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How to Convert an Electric Outdoor Light to Solar (In 7-Easy Steps)

Mike Powers
Written by Mike Powers Last Updated: October 1, 2022

Many of you are looking for a more energy-efficient option especially when you’re tired of electric outdoor lights constantly going out. Solar outdoor lights are a great way to go! Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they’re also very easy to set up and require little to no maintenance.

In this article, we’ll show you how to convert your electric lights to solar in just 7 easy steps.

Table of Contents

How to Convert an Electric Outdoor Light to Solar

It is a smart and eco-friendly choice to convert an electric outdoor light to solar. You won’t just save money on your electric bill, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint. Here’s how you can do it in just 7 easy steps.

solar panels

Define the location

Choose the right location for your solar light. It should be in an area that gets direct sunlight for most of the day.

You’ll also want to make sure that the location is close to an outdoor outlet so you can easily plug in the bulb when it’s time to charge it.

Remove the old electric light

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Carefully remove the old electric lamp, being careful not to damage any wires.

You may need a screwdriver or drill to remove the screws holding the fixture in place.

Select the type of solar outdoor light that you want

There are many different types and styles of solar outdoor lights available on the market.

solar panels

You’ll want to select one that best suits your needs and the look you’re going for. Meaning that you will need to calculate some factors such as the size of the bulb, the color of the bulb, the available space and whether or not you want it to be motion-activated.

Install the solar panel

Now it’s time to install the solar panel.

There are a few different ways you can do this.

solar panels

You can either use screws and anchors to attach the panel to the side of your house or you can use a mounting bracket to secure it to a fence post or other structure.

If you’re using screws and anchors, make sure to use weather-resistant ones so they don’t rust.

Connect the solar panel to the bulb

Once the solar panel is in place, you’ll need to connect it to the bulb.

charge controller

You can do this by using a wire connector or soldering the wires together.

If you’re not comfortable doing this, you can always hire an electrician to do it for you.

Install the light sensor

You’ll need to install a light sensor for the light to turn on and off automatically.

how much sunlight

You can do this by screwing it into the side of the bulb or attaching it with double-sided tape.

The light sensor will need to be pointed towards the ground in order for it to work properly.

Turn on the light

Now it’s time to turn on the light and enjoy your new solar-powered outdoor light!

Do You Need a Charge Controller?

You do not need a charge controller for your solar lights.

A charge controller is only necessary if you are using a lead-acid battery. Lead-acid batteries should only be used in high-powered solar lights, such as floodlights.

Although, it is strongly recommended to install a charge controller if you live in an area with very hot summers, as the heat can shorten the lifespan of the batteries.

black wire

The charge controller can be connected with the solar-powered battery which helps the batteries from overcharging during the day. The connection is done by using battery cables.

Remember just to check your battery capacity, a bigger battery requires a bigger solar array and on the contrary.

How Much Do Light Bulbs Cost?

First of all, let’s understand how outdoor solar lights work and let’s calculate the cost of the investment.

A solar lamp is a device that uses the sun’s energy to power a light bulb. The fixture contains a solar panel, which converts sunlight into electricity, and a battery, which stores the electricity for use at night.

new battery

Most solar lights have an LED (light-emitting diode) light bulb, which is very energy-efficient, just the same as the solar panels work. Solar lights are available in a wide range of styles, including wall-mounted lights, post lights, and string lights.

The cost of solar light fixtures varies depending on the style, quality, and features of the fixture.

Wall-mounted solar lights typically cost between $10 and $30 per light. Post lights typically cost between $20 and $100 per light. String lights typically cost between $10 and $30 per light.

relevant experience

The average cost of a solar panel is around $0.50 per watt. The average solar panel has a capacity of around 100 watts. This means that the average cost of a solar panel is around $50.

The average cost of a battery pack is around $0.10 per watt. You will need a deep cell battery to power your lights, to allow the system to feed the inverter on cloudy days.

The average battery bank has a capacity of around 10,000 watts. This means that the average cost of a battery bank is around $1,000.

The average cost of an LED light bulb is around $0.50.

Therefore, the average cost of a solar light fixture is around $60.

This cost can be offset by the savings on your electricity bill.

For example, if you use a 100-watt solar panel to power an LED light bulb for 10 hours per day, you will save around $10 per month on your electricity bill.

How Many Types of Outdoor Lights Exist?

There are a variety of outdoor lights available on the market, including solar-powered options. You’ll want to select the type that best suits your needs and the look you’re going for. As below, we have listed solar lights most of which work perfectly with solar panels.

Incandescent led bulbs

Incandescent bulbs are best used for general lighting in rooms and areas where you don’t need a lot of light.

They’re also a good choice for dimmers because they can be dimmed without affecting their lifespan. However, they are not as energy-efficient as other types of bulbs such as LEDs or CFLs.

CFLs and LED bulbs

An LED (light-emitting diode) works great with solar panels, you can mount them easily and can save you approximately 80% more energy than other bulbs. It takes the light through a semiconductor when the power goes through it.

LEDs are known for their efficient life span so they do not need to be replaced often, on contrary. They’re also available in a wide variety of colors.

CFA solar lights

A CFL (compact fluorescent light) is a type of fluorescent light that uses less energy than the above-mentioned lights.

CFLs have a long lifespan and are available in a wide range of colors, making them a good choice for general lighting. Although, they’re not as energy-efficient as LEDs.

Solar lights

Solar lights are powered by the sun and don’t require any electricity to operate.

They’re an environmentally-friendly option that’s becoming increasingly popular. Solar lights are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Keep in mind, they contain mercury and must be disposed of properly.

HID solar lights

An HID (high-intensity discharge) light is a type of light that uses gas instead of a filament to produce light.

HIDs are quite energy-efficient and have long-life spam. They’re typically used in outdoor and industrial settings.

Solar X-Mas lights

Solar-powered Christmas lights are a type of light that uses the solar-powered system to operate.

They’re typically used for decorative purposes and are available in a wide variety of colors and styles.

Solar X-Mas lights are a great way to decorate your home for the holidays without having to worry about your electricity bill!

How to Install Stand-Alone Solar Light?

Now that you know how much solar light fixtures cost, let’s take a look at how to install them.

Stand-alone solar lights are the easiest type of solar light to install. They can be placed anywhere in your yard that receives direct sunlight.

To install a stand-alone solar light, simply remove the cap from the light, insert the batteries, and screw the light into the ground.

Final Thoughts

Solar power-led bulbs are a great way to save money on your energy bills and be more environmentally friendly. They’re available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colours to suit your needs.

Installing solar lights is a simple process that anyone can do. You will need solar panels, incandescent bulbs, a low voltage wire, enough light reception, a lighting system, battery charges, charge controllers and to read the above smart step on how to install inexpensive lights for outdoor use.



Mike Powers
Mike Powers

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Last update on 2022-10-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API