solar power

can you charge up your solar powered lights from inside the house with the panel pressed up against the window to catch the suns rays,  or am i wasting my time doing it this way.



  • The rays are being diffused but if you consider the amount of sunshine we get in this country yet people have solar panels on roofs??

    I dont think you need constant sunshine to run them

    Try it-you are only wasting your time-that is free-what have you got to lose?image

  • Yes, you can charge solar lights this way, it doesn't have to be sunlight, you can charge solar lights during the evening when your house lights are on.

    This does work through the window, you can buy briefcase-style chargers to trickle-charge a caravan battery to keep it topped up (and keep the alarm going out of season!).

    We have solar panels on the roof.  It is light energy they need, not heat energy.  During the cold spells we were still generating energy, even though the sun has no detectable heat energy in it (to a human being, anyway).  The longer the day, the better the generation.  Beginning to hate cloudy days, they don't half play havoc with your generation figures.

    I'm a bit of a hippy at heart, there's a quote I remember from one of the American Indian tribes - I think it's at the entrance to one of the American National Parks:


    Take only Photographs

    Leave only Footprints.

  • LorrainePLorraineP Posts: 212

    MMP - image liking the quote

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 499

    The amount of light you will get in through your windows will be much less than you would get outdoors, not only because you only get light from one side, but also because the light intensity will be far less than your eyes suggest, as they adjust to less light by opening your pupils a lot wider.  I have used a light meter to measure the dropoff in light intensity as you move away from a window, and it fell by half for every three inches moved. 

    Apologies if this is a bit 'nerdy, but light intensity is measured in units called 'lux'. For example, average indoor lighting ranges from 100 to 1,000 lux, and average outdoor sunlight is about 50,000 lux, i.e. 50 to 500 times stronger. 

  • thanks every one 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,717

    Gold1locks-that is very nerdy..butstrangely interesting!

    The solar panel thing is a hot topic just now but if it helps the environment it surely  has to be a good thing. 

    MMP it's a great quoteimage

  • Gold1locksGold1locks Posts: 499

    I have just been teaching renewable energy to Years 7 and 8. This week they have made group presentations on home insulation, renewables, fossil fuels, how to reduce electricity bills etc., etc.. We finish it next week and the winning group gets Cadbury Cream Eggs!! I know, not very healthy, is it. 

    I do agree wholeheartedly about solar energy, and if we have thought seriously about installing it at home. But the small solar devices you can get for charging laptops, phones and solar lighting are only effective if left on for hours in broad daylight. I get around 4 hours of light in the evening from my garden lights. So I just can't see how they can be practical indoors when the light is so much less, and not the same light (sunlight) that the panels are designed to absorb. If someone buys a solar charger with the intention of using it indoors that's BAD for the environment, because  the energy used in manufacturing the device will far outweigh any hoped-for saving. 

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,717

    I think that's the argument against wind farm technology too Gold1locks, although I think we need to look at alternative methods without doubt. I love windmills- what I hate is electricity pylons-horrible eyesore -but that's a different story altogether!image

  • sterelitzasterelitza Posts: 110
    "can you charge up your solar powered lights from inside the house with the panel pressed up against the window to catch the suns rays, or am i wasting my time doing it this way"

    Hi Alan, You don't say what kind of solar lights you want to charge up. I have a set of small lights which you can thread around branches etc. I have them in my glass porch and place the solar panel on the window sill which faces south. Amazingly these lights work very well in winter and summer although it does vary with the strength of the light. I use them as a deterent against unwanted intruders and also for my pleasure. They look pretty and decorative. I also have some threaded through bay trees that have been shaped into large round balls on my patio, they look great all the year round and are sometimes still sparkling at dawn. Good luck, have a go and see if it works.
  • i have two sets of string like solar bulbs of the dearer type ( tescos ) and a set of the coloured tube like lights,also i have just bought from homebase mail order a solar security light for a new shed i am getting made to measure, i have a bit of advice for anyone investing in solar lighting, always get the ones out of tescos ect, or garden centres or homebase etc,i found the cheap ones from from the likes of poundstreachers etc are false economy and are very flimsy . 

Sign In or Register to comment.