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.
Cool not only because of the information but also because of your experience being shared here as you are a solar energy user…..the practical usage of SE sounds very promising.50% of CFL is very good…i never switch off my puja-ghar’s light(cfl) and it can be a very good option for the lights we use at night at the front and back yard of our house and also all the night bulbs we use inside the house.
Very informative post and very practical too. Thanks Mohan 🙂
Thanks to Raghav too!!! he is the author of this post. Nice to have you back here again!
Here is an interesting related article on energy and environment. This was published on NY Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/business/energy-environment/30led.html?src=sch
That was a good read. Thanks for sharing it Kishor.
The series on solar energy is very informative and interesting. As an Indian living in the United States I find it very encouraging that Indians are beginning to think about alternative sources of energy. As a fast growing nation India cannot afford to follow the United States where the per capita energy consumption is the highest in the world. I hope you also write a few articles about alternative sources of building and construction materials that are much more environment and energy friendly than those materials that are used to build houses in India today.
Thanks Hari. I am glad you liked the series. There is one more article pending in the series which will be out in a day or two. That is a good suggestion. Will keep that in mind 🙂
GREAT!!! I have progressed a bit in tranferring this info in my words at home and its kinda working…I will be happy, if I have complete agreement, since this info has been so useful for me and for my dad in law to understand!!!!
A BIG TREAT to you, if I have a solar heater / LED lights at home 😉
That is nice to know! I am glad the info presented here was able to make you folks look for utilizing the solar energy and go nature friendly!
Look forward for that treat 🙂
Shrinidhi Hande says
OUr house in native place has gone solar this week. We’ve got a few lights and fans powered by Solar… This has been very expensive and we got little subsidy and rest covered by loan- we hope savings in electricity bill will cover a part of EMI.
I’m yet to have a look at these things-need to do when I visit next time.
Wow… look forward to know more details Shrinidhi. I wasn’t aware that there is subsidy for solar electricity.
Just curious. How much did you pay for (only for) Solar panels (per watt)? I mean, not including the battery/wiring costs etc.
Sweet! I will talk about this at home and convince my dad to get few LED lights for our home. Thanks so much for the info!
Good going! Thanks to Raghav 🙂
This one is really informative. LED lights are really appealing 🙂
Yes! even I am looking forward to replace all my CFLs with LED’s now 🙂
Roshmi Sinha says
These posts have added to my awareness on this topic.
Also I had never heard of the solar table lights. Pretty cool!
Imagine what can be achieved if ‘thunder and lightening’ was to be harnessed…
Hi Roshmi, glad this series of posts were somewhat helpful in spreading the awareness. Hmm harnessing ‘thunder and lightening’ sounds interesting 😉
Very cool !! I don’t own any of them. But I shall check it out. The bright white LED lights appeal to me.
Oh yeah! watch out the next post too for more such cool products that can be easily procured and used for daily use 🙂