Lighting is one of the oldest worldwide applications of solar PV technology, Solar powered lighting systems are successfully operating in various locations. These are generally preferred due to their key attributes – case of operations, simple maintenance, and high field performance reliability. Modern-day improvement in lamp efficiency have led to decreased system costs - for instance, security lighting needed for defense applications. These can be conveniently powered by PV system at a fraction of the cost of extending grid power lines to remote areas. It is possible to achieve lamp control with use of devices such as photocells, timers, switches, and sensors. The most common applications made possible by solar power today include lighting in residences, outdoor area, billboards, security, and emergency warming.
Lighting system are generally of two types – indoor and outdoor. Indoor lighting system are further classified into fixed and portable types. Portable indoor lighting system, better known as solar home systems, are equipped with power facilities to run a small fan or television. Outside lighting systems include street lights, garden lights, and pathway lights.
There has been a remarkable change in lighting system designs over the last few years. The most Energy- efficient lighting, the light emitting diode (LED), is now in use in almost all lighting applications. It has several advantages over the compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), the most important of which has a much higher lifespan ( around 50,000 working hours).