Green energy is rapidly gaining popularity, and solar is one of the most environmentally responsible solutions for households. A solar panel collects electrically connected solar cells that turn sunlight into electricity enclosed in a frame.

Yes, electronic devices can charge their batteries in various ways without being hooked into an outlet. All of the methods have one thing in common: they receive energy from the outside environment in a different form (heat, light, vibrations, radio waves, etc.) and convert it into electrochemical energy stored in the device.

Switching to solar energy offers numerous benefits, including the ability to save money while helping the environment. Still, it also has some drawbacks due to the location of your home and weather conditions.

Let’s take a look at how outdoor lights can be powered without an outlet!

One of how outdoor lights can be powered is through the installation of solar panels.

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What are solar panels? 

Solar panels are panels that capture the sun’s rays and convert them to power or heat. Solar panels are typically made up of arrays of photovoltaic cells harnessing the sun’s energy to generate electricity for our everyday needs. Solar panels are environmentally sound because they capture solar energy, which is abundant on our planet, and convert it using modern technology invented by humans.

Solar Panels

Scientific progress has resulted in a significant achievement in world history, namely the conservation of non-renewable resources and the preservation of the planet’s natural resources from depletion.

Solar power systems use the sun to generate clean, pure energy. Solar panels on your roof help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our overall dependency on fossil fuels. Electricity is traditionally generated using fossil fuels like coal and natural gas.

Toxic gases are emitted when fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity, resulting in air pollution and global climate change. Fossil fuels are not only unhealthy to the environment, but they are also a limited resource. As a result, the price is continually changing and can rise dramatically in a short period.

To convert sunlight to electricity, how do solar panels work?

Solar panels are made up of microscopic units called solar cells, the most common of which are silicon, a semiconductor and the second most prevalent element on the planet. Crystal and silicon are placed between conductive layers in a solar cell. Four strong connections join each silicon atom to its neighbors, keeping the electrons in situ and preventing current passage.

Silicon Solar Cell
Silicon Solar Cell (Source)

As the sunlight hits solar panels, it creates an electric field. The generated electricity flows to the edge of a panel and into the conductive wires. The electricity is carried by the conductive wire to the inverter, converted from DC to AC, used to power buildings.

Another wire transfers AC electricity from the inverter to the property’s electric panel (also known as a breaker box), distributing it as needed throughout the building.  Any electricity not used at the time of generation is channeled through the utility meter and into the electrical utility grid. The flow of electricity through the meter leads it to run backward, crediting your property for excess generation.

Use of installation of a solar panel for homeowners

  • For homeowners, the installation of solar panels helps generate renewable energy and can be accessed and used in the overall house and their appliances. Solar panels are also an alternative to outdoor power lights as they are the product of solar energy.
  • Everything else that is electrical is powered by photovoltaic solar. As a result, solar is incredibly adaptable. It may utilize it in deserts, residences, and even on top of city structures and public transportation.
  • Another way to operate outdoor lights is by using solar panels and connecting them to the sunlight. We can join the solar panel and the outdoor lights where the sun’s direct energy will further charge the battery of the outdoor light and be used accordingly.

Difference between solar PV Panels and Thermal solar panels

Solar photovoltaic panels provide energy, whereas solar thermal panels produce heat. While the energy source is the same as the sun, each system’s technology is unique.

Solar PV is based on the photovoltaic effect, which occurs when a photon (the fundamental unit of light) collides with a semiconductor surface such as silicon and causes an electron to be released. Solar thermal is a less sophisticated method of heating water (or other fluids) directly using sunshine.

Solar thermal panels are also mounted on a roof facing the sun for home usage, where they heat water stored in a hot water cylinder and provide hot water and heating. Solar thermal can also be employed in power plants on a grander scale.

Benefits and cons of solar panels


  • Every year, you’d have to plant 88 trees to counteract that amount of CO2. You can reduce your carbon footprint by 35,000 pounds of CO2 emissions per year on average.
  • Depending on where you reside in the country and how much space you have, it may be feasible to go entirely off the grid in terms of your electricity needs.


  • Solar panels aren’t suitable for every home. It won’t be worth the money to install them if your roof doesn’t get enough direct sunlight every day. Even an improperly placed chimney might shade the panels and reduce their performance.
  • The sun is not available in every part of the country. It will most likely be less cost-effective if you reside in a foggy environment. Furthermore, even if you have enough bright days, the efficacy of solar energy is affected by your angle to the sun, which is determined by your position on the planet relative to the sun.

Alternatives to outdoor power lights without an outlet

Solar Power Plug:

Solar Panel With Wall Socket
Source: Slim Panel 
  • One of the alternatives where an outdoor light can be powered is through solar power plugs. It is a portable device that gives the user an outlet to plug in their electronic equipment. TAs the device needs to absorb a lot of sunlight, you can either place it on a wall or a window where the solar energy is directly converted into electricity.
  • This device has a direct plug-in that allows you to use it with your laptop, phone charger, or other low voltage electrical device. It’s also convenient, so you can take it with you on trips and never be without electricity.

Portable solar generators:

  • It can use any outdoor lights to function without electricity or can use an outlet through solar-powered generators.
  • Solar generators are run on the sun’s energy and are portable. It gives an alternative to outdoor power lights without the hassle of an outlet and an easier route to provide light outdoors.


To summarize, solar outdoor lights have become an indispensable part of our daily lives, making things more convenient and straightforward for us. Solar panels, despite their drawbacks, are still in the process of being introduced to the rest of the world. Despite the imperfections, solar panels have various advantages in making the environment more sustainable and eco-friendly for a planet with less pollution.

(Last Updated on September 8, 2021 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Thinley Doma Ghale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Kathmandu University. She enjoys writing articles on climate change animals and loves to travel and experience new ideas, places, meeting people, and learning from them. As a social science student, research has always been her area of interest.