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The Differences Between Solar Panels for Outdoor Lights

Posted in: | May 24, 2019

Outdoor solar lighting has been around since the 1980s, but in recent years it has really taken off. Homeowners and property managers are consistently choosing solar lights over electric or gas lighting for three key reasons: Solar lights are eco-friendly, cost-efficient, and easy to install.

No electrical wiring is needed, most products last for about three years before needing any maintenance, and there are hundreds of options available when choosing a solar light for your outdoor application.

If you are new to the solar-powered industry, in doing your research, you may find there are various types of solar panels. While this is true, each type of solar panel has its own advantages and common applications. Outdoor solar lights are typically built with monocrystalline solar panels.

solar panel types



The Two Main Types of Solar Panels for All Applications

  1. Thin-Film: Amorphous Silicon Solar Panels – These can be recognized from older calculators that have used this type of solar panel for couple of decades now. Like these small calculators, only small size solar lights will fit these amorphous solar panels. Their efficiency is very low and therefore hardly used with brighter, longer lasting outdoor solar lights.


  1. Monocrystalline / Polycrystalline Solar Panels – A much more efficient technology is used in these solar panels, and thus can cost more than other types. For small applications like solar lights, the differences between monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels are minor. Between the two, monocrystalline panels are the standard choice when it comes to outdoor solar lighting.

Why Do Outdoor Solar Lights Use Monocrystalline Solar Panels?

When it comes to outdoor solar lighting, monocrystalline solar panels are pretty much a given. In comparison to all other solar panels across the world, monocrystalline solar panels live the longest, are the most space-efficient, and are built with the highest-grade silicon, producing the highest efficiency rates you will find in the industry.


Monocrystalline Solar Panel Options: It’s all in the Cover

With monocrystalline solar panels, you have various covers and laminations. Built with different yet distinct layers, there are three typical choices. The one you choose will depend on the application you are using the solar panel for.




  • Epoxy Resin Encapsulated Solar PanelsEpoxy Resin Encapsulated Solar Panels


    • Lifespan lasts 2+ Years
    • Exterior surface is an epoxy resin material
    • Includes three layers of epoxy resin, a solar cell, and PCB
    • Materials are connected by an epoxy resin glue at 50-60 degrees
    • Commonly used for inexpensive solar landscape and decorative lights and educational kits for school purposes




  • PET Laminated Solar PanelsPET Laminated Solar Panels



    • Lifespan lasts 3+ years
    • Exterior surface is textured or glossy PET material
    • Includes 5 layers of PET, two EVAs, a solar cell, and PCB
    • Laminated by a machine at 135 degrees until all materials are melted together
    • Commonly used in outdoor solar lights, solar backpacks, and folding solar chargers





  • Tempered Glass Laminated Solar PanelsTempered Glass Laminated Solar Panels


    • Lifespan lasts 10-15 Years
    • Exterior surface is the same material used in commercial grade solar panels
    • Includes 5 layers of tempered glass, two EVAs, a solar cell and PCB
    • You may see tempered glass solar panels on roof tops, as they are very efficient
    • Commonly used in conditions exposed to harsh environments, such as high heat and other weather conditions, upscale solar lights.


In conclusion, any type of plastic cover will last for 2-3 years, making basic lamination solar panels an option for decorative and/or landscape path lights. But, if you’re searching for the most effective solar panel for your outdoor solar lights, you should look for the ones that are covered by tempered glass solar panels.


Advantages of Tempered Glass Laminated Solar Panels for Outdoor Lights

Although you may spend more when purchasing a tempered glass solar panel light, your light will last 5x longer than any other solar light available. Tempered glass solar lights are very durable and last on average anywhere between 10 and 15 years. In addition, they do not lose efficiency quickly like other types of lights. So, if you want your light to work for more than two years, you should go with a tempered glass solar panel light.

Where to Find Tempered Glass Solar Panel Outdoor Lights

Solar lights can be found at your local hardware store such as Home Depot or online at places like Amazon. There are also hundreds of solar lighting companies and dealers around the world. How do you make sure you find a trustworthy company that uses tempered glass solar panels in all of their products?

The answer is easy — choose Gama Sonic USA. As your outdoor solar lighting provider, Gama Sonic offers hundreds of specific products varying from solar accent lights for pool and patio lighting, solar lamp posts for commercial spaces, RV Parks, and downtown development, to security and shed lights for homes and businesses. There is seriously something for everyone!

Products are available in a variety of styles and color options to meet your home’s needs. When your solar light is placed in direct sunlight, you will receive automatic dusk-to-dawn performance.

[jaw_faq cats=”Solar Panel Outdoor Lights” count=”6″ order=”desc” orderby=”date”]

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