Solar Panels for your roof

roof top solar panels

Roof Top – Solar Panel Kits

A Solar Roof transforms your existing roof and brings it to life with beautiful solar tiles that can power your home for decades with the energy you produce. An important note is to always check with a roofing contractor in your town to insure they will handle the additional weight.

Main Components of Solar Power Systems

Inverters: Standard home appliances use alternating current (AC) electricity to operate. Inverters take the direct current (DC) electricity produced by solar panels and convert it into AC electricity.

There are two types of inverters: string inverters and microinverters. A string inverter is attached to a wall, and all the solar panels connect to it. A microinverter is attached behind each solar panel. Microinverters offer more energy production, but they cost more than string inverters. Most solar panel kits feature one of these two inverters, as well as essential solar power accessories such as batteries, solar battery chargers, charge controllers and cables.

Most solar panels are constructed from one of three types of solar cells: monocrystalline, polycrystalline or amorphous silicon. Silicon is used for different types of solar panels because it’s a durable material that’s highly efficient and easily accessible.

Monocrystalline solar panels are the most common and efficient type of solar panel available. Due to the silicon’s high purity, these panels excel at producing electricity and boast some of the highest efficiency ratings on the market.

Monocrystalline panels also take up less space, handle high temperatures well and have an impressive lifespan. Some manufacturers offer a 25-year warranty on the panels. These benefits come at a high price point, so consider how much you’re willing to spend if you’re interested in monocrystalline solar panels.

Among the types of solar panels, polycrystalline solar panels are much more efficient. A streamlined manufacturing process ultimately makes these panels less costly than monocrystalline solar panels.

While polycrystalline solar panels are more affordable, they don’t generate as much power as monocrystalline solar panels do. Additionally, polycrystalline solar panels tend to be larger and have a slightly shorter lifespan than their monocrystalline counterparts. They’re also not as effective in high-temperature or low-light situations.

Amorphous solar panels are made from a thin layer of silicon, which allows them to be more flexible and lightweight than monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels. Another benefit is that they perform well in high temperatures. They’re also one of the best solar panels for low-light conditions because they can absorb a wider range of the light spectrum.

Amorphous solar panels, however, are the least efficient since they take up twice as much space to deliver the same amount of power as monocrystalline panels. Their lifespan is also shorter than monocrystalline and polycrystalline panels.

If you’re interested in installing one or more types of solar panels yourself, it’s important to consider a few factors before starting. DIY installation can save you upfront costs and allow you to set up your panels on your own time.

However the whole process is complex, especially if you don’t have firsthand experience. Trying to install solar panels yourself can lead to errors and even electrical shocks, if you’re not careful.

When you install solar panels, you must obtain permits and ensure your installation is up to code, which requires an inspection from a professional. Plus, most DIY solar panel kits are designed for off-grid use, rather than for residential or business use. Once it’s up and running, your DIY solar panel setup may even not generate enough energy to power your home or business.

After deciding on the best solar panels for you, it’s time to figure out how you want to install them. DIY installation may be less costly, but can be quite complicated. With professional installation, you not only get better quality panels, but also the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your solar panel system is properly set up.

Best LED Headlamps

Fenix LED Headlamps

2 beam led lamp

Fenix headlamps have unequaled fit and finish. Whether your adventures or work need an ultra-light all day comfort or high-performance light for an extended expedition, the Fenix Headlamp Series has a lamp for the occasion. Headlamps are essential pieces of gear for hikers, campers, hunters, squirrel trappers and more. Fenix applies its years of LED experience to craft ultra-bright headlamps that are comfortable to wear and easy to use in a variety of conditions. View the most recent headlamp reviews from experts on the Fenix flashlights Review page


10 Best Headlamps of 2021

multi beam head lamp

Everyone should own a headlamp. Whether you’re going on a backpacking trip, walking the dog in the evening, or car camping with friends, a hands-free light is an essential tool and is sure to become one of your favorite gadgets.

With all the technical data to sift through and seemingly endless choices on the market, it can be a real challenge to figure out what to buy. We researched and tested dozens of headlamps to put together this list of the very best.


Petzl Actik CORE

is a user-friendly headlamp with the Petzl dependability we’ve grown to know and love. The Actik CORE is more expensive than the standard Actik (it’s AAA-powered bro), but it weighs a tad less and burns 100 lumens brighter on its max setting. While both models have the option to use longer lasting AAAs or the rechargeable CORE battery pack , the Actik CORE model includes the rechargeable battery. Both models are super easy to operate and emit a quality beam that’s a combination of spot and flood light. If you’re looking for a trustworthy rechargeable headlamp the Petzl Actik CORE is an excellent choice.

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reflective 4 beam head lamp


BioLite HeadLamp 200

is the most comfortable headlamp on the market with it’s smooth headband and ergonomic design that sits flush on the forehead. The BioLite is our top choice for activities like running, since it’s ultralight and doesn’t bounce or slip on impact. The burn time of this rechargeable headlamp is relatively short, so it’s best suited for evening walks or shorter outings close to home. But if you don’t spend much time using a light each night or you carry a power bank , it could still be used for multi-night trips.


If you’re looking for more lumen-power, BioLite’s 330 is a bit brighter and has a slightly longer burn time with a small battery pack at the back of the head.

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LED Street Lights

street lights

Design and style

An LED street light is an integrated light that uses light emitting diodes (LED) as its light source . These are considered integrated lights because, in most cases, the luminaire and the fixture are not separate parts. In manufacturing, the LED light cluster is sealed on a panel and then assembled to the LED panel with a heat sink to become an integrated lighting fixture.

Different designs have been created that incorporate various types of LEDs into a light fixture. Either few high-power LEDs or many low-power LEDs may be used. The shape of the LED street light depends on several factors, including LED configuration, the heat sink used with the LEDs and aesthetic design preference.

Heat sinks for LED street lights are similar in design to heat sinks used to cool other electronics such as computers . Heat sinks tend to have as many grooves as possible to facilitate the flow of hot air away from the LEDs. The area of heat exchange directly affects the lifespan of the LED street light.

The lifespan of an LED street light is determined by its light output compared to its original design specification. Once its brightness decreases by 30 percent, an LED street light is considered to be at the end of its life.

Most LED street lights have a lens on the LED panel, which is designed to cast its light in a rectangular pattern, an advantage compared to traditional street lights, which typically have a reflector on the back side of a high-pressure sodium lamp . In this case, much of the luminescence of the light is lost and produces light pollution in the air and surrounding environment.

A drawback of LED focus panels is that most light is directed to the road, and less light to the footpaths and other areas. This can be addressed by the use of specialized lens design and adjustable mounting spigots.

In performing a LED street lighting project, easy LED luminary models simplify the optimization for high-performance illumination designs.

These practical equations may be used to optimize LED street lighting installations in order to minimize light pollution, increase comfort and visibility, and maximize both illumination uniformity and light utilization efficiency.


Energy efficiency

LED The primary appeal of LED street lighting is energy efficiency compared to conventional street lighting fixture technologies such as high pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH). Research continues to improve the efficiency of newer models of LED street lights.

An LED street light based on a 901- milliwatt output LED can normally produce the same amount of (or higher) luminance as a traditional light, but requires only half of the power consumption . LED lighting does not typically fail, but instead decreases in output until it needs to be replaced.

It is estimated that installation of energy efficient street lighting in the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. could reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by 1.2 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 212,000 vehicles off the road, and save at least $90 million annually in electricity costs.

As LED lighting fixtures normally produce less illumination it is important to use a well-distributed illumination pattern in order to produce the same illumination as higher-lumen conventional fixtures. For example, different LEDs in one fixture can target different points on the street.

Advantages of LED street lights

Low energy consumption: Many LED lighting retrofits have been claimed to dramatically reduce energy use.

Long and predictable lifetime: The projected lifetime of LED street lights is usually 10 to 15 years, two to four times the life of currently prevalent HPS. (LEDs themselves do not generally fail or “burn out” in a way comparable to other technologies, and barring catastrophic failure of other mechanical or electronic components of the LED fixture, lifetimes are typically set by a decrease in luminous output of 30%. But the functional lifetime of an LED fixture is limited by the weakest link; associated drive electronics are typically projected to last about 50,000 hrs. It is important to understand that no LED streetlighting products have been in service long enough to confirm the projections.) If realized in practice, the less frequent need to service or replace LEDs will mean lower maintenance cost.

More accurate color rendering: The color rendering index is the ability of a light source to correctly reproduce the colors of the objects in comparison to an ideal light source. Improved color rendering makes it easier for drivers to recognize objects.

Quick turn on and off: Unlike fluorescent and high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, such as mercury vapor, metal halide, and sodium vapor lamps, which take time to heat up once switched on, LEDs come on with full brightness instantly.

Immediate restart: Unlike mercury vapor, metal halide and sodium vapor lamps (commonly used in street lighting), LEDs do not have a problem restarting immediately (hot ignition) following a brief power failure or inadvertent turn off.

RoHS compliance: LEDs don’t contain mercury or lead, and don’t release poisonous gases if damaged.

Less attractive to nocturnal insects: Nocturnal insects are attracted to ultraviolet light emitted by many conventional light sources.

Optically efficient lighting equipment: Other types of street lights use a reflector to capture the light emitted upwards from the lamp. Even under the best of conditions, the reflector absorbs some of the light. Also for fluorescent lamps and other lamps with phosphor coated bulbs, the bulb itself absorbs some of the light directed back down by the reflector. The glass cover, called a refractor, helps project the light down on the street in a desired pattern but some light is wasted by being directed up to the sky (light pollution). LED lamp assemblies (panels) can send light in the desired directions without a reflector.

Reduced glare: Directing the light downward onto the roadway reduces the amount of light that is directed into driver’s eyes.

Higher light output even at low temperatures: While fluorescent lights are comparably energy efficient, on average they tend to have lesser light output at winter temperatures.


Disadvantages of LED street lights

Many people dislike the ambiance produced by LEDs with color temperatures of 4000K or higher. 2700K and 3000K LEDs are mostly used for indoor lighting.

The initial cost of LED street lighting is high and as a consequence it takes several years for the savings on energy to pay for that. The high cost derives in part from the material used since LEDs are often made on sapphire or other expensive substrates As a result of the Purkinje effect , the dark-adapted human eye is very sensitive to blue and green light that LED street lights emit in large amounts, as compared to the yellow and orange high-pressure sodium lights that are typically being replaced.

This magnifies the effect of light pollution – particularly sky glow The major increase in the blue and green content of artificial sky glow arising from widespread LED lighting is likely to increase impacts on bird migration and other nocturnal animal behaviours.

There is progressive wear of layers of phosphor in white LEDs. The change in color slowly moves devices from one photobiological risk group to a higher one.


Health concerns

Exposure to the light of white LED bulbs suppresses melatonin by up to five times more than exposure to the light of pressure sodium bulbs.

The fact that white light, emitting at wavelengths of 400-500 nanometers suppresses the production of melatonin produced by the pineal gland is known. The effect is disruption of a human being’s biological clock resulting in poor sleeping and rest periods.

Research at the University of Madrid Complutense University has claimed that long term exposure to LED Street-lighting can cause irreparable harm to the retina of the human eye. The Madrid study said this was caused by the high level of radiation in the”blue band” Artificial night-time lighting has various effects on humans (not to mention wildlife) and exposure to optical radiation affects human physiology and behavior, both directly and indirectly. Many areas are not well understood, and a position statement from the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) emphasizes mainly the need for further research.

sunset roadway