Can solar-powered Christmas lights catch fire?
Over a decade, solar-powered lighting systems have gained popularity. Even though they are eco-friendly, there are some concerns about their safety. Can solar-powered Christmas lights catch a fire?
Naturally, there is a low risk of fire when using solar-powered Christmas lights. Nevertheless, the type of bulbs you are using makes a difference as well.
Christmas lights are temporary electrical installations, not as vital as permanent wiring protected by conduit. While we know that Christmas lights are only on for a shorter time, we cannot compromise on their security. Careless use can cause a fire, just like any other electrical device. So, we should opt for Solar LED Christmas lights for the safety of our events and guests.
What possible advantages of using LED Christmas Lights?
Using LED lights instead of incandescent lamps has many advantages. The first benefit is that families can save money on their utility bills during the holidays because they use about 80% less electricity. LED lights are less likely to cause a fire due to their lower power consumption and lower heat output.
LED Christmas lights are also less likely to cause burns if accidentally touched. Conversely, incandescent Christmas lights can get very hot when used for long periods. Solar Christmas lights are placed in easily accessible locations, whereas conventional light fixtures are often unattainable.
Are our solar Christmas lights capable of overheating and catching fire?
Solar Christmas lights may generate a small amount of heat, depending on the type of bulb used. While the amount of heat generated is less than that produced by a standard incandescent light bulb in your home's light fixtures, the difference is noticeable. However, this heat is not sufficient to ignite your lighting. When fires occur, it is usually due to the batteries used to store the energy from the solar panel system.
Volatile or inexpensive batteries can release more heat due to their construction, causing the house to burn down. A fire can erupt when the place(home) melts and releases excessive heat, mainly near a brush pile or untreated wood structures.
Although I've seen mention of solar Christmas lights catching fire, the most common example I've seen is the use of rechargeable batteries. In those articles, I also learned that the batteries were overheating and melting the light's casing, which, in turn, scorched the object to which they were connected.
What kind of batteries are used by solar Christmas lights, and how do they perform?
Solar lighting uses a variety of solar batteries to power its operations. The fundamental process of transferring energy from panels is the same in both cases. While using solar energy to charge the batteries, a controller prevents overcharging, over-draining, and overheating from occurring.
When a rechargeable battery is overcharged or undercharged from previous use, the battery memory effect occurs, decreasing the battery's life span. It is a problem that affects nearly all types of batteries.
In modern solar Christmas lights, there are three different types of batteries:
Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)
Nickel Cadmium, also known as NiCad, is old and inexpensive battery technology. These batteries are capable of operating in temperatures ranging from -30°C to +50°C. They are, however, susceptible to the memory effect, which means that, over time, the battery's cells will not be able to utilize their capacity fully. Even though proper charging and remanufacturing practices can help, this is not a viable solution for solar lights.
Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH)
It's considered cutting-edge technology as a replacement for NiCad batteries. When we compare NiCad batteries, NiMH batteries last nearly 40% longer, but they do not perform well in extreme conditions. Even though these batteries also have the memory effect, but to a lesser extent than conventional batteries.
Li-Ion, also known as Lithium-Ion, batteries can pack a significant amount of power into a small package. As a result, many mobile devices, including mobile phones and laptop computers, rely on Li-Ion batteries. Even though they do not have a memory effect, their chemistry and manufacturing methods have made them more unstable.
Is it risky to buy low-quality products?
In the new world of online shopping, customers always choose the most affordable option available. In response to the constant competition between manufacturers and retailers, prices are continually reducing.
It should come as no surprise that manufacturers take shortcuts during the manufacturing process. Using the controller, the battery manufacturer can reduce the cost of the battery by using lower-cost Chinese cells to save money. It also prevents the batteries from bursting into flames, which is another benefit.
Even in cloudy weather, some solar-powered Christmas lights can still work. However, without spending a little more money, it is simply not possible to obtain this kind of quality.
What can we do to reduce the risk of a fire?
Even the most reputable companies are having difficulty in controlling Lithium-Ion batteries. Here are some steps that will help you to reduce the risk of fire by a solar-powered light.
- Purchase your solar-powered Christmas lights from a reputable retailer to ensure quality.
- Amazon's customer service is excellent but doesn't always rely on the product reviews that appear on the site. There have been numerous studies conducted that have revealed that the vast majority of reviews are false.
- Don't always go with the cheapest option if it's available. You can't expect an inferior product to have high-quality components because lithium-ion batteries and photovoltaic cells are still expensive. You may have to pay a little more for a high-quality set of solar-powered Christmas lights, but they'll likely last longer and perform better than a lower-quality set.
- You have to decide on where you are going to put lights. If the light does catch fire in the middle of the garden, the only thing you will lose is the light itself. However, a burning light attached to a wooden fence could cause significantly more damage to your property and possibly to people.
Are There Other Ways to Prevent Solar Christmas Light Fires?
We have some strategies that keep solar Christmas lights safe from a fire attack. The following are some illustrations:
- It would be best if you inspected your home for any signs of leaks, cracks, or bugs at least once a month. The same thing may occur in your backyard. You should walk around outside every few weeks and inspect your solar lighting system.
- Keep an eye out for the aroma. We have to check light bulbs by picking them up and sniffing them if they appear out of imbalance. Plastic and dirt may indicate that something is wrong, but it's probably safe. You should replace the plastic if it has a burnt-plastic smell.
- Maintain the cleanliness of the solar panels, which collect the sun's energy and convert it to electricity. As critters and bugs scurry around your yard, they leave behind a cloud of dust and other debris. Regularly clean the light fixtures' covers and lenses to keep them in good working order.
- Since a clean lamp won't stop a fire, the solar light lamp will help extend the life of your batteries.
- Walking around the property looking for potential issues is a simple way to accomplish this task.
- Never change your lighting. Be cautious when using devices that draw or store energy. If you want to expand your lighting options in the future, then buy kits that allow you to "plug-and-play" additional devices.
- Please don't put them close to your fire pit, outdoor stove, or other areas where you frequently use open flames.
- Take care when walking on your lawn. If we break the screen accidentally, it is imperative to check the solar panel, lens, and battery for damage. When the light is out, it's a good idea to check the solar panel and battery to make sure these lights are working correctly. Cracks in a Lithium-Ion battery can lead to a variety of malfunctions.
- When the lights are not in use, turn them off. Even though there is a low risk of them catching fire in this situation, it is always good to turn them off to ensure that the battery performs well and lasts for a long time.
- Finally, we raked away grass clippings and dried leaves from our solar lighting system. Keep in mind that most fires occur when batteries melt the casing, and the resulting excessive heat ignites nearby objects, rather than the solar lights catching fire.
We conclude that solar-powered Christmas lights derive their energy from small solar panels that charge batteries; they pose a low risk of igniting or catching fire. In solar lights, lithium-ion batteries, which are the most likely to catch fire, are used. It is primarily due to the use of highly reactive materials and lithium salts in constructing these structures.
We should always be careful about the quality when purchasing solar Christmas lights. We should always prefer superior quality for special events. Maintain them properly, and avoid putting them to improper use. As a result, they will not catch fire.
Can solar lights electrocute you? The shocking truth. (2021, August 30). Solar Gear Guide. https://solargearguide.com/can-solar-lights-electrocute-you-the-shocking-truth/
Can solar powered lights catch fire? (2021, January 30). The Clean Energy Home. https://thecleanenergyhome.com/can-solar-powered-lights-catch-fire/
Can solar powered lights catch on fire? (2021, August 30). Solar Gear Guide. https://solargearguide.com/can-solar-powered-lights-catch-on-fire/
The differences between a solar and normal battery. (2021, August 30). Solar Gear Guide. https://solargearguide.com/the-differences-between-a-solar-and-normal-battery/
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