By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
When you think ‘solar lights‘, what comes to mind? Ugly black panels or clunky plastic, right? But that’s a pity, because there are actually loads of lovely interior and exterior designs that show how solar energy can be both practical and beautiful.
The sun that is converted into thermal or electrical energy has also become an educational tool for children. They are thus, apprehending about science, our solar system, and modern technology through devices that are manageable, pleasing to the eye and beneficial to the Earth. Here are our top five stylish solar lights for beautifying your home and garden, and saving energy, too!
1. Little Sun
This sweet product is incredibly popular with children for its captivating sunflower design. It’s an eco-friendly lamp that was designed to shine in some of the poorest areas of the world, and is powered entirely by the sun. It can be used both indoor and outdoors – all it needs are five hours to fully charge the battery in order to keep diffusing light for fifty hours! The first four hours have the highest brightness, perfect for kids in developing countries to study by, or the perfect nightlight for kids in richer nations.
The Smart Solar Crystal Glass Stakes, with their colourful LED lights, create a lovely ambience of kaleidoscopic fun. This is an elegant sun catcher and ornament that will add some sparkle to your environment. Sold in a pack of four, these solar powered garden lights are perfect for marking pathways and garden features, and are light enough to be easy to pick up and move around the garden. You can scatter these discs around your lawn and move them about until you get just the right distribution of light – and even better, you can take them inside to use as soft indoor mood lighting.
This well designed lamp can be used to read at night after it’s been charged during the daytime. Sunlight is converted to electrical energy through tiny solar panels and stored in rechargeable batteries. The photosynthetic potted light is truly gentle to your vision and the environment, since no wiring or additional power supply are required. Apparently, its minimalist, chic design has become so popular, you have to be careful you don’t buy one of the many fakes that are flooding the market!
These fun, luminescent decorations are suitable for any kind of festivity, or just a mood boost, what with their bright, solar lit spheres irradiating joy. They’re also dead easy to install: you simply put the stake onto the tube at the back, find a place for the lights with clear and full exposure to the sun, insert the stake into the ground (or a potted plant, indoors) and voilà! With a full charge of six to eight hours during the day, the battery will provide up to ten hours power at night. Let the party begin!
5. Sun Jar
If you ever wished to capture sunshine in a bottle, the Consol Solar Jar will make your dreams come true! This green high-tech technology welds ingenious functionality with fairytale wonder – all within a traditional Mason jar.
The Sun Jar stores energy during the day and releases many hours of a soft, yet bright light at night. Not only does the environment benefit by the Consol Solar Jar, but people in need do, too: this South African invention was originally developed for people in areas without electricity, and has created jobs for over 50 previously unemployed men and women from the townships Alexandra and Soweto.
These can be used on the ground outside, on furniture, or as hanging lamps. For more info on solar pendant lamps, click here.