Solar Carport (Solar Canopy) Guide – Best Lighting and FAQ

Solar Carport (Solar Canopy) Guide – Best Lighting and FAQ

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If you’re a car owner in a sunny state, and don’t have a garage, there’s a good chance you have a carport to cover your cars. By covering your cars from the sun, rain, hail, and the elements in general, carport helps keep your car in amazing shape! But that’s not all a car canopy can do. In addition to offering shade and protection, it also is a great place to put solar panels! Because a carport is usually in place to protect your cars from the sun and the elements, it means it gets plenty of sun throughout the day, making it a great place to put solar panels! You can go even further than this, and have solar carport lights which illuminate your carport for safety. 

What Is A Solar Carport?

A solar carport is a specially designed covered structure which covers your cars or trucks, and protects them from the rain, hail, snow, and the sun, but also has solar panels on top which capture the suns energy to create solar power. It is usually wall-less and only has a roof, making it easy to park your vehicle, get out, and get around. 

Small carports are common among homeowners, while a commercial property owner might have a carport for their customers.

Solar Carport Lighting a.k.a Solar Canopy Lighting

Solar Canopy
This solar carport could use more solar LED tube lighting!

To keep your carport or canopy safe at night, you’ll likely want to have a lighting setup. But because your carport is outside, and maybe even somewhat far from your house, you probably don’t want to deal with tons of wires and cumbersome set-up just to get power to a few lights! If that sounds like you, then solar canopy lighting could be a great option for you. 

Solar powered lights harness the suns energy to store and use their energy. This means they don’t need to plug in to the wall or another power source – they just need to get some sunlight during the day. That means that you can rest assured of consistent light in the evening from these solar powered lights. 

How To Setup Solar Carport Lighting

You have a few options for setting your solar carport lights. You can attach the solar panels on the top of your carport, and then either mount lights at the top of your roof, looking down, OR you can mount lights on the side poles of the carport facing inward. Either way, you’ll get pretty decent coverage around your vehicles. It really depends on the size of your carport and the optimal lighting angle you are going for. Before you do this, you’ll want to think about which direction to mount your solar panels to ensure maximum energy capture. You can use our great solar panel direction calculator to do this!

Choosing the Best Solar Light to Mount Under Solar Carport / Solar Canopy

We checked out a couple solar light options for your carport, and after evaluation we feel this is Super Bright Solar Light is the best option for a variety of reasons. One, it is quite bright, at 3000 lumens. Two, it has a 33-foot cable, which means that you can easily reach from the center of your carport, wrap it along the roof, and then attach it to the included solar panel on the top of your carport. Finally, it is quite durable, waterproof, and comes in at an affordable price. This is definitely a great option for you to check out.

Best Solar Light for Carport

 

Solar Carport Knowledge Base / Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Many folks have lots of questions about solar carports and solar canopies, so we’ve shared our research with you here in one place!

Are there custom solar carports?

Looking to build a custom solar carport for your home or business? You’ve got a couple options which can help you design and build one. Your first option is to do-it-yourself using the resources available online, with supplies and solar panels from the likes of Home Depot and other stores. We only recommend this if you have building experience and are looking for a project, as this involves both structural design and build and solar installation.

The other alternative is to contract with a carport company, which will build a solar canopy exactly to your specifications. While this will certainly be more expensive, it will also inevitably be less effort and faster. 

Which option you go with depends upon your budget. But either way, you can get a solar carport built for your property and take advantage of a dual-use structure.  

Is there a Tesla solar carport?

Telsa Solar Carport

Tesla is one of the most popular electric car brands, and thus it is a no-brainer that many Tesla owners are interested in getting a solar carport which can protect their vehicle from the elements and also charge it. Well, there’s not currently an official Tesla solar carport build on the market, but there area electric vehicle carports which are compatible with Teslas, like the one pictured above. This is a good compromise for Tesla owners seeking a solar canopy. 

Solar Carport Meaning?

When someone refers to a solar carport or a solar canopy, what they are basically describing is a shade structure built to both provide coverage to vehicles AND to capture solar energy with solar panels on top.

Can I put solar on my carport?

Yes, you can definitely put solar panels on your carport! By adding solar panels on your carport roof, you get double use out of it! You can generate electricity for use in your home, to power devices, or to charge your vehicle, and you don’t have to worry about adding them to your primary home roof. This can be a great combination for your carport.

Are solar carports worth it?

A solar carport can be a great, eco-friendly addition to your property. You’ll get the benefits of both a carport’s vehicle protection and the renewable energy of solar panels. They can also be installed directly on top of your carport, which otherwise is of no use to you. 

Why don’t we cover parking lots with solar panels?

Covering parking lots with solar panels is absolutely possible. This is essentially a large scale solar carport, where you have dozens of car parking spots covered. In sunny areas, this provides much needed shade to keep cars cool, and then the solar panels on top generate power which can be used to charge the cars, power operations of a commercial facility, or for any other use. We hope that more and more parking lots take advantage of solar carports by placing panels on top! 

The main issue with large scale solar carport / solar panels on parking lot projects is the cost. It is one of the most expensive solar projects and thus it’s hard to convince developers, schools, and governments to use it. But hopefully, as the cost comes down, we will see more parking lots covered with solar panels!

How tall are solar carports?

Most solar carports are over ten feet tall to ensure that even large personal trucks can park under them. They can be extended higher if the solar carport is designed for commercial vehicles like semi-trucks or tractor-trailers. 

 

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