Solar panels are expensive, and a solar system installed in your home is even more so. But there are cheaper options that allow you to make small differences. Solar products are much more cost-effective than solar systems, but still can be incredibly useful.
Whether you want to have lights outside in your yard, a battery bank for your phone, or you want to cook while camping without needing a propane tank, solar-powered products can be incredibly beneficial.
What Kinds of Solar Products Are There?
There are many, many different kinds of solar products. Some are small, like little lights, while others are things like compacting trash cans you would find in the street. There are even solar boats and balloons available.
Even for more residential use, there are plenty of products that can be powered by the sun. Most of them get broken up into five categories which are: lights, home goods, pools, yard and garden, and outdoors.
Solar lights are pretty common. They are used for both residential purposes and city use. They are often normal lights but have a solar panel or multiple panels attached to them for power. There is often a little battery as well so that they will work at night when they are most needed.
For city use, these are often street lamps, flashing road signs, and lights in parking lots. Depending on how much power the lights need, the panels may be almost impossible to see if you don’t know what you are looking for.
Residential lights are usually smaller scale. Pretty much any light that is portable or plugged into an outlet traditionally can be found in a solar version.
- Desk lamps
- Outdoor emergency lights
- Fairy lights
- String lights
- Shed lights
- Fake candles
- Decorative lights and lanterns
You wouldn’t think that home goods could be made to run on solar, but many can. There are of course the obvious, which are portable chargers, but there are so many more. Some good examples of home goods that can be powered by the sun are:
- Solar backpacks
Pools can also be solar-powered. Pools can be an expensive investment, so having a way to reduce the cost can be nice. If you live in a colder area, you can even use your pool all year round with solar pool heaters.
Most of the mechanical parts of a pool can be controlled by solar panels, including the filter and pump.
Having solar-powered products in your yard and garden can be useful. Just like with lights, they eliminate the need for extension cords or constant battery changes, and some products can be really useful.
For example, there are solar-powered animal deterrents, which are just small devices that let off a lot of light and sound humans can’t hear when they notice movement.
There are also security cameras that run on solar, so you can always keep your home and yard safe. Including security cameras, some alarms alert you of when people are approaching your home, or even are inside your house so you can feel safe.
There are more fun products as well, such as bright lights, or speakers designed as rocks, so you can get the perfect, tech-filled yard without much maintenance on your end.
The outdoors is where solar products shine. On top of lights and portable speakers, there is a whole variety of products that can be powered by solar. There are even solar generators available now that have plenty of power to keep you going during a blackout or while camping.
There are even camping stoves that run on solar power, so you don’t have to start a fire or bring a small propane tank with you every time you want to cook a meal.
Some solar-powered products are less mechanical as well, such as the solar shower, which just relies on heat from the sun to warm up a bag of water.
There are many reasons to get solar products. They are usually more portable than other methods and can give you power on the go, no matter where you are. Instead of having to take time to charge up your portable charger before heading out, you just stick it outside of your backpack and let it charge itself.
Same with camping. You don’t want to have to lug around a lot of unnecessary materials like propane tanks when there are small and portable camp stoves that can use the sun for cooking.
Additionally, many solar products are cheap too, such as sun showers, or outdoor lights. Not only do they not cost you money in electricity, but they aren’t expensive to purchase either, and run similar to other products in terms of cost.
Solar panels and a whole solar system are expensive, there’s no doubt about that. Just getting enough power to run basic appliances can cost thousands of dollars, and not everyone can afford that.
But there are small ways to start making much cheaper changes. Solar lights that can be used outdoors are pretty cheap, usually running under $10 for a small pack. And you might not have noticed, but most outdoor lights are solar now, due to the ease of using solar panels.
Even heavy-duty phone chargers that run on solar and have additional features like a compass and emergency light only run around $20 as well, so you don’t have to worry about them breaking the bank.
Does Using Products With Solar Panels Make a Difference?
Using solar products can make a world of difference. Even the lights you use outside in your yard can save money over time. However, bigger products like generators, battery banks, and pool products are where most of the difference is seen. But every little bit not only helps your pocket but helps the environment as well.
The only downside is that they aren’t perfect. Most of the systems don’t work very long without sun. Even the little lights for the yard generally only make it about eight hours before they need to be recharged.
Additionally, some of the systems, especially solar generators, do take a fair amount of time to charge, often taking all day.