Pump Solar Kit Solar Powered Pool Pond Fish Tank Oxygenator Oxygen Aerator Air Pump

 

Sunsbell Solar Powered Air Pump

The large capacity battery has a working time of 20 hours after it is fully charged.

Beckett Corporation Solar Kit Air Pump

Beckett Corporation SAP1.5 Kit Beckett Solar Air Pump, Boost O2 in Water The Beckett Corporation Air Pump Solar Kit is the perfect choice for remote locations that have limited access to an electrical outlet. The 1.5-watt solar panel comes with a 9.8 feet power cord. The long power cord provides an optimum connection to the air hose (6.5) and solar panel. The aerator can be used to boost oxygen levels in the pond. The solar kit is available in one, two, four, and five packs. You can make the choice as per your specific requirement.
Pros
Cons
AEO Solar Powered Air Pump Kit, two airing stones, 3LPM Air Pump & 2.5W Solar Panel for Fish Pond, Aquaculture, Hydroponics, Bubbleponics The AEO air pump kit is designed to boost oxygen levels in outdoor fountains and ponds. The solar-powered aerator is the perfect choice to infuse oxygen into aquaculture, aquariums, bubbleponics, hydroponics, and ponds. The solar air pump works efficiently only under direct sunlight. The solar pump automatically turns on during the day and automatically shuts at night.
Pros
Cons

Sunnytech Air Pump

Sunnytech Solar Power Pond Oxygenator Air Pump Oxygen Pool Aquarium Fish Tank Sea Fishing
The multipurpose Sunnytech air pump is ideal for adding oxygen to your pool and ponds. It is also suitable for increasing power failure emergency oxygen. The solar-powered aerator is a good choice for remote locations that don’t have access to standard electrical outlets.

 

Pros
Cons

Conclusion

The best solar-powered aerators are highly efficient and will help save energy and money. The solar-powered aerators are much better than the traditional aerators as they don’t require any electricity. Gaining knowledge about the different types of aerators and their features will help you make an informed choice.

Beckett Corporation Solar Kit Air Pump is our top recommendation when it comes to the best solar powered aerator. AEO Air Pump Kit is a good upgrade option. Sunnytech Air Pump is a good value option. Sunsbell Solar Powered Air Pump is one of the best solar powered aerators available on a budget.

How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Gate Opener Kit

Do you find it challenging to keep your gate closed?

A solar-powered gate opener can close or open your gate automatically. These gate openers are easy to operate. Most of them come with a remote and you can operate the gate with the touch of a button.

It is challenging to pick a good solar powered gate opener. Especially if you are using solar products for the first time. This guide will help make the right decision when shopping for solar-powered openers.

 

Ghost Controls offer their solar-powered openers will all installation hardware but the battery. The kits have a reasonable price. It operates efficiently at all times. The TDS2XP has an efficient design with great safety and security features.

Sentry 300 is a premium solar powered gate opener designed to install on different types of gates. Its Plug-N-Go harness makes it cheap to install. Besides, it also has a horde of security features. This includes fast closing and opening and safety features such as obstruction detection.

MM360 is a kit for those who are on a budget. The kit has all the necessary installation hardware making it easy to install and easy to run. It also sports a sturdy construction to last long.

How to Choose a Solar Powered Automatic Gate Opener

Automatic gate openers make it easy for you to open or close your gate from far. Solar openers need little maintenance as they are self-sufficient. You can choose between three of these gate openers:

Sliding Gate Opener Kits

These sliding gate openers go parallel to your perimeter fence wall. So it allows the gate to slide in and out. One advantage of these gates is that they take minimal space and only a single gate is needed. Sliding gate opener kits are fitted with a 120V motor. They are able to provide continuous operation and they have a great torque too.

A good sliding gate opener should operate a gate of up to 1400 pounds. To make them more efficient, these gates feature a soft start and stop function. To protect the user, these gates openers stop whenever they encounter an obstruction.

Swing Gate Opener Kits

These kits are ideal for single swing gates. They are usually fitted with an underground sensor. So it can detect when a car is approaching and opens automatically. When the vehicle enters your premises, the gate closes automatically. Swing gate opener kits come with a lever arm and a master unit. Besides, they have a solar panel, a cable, and a mounting unit.

For easy operation, the kit comes with channel radio transmitters. Also, with receiver and antennae to operate your gate from a distance.

Dual Swing Gate Opener Kits

Unlike the single swing gate openers, these open or close two swing gates towards your street. 

They sport underground sensors that detect the proximity of vehicles approaching the gate. Double swing gates feature an auto-close operation. So it enhances the security of your home. 

Even better, the most solar powered gate opener kits has an emergency auto-release key. It allows you to open the gate in case of power failure.

Considerations When Buying Solar Powered Gate Opener Kits

Considerations When Buying Solar Powered Gate Opener Kits

Once you have decided to install solar gate openers and have chosen what you need, there are more things to consider. Note that, solar gate openers are easy to customize to meet your needs. As such, you need to consider your needs and gate requirements.

 

Pick a Quality Controller

When your solar opener fits with a high-efficiency control board, it’s easier for you to optimize to meet your solar panel’s output. The control board of your automatic gate opener also affects the efficiency of other components. This includes low-power loop detectors and the digital keypads.

Pick the best deep cycle solar batteries

A good deep cycle battery will keep your solar-powered automatic gate opener operating. In most cases, the opener kit comes with a lithium-ion battery. This makes it a great option for solar operated devices. In case a Li-Ion battery is not available, you can pick either AGM, RV, or Marine batteries. Keep in mind that your first choice should be a Li-Ion battery as it will last long.

Energy Management

A good solar powered opener should conserve energy for it to last long. Energy management information should be given on the product description. Ensure that the gate opener can deliver the power when you need it to and when not in use, it should be able to minimize energy consumption to last longer.

Quick Close Features

A quick close feature allows you to close the gate quick to enhance the security of your home or office premises. With this feature, the gate closes immediately your vehicle has entered the promises making it a challenge for burglars to find their way in a few minutes later.

Power of the solar panel

If you have a powerful motor and a less powerful solar panel, the gate opener might not function optimally. A good solar panel should match the requirements of the motor. The advantage is that most of the solar panels are designed to meet the exact requirements of the door opener. When a solar panel is not provided as part of the door opener kit, the manufacturer gives you panel recommendations.

Ensure the kit has all the needed accessories

A good solar powered gate opener kit should have all the necessary accessories and should be ready to install and use. When you buy a complete package, you are sure that the manufacturer has designed all the parts to work efficiently together. This reduces the inconvenience of buying separately.

If a solar panel meets the above technical considerations, you can now go ahead and consider other factors such as:

Generally, a good solar powered gate opener should meet all your automatic gate opening and closing needs.

Best Solar Powered Gate Opener Kit Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Powered Gate Opener Kit

Top Recommendation
Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener Kit for Swing Gates Up to 20 Feet

 

Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy Duty Dual Automatic Gate Opener

Offered with all needed accessories for easy installation.

Upgrade Option
USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener

 

USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Solar Gate Opener

The Sentry Plug-N-Go wiring system makes it easy to install.

Value Option
10 Watt Solar Panel Kit (FM123) for Mighty Mule Automatic Gate Openers,Black Cell

 

Mighty Mule MM360 Single – Gate Solar 
Powered Opener

Offered with a high power solar panel.

Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy Duty Dual Automatic Gate Opener

The Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy Duty Dual Automatic Gate Opener works efficiently. Especially for gates not more than 20 feet long and weighing up to 900 pounds. This ensures that it fits a wide range of gate types. Each kit comes with a 10-watt premium mono-crystalline solar panel. It converts enough power to keep your gate operating at all times.

Irrespective of the age or cycles of the motor, its operations remain swift and quiet. Besides the motor and the solar panel, the kit comes with all other installation hardware. Plus, two operator arms with cables, a mounting arm, and brackets for fast installation.

This solar-powered opener is designed to open and close fast. Thanks to the Ghost-improved mechanical design and the new radiofrequency. This ensures that your property is secure. The kit is optimized to function on tubular gates. 

Note that if your gate is push-to-close, you will need to buy push-to-close brackets separately.

Lastly, the unit comes with a high quality battery box. This box ensures that, in case of acid leaks, it cannot damage the control board or any other components of the gate. 

Additionally, the unit comes with a Safe Force system. It reduces the amount of force exerted to prevent injuries to people.

 
Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy-Duty Solar Dual Automatic Gate Opener Kit for Swing Gates Up to 20 Feet

 

Pros

Cons

USAutomatic Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Solar Gate Opener

This is a single gate opener designed to be installed on heavy iron gates up to 12 ft. long, farm gates up to 20 ft. long and on chain-link gates up to 14 ft. long. Each unit operates with a 12V DC battery that can be charged using solar panel or can be charged using AC transformer in instances where the solar cannot charge the unit efficiently.

The Sentry Plug-N-Go wiring harness makes it easy for you to install the system within minutes. Here, you will not require extra wiring besides what is offered with the kit. Even better, the kit comes with universal mounting brackets so you can install on push-to-open or push-to-close gates. These mounting brackets can easily be bolted to the existing gate with no problem.

Irrespective of the weight of your gate, the opening and closing times remain the same; the gate closes and opens fast. Thanks to its design, the gate is able to close or open in 16 seconds. 

This is coupled with obstacle sensors to enhance the safety of gate users. To enhance the lifespan of this unit, it is created solid and housed in rigid steel. 

It also sports a protective board to keep the unit safe from elements. Its circuit board is housed in a plastic case to keep off weather elements.

USAutomatic 020320 Sentry 300 Commercial Grade Automatic Gate Opener
 

 

Pros

Cons

Mighty Mule MM360 Single-Gate Solar Powered Opener

The MM360 works efficiently with medium-duty gates. It weighs about 550 pounds. It is easy to install since all installation hardware is offered. You will also have a detailed installation guide and a DVD showing installation step by step.

This device runs on dual sense technology. It offers security and allows you to install the gate. Even without the need to buy a secondary entrapment device. 

With the powerful 10-watt solar panel, this device is short-charging when exposed to maximum sunlight. With each kit, you get all the essential installation hardware. This includes a plug-in transformer for easy installation.

This solar-powered gate opener kit is designed for single swing gates up to 16 ft. long. It is a great choice when you need a solar gate opener on budget. 

Though it is a budget option, it sports high-quality construction to last long. With the brackets and cables offered with the purchase of this unit, you will be up and running in the shortest time possible.

 

10 Watt Solar Panel Kit (FM123) for Mighty Mule Automatic Gate Openers,Black Cell
 

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

There is a horde of good solar powered gate opener kits each designed to meet specific needs. Different manufacturers, such as Ghost Controls or Mighty Mule, design a range of opener kits for different types of gates. If your gate is a dual swing, there is a product for you from your favorite manufacturer. When shopping, take your time and consider all the technical aspects of the opener kit.

Our top recommendation from the kits above is Ghost Controls TDS2XP Heavy Duty Dual Automatic Gate Opener. The unit comes with the necessary installation hardware. Also, it has great security and user protection features. Even better, it is reasonably price. As such, it meets the needs of many users and falls within the budget of most people.

 

How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Attic Fan

Keeping the temperature of your attic regulated is an essential part of an energy-efficient, well-built home. Solar gable fans or solar roof-mounted attic fans can prevent ice damming in the winter. It can protect your shingles from super-heated attic air in the summer as well. Choosing a solar-powered attic fan can be a simple attic ventilation solution.

Top Recommendation

Natural Light Solar Powered 24 Watt Gable Mount Attic Fan

Solar Powered Attic Fan - 32 Watt Gable Exhaust Vent - Natural Light

My top choice for a solar-powered attic fan is the 24-watt gable mounted exhaust fan by Natural Light. This company makes a range of quality solar-powered attic ventilators worth looking at. But the gable mounted option is my favorite because it’s simple to install and has a long warranty. The fan is very quiet and can provide ventilation to attics of up to 2,100 sq. ft. It is a top choice for many contractors.

Upgrade Option

Broan 355SOBR Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator, Brown

 

Broan 355SOWW Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator, Weather Wood

 

This flush-mounted solar attic ventilator by Broan is hurricane-rated to winds up to 140 miles per hour. This makes it a good choice for people living in Florida and along the gulf coast. Weatherproof solar panels are made of tempered glass. They can withstand hail and extreme weather. 

The only downside is the shorter 5-year warranty than some other options offering up to 25 years. This unit can provide ventilation to attics up to 1,600 sq. ft and is an aesthetically pleasing option.

 

Value Option

ESM Products Solar attic Fan 30 Watt

 

This solar fan by ESM Imports is the cheapest model I looked at but is also the most powerful. The 30-watt solar panel provides enough power to ventilate attics up to 2,800 sq. ft. The solar panel is adjustable allowing you to fine-tune alignment. The company offers a five-year warranty on the motor and 25 years on the housing. This unit is not as attractive as some of the other fans I looked at but is a great budget option.

How to Choose a Solar Powered Attic Fan

Adding solar attic fans to your home can protect it from seasonal damage. Also, it can provide modest energy savings. Running wiring to the attic can be a pain, solar can simplify the problem. Depending on your municipality, you may also qualify for an additional tax credit incentive. In this guide, we will discuss the importance of a properly ventilated attic. And what to look for while choosing your solar attic fan.

Keeping Cool

Attic air gets extremely hot in the summer as the shingles absorb heat from the sun. This super-heated air can damage roofing tiles by cooking them from the underside. Attic fans in combination with proper soffit ventilation reduce heat and moisture in the attic protecting it from damage. In the winter, this moisture can cause condensation, potentially damaging attic materials, or causing mold growth.

Ice Damming

Proper attic ventilation is essential in snowy climates to prevent ice damming. Ice dams occur when meltwater from snow on a warm roof collects in the gutters and on the eaves. This water refreezes and the process continues until meltwater has nowhere to go, collecting on your roof. This can cause damage to your home if water starts leaking through the roof.

Soffit and Gable Ventilation

Proper soffit or gable ventilation is needed to prevent pressure differences from building up in the attic. In the summer, hot air is pushed out of gable vents or roof vents by the fans. And relatively cooler air from the outside is in turn drawn into the attic through the soffit or gable vents. 

This air movement cools the attic temperature and protects shingles from being damaged. This process is the same in the winter. The goal is to be temperature equalization with the outside to prevent melting snow on the roof from causing ice dams.

Insulation

If your attic is not properly insulated, you should invest in that before installing any kind of attic ventilation. Proper insulation prevents heat transfer between attic air and the conditioned air inside your home. Improper insulation in combination with attic fans will cause energy loss in both summer and winter. 

Types of Fans

There are two main types of attic fans to choose from. Roof-mounted fans are found on flat and pitched roofs. These fans are installed in a circular hole cut in the roof. This may require expert installation if you lack the necessary carpentry skills. Gable mounted fans are generally placed behind existing gable vents. If you don’t have existing vents, the installation is made more difficult.

Fan Size

Most attics are around the same square footage as your home. Multiplying the sq. ft of your home by 0.7 will give you an approximate minimum cubic foot of air a fan should be able to move per minute. A steep roof will increase internal attic volume. And a dark roof will increase energy absorption from the sun. Both cases would require a fan that is capable of moving more air.

No Electrician Necessary

Without basic electrical knowledge, installing wiring in your attic needs a professional electrician. A clear benefit of solar fans over wired fans is their simplicity. Gable fans can be installed behind existing vents. Plus, roof-mounted models are easily installed with a little carpentry work.

Adjustable Solar Panel

An adjustable solar panel will allow you to move the unit into alignment with the sun. This is important because your solar fan will only operate when receiving direct sunlight. Placement is important to ensure the fan is running throughout the day and providing its intended benefits.

Construction Quality

Durable materials must be used in the construction of solar roof ventilators. Your fan will be exposed to UV radiation, rain, hail, and depending on where you live, snow, tornadoes, and hurricanes. 

It is important that the fan housing is durable. It includes a quality screen to prevent rodents, birds, and insects from entering through the vent. A thermostat can also be a useful feature. Thermostats turn the fan on and off depending on ambient temperature prolonging the life of the fan motor.

Installation

Installation of your solar powered attic fan is a project of moderate difficulty. A few hours of sweating it out in the attic should finish the job if planned properly. Many houses are constructed with 14.5” between rafters allowing room for the fans. 

Be sure not to cut or damage any rafters during installation as it will compromise the structural integrity of your roof. Read instructions carefully and consult a professional if you are unsure about any aspect of installation.

Best Solar Powered Attic Fan Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Powered Attic Fan

Upgrade Option
Solar Powered Attic Fan - 32 Watt Gable Exhaust Vent - Natural Light
 
Natural Light Solar Powered 24 Watt Gable Mount Attic Fan

Independent solar panel.

Top Recommendation
Broan 355SOWW Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator, Weather Wood

 

Broan 355SOBR Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator, Brown

Independent solar panel.

Value Option
ESM Products 30W Surface Mount Solar Attic Fan

Adjustable solar panel angle.

Natural Light Solar Powered 24 Watt Gable Mount Attic Fan

Many homes with pitched roofs already have existing gable vents installed. The easiest way to add powered ventilation to your attic is to install fans behind these existing vents. The 24-watt gable mounted fan by Natural Lights allows you to do just that, with installation taking little more than one hour. It is hidden from the outside so it doesn’t affect the aesthetic value of your home. Also, it will not allow water to seep in through holes cut in your roof, as is required for roof-mounted options.

 

 

Solar Powered Attic Fan - 32 Watt Gable Exhaust Vent - Natural Light

 

The independent solar panel and 15-foot connecting cable allow you to place the panel in an optimal location to receive maximum sunlight. It moves 1,339 cubic feet of air per minute providing ventilation for attics up to 2,100 sq. ft. 

The product is made in the USA of commercial-grade materials and is built to last. Natural Lights also offers an outstanding 25-year warranty on the motor, housing, and solar panel. It is one of the best warranty periods in the industry. 

This unit also qualifies for tax credits in eligible municipalities. This fan is available in 12, 36, or 60-watt versions for your specific needs.

 

Pros

Cons

Broan 3555OWW Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator

I like this durable solar attic fan made by Broan. The unit comes with a durable 20-watt tempered glass solar panel able to survive hail strikes. Plus, a design capable of withstanding 140 miles per hour hurricane-force winds. The unit is flush mounted and attractive so it doesn’t look bulky or out of place on your home. 

The steel motor housing, sealed ball bearings, and a hardened shaft protect the motor from wear. The 1/8 inch heavy gauge bird and rodent screen protect against uninvited house guests while still allowing adequate airflow. The one-piece aluminum five-blade fan moves air effectively without excessive noise.

 

 

This fan is relatively easy to install with a little knowledge of carpentry and roofing. It is not the most powerful option, venting attics up to 1,600 sq. ft, but is built of quality materials and made to outlast other products. 

This is a good option for homeowners along the gulf coast. Or in the tornado-prone Midwest due to its sturdy and wind-resistant construction. Broan makes a range of attic ventilators that can suit a variety of attic sizes.

 
Broan 355SOWW Surface Mount Solar Powered Attic Ventilator, Weather Wood

 

Pros

Cons

ESM Products 30W Surface Mount Solar Attic Fan

A great value option to consider is the ESM Products solar attic fan. The 30-watt unit is capable of moving up to 1,550 cubic feet of air per minute in direct sunlight. This allows it to properly ventilate attics up to 2,800 sq. ft. 

The solar panel angle is adjustable with two included brackets. This allows you to place the panel at an optimum angle to the sun. The seamless aluminum housing is warrantied for a full 25 years, while the motor is covered for five years. The fan is an aluminum five-blade design 12” in diameter.

It has a protective #304 stainless steel mesh animal screen to keep the critters out of your attic. Installation is easy if you have some basic carpentry knowledge. 

Use caution when installing the unit in locales that have frequent driving rain. Prolonged water exposure can cause leaking around the roof-mounted unit if proper sealing is not ensured. 

This solar fan is not as visually pleasing or compact as other options but makes up for it in venting power. This is a good value option for homes with flat or pitched roofs.

 

Pros

Cons

Conclusion

Solar-powered attic fans are a simple and effective way to protect your attic from weather-related damage. I prefer the simplicity of the gable mounted fan by Natural Light when compared to other options. The fan can be easily mounted behind existing gable vents in your attic making them a breeze to install. They are hidden from the outside. So they don’t affect the aesthetics of your home but still, provide enough power to ventilate your attic.

Additional fans can easily be placed in other gable vents you already have. You could also consider a roof-mounted option for the gable fan. Natural Light provides a best in class 25 year warranty on the motor, housing, and solar panel. Providing ventilation to your attic is essential to protect your home from extreme weather. Solar attic fans can be a simple solution. Also, they provide years of energy-free attic protection.

Best Solar Pool Rings: June 2020 Updated Reviews

Unless you are very adventurous, it is not pleasant to jump into your pool for an evening swim after the sun goes down; the water will be too cold for such a venture. 

This is where solar pool rings come in. These rings offer a green way to keep your pool heated at all times and prevent water from evaporation due to intense sun.

There are so many solar pool cover options in the market today. This may, therefore, pose a challenge to first-time buyers. However, this guide plus review is designed to help you make the best choice when buying.

 

Top Recommendation

Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater

One of the best rings is the Solar Sun Rings. They are simple solar pool covers designed to fit in every pool design and size. Solar Sun Rings are offered at great prices, sport a beautiful design, and heat and insulate pools efficiently.

Upgrade Option

Thermo Spring Solar Mat

The Thermo Spring solar rings sport an attractive oval design that fits different shapes and sizes of pools. These rings can heat your pool up to 75 degrees and are good at insulation.

Value Option

SwimWays 17400 Pool Heater

SwimWays 17400 is almost the same as the Thermo Springs solar rings above, but it is a little bigger and cheaper. It functions efficiently to keep your pool water warm.

How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Rings

There are a number of factors to consider and these include:

Solar Rings Quality

Solar rings for pool heating are designed from two sheets of heavy-duty vinyl. They trap sunlight energy, warming the water in your pool, and, at night, they offer an insulation layer, ensuring that heat is not lost from the pool. Due to their constant exposure to sunlight, solar rings tend to crack and chip off from the edges with time.

To ensure your solar rings can last long, choose solar rings with thick vinyl layers. Again, ensure that the vinyl is UV resistant so it does not get destroyed by the sun.

An excellent solar cover can last up to 4 years, but most last three years or below.

 

Size of Your Pool

Unlike other pool covers covering the entire pool, solar pool rings cover small sections of the pool. This means that you have to buy many rings depending on the size of your pool. If you have a small pool, you can purchase small sized rings to cover about 80 percent of your pool connected edge to edge by the fitted magnets. If your pool is large, shop for larger rings to ensure you do not buy so many.

 

Ring Design and Decorations

Most solar pool rings sport a blue layer that absorbs sunlight to heat water. The units come in different shapes and sizes. Most are circular or elliptical, while others are triangular. On their top are various decorations; some have bubbles. Others have palm trees, while others are plain only with the brand name. When shopping, pick according to your likes and preferences.

Solar Ring Heating Power

Most solar-run rings can absorb up the top 50 percent of the sun’s energy to heat water in your pool. The rings can provide up to 21,000BTUs of heat to keep your pool warm at all times. When shopping, look at product specifications to see the heating power of the solar sun ring.

 

Affordability and Warranty

You can buy solar rings individually, or you can buy them as a set. When you buy them as a set, they are less expensive, making them affordable. However, the number of rings you buy will depend on the size of your pool.

When shopping, consider the warranty offered as it shows the trust the manufacturer places on their products.

 

How to Use A Solar Pool Ring

Solar rings have to be inflated to make them buoyant before they are placed on the pool’s surface. All you have to do is inflate the outer surface until it is firm and inflate the inner portion slightly. Place them on the surface of the pool, and they will start heating your water.

Most solar pool rings are fitted with magnets on their edges. It is easy for them to stay connected and cover more of your pool area. The magnets also keep your water clear and ensure the rings do not overlap. Rings or squares will not cover every part of your pool, and as such, you can still run your pump. 

This is an advantage as it allows sunlight to pass through, thereby reducing the growth of algae. It can also be a disadvantage as leaves, and other particles still find their way into your pool. Unlike other pool covers, solar pool covers can be removed easily; all you need is to detach the magnets and pull them out of the water.

How to Store Solar Rings

Solar rings are small elliptical or square pool covers; this makes them easy to store. When you are swimming, you can stack them somewhere on your pool deck, away from the wind.

Most solar covers feature a loop from which you can hang them when they are not in use.

If you want to store the rings for a long time, get them out of the water and spray them off. Use a soft brush to clean off debris when the rings are still inflated to ensure that no dirt is trapped in the wrinkles.

Next, dry the rings by hand. If you decide to dry them with a leaf blower, hold them, so they do not fly all over your compound. Deflate the rings, flatten them and store them in their bag. If the rings did not come with a bag, store them in a lidded container. Rings should be kept away from sunlight and abrasive surfaces.

 

Why Pick Solar Rings?

Solar rings are easy to use, and they do not need a lot of maintenance. Unlike other pool covers that may require special tools to install, rings only need to be inflated and placed on top of the pool. They are designed to reduce the evaporation rate, retain the heat of your pool after the sun goes down, keep debris and bugs out of the pool, and have a lower cost of pool chemicals.

 

Best Solar Pool Rings Reviews

Based on the factors above, high quality, pricing, past buyers’ review, and other credible factors, here are our best solar rings recommendations.

Our Recommendations for Solar Pool Rings
Top Recommendation
SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater w/ Anchors
Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater

Constructed from heavy duty vinyl for durability.

SwimWays Thermo Spring Solar Mat 10 Pack (18' Pool)
Thermo Spring Solar Mat

Features twist-and-fold spring technology for easy handling.

 

SwimWays 17400 Pool Heater ThermaSpring Solar Mat, White

 

SwimWays 17400 Pool Heater

Measures 67 inches long to fit in large pools.

Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater

The Solar Sun Rings are designed to keep your pool water warm for an evening swim. These sun rings are designed circular with blue surfaces on which a palm tree and orange sun are printed. However, according to the manufacturer, the design keeps changing, and you may buy a solar cover with a different print.

The Solar Sun rings come with a double layer of strong UV resistant vinyl to make them highly durable. The two layers of the solar sun rings allow some sun rays to filter through. Ensuring that your swimming pool is not entirely dark, so algae cannot grow. Their top layers allow sunlight to pass through. While the bottom layers of the sun rings trap the sun’s light energy to warm your pool.

You should not over-inflate the solar sun rings. Blowing them just a few times will get them up and working. The trapped air lets the solar sun rings insulate your pool efficiently to retain heat at night. 

The manufacturer warns against using the solar sun rings as a flotation device as they are not strong enough. The manufacturer of these solar sun rings offers a two-year defect-free guarantee. On the edges, this unit is fitted with a firm ring that keeps it in shape and ensures the wind does not blow it off the pool.

Pros

Constructed from heavy duty vinyl to last long

Beautiful palm tree decoration

Great price-quality ratio

Fitted with string magnets to ensure the rings stick together

Light enough to ease the process of installation

Suitable for pools of different sizes

Cons

Since they are so light, they may be carried off if you live in an area with strong winds.

Thermo Spring Solar Mat

The Thermo Spring solar mat is designed to heat the water in your pool fast, up to 75 degrees, and later insulate the pool against heat loss. Each unit measures 65.5 inches long and 37.5 inches wide. This means that you only need a couple of them for broad pools coverage.

The oval styling of these sun rings makes them attractive. Their deep blue color with bubble patterns makes them more appealing. Each solar cover has a double layer that ensures its durability. It also enhances the solar cover’s weight to reduce instances of being blown away by the wind quickly. 

To make them more functional, they are fitted with a ring on the edges that not only maintains their shape but also ensures the rings stay together to cover a large section of your pool surface.

The twist and fold spring technology used to create these rings make it easier for you to store them or carry them around. The units are easy to inflate as they only need to take a small volume of air to function. When not in use, the twist-and-fold technology ensures they occupy the least possible space.

Pros

Attractive styling to match your backyard décor

Easy to install and remove

Oval design to fit on different shapes of pools

Features twist-and-fold spring technology for easy handling

Thick to offer great insulation

Can be used on large as well as small pool sizes

Can heat the pool up to 75 degrees during the day

Cons

They are relatively expensive

SwimWays 17400 Pool Heater

The SwimWays 17400 is a good option for a solar cover or ring that fits into different shapes of pools. It sports an oval shape that allows you to stack many rings side by side to cover a large percentage of your pool. This way, you will have less evaporation. More insulation, and less debris getting into your pool.

The two-layered solar cover fits with a sun-absorbing layer to convert up to 50 percent of the solar energy. The unit can produce up to 21,000 BTUs of heat to keep your pool water warm.

Its twist-and-fold spring technology makes it easy to install, easy to remove, and easy to store. When you are not using the rings, you only need to deflate them, then twist and fold the unit to occupy less storage space. The manufacturer advises that it needs to cover between 70 and 80 percent of your pool’s outer surface for the solar cover to function optimally.

Pros

Measures 67 inches long to fit in large pools

Weights only 2.65 pounds when inflated making it easy to install

The fitted springs close with ease making the mat easy to store

Edges fitted with strong rings for stability

The design of the rings looks great on any pool

Its oval shape ensures you can use it on all pool shapes

Thick enough to offer insulation for a long time

Cons

Light enough to be carried by strong winds

Final Thoughts About Choosing a Solar Pool Ring

Solar pool rings are great when you need a quick solution to heating your pool and keep debris off. You need to ensure that the rings are not too light to be blown off by the wind, and they are not too heavy to sink and soak in water. Take your time when shopping, and you will pick solar rings that meet your needs.

Our top recommendation is the Solar Sun Rings. The unit is lightweight enough for easy installation and easy removal but heavy enough to stay on your pool when the wind blows by. They are also designed to fit a wide range of pool sizes and shapes. 

If you need a pool cover that adds to your outdoor living space’s beauty, this solar cover sport an attractive design. When the sun is hot, the solar sun rings can warm your water up to 75 degrees Celsius. They are also thick enough to insulate your pool for a long time.

 

33 Gorgeous and Eco-Friendly Outdoor Solar Lights

You have probably heard of outdoor solar lights. You may have even seen some small ones at the store in the gardening section.

Perhaps you have considered getting an outdoor solar light to cut down on electricity, but you simply haven’t seen one that fits your needs. Or maybe you think that the right one for you doesn’t exist.

In this list of 33 gorgeous and eco-friendly outdoor solar lights, I will show you that there is a solar light for any outdoor lighting need you may have.

1. Solar Flood Lights – Protect Your Home

Floodlights are one of the most popular and simplest ways of increasing the security of your home.

Solar floodlights, especially LED ones, are durable, easy to install, and will save money on your electricity bill among other things.

The best solar flood lights also come in a variety, some having the added advantage of motion sensors. 

For the full details, watch our Solar Flood Lights Review

Outdoor Solar Light

2. Solar Flagpole Lights – Increase The Effect of Your Flag

Having a flagpole at your office is good for catching attention. A solar flagpole light will increase this effect and enable you to keep your flag up after dark.

Solar flagpole lights turn on automatically when it gets dusk, all that it needs is to be installed. 

This is easy to do since most weigh less than one pound. 

Check out the options in our Solar Flagpole Lights Review.

 
 
flagpole solar light

3. Solar Christmas Lights – Perfect For Celebrating the Season

Perhaps one of the best reasons to go with solar Christmas lights is the fact that you can now decorate the far edges of your lawn you were formerly unable to reach with an electric cord.

They are very easy to set up and, if you are in doubt, tutorials are easy to find on YouTube. 

You can also find our Full Review Of Solar Christmas Lights Here.

 
Best Solar Christmas Lights

4. Solar Camping Lanterns – Great For Outdoor Enthusiasts

Solar camping lanterns also compare well against hand-crank ones and often have the added benefit of being able to act as a charger for your phone.

The brightness of camping lanterns is measured in lumens. Solar camping lanterns can have different settings that provide different lumens according to how much light you need. 

 To help you choose the right one, watch our Solar Camping Lantern Review.

5. Solar Spotlights – Create a Focal Point

Solar spotlights deliver a direct beam of light and are the perfect thing to use for highlighting a statue or any other feature that you want to highlight.

They come in a wide variety of sizes and prices and can have their solar panel attached by a long cord that can allow you a lot of flexibility when placing it. 

For the full details, See Full Review Of Solar Spotlights.

Solar Spotlight

6. Solar Motion Lights – Lights of Many Uses

Motion lights are most often used to scare off potential robbers, but can also be used for things like hunting. 

Some are specifically designed to gradually get brighter so as not to scare off the game.

There is a wide range of different kinds of solar motion lights to choose from so asking yourself some important questions about its purpose will help you to decide which one you need. 

We can help you out with this in our Solar Motion Security Lights Review.

 
Best Solar Powered Motion Security Light

7. Solar Path Lights – Light Up Your Walkway

Using solar lights for your path requires no cords whatsoever, the small solar panel is built right into the tops of the small lights.

Inexpensive options do not tend to last long but still can do a great job of lighting up the edges of your driveway or path. Check out the more durable options in our Solar Path Lighting Review.

Besides, they can also look romantic for a nighttime stroll.

Solar path lights

8. Solar Gutter Lights – Cleverly Hidden

The main advantage of solar gutter lights is that they are not on the ground in the way of mowing and yet still easy to install.

Another key feature is that they are small and portable enough to be taken on camping trips or on vacation and they still increase the security of your home.

9. Solar String/Rope Lights – Works Wherever You Want It

Solar rope lights are made with the lights in the case of plastic tubing that protects them from damage and prevents them from getting wet.

This helps them last and also means that you can place them on the ground even near wet areas. They also come in a wide variety of colors and have different settings available. 

For more info on how to choose, See our Solar String Lights Review.

10. Solar Deck/Patio Lights – Invite Your Guests Outdoors

Outdoor solar wall lights are perfect for decks and patios. They shine most of the light down toward the ground so that you can see where to step without any risk of tripping over the light.
 
Another option is to get flush mount solar stair lights which are installed into the floor of the deck itself so that they lay flush with the rest of the floor.

11. Solar Shed Lights – Light For Your Work Space

Solar shed lights that are good quality can give anywhere from six to twenty-four hours of light after dark, giving you plenty of time to work.

Another benefit of solar shed lights is that you can also place them in barns, greenhouses, porches, and anything else that has a roof and needs light inside. 

For the full details, see our Solar Shed Lights Review.

Best Solar Powered Shed Lights

12. Solar Post Cap Lights – Perfect For Any Fence

Solar post cap lights are easy to install and have a definite aesthetic appeal, especially on wooden fencing.

However, you do not have to have a wooden fence to get one of these and there is a wide variety of ones to choose from, whether you like the look of stained glass or more of a backwoods style. 

To help with choosing the best ones, see our Solar Post Cap Lights Review.

13. Solar Lamp Posts – Classic Beauty For Your Yard

Solar lamp posts have two main ways of installation: stakes or planters. Stakes are driven into the ground and require a bit of digging, while planters take up more room and prevent and are literally surrounded by a square or round planter at the base.

In stormy areas, these can be equipped with flat panels to help it cope with high winds and some can stay lit for more than one night, even without the sun coming out.

14. Solar Powered Dusk to Dawn Lights – All Night Options

Dusk to dawn lights is ideal for things like schools, roads, driveways, golf courses, and more.

They can come in different sizes and kinds and all are built to harness the maximum amount of sunlight and to store the energy in internal batteries for use at night. 
To help to choose the best option for your needs, see our Solar Dusk To Dawn Lights Review.

15. Solar Garden Lights – Light Up Your Masterpiece

No matter what the theme of your garden is there is likely a novelty solar garden light to go with it, whether you like gnomes, or prefer castles, or animals.
Easy to place and safe to use around kids and pets, can even be safely used around your pool.
 
Solar garden lights

16. Solar Yard/Lawn/Landscape Lights – Show Off Your Hard Work

No matter what the theme of your garden is there is likely a novelty solar garden light to go with it, whether you like gnomes, or prefer castles, or animals.
Easy to place and safe to use around kids and pets, can even be safely used around your pool.
 

17. Solar Fairy Lights – Perfect For a Delicate Touch

Best Solar Fairy Lights

Fairy lights can look magical in your garden and most have eight different flashing modes so you can have the exact ambiance you want.

They are cool to the touch and make a lovely finishing touch to wedding centerpieces and floral arrangements, having the added benefit of being waterproof. 

We’ve highlighted some great options in our Solar Fairy Lights Review.

18. Solar Street Lights – Perfect Lighting for Playgrounds and Businesses

Some of the most common uses include providing light for highways, parks, playgrounds, and parking areas.

They are completely independent of the grid, require less maintenance, lower the risk of accidents caused by external wires, and have a much lower risk of overheating.

Solar Street Lights

 

19. Hanging Solar Lights – Showcase Your Outdoor Area

Often look like lanterns and you can even make them yourself by up-cycling other kinds of solar lights. 

They can come with either a wire handle or a clip and can also come in animal shapes such as owls, butterflies, jellyfish, and more, or in a simple orb shape. 

Hanging Solar Lights

 

20. Decorative Solar Lights – Add Style and Beauty

Decorative lights allow for amazing creativity and DIY options can be as cheap as going to a dollar store and putting a few things together, yet they can have incredible results.

The fact that by using you can still go outside and enjoy having lights should your electricity go out is only one of the benefits.

Solar For Decorative Outdoor Lights

21. Solar Fence Lights – Mark Your Boundaries

There are two main options for lighting your fences: post cap lights work well on thick and sturdy fences, while side-mounted lights can be placed on any fence, large or small.

They not only clearly mark where your fence is at but they can also light your driveway or path if it is near a fence.

22. Solar Driveway/Parking Lot Lights – Light Your Home or Business

Though you will need to get an estimate for how many lights you need, most can be installed without causing damage to your parking lot during installation.
These solar lights can also be used to light up long, dark driveways and even gun ranges if you want to practice your aim after dark. 
 
Best Outdoor Solar Lights for the Yard, Landscape & Lawns

23. Solar Security Lights – Many Options and One Goal

Any building that has lights on looks occupied and is less likely to be vandalized. With solar, this protection is still there even if the power goes out.

When deciding what you need, take into consideration that a study on burglars was done that proved that the most common deterrent was a lack of hiding places available on well-lit properties, so choose that minimize these areas.

Solar Security Lights

Best Solar Powered Dusk to Dawn Light

24. Solar Umbrella Lights – Both Shade and Light

Used in restaurants that have an outdoor area, are also a great feature on your home patio.

They come in a wide variety of colors, with tilting options, and can have their stand in the center or even on to the side for easy use should you already have a table that has no hole for it.

Solar Umbrella Lights

25. Solar Dock Lights – A Boating Essential

Power pedestals act like a small lighthouse for larger boats while piling lights or wharf lights can add a very pleasing touch. There are even underwater solar dock lights that are perfect for attracting fish.

Solar Dock Lights work near both saltwater and fresh, and in some places, there is even tax incentives for installing them.

 
Best Solar Dock Lights

26. Solar Garden Stakes – Small and Versatile

Solar garden stakes are cheap and can easily be converted into outdoor solar chandeliers, lamps, or any number of other yard decorations that can cost less than $5 to create.

Or you can Buy Solar Garden Stakes that are works of art and are made of glass, metal or other materials that are waterproof and have always-in-bloom flowers or Precious Moments figures in your garden.

27. Solar Tea Lights – All Purpose Light

These tiny lights can be used as a safer alternative in place of candles inside Jack-O-Lanterns, as a light in ‘fairy jars,’ placed in frosted jars to make lanterns and any number of other creative ideas.
 
Solar Tea Lights also look lovely placed in a row along the top of a low wall or on the ground along the edge of a patio or stone pathway.

28. Solar Tree Lights – Moonlight Every Night

Besides wrapping your tree in lights, the other options are down-lights and up-lights. Down-lighting looks more like moonlight and shows off what is on the ground around the tree, while up-lighting focuses more on the tree itself.

Of course, if you are wealthy you can Buy Solar Tree Lights that give light, Wi-Fi access, recharge things for you, and have an info touch screen.

29. Solar Pillar Lights

Pillar lights are made to sit on top of the ground, being heavier at the bottom and needing no stakes, but they can also sit on wide rock walls or fences.
 
They are a staple in high-end outdoor décor due to their classy looks, yet are a quite affordable and cost-efficient method for lighting. 
solar pillar lighting

30. Solar Rock Lights – Highlight Your Rock Garden

Solar Rock Lights are designed to look like ordinary rocks in order to camouflage into the rest of the scenery and come in a range of sizes.

These can also come as stepping stones which can look like actual stones or nothing like them at all. Some rocks can even have butterflies or dragonflies above them that light up.

31. Solar Disk Lights – Great Small Lights

Disk lights are small, round, and have a short stake that keeps them stable as it is pushed all the way into the ground so that the only visible part is the disk which can handle flooding.

They last an average of 8-10 hours and can be used on flat areas by simply not attaching the stake. It can also come in different colors and with different settings.

32. Solar Powered Grow Lights – Perfect for Your Greenhouse or Garden

Power can be one of the biggest factors in planning a greenhouse and, even in indoor setups, light is perhaps the most important thing for seedlings which is why Solar Powered Grow Lights are so useful.

These lights can also be used in a regular garden to help the plants grow a little faster and to allow you to work in your garden at night in the summer when it can be too hot to go out during the day.

33. Solar Garage Lights – Light Up Dark Rooms

Solar Powered Garage Lights come in kits and can be used for any garage, shed, or even your house should your electricity go out and can often serve as a charger to your phone as well.

Other uses can include chicken coops or cabins, and most can provide somewhere between 4-10 hours of light and have small enough solar panels so that you can install them yourself.

Conclusion

With so many different solar options I know that you found one in the list above that you could use. You may have known about one of these and yet never thought of a possible use that I mentioned for it.

Did you enjoy my list and learn anything that you didn’t know before? If so, please let me know what you learned and what you think of these 33 solar light options!

Best Solar Pool Covers: June 2020 Reviews

Solar pool covers are easy, energy-efficient ways to raise the temperature in your swimming space. With the best solar pool cover for your needs, you can save money on the pool, and prevent leaves and dirt from building up in the pool.

Best for Rectangular Pools

Magni-Clear Solar Cover

Magni-Clear? Inground Pool Solar Blanket 18' x 36' Rectangle

The Magni-Clear comes in a rectangular form, with an ultra-clear material that maximizes the sunlight that can enter your pool. 

The Magni-Clear can raise your temperature up to 15 degrees. It has UV protection to prevent damage from the sun while delivering powerful solar technology. 

It has an extra thick material, which keeps it from moving but will make it a bit harder to maneuver than some of the other options.

 

Best for Oval Pools

Midwest Canvas Solar Cover

MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 18-Foot-by-33-Foot Oval Solar Cover | 16 Mil | Heating Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Oval Swimming Pools | Place Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool

The MidWest canvas cover is an oval design that has diamond-shaped bubbles to increase the heated air pockets that are placed into the water.  

It has a thick design to prevent up to 95% of evaporation, maximizing the effectiveness of the solar cover.

Best for Round Pools

Sun2Solar Solar Cover

Sun2Solar Blue 24-Foot Round Solar Cover | 1600 Series Style | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Round Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool Water | Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool

The Sun2Solar brand is one of the better brands in solar pool coverage, and their round pool cover is my pick for circular pools. 

The tiny air bubbles and ultra-thick material make the cover durable and help heat your pool even on cloudy days. 

The perfect amount of heat retention, and a solid cover that prevents dirt and debris from gathering in your pool. A bit clunky to put on and off, but worth it for the protection!

 

Best for Large Pools

SSR Solar Sun Rings

SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater w/ Anchors (3 Pack)

If you have a larger pool, you may not be able to find a perfect solar cover, or you might have to layer bubble covers in an odd way. 

A way to get around this is to leverage SSR solar sun rings to fill the entire pool. 

A handful of solar sun rings–especially these, which come with anchors to keep them in place–can help you target those sunny spots.

 

How Do Solar Pool Covers Work?

Solar pool covers are effective ways of raising the temperature and lowering the chemical cost of your pool. 

There are a few types of pool covers–solar bubble covers, sun rings, and liquid covers–they work as a barrier between the surface of the water and the sun.

The barrier lowers the cost of chemicals by adding less water and fewer chemicals that bring water up to the desired swimming levels.  

The prevention of evaporation also helps the pool maintain its heat.

Additionally, the barrier helps the sunlight to pass through and generally heats up through the sunlight to heat the pool further.

Solar bubble covers (the most common type of solar pool cover) contains little pockets of air that heat through the sunlight and into the water.  

A solar cover is a cheaper way of raising the temperature of your pool and lowering chemical costs compared to outdoor pool heaters.

An outdoor pool heater costs more money to purchase than a solar cover, and it requires added energy costs to heat your pool in the spring and fall. 

A solar cover is a cheap way to cover and heat your pool, and it harnesses and converts the heat and energy of the sun which saves you money in the long run. Solar covers don’t raise your electricity bill!

What are Different Types of Pool Covers?

Bubble Pool Covers

The bubble pool cover, also known as a “solar blanket,” is the most common and popular type of solar cover that you can get for your pool. It looks like a combination of a large tarp and bubble wrap. 

The bubble pool cover is a large sheet that is full of tiny little air bubbles, which are placed face down into the pool. The air bubbles help the solar cover float, and also heat up through the sun, and transfer the heat into the pool water.

Solar Sun Rings

Solar rings are inflatable covers that float on top of the pool and work like bubble pool covers. 

While a bubble pool cover has an oven effect, solar sun rings magnify and heat the pool but don’t prevent evaporation, unlike the bubble pool cover will. Because the rings don’t completely cover the pool surface, they’re a great option to prevent chemical loss without putting the tarp over your pool.

 

Liquid Solar Pool Covers

If bubble covers sound too difficult and solar rings don’t sound effective enough, then the newest solar pool cover tech might be right for you. Liquid solar covers are a solution that you pour into the pool, where it spreads as a film over the surface of the water. 

It doesn’t keep and trap heat. It does create a layer that prevents a normal amount of evaporation and so helps your pool maintain its heat and chemical levels. 

The formula will remain active for about a month before you’ll need to replace it, so it does have some ongoing costs built in. But the evaporation prevention is not as effective as the tarp and it also doesn’t prevent debris and dirt from blowing into your pool. So the liquid formula is great if you don’t want to mess with heavy tarps or inflatable rings, but it has some drawbacks.

Why Bother With a Solar Pool Cover?

Retain Heat

Pools with solar covers on top of them can be up to 10 degrees warmer than pools without a solar cover. 

Solar covers prevent heat from evaporating off the top, and also trap and keep the sun’s heat to slowly raise the temperature of the pool. 

Placing a solar cover on top of your pool is a bit like putting a lid on a pot–the temperature will remain more constant, steadily rising to a nice simmer. 

Factors that affect the actual temperature variance that a solar cover brings the force of the sun’s UV rays, and the shading of your pool. 

 

If you have trees around the pool blocking the amount of direct sunlight, then the solar cover will be having a problem gathering heat.  

If the sun’s rays have to force themselves through cloud cover, then the cover will gain less heat.

The table below is from Energy.gov and shows the savings if you heat your pool with a heat pump. 

Heat pumps are one of the most energy-efficient ways to heat a pool; if you have another type of heater the savings are likely larger. 

The savings of having a solar cover are staggering, saving you 80% or more per month.

Source: Energy.gov

Reduce Evaporation

Most of the bubble covers listed here will reduce evaporation by up to 95% by trapping the evaporating water under the cover. The reduced evaporation is great for the environment because you’re using a small amount of water to refill the pool.

 

Keep Bugs and Debris Out

There are few things worse than splashing around the clear pool on a hot summer day and encountering a half-dead, floating bug right next to your face. It’s uncomfortable, and embarrassing when guests come over! Your filter and chemicals work overtime to neutralize bugs, dirt, and leaves that fly into your pool every single day. 

With a solar cover, these bugs and leaves get trapped on top of the cover and never enter your water. The result is a cleaner pool, a longer-lasting filter, and less dirt floating around the bottom.

Lower Chemical Costs

A solar cover can reduce chemical consumption by up to about 40%, through a variety of factors. 

First, by reducing evaporation, it won’t be necessary to add new water to your pool as much as before. Or, if you have a saltwater pool, you won’t use as much salt to bring up the salt levels.  

Also, by keeping your pool warmer, you prevent the strain and reduction of chemicals through lower temperatures. A hotter pool more easily mixes the chemicals and retains their potency.

How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Cover for Your Pool

Size of the Pool

Solar covers work by magnifying sunlight and heat and preventing evaporation to trap and retain heat over time. The effectiveness of a solar cover is therefore directly related to how much of the pool it covers. Most solar bubble covers can be cut and trimmed to fit the exact size of your pool, making them an effective way to cover a pool, regardless of size, as long as you buy a big enough cover.

Solar rings are inflatable and need to be bought in bunches to get enough coverage to raise the temperature. The pieces will have gaps between them when you set them up and use them. Liquid solar covers will spread evenly over a pool of any size, as long as you buy enough solution.

Remember that there are more factors than pool size–if half of the pool is shaded during peak sun, you may not need to buy a huge solar bubble cover to cover the entire pool. A handful of solar rings may do the trick to cover the sunny spots.

Type of Pool

For both chlorine and saltwater pools, bubble solar covers and solar rings are effective and safe. Because the solar cover literally just ramps up the amount and intensity of sunlight that heats the pool, bubble covers are safe with whatever type of pool you happen to have.

Some liquid pool covers will specify that they only work with chlorine or saltwater pools, but for the most part, most liquid pool covers are also safe in either chlorine or saltwater pools. Liquid covers form around the surface, and then break off when you swim, and then reform once the water stabilizes again. It’s a special formula of molecules that remains at the surface of the pool and reforms whenever it is broken.

Shape of Pool

In this post, I’ve got recommendations for oval, rectangle, and circular pool shapes. Realistically though, because solar bubble covers are meant to be cut down to the size of the pool, you can buy whatever shape you want as long as you buy a big enough cover to cover the total size of the pool. Try not to overbuy, however, because extra square feet can be expensive if you don’t need it.

Solar rings are a great way of protecting and heating your pool in certain areas or covering oddly shaped or really large pools. Also, remember that the shape of the pool is affected by shade–you won’t get much out of a cover that sits in the shade. It won’t properly heat, even though it can prevent minimal evaporation and prevent dust from flying into the pool.

Liquid covers are great for any shape of the pool because you simply pour them in and then they spread out evenly with a thin layer of molecules.

Material and Thickness

Solar covers are generally relatively thin so that the sunlight can easily pass through. They are typically between 8 mils (mil = thousands of an inch) to 16 mils, thin enough to allow sunlight through but thick enough to be durable. 

Thicker covers are heavier and less likely to get blown away, but also more difficult to maneuver and roll off and on the pool. Obviously, liquid solar covers don’t have material; they’re a chemical formula that is simply poured into the pool to create a thin film on top of the water to prevent evaporation.

What Is the Best Solar Pool Cover Thickness?

The thickness of solar covers ranges from around 8 mils (mil = thousands of an inch) to 16 mils. Thicker covers are better at retaining heat and aren’t as easily blown off the pool by strong winds. However, they are more difficult to roll on and off the pool, especially on large pools.

Design/Color

Your pool cover will sit over your pool more often than it isn’t there, so make sure you pick a design and color that you’re happy with. You’ll see your pool cover every day, and in the winter months, the pool cover is all you’ll see of the pool. 

Nice clear color can be great for the summer, but honestly, I like the blue color more for the winter because it makes it feel like the pool is kind of locked away for the off-season.

All three of the bubble covers listed here come in nice clear or blue colors that will look great. Also, even if the cover remains effective over the years, UV damage can leave sunspots on the cover or make a clear cover look a bit cloudy and off-putting. You may have to replace your cover every few years to maintain a fresh look if design and color are really important to you.

Warranty

A warranty is more than just peace of mind in the integrity of the product, it is proof that the manufacturer has tested and believes in their product. Manufacturers don’t make money if people are cashing in on warranties constantly to replace products, so warranties represent the lower end of product malfunctions. 

If a company offers a 1 or 2-year warranty, it means that a very low percentage of products experience problems within that 1-2 year mark. You can trust that the product will last at least that long. A 4-5 year warranty is an even greater vote of confidence.

Remember also that the warranty represents that standard use time, and that if a pool cover lasts for 3 years and you save 40% on chemicals, it may actually pay for itself over that time. Replacing a bubble solar cover every few years might actually be the same amount as paying more for chemicals.

Best Price and Brand

You may not know the big-name brands in the solar cover game, and that’s okay. Sun2Solar, MidWest Canvas, and Magni-Clear are all great options that are recommended here. You’ll always get what you pay for with a solar cover–keep in mind that more expensive solar covers may last longer and give you better heating and less evaporation.

An inexpensive solar cover can actually cost you more than it’s worth with added chemical costs. Investing in a solar cover is an investment in the longevity of your pool and the integrity of the water. Solar rings are more gimmicky with the inflation and will cost you the most money relative to coverage, but they’re also easy to use and can be used for specific sunny spots without covering a whole pool.

Solar blankets are the cheapest relative to coverage but have to be put on and taken off every time you want to swim. Liquid solar covers need to be replenished every month, and so are more expensive, but make up for it with the ease of use. No putting on or taking off liquid.

Ease of Use

Lighter solar bubble covers are easier to maneuver for taking them on and off as you swim and heat your pool. But if the cover is too light, it can blow away easily, forcing you to readjust it when a gust of wind hits your backyard. 

If your backyard is relatively sheltered with trees and fences and doesn’t get gusts of wind, then the lighter the cover the better. If it’s an open yard and you live in a spot that gets winds, you may need a heavier cover.

Best Solar Pool Cover Reviews

Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Pool Cover

Best for Rectangular Pools

Magni-Clear? Inground Pool Solar Blanket 18' x 36' Rectangle
Magni-Clear Solar Cover

The ultra-clear design maximizes the amount of sunlight streaming into your pool.

 

Best for Oval Pools

MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 18-Foot-by-33-Foot Oval Solar Cover | 16 Mil | Heating Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Oval Swimming Pools | Place Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool
Midwest Canvas Solar Cover

Diamond-shaped air pockets give you more heating per square inch than other types of solar covers.

 

Best for Round Pools

Sun2Solar Blue 24-Foot Round Solar Cover | 1600 Series Style | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Round Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool Water | Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool
Sun2Solar Solar Cover

Blue and clear color options to maximize either temperature or aesthetics.

 

Best for Large Pools

SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater w/ Anchors (3 Pack)
SSR Solar Sun Rings

A better way to heat large pools that can’t be covered with a single bubble solar cover.

 

Magni-Clear Solar Cover

Magni-Clear? Inground Pool Solar Blanket 18' x 36' Rectangle

Great for rectangular pools, the Magni-Clear boasts the clearest pool cover design that will help sunlight dive into your pool without evaporating out. UV protection and a 6-year warranty ensure that you get your money’s worth from the long-lasting cover. 

The super-clear design means that you get a greater temperature raise from the Magni-Clear, up to 15 degrees instead of the 10 that you might expect from other covers.

 

Pros
  • The ultra-clear design maximizes the amount of sunlight streaming into your pool.
  • The heavier design makes it durable and wind-resistant.
  • UV protection for long-lasting solar coverage.
  • 6-year warranty.
Cons
  • Heavier, thicker material makes the cover harder to move around.
  • The most expensive pool cover on this list.
  • A circular bubble design means fewer air pockets than a diamond design.

Midwest Canvas Solar Cover

MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 18-Foot-by-33-Foot Oval Solar Cover | 16 Mil | Heating Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Oval Swimming Pools | Place Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool

If you’ve got an oval pool, check out the MidWest canvas solar cover, which comes with a diamond bubble design to maximize the amount of the heat-increasing air pockets that are placed directly into the water. At 16 mil, the cover is also on the thicker end of the spectrum. 

I’ve found that the material is not quite as clear as the Magni-Clear, so expect a little less sun penetration, but the diamond bubble design gives you more air pockets per square inch than the standard circular bubbles, so it makes up for the temperature difference that way.

 

Pros
  • Easy to cut design. The warranty is also unaffected when you cut the solar cover to perfectly fit your pool.
  • Diamond-shaped air pockets give you more heating per square inch than other types of solar covers.
Cons
  • ​No UV protection to keep it from getting damaged by the sun.

Sun2Solar Solar Cover

Sun2Solar Blue 24-Foot Round Solar Cover | 1600 Series Style | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Round Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool Water | Bubble-Side Facing Down in Pool

For round pools, the Sun2Solar cover gives you great coverage and a heavy-duty cover. It can be difficult to maneuver, at 16 mm and heavier than the other covers, so you may need help rolling and unrolling the cover. 

The additional thickness helps retain heat and prevent evaporation better than thinner covers. Two-color options allow you to customize your solar experience–grab the clear for the most temperature, or the blue for a clean-looking aesthetic even during gray winter months.

 

Pros
  • Blue and clear color options to maximize either temperature or aesthetics. Grab a blue color option to protect the pool in the winter and keep a nice colored layer over the top.
  • One of the cheaper options if you have a smaller pool, though the biggest sizes will actually run you more money than the rectangular versions. Most round pools are smaller than rectangular ones, however.
Cons
  • Circular bubble design and farther bubble spacing means you get the least air pockets on this model as compared to the other ones.
  • No UV protection against sun damage.

SSR Solar Sun Rings

SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater w/ Anchors (3 Pack)

If you have a super large pool or simply a pool that experiences a lot of shade in certain areas, solar sun rings might be the perfect product for heating your pool and preventing evaporation. These SSR rings have anchors so you can keep them in place in the sunny areas without them floating whimsically around the pool.

 

Pros
  • A better way to heat large pools that can’t be covered with a single bubble solar cover.
  • Sun protection and temperature maximization right where you need it. The anchors help you keep the solar rings in place so you can put them right where the sunlight hits the water.
Cons
  • Can be a more expensive way to increase the pool temperature than a traditional bubble cover.
  • Solar sun rings are less effective overall than bubble covers, so you’ll probably only really want them for heavily shaded pools or large pools that bubble covers might be less effective for.

How to Install and Maintain a Solar Pool Cover

Installation for solar rings and liquid covers is very simple. Solar rings are inflated (if they need to be) and placed on top of the pool. If they come with an anchor, adjust the length to fit the place in the pool, and then plop them down where you want them. For liquid covers, follow the directions on the bottle about how much to pour in relative to the volume or size of the pool.

Bubble covers can be installed with a roller that is placed next to the pool or can be rolled out by hand to cover the pool. When placing a bubble cover, first spread it out over the pool, then use a sharpie to mark the underside where it needs to be cut. Cut along the markings to fit your pool size, maximizing evaporation, and heat protection. If the cover hangs over the sides or lifts up at the edges, you’ll lose heat out the gaps in the cover, so you want a tight fit.

How to Use a Solar Blanket

Solar blankets are placed over the top of the pool to increase heat, prevent heat loss during the night, and prevent dirt and debris from blowing into the pool when not in use. To install the solar blanket, simply unroll it over the top and cut it to fit.

You won’t want loose edges or parts of the blanket that can get blown up in the wind or lose heat. Definitely, definitely remove the solar blanket before swimming. A solar blanket should not be slightly unrolled when swimming, it needs to be completely removed to prevent a safety hazard.

How to Remove a Solar Blanket

Depending on the size of the pool, you may need two people to help remove the solar blanket off the top of the pool. Have the two people stand at corners on one edge of the pool, and begin rolling in unison. Don’t move toward the opposite end of the pool, simply stand in one spot with your partner and pull the blanket toward you, rolling as you go. This is the easiest way to remove the blanket without moving and risking someone falling in.

How to Clean a Solar Blanket

Solar blankets should be cleaned from time to time. The bottom will get a build-up of chemicals from the pool that should be washed off, and the top will collect the dirt, leaves, and bugs that would’ve otherwise gotten into your pool. Because solar blankets are large, they are difficult to clean in a backyard, especially without attracting more and more dirt to them as you go.

The easiest way to clean a solar blanket is to prop it up, perhaps using the diving board if the blanket is too big, and spray it off with a hose. The freshwater and pressure should wash away chemicals on the bottom and dirt on the top.

How to Store a Solar Blanket

Any excess water on the solar blanket will turn gross and create mold, which you want to avoid, so the key to storing a solar blanket is to properly clean it with a hose and then dry it with a towel. Leave the blanket outside in the sun for a day on each side to let any excess water evaporate before rolling up or folding the blanket and placing it in storage. Make sure that the blanket is completely dry before you store it!

FAQ

What color is best for a solar pool cover?

Just like the fine people who made the Magni-Clear will tell you, a clear solar pool cover will allow heat in sunlight to travel through the solar cover and become trapped in the pool. A black solar cover will absorb the heat without really heating the pool water. You’ll end up with a very hot tarp over the top of your pool, and cool, shaded pool water. 

A silver or white-ish pool cover will reflect a lot of the heat–which again, will not really heat your pool water. You should be looking for something clear or blue-ish, allowing heat to travel into and through the solar cover, heating both the bubbles that heat the water and heating the water itself.

Also remember that the pool cover will spend a good deal of time covering your pool, and you don’t want an ugly color taking up space in your backyard. While a clear cover is ultimately best for temperature, you may sacrifice a few degrees to get a cover that goes better with the design of your yard!

What side goes down on a solar pool cover?

The bubbles go down into the water to help it float and deliver heated air pockets to raise the temperature. The flat side goes up.

Are liquid solar pool covers safe?

Liquid solar covers are completely safe, using harmless chemicals that shouldn’t even hurt a pet that drinks from the water. You don’t actually use many chemicals, and the chemicals simply create a thin layer of molecules that prevents evaporation. It’s no different than using chemicals to regulate the pH and chlorine or saltwater content of the pool.

Do solar pool covers cause algae?

If not properly cleaned every so often, a solar pool cover can create excess heat and conditions for algae growth. But, the solar cover helps maintain the pool’s chemicals, it generally helps prevent algae growth instead of causing or contributing to it.

Do solar pool covers blow off?

Solar pool covers can blow off in high gusts of winds, but usually, this only happens if it isn’t cut or fitted properly to the pool. You can always get a heavier solar cover if you anticipate this being a problem, like if you have an exposed backyard. But if cut and fitted properly around the edges of the pool, there shouldn’t be a large gap for the wind to whip it up.

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