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Practical Solar For The Homeowner With A Budget

Solar power installation asking too much of your wallet? Check out this practical solar guide for homeowners on a budget.

Solar panels are in my future. I can tell you that. But I need something more practical for my home right now.

But it’s not feasible right now. I, personally, don’t have nearby solar companies offering me $0 down solar installation (lucky for anyone who does). And I just don’t feel comfortable taking out a home improvement loan, even with the solar tax incentive (as great as it is!).

But I love the idea of solar, and I really do want to save money and gradually get to the point solar power energizes my home. Talking to my neighbors and online forums, I realized there were a lot of homeowners just like me. So, I know there are probably a lot of you reading this who are in the same boat.

Hardcore Solar DIY

Practical solar allows you to power everything from a lightbulb to using a single panel to light your cabin.

This is a perfect project if you just want to save some money in the cheapest way possible. It also works great for smaller areas such as cabins, van-dwellers, or greenhouses.

You will need:

A 100-watt solar panel costs around $89. For that solar panel, you’d also need a charge controller ($15), car battery (I got one used for $20), plug-in light socket ($2), 10watt LED light bulb ($3), and an extension cord ($5). All in all, about $145. So not bad compared to the $15,000 full-size system.

Theoretically, depending on the sun you get in your area, you can place this panel in a window/patio/greenhouse/whatever, and save power to the battery. If you store around 400 watts (about 4 hours of sunlight energy), that would power that bulb for around 40 hours after one day of power-gathering.

Free power every day.

DIY Solar Gadgets On A Budget


Use outdoor solar lighting for an affordable start to savings.

I started out buying little gadgets that were solar powered. One of my favorite gadgets has been my outdoor solar lighting set up.

My solar garden lights and sidewalk lights charge during the day and then come on automatically at night (I set it up that way).

These solar powered flood lights and security cameras can also be an excellent addition to smart home security.

Obviously, you can choose to spend whatever you want on these gadgets, but most of them start at an average of $20 – $50. So, it’s an incredibly budget-friendly solar start.

It’s A Solar Start

So, while these budget solar projects may not save me quite as much as solar panels will, it’s a start. I really appreciate being able to connect the solar energy with smart home gadgets such as security cameras too.

What do you think? Share your ideas below!


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