Ensuring proper lighting on your boat dock after dark is essential, not only to allow you to enjoy your dock after the sun has gone down but as a safety measure as well. And over the last decade, private boaters and public marinas alike have been turning to solar-powered solutions to keep their docks lit up all night long.
Still, skeptics will cite dubious drawbacks on why solar lights are impractical. Here are a few common misconceptions about the practicality of solar dock lighting, and the truths behind the falsehoods.
1. The Lights Will Only Work On Sunny Days
By far the most enduring misconception about solar lighting, and solar energy in general, is that it only works when the sun shines. Therefore, if you live in an area with consistent cloud cover, they’re too impractical to use.
This isn’t the case. While it may have been true in the past, modern solar technology is perfectly capable of functioning in cloudy weather. After all, if you look at the top American cities in terms of solar panel use, you’ll notice that they aren’t all the sunniest spots.
And even if solar panels couldn’t generate power on a cloudy day, the batteries in modern solar devices would make up for that shortfall anyway.
2. The Costs Are Far Too High
The second most enduring misconception about solar devices is that they’re prohibitively expensive. So sure they’re nice, but good luck with that second mortgage you’ll take out to pay for them.
Again, this is a falsehood based on outdated information.
In actuality, the costs of solar technology dropped 82% over the last decade. And the trend is only expected to continue as emerging developments make solar even more accessible and reliable.
With that price drop, investing in solar dock lights is more affordable than it’s ever been, and may even become cheaper than conventional lighting in the near future.
3. The Fixtures Are Unattractive
This one is only a partial misconception, as the issue at hand is one of personal taste. But nevertheless, some cite the look of the fixtures themselves and the color of the lights as drawbacks.
To address the first, the increasing demand for solar fixtures has led to an influx of new products on the market. So while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there is enough consumer choice to where anyone can find a design they find appealing.
As for the second, the majority of solar lights use LED bulbs, which produce a light that’s too blue for some people’s liking. But again, this can be solved by shopping around. Many of the options available come with a variety of bulb choices or diffusers to create a variety of lighting effects, so there’s a dock lighting solution for every preference.
Solar Dock Lighting Is an Affordable, Sustainable Solution
At the end of the day, solar dock lighting is an easy, cost-effective, and eco-friendly way to keep your dock lit up.
They’re far more reliable than they’re credited, arguably more so than the power grid in certain cases. The costs of solar technology have plummeted over the last ten years and are expected to continue to do so. And the lighting itself is beautiful and can really set your dock apart from your neighbors.
So really, even the most-commonly cited drawbacks are not only wrong but showcase some of solar lighting’s greatest strengths. So if you’re ready to make the jump to solar, check out our guide on how to light up your dock with solar-powered dock lights.