Having an attractive and robust awning on your trailer, camper, or motorhome extends the working space around your recreational vehicle and makes trips much more fun and relaxing. But the awnings alone and the lights inside your motorhome may not be sufficient for night camps. You will need lights outside your RV, especially on the awning, to enjoy camping at night and keep your motorhome visible. If you are into sustainable technology, solar lights are the best for you.
What solar lights are applicable for RV Awnings? The solar lights applicable for RV awnings are outdoor and lightweight solar lamps such as linkable solar lights, string lights, solar globes, wired basket solar chandeliers, hanging jar lights, bottle lanterns, and daytime and nighttime fairy lights.
Solar-powered lights on your motorhome’s awnings are perfect for camping and other night trips. It is eco-friendly, sustainable, and available everywhere. However, not all solar lights will work properly with your RV awning. There are plenty of considerations, such as the limitations inherent in recreational vehicles, the awnings, and the different styles available in the market.
The Go-to Solar Lights for RV Awnings
When it comes to solar lights, there are plenty of options to choose from. However, what you need for your RV awnings are lightweight outdoor solar lights designed explicitly for small shelters or those, which are intended to hang on umbrellas or canopies. Outdoor solar lights for RV awnings may cost around $10 to $160 depending on the size, light bulbs, bulb, and unique features.
Solar Lights: Styles and Class
The adoption of several companies into the use of eco-friendly and sustainable technology has paved the way for the creation of several solar light designs and the inclusion of creative and ingenious features. There are plenty of styles currently available in the market. All of which claim an advantage over the other. Here are some of the solar lights you can choose for your RV awnings.
Linkable Solar Lights
Some types of security lights use solar power. Linkable solar lights are waterproof, wireless, outdoor solar-powered security lights that often include a motion sensor that turns the illumination on when the sensor detects any movement. They are linkable due to their ability to stick into solid objects. Besides its decorative functions, it also has emergency services that light up when a power outage occurs in your recreational vehicle. Lightweight linkable solar lights are best for RV Awnings and can light up three to four meters of your recreational vehicle’s outdoor area.
Solar String Lights
These are similar to the standard string lights in the market. However, they are powered through solar energy. Solar-powered string lights do not need to be incorporated in your RV’s electrical system. But, these lights have wires connected to a solar panel. They are chic and very modern, which blends well with any outdoor designs. Every Millennial and Generation Z would love string lights outside their homes or recreational vehicles.
Radiant Solar Globes
Radiant solar globes are fancy orbicular lights that can be used anywhere and add grace and style to any landscape design. They can be put on the ground or it can hang from your recreational vehicle awning, creating a unique ambiance to your charming home. There are full globes and half-globe lamps available in the market. Furthermore, some of the models are plain white, while others have additional features such as color-changing modes.
Cute Lady Bug Lights
These are solar-powered yet adorable little lights shaped into cute creatures, which attach individually to posts and even your RV awnings. If you incorporate them into your awning, it will create an image of a playful family of ladybugs. They are crafted with care. Hence, these bug lights will last for about two to three years and can withstand challenging weather conditions. A set of these may come with four light bugs that you can place wherever you choose.
Chic Wired Basket Solar Chandelier
Sometimes, after hanging plants have run their course, the owner is left with pretty wire baskets without any purpose. If you have this experience, a chic wired basket solar chandelier is precisely for you. Instead of hanging plants, the solar lights are hung on this pretty chandelier. It has a center solar light and additional décor on the sides. You can even add solar-powered string lights to complement the design. It is simple, yet it looks neat and classy. Since it is designed to be hung, this is perfect for the awning of your recreational vehicle. You can attach the chandelier in the middle of the awning and place the string lights around it. You can customize as much as you want!
Hanging Solar Powered Jar Lights
A great idea to add stylish yet sustainable lighting on your RV awning is a hanging solar-powered jar light. It is modern, and it creates a mystic feeling around your recreational vehicle. It is a flexible lighting system since it allows you to have total control over the jar’s colors, the placement of the lights on your awning, and the number of lights you will use. It is a fun way to be creative and artistic without hurting the environment.
Elegant Bottle Lanterns
This is also another variation of the hanging solar powered jar lights. But, instead of jars, these lights use glass bottles. Bottles provide a large canvas for different styles. They are perfect for solar lamps with multiple bulbs such as string lights. You can create your hanging bottle lantern using simple solar lights and glass bottles of your own choice. You can enhance the lamp with stars and sprinkles of glitters on the bottom or sides. Furthermore, you can add as many decorations and choose as many colors as possible. Whatever you design with it, it is perfect for your RV awnings if you aim to achieve a festive feel outside your vehicle.
Opaque Bug Bottle Lanterns
You can also use opaque bug bottle lanterns on your RV awnings. These are similar to the concept of elegant bottle lanterns, but the bottles or jars used are purposely made opaque to add dim lights to your recreational vehicle’s outdoor design. You can hang them on the edge of your awnings or in the middle.
Fancy Nighttime and Daytime Fairy Light
Another variation of the hanging solar powered jar lights is a nighttime and daytime fairy light. It is a sweet little solar lamp that uses string lights inside the jar with fancy little fairies in the middle, which add to the light’s mystical vibe. It is connected to a small solar panel that you can place above your vehicle or just above the awning. If you want to have a magical feel outside your recreational vehicle, these fairy lights are perfect for you! You can hang them on the edges of your RV awnings and in its middle.
The Common Items That Make Up A Solar Light
Solar lights are also known as solar lamps or solar lanterns. It is a lighting system composed of solar panels, LED bulbs, charge controllers, and batteries. Collectively, they operate through the electricity stored in the batteries and are charged using solar photovoltaic panels.
The photovoltaic systems convert sunlight into current or electricity. When the photons or the stream of light particles enter the solar panels, they give the solar heat energy to the atoms found in the silicon. It then promotes one electron from a covalent bond to the next energy level from the upper scale to the lower level. This promotion of the electrons allows more movement within the crystal, which results in current production. The more brightness shines through, the more electrons move thereon, which means more current is created or produced. This entire process is called the photovoltaic and photoelectric effect.
The price of solar panels for RV awnings depends on many factors, such as the size, the battery capacity, the brand, and extra features incorporated into the solar lights. The current price of a single solar light may run from $25 to $140.
Components of Typical Solar Lights
Solar panels are usually made of single-crystalline silicon, which is a semiconductor material. The solar cell has two layers of silicon. The upper layer has a greater number of electrons with a slightly negative charge. The layer at the bottom has fewer electrons. Since electrons are negatively charged, the lower layer has a slight positive charge for having few electrons. If purchased separately, the solar panel for the solar lights of your RV awning may cost anywhere from $6 up to $200.
The charge controller controls the working systems of the solar lights to protect the battery charge. It ensures that the battery does not overcharge or discharge too much energy under any circumstances, including extreme changes in weather conditions. It also includes light controller, sound, temperature compensation, time controller, reverse polarity protection, lightning protection, and AC transfer switches. These added features ensure that the sensitive back-up works properly even when an outage occurs. If purchased separately, the charge controller may cost around $15 up to $500 depending on the size, capacity, and brand.
The battery of the solar light is often housed within a plastic or metal case. Inside are the electrodes where the chemical reactions occur. It is the part of the solar lights that stores the solar panel’s energy and provides the power needed at night or when there is no light energy available. The batteries incorporated in the solar lights often use gel electrolyte technology with high performance in deep charging, which allows it to be used in extreme ranges of temperature. If purchased separately, the battery for your RV awning solar lights may cost from $5 up to $70.
The LED light is the very essence and main part of the solar light. A light-emitting diode, also known as LED, is a two-lead semiconductor light source. The intensity of light emitted from LED lights will depend on the photons’ energy level emitted, which will also depend on the released energy by the electrons of the semiconductor material.
LED lights are perfect for solar lights since they do not emit UV rays, and they are free from all harsh chemicals. One LED light can do the work of about 25 incandescent light bulbs over its lifespan. Furthermore, LED lights are 100% recyclable. Hence, they can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. These lights are not only eco-friendly, they are also cost-cutting.
Considerations for RV Awnings
The products you should choose for your RV awning must be capable of withstanding weather conditions such as heavy winds and heavy rains. A sudden change in weather conditions is a common scenario for backpackers and motorhome owners. So, you must properly choose an outdoor solar-powered light to avoid wasting your money. The lamps you should purchase are those which are designed explicitly for outdoor lightings and are not too heavy for your RV awning.
Acrylic and Vinyl Fabrics
RV awnings are generally made of metal frames and cloth, such as acrylic and vinyl fabrics. If you are planning to add solar lights on your awning, you have to consider the weight of the solar lights. The RV awnings cannot hold massive light bulbs or those that are too dense due to the designs and other materials incorporated with the lights and wires. The frame of the awning may not hold the lights if they are too many and heavy. Plus, you cannot just attach or hang them on the pivoting arm wrist of your awning. It will increase the risk of breaking it or sudden folding of its frame.
Metal or Robust Awnings
There are RV awnings that are made of metals and are retractable or removable. If you have this type of awning on your motorhome, you have to consider choosing solar lights that are capable of being detached or removed when not in need. Linkable solar lights may be attached on the side of the recreational vehicle just below the awning. This will light up the place without being directly attached to the awning. So, if you need to put down the shade, you do not have to remove the linkable solar lights.
Side Metal Posts
Some RV awnings have posts on the outside edges to hold them in place. If you have this type of awning, it is cute to add solar lights around these poles as additional design and lighting to your motorhome. Its added design and lighting are perfect for an Instagram post! Plus, it creates a magical and romantic effect that is ideal for your date nights with your partner and even simple night camps with family and friends.
For RV owners, the use of solar lights over their awnings has pretty much become common. They light up your motorhome’s outside area and add beauty to it while being eco-friendly and low maintenance. Although there are a variety of solar lights to choose from, it is not difficult to find one for your RV awning as long as you know the different solar lights applicable, consider their added features, and understand the limitations inherent in RV awnings.