There are many applications for solar powered lighting and with the technology in both photovoltaic panels and LED illumination, outdoor lighting powered by solar energy has not only become more affordable, it has become a viable alternative to mains powered outdoor lighting.
Making use of this environmentally friendly source of power to do the job that was once only possible with mains electricity is a huge step forward in the race to become reliant wholly on renewable sources of power.
Real Life Application
Here is a short personal note from one happy homeowner who took the leap toward power self sufficiency and installed solar powered patio lighting at his home:
A patio is a place to relax in the evening after a hard day working especially in the hot summer temperatures when it is real nice to sit in my easy chair and enjoy a cold beer while I relax and listen to the sounds of the woods on the distance. For lighting, I had some solar patio lights installed a while ago for a variety of reasons, not least of those being that when the power goes out as it often does in these parts, I can still sit there and see what I'm doing.
Of course, I have a few neighbors who have not made the change to solar yet and they get real angry when they are sitting on their patios trying to read or whatever and their mains powered lights go down. Being powered by a battery that gets charged up during the daylight hours by the sun, my lights shine bright for as long as I need them to.
In fact, I always leave two lights on all night for security reasons and it doesn't cost me another dime, which I like very much. In fact, once I had paid for the installation of the lights, the solar panels and the battery, there is no more cost as all the power I need comes free from the sun.
As for maintenance and looking after the set up, there is nothing much for me to do except check the battery every now and again. Now that is my kind of lighting set up!