How Solar Light Systems Work

How does solar outdoor lighting work?
The concept of solar lighting is quite simple, but the technology required to make it work is fairly complex. First, we’ll explain the basics of how solar light systems work, then we’ll explain why, until recently, solar lighting has not been used, and then explain why our solar street light works so well, even at -40 degrees…

A solar powered street light does not have a connection to the electric grid. It gets its power from the sun. A solar panel (or two) are used to collect sunlight and convert the light into electrical energy. The energy is collected during the day, and stored into a battery. At night, the battery discharges the electricity into an LED lightbulb to produce light.

In order for a solar powered light to work, it needs to collect enough energy during the day to power the light at night. More so, it needs to be able to collect enough energy during the day to run the light for more than one night, in case weather does not permit it to charge. (Very cloudy/rainy days)
We also need to be able to store enough energy to run the light for several nights. Battery technology has improved, but there are still significant physical limitations to the amount of power you can store in a single battery.

Until recently, light bulbs required too much energy to readily store the power required in a small space. New advancements in LED lighting technology are truly what have given us the ability to build effective solar powered street lights.

We have combined the latest cutting-edge commercial technology into the DX3 solar street light. We use ultra-high efficiency LEDs. Current commercial technology enables us to produce approximately 130 Lumens/Watt. (Lumens are a common method of describing ‘how much’ light something produces. Watts is the amount of electricity required.) If someone tells you that they have a 200 Watt light bulb, it doesn’t tell you how much light you get, it only tells you how much power is required to make the light work…
DX3 designs and builds our own electronics to charge and discharge the battery. Why is this important?..
We use a specialized type of Lithium Polymer battery that works normally (without degradation) at -40 degrees C and up to 85 Degrees C. This battery requires a special method of charging, and can never be fully discharged.

We monitor the charge on a daily basis as well as the discharge at night. If, after several nights, we notice that the battery isn’t getting fully charged, we will decrease the light output from the light in order to let it run longer. Once the solar panels begin getting enough energy to fully charge the battery, we increase the light output. We also ensure the solar light system never fully drains the battery. This intelligent power management system enables our light to function even in the most extreme conditions. (For example a multi-day winter storm or a multi-day sand storm…)

We package our battery within the light head itself. (The new type of battery weighs less than half the weight of a traditional battery, and can store 3+ days’ worth of electricity for our light.) Because our system is compact, efficient, and intelligent, you can use the solar light system almost anywhere on the planet, and with minimal installation and operation expertise.

Contact DX3 today to learn more about our solar light systems and how to order them.