Solar Panels on Street Lights: The Mechanics of Their Working Principle


The power to harness energy from the sun is not anything new. In truth, we have many devices that can run off solar energy without consuming electricity. An example of such technology is Solar Panels on Street Lights.

Undoubtedly these are great alternatives to traditional street lights, especially for roads and private properties.  

In this article, you’ll discover the mechanics of solar panels on street lights and their maintenance. We’ll also throw in a list of the five best solar street lights.

Let’s explore!

What are Solar Street Lights?

Several Solar Street Lights

Several Solar Street Lights

Similar to traditional street lights, solar street lights are also mounted on poles but with the addition of a solar panel. This panel helps to convert energy from the sun into electricity to power the lamps. Solar street light systems usually have rechargeable batteries and remote control systems.

Hence, solar street lights can provide steady illumination for extended periods. In short, they can generate almost 12 hours of uninterrupted light, depending on the battery capacity and solar panel efficiency.

Moreover, recent solar street light technologies can operate in extreme weather conditions and temperatures. And they are corrosion resistant, making them quite durable. These lights offer green energy and can illuminate any desired outdoor area without draining your pockets.


Let’s take a look at the parts that make up a solar street lighting system:

Solar Panel

Solar panels are essential components in a solar street lighting system. They’re responsible for absorbing and converting solar energy into usable electricity.

Also, the quality of your solar panels depends on the type you choose. There are monocrystalline and polycrystalline types. The monocrystalline solar panels have higher conversion rates than polycrystalline.

Lighting Fixture

LEDs offer the best lighting source for these systems as they provide brighter lumens at lower energy consumption rates. In other words, LEDs consume up to 50% less energy than HPS fixtures. And, since they don’t have warm-up times, it’s easier to pair them with sensors for automatic control.

Rechargeable Batteries

batteries are crucial because they affect the duration of the light and the backup days (when there’s limited sunlight). Stories provide a place for the generated electricity to stay during the day. They also release the stored energy into the fixtures to create illumination at night.


Controllers help to turn on/off or charge the lights. Some controllers allow programming so you can decide when to charge, on/off, or dim your lights.


Poles are crucial for mounting all your components. Some newer designs include solar panels and electronics on the bars, so you don’t have to fix anything.

How does a Solar Street Light Work?

Solar LED Street Light

Solar LED Street Light

As mentioned earlier, solar street lights absorb and convert sunlight into electricity. But, there’s more going on behind the scenes. For example, the solar panels at the back of these lights feature polycrystalline or monocrystalline photovoltaic cells.

These cells react to the sunlight rays and generate electricity from the reaction. Then, the panel stores the generated electricity in a battery by transferring the volts through a wire. Typically, it takes about six to eight hours to fully charge a system, depending on the quality of your battery and solar panels.

Also, the lights stay off while the battery stores energy during the day. Then, when the sun sets, the stored power activates the LED bulbs connected to the solar panel.

Although most of these lights come with light sensors that turn the bulbs on/off automatically, you can use a remote control system to fully control the operation time of your solar street fair system.


Multiple Solar Street Lamps

Multiple Solar Street Lamps

Here are the types of solar street lighting systems:

All-in-One Street Lights

These solar systems are pretty popular because of their lightweight and compact designs. Also, they use robust lithium batteries that are light and energy-efficient.

Additionally, you don’t need to install these lights with cables, and it’s easy to set them up. However, they are a bit more expensive than other types on this list.

Solar CFL Street Lights

This lighting is another excellent variant that offers high brightness levels at the lowest possible operational cost. However, you’d need a slightly higher budget to get these lights.

Solar LED Street Lights

These are the most affordable street lights on this list. Also, LED street lights are easy to install,  and you can get them in standard or custom models.

Solar Flood Street Lights

Solar flood street lights can illuminate more expansive areas. Though these lights are expensive, they have excellent energy efficiency. As a result, they’re the go-to if you want solar lights for outdoor sports areas, large pavements, or arenas.

What Are the Advantages and Drawbacks of Solar Street Lights?


  • Solar street lights don’t depend on the utility grid, which helps to reduce electricity bills.
  • These lights don’t need regular maintenance.
  • The street lights are eco-friendly as they use only green energy.
  • They offer reduced risks of accidents as the lights lack wires.
  • It’s easy to carry separate parts of a solar lighting system to remote areas.


  • Solar street lights have expensive upfront costs.
  • Dust, snow, and moisture may accumulate on horizontal solar panels, disrupting energy conversion.
  • You’ll need to replace rechargeable batteries several times.

Solar vs. Traditional Lights

Solar vs. Traditional Street Lights Table

Solar vs. Traditional Street Lights Table

How do I Maintain My Solar Street Lights?

Here are some tips to help keep your solar lights functional:

  • Check your batteries for corrosion and replace them when necessary.
  • Clean your bulbs to remove dirt from the surface.
  • In case of dust accumulation, use soapy water and a soft brush to clean your panel’s surface. While at it, ensure you don’t leave any soap residues.
  • Cut down or trim trees that block or disrupt solar absorption. Or remove anything that blocks the system from receiving sunlight.

How Long Should Solar Street Lights Last?

Solar street lights should last up to ten years, depending on the quality of the components. Solar panels can last for ten to twenty years. Also, LEDs last for about five to ten years, batteries for three to five years, and remote controls for up to six years.

How to Choose the Best LED Street Lights

First, you must test each solar street light’s quality, energy efficiency, ease of installation, design, and durability. Then, confirm that the lights fit the household or business/community requirements.

Best Solar LED Street Lights

Here are some of the best solar LED street lights we recommend:

ECO-WORTHY LED Solar Street Flood Lights

This solar LED street light ticks the boxes for affordability and energy efficiency. Also, its powerful solar panel can store enough energy to deliver bright lights at no extra cost.

Though the installation process could use some work, it’s incredibly durable and environmentally friendly.

ECO-WORTHY Pros and Cons

ECO-WORTHY Pros and Cons

WAGAN 1000-LUMEN Solar Street Lamp

WAGAN delivers a reliable and lightweight solar street lighting system. The solar light is also waterproof and offers a good amount of customization.

WAGAN’s solar street lamp has a 1200 mAh battery that powers its LEDs at 1000 lumens for approximately three nights. Also, a recent upgrade adds a more powerful battery that powers up to 2000 lumen.

WAGAN Pros and Cons

WAGAN Pros and Cons

Solar Light Mart ALPHA 1080X Street Light

The Alpha 1080X offers numerous powerful features at an affordable price. Also, it has excellent performance and reliability.

Solar Light Mart Pros and Cons

Solar Light Mart Pros and Cons

PSG Solar Street Lights Outdoor Lamp

PSG solar street lights provide superior brightness paired with a robust 4800 mAh battery. It’s powerful enough to deliver uninterrupted illumination for over twenty-four hours. Also, these solar lights have sensors that turn on/off automatically.

PSG Pros and Cons

PSG Pros and Cons

TENKOO LED Solar Street Lights

With TENKOO solar lights, you’ll get maximum brightness at the lowest energy consumption rate. In addition, the device features a 4200 mAh battery with fast charging capabilities that lasts five nights.

Plus, it has twenty-eight bright LEDs that can generate up to 2000 lumens.

TENKO Pros and Cons

TENKO Pros and Cons

Wrapping Up

Solar street lights offer better benefits than the more traditional versions. Interestingly, these devices don’t use electricity from the national grid. Hence, they will keep running even when there is a power outage.

The most significant benefit of solar streetlights is they don’t have high operational costs. Therefore, you won’t get any exorbitant electricity bills. Plus, they use pure green energy and keep the carbon rates in the air low.

Be sure to contact us if you have more questions.

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