In recent years, solar all-in-one lights have become more and more popular. A common feature of this type of light is that the solar panel, battery and light fixture are all contained in one unit. This design can be used for light poles, floodlights, sign lights, etc. They are compact, easy to install, and generally less expensive than traditional solar lighting systems. They're a great option for some apps, but you should understand their limitations before buying. You may find that your project requires different types of solar lighting products.
In most cases, all-in-one solar lights keep the solar panels in place. Solar panels are usually mounted on the opposite side where the light is facing. So, for example, if the lights are installed facing south, the solar panels will face north, while east-facing lights will have the solar panels facing west. Even though the solar panel is oriented in the same direction as the light, its orientation is still limited. This is where the problem can arise. Those unfamiliar with solar energy may not realize that solar panels should face south for best exposure. West or east facing solar panels should allow the light to work, but with less reliability. However, under no circumstances should solar panels face north. In this case, the light may not work at all. You may find that your application requires the solar panel to be mounted in an unfavorable orientation, or even in a location where it might be heavily shaded. In this case, you will want to consider solar lights with individually mounted solar panels.
All-in-one lights are often offered as a "one-size-fits-all" solution. The solar panels and batteries are not sized for your location. Because solar conditions and night lengths vary across the country, this means that all-in-one lights will perform better in some areas than others. With this in mind, people in northern climates may need to be prepared that the light doesn't stay lit throughout the year. During winter, you may experience shorter lighting hours. If your main concern is lighting for the first half of the night, or if you live in a moderate climate, this option might be perfect for you. However, if you need consistent and reliable lighting throughout the year, then you may want to consider a lighting system suitable for your location.