Solar panels hold a wealth of benefits, both for individuals and for the world at large. Economically, solar panels promise to lower the cost of electrical power. Environmentally, solar panels can give us cleaner power, sustainable power that will not require further damage to the environment. Solar power can reach remote areas. The effects of clouds on a solar panel, though, might diminish those and other promising benefits. The effects of clouds on a solar panel might make it far less efficient in certain parts of the world and at certain seasons.

For that reason, people who are considering solar panels for their homes are often heard to ask:will clouds affect my solar panels?

Will Clouds Affect My Solar Panels?

Clouds do affect solar panels. The amount of power your solar panels can produce is directly dependent on the level of light they receive. In full, bright sunlight, solar panels receive maximum levels of light. During those “peak” sunlight hours, your solar panels will produce power at their maximum capacity. When clouds cover the sun, light levels are reduced. This does not shut down power production, however. If there is enough light to cast a shadow, in spite of the clouds, your solar panels should operate at about half of their full capacity. Thicker cloud cover will reduce operations further. Eventually, with heavy cloud cover, solar panels will produce very little useful power.

The Good News!

The effects of clouds on a solar panel can be surprising good, however. Incredibly, your solar panels will put out their ultimate amount of peak power during cloudy weather! As the sun moves into a hole between the clouds, your solar panels will see something wonderful. They will see full direct sunlight “plus” reflected light from the clouds! They will drink in more energy than they could on a cloudless day!

The effects of clouds on a solar panel could then produce peaks at or above 50 percent more than its direct-sun output!

Meeting the Challenge

There are ways to meet the cloud challenge.

1. If you often have clouds in the afternoon, but mornings are clear, aim your solar panels slightly toward the east.

2. Be sure you use a large enough battery system to maximize the amount of power stored for use when the clouds arrive.

3. Make sure your controller has plenty of headroom over the rated panel output power so that it can absorb the surges when the sun reflects off the clouds.

Those tricks and more are practiced in cloudy regions of the world!

Solar Lights For Your Garden

We all care how our homes appear to others and lighting is a big part of that. Solar lights are a popular and cost effective option for adding a little zing to your landscaping efforts.

Many people enjoy the look of lights in their landscaping. Whether you want to light a path to your door or the area around your pool, proper lighting can heighten your night time enjoyment of your yard. You can choose from several options for lighting outdoors, but by far your best choice in this area are solar lights.

While you can choose from other different powering options for your outdoor lights, such as electric and battery powered, a choice of solar landscaping lights will definitely be the right one. Electric powered landscaping lights may seem economical and easy at first, but then you have to realize that they will add to your homes electric bill, as well as needing many dangerous extension cables and cords in order to obtain their power. Battery powered lights can be safer, but even more expensive, once you figure in the cost of batteries and the time and effort it takes to change them.

Solar lights work by recharging during the sunlight hours, and shining bright with that power at night.Solar panels are located on the lights, and these panels collect solar energy and charge a battery with that energy. The battery, in turn, powers the lights at night, eliminating the need for another power source. This is a very economical and eco-friendly way to light your yard area, and solar lights require little maintenance from you, the home owner.

You also have different options in styles of solar garden lights. Whether you would like to have a hanging solar lamp, a solar flood light above your garage, or even a solar security light that detects motion, there are options that can meet your needs. Solar post lights can be used to line a driveway or garden path to make your yard safer for nighttime use. Solar garden lights are available in a number of different wattages and sizes, so you can choose just what you need for your project. Most solar lights use LEDs, which are tiny but emit a strong light. They also take little energy to power, so your solar powered battery will last longer at night.

Choosing solar lighting for your garden is a great way to help the environment, while you are also helping to beautify your home. These lights can add value to your property, while also making your yard more useful at night – all in the most economical way possible.