What are solar lights made of? A solar light consists of four main components: the solar photovoltaic (PV) panel, the battery, the control electronics and the light. When the sun comes out, solar panels capture light from the sun and generate electricity. The energy can then be used immediately or stored in a battery. The goal of most solar lights is to provide power at night, so they definitely contain or can connect to batteries. The battery itself may not require a large capacity due to the availability of solar power, but should be durable to handle the difficulty of changing batteries in many parts of the world.

The advent of light emitting diodes (LEDs) for lamps has greatly reduced the capacity requirements of solar panels and batteries. They use far less energy than other types of lighting, allowing solar panels and batteries to be smaller (more portable and cheaper). The control electronics need to move power through the system, hold it securely, and potentially turn your light on or off depending on how much light it's exposed to. Solar lights used for outdoor lighting usually turn on automatically when it gets dark outside. Some solar powered reading lights turn off during the day to conserve solar charging, but won't turn on until the user turns them on.

How is solar energy generated? Let's take a deeper look at the science behind solar energy. Solar energy is generated by the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic modules (also called solar cells) convert sunlight into electricity. Solar cells are made up of multiple layers of crystalline silicon and chemicals that create negatively charged layers of electrons and positively charged spaces. When light passes through a solar cell, it excites negatively charged electrons and pushes them into a positively charged space. These spaces then transmit the flow of electrons as direct current through wires into solar cells for use or to batteries, which store electricity until needed.