Items fueled by solar power are rapidly becoming staples in many homes across the U.S. This renewable energy source harnesses power from the sun and turns it into electricity. The process not only benefits the environment, but it can also help your bottom line. However, since most solar products are still newer to the market, you may worry that they are unaffordable.
Fortunately, solar-powered options are often comparable to or even cheaper than their outlet-dependent counterparts. From chargers to lighting, these products are must-haves for your household. Here are nine solar-powered items you might not have known you could afford.
1. Solar Panels
Home solar panels have become increasingly popular over the last decade. That’s mainly because installing this type of power system equals significant savings on your utility bills. Energy prices are rising, so switching to solar panels is more beneficial than ever. While you may face some upfront costs, the investment pays off in the long run.
Solar installation has other economic benefits as well. Some states and local communities offer rebates and Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to homeowners who install the panels. Federal support is also available. The Solar Investment Tax Credit was established in 2006 and has supported the growth of solar energy across the country.
2. Outdoor and Indoor Lighting
Indoor and outdoor lighting shines even brighter thanks to solar energy. These wireless light fixtures are a breeze to set up and can be placed anywhere in your home or yard.
Solar lighting is available at many different price points to fit your budget. A string of outdoor party lights will liven up your backyard without breaking the bank. Larger light fixtures typically come with higher upfront costs but will save you money down the road.
3. Security Cameras
Solar-energy products can even help you protect your home and family. A solar-powered security camera keeps you safe, rain or shine. These cameras can store extra energy when the sun’s blazing to protect your home around the clock all year round.
The cost of these cameras depends on the type of security system you want for your home. Different models are available to suit a variety of budgets and security needs.
4. Bluetooth Speakers
A solar-powered speaker lets you enjoy your favorite music and podcasts from anywhere at any time. These speakers are typically some of the most affordable solar items on the market, generally costing between $20 and $30.
Thanks to their Bluetooth capabilities, streaming music from your phone or tablet is a snap. As a result, you can take the party anywhere without worrying about finding a place to plug in your sound system.
5. Weather and Emergency-Alert Radios
A weather and emergency-alert radio powered by solar energy can be a lifesaver. These radios provide crucial information in the event of weather-related and other emergencies.
Since these radios don’t have to be plugged in, you will still get the important notifications you need even if the power goes out. Most models are available for $50 or less, making them lifesaving and affordable.
6. Attic Fans
Adding solar-powered fans in your attic, garage, or crawlspace helps keep your home ventilated without jacking up your electric bill. These fans start up automatically when it is sunny, so you don’t have to worry about manually turning them on.
As a result, these fans keep your home cool in the summer months without unnecessary hassle. They also produce little sound, so you won’t be enduring loud noise throughout your home.
Generators can be godsend when the power grid goes down. These large-capacity and rechargeable power stations provide backup electricity to your home during a natural disaster or power outage.
Solar generators are safer to store and easier to maintain than gas-powered generators, which can be a significant fire hazard. While these generators can be pricey, they are comparable to — and sometimes even cheaper than — gas models.
8. Cell Phone Chargers
Everyone’s been there, with a phone down to 8% juice and no available outlet in sight. You shouldn’t have to depend on the availability of an electrical outlet to charge your communications devices. With solar chargers, you won’t have to endure the frustration of your phone dying when you’re away from home.
Solar chargers are an especially awesome choice for your next camping trip or outdoor adventure. Prices vary, but the most popular models typically cost between $50 to $100.
9. Computer Keyboard
Even your home office can get an energy-efficient upgrade. Solar-powered keyboards, or photovoltaic keyboards, contain a small version of a solar panel for charging, no cables required.
Keeping the keyboard under sunlight allows it to charge, and most come with an off switch to save energy. So even though they get power from the sun, these keyboards are usable in the dark. Models are typically available for around $75 or even less.
Saving Money and Supporting the Environment
Rising energy costs and alarming climate reports make a strong case for switching to solar solutions. Solar power helps minimize dependence on fossil fuels, which are in limited supply and harmful to the atmosphere. This renewable energy source also lessens dependence on big energy companies that continue to jack up rates.
Take a look around your home and see what could use an energy-efficient update. From small everyday items to larger systems, solar-fueled products can be affordable now and save money in the future. It is time to rethink how you power your home.