What is available?
So far we have seen why Solar Electricity and why is it not so popular so far. Solarization of the whole house is little too expensive for many of us. However, we can go Solar in a partial way. Again, these options may not save you lot of money, but they are the first steps in fighting the global warming and pollution in the Solar Energy direction.
The gadgets/appliances mentioned here are the ones I have been using. You can buy and use them too without spending lot of time and money. There are many other cool products, but they may not be readily available in India. Most of these products are chargeable with Solar panels as well as AC power.
Bright White LED lights:
This is one technology that goes hand in hand with Solar Electricity. Many of you might have seen LED lights used for decorative purposes. But, the one I am talking about can be used to replace florescent bulbs or CFL lights. They are 8 times better than florescent bulbs and 50% better than CFL in terms of energy efficiency. They typically have very long life time and the manufacturers claimed that they last for 20 years (average life of CFL is 1.5 years – in my house). This is possible because they are literally ‘cool’ lights and no heat gets generated in the process (keep it on for a full day and you can still touch it.
Only catch is their cost. A 1W LED light costs Rs.400. I am talking about the one I described in earlier para. There are many variants starting from Rs.1 per light! But they are for decoration purposes and don’t have life (unfortunately, these are most widely available than the high quality ones).
BTW, these lights are pluggable to the electric sockets just like any other bulb. You can also use them for false ceiling as focus lights (I have 32 of them used all over my house). These 1 Watt lights make great economic sense where the usage is high and the medium brightness is ok. Corridors, pooja rooms, restaurants, gardens, basements/car parking area are the ideal places for the usage.
Most of the Solar lighting products use these Bright White LED lights.
Solar Table Lights: Very good for study purpose. Cost is less than a thousand rupees. These are very handy especially if you want to read a book on the terrace or in the lawn. I will cover other cool products in the next post.
Author of this article is Raghavendra Ijjada, who is experimenting with Solar Energy. See the first post of this series for more info. In the mean while if any of you are looking to author a guest post here on a topic that interests you, feel free to contact me.