Best Home Solar Kits – Reviews and Buying Guide 2019
The future is now with home solar panels! Non-polluting and renewable, this is the face of a revolution. There are hurdles to getting a fully functional solar-powered home, but they are not impossible to overcome.
Home solar kits are becoming a thing, and I'm here to explain the Whys and Hows.
Also, in this post, I’m going to review the best home solar kits on the market.
So, read on to find out more about the solar kits.
Are Home Solar Kits Worth It?
Short answer, yes. But I bet you’re here for the long one. The costs are low enough, and it is definitely viable. Here are some reasons why you should get one;
While the initial investment might be high, there are no bills to pay, and you get all the power. Overall, they can actually be more than the initial investment of the panel set. This makes it cheap in the long run.
Reliable for Emergencies
Keeping one around is great for emergencies. You'll be the wiser when your neighbor has no power because a hurricane took out the mains electricity, but you can still charge your phone and run your fridge.
Good for Camping
Camp means you’re off the grid. And hence, solar power can be a lifesaver.
Finally, you’ll be contributing to saving the environment. Solar power is renewable, so you won’t be using up fossil fuels, which are a limited resource. It is also very clean as there are no wastes produced.
10 Best Home Solar Kit Reviews
There are quite a few items out there and a few solar panel reviews. All of it might confuse you but fear not. We have this comprehensive list of the top home solar panel sets on the market.
Without further ado, let’s get on with it.
1. HKYH Solar Panel Lighting Kit
GVSHINE's model is a very adaptable machine. As with most electrical devices, there is usually a current specification; however, this model runs both on AC (alternating current) and DC (direct current). Hence you could plug it in the mains electrical socket, or you could use a battery to charge the device.
Another dilemma that many of you might face is battery life. What's the use of a charging unit if it lasts only a couple minutes! That's hardly worth any attention. However, fret not. This model has a battery capacity that lasts for hours. Even on high output, you can leave things running for hours on end.
Speaking of high output, it can muster the strength to sustain lights, various appliances, and charging equipment like cell phone chargers. All of this is quite enough to power a small apartment. Even for a house, it can power a good portion of it. It can also fully power an outhouse camp.
The model comes with various auxiliary equipment too. There is a USB cable so that you can charge your electronic devices. There are lights also, so you don’t even have to plug it into your light fixtures. They are LED lights too, so they save energy.
While it has all these amazing features, the device still is portable and easy to pack. That means it is ideal for camping. It can also be of use in a natural disaster. If you want to power a remote area, you just need to pack it in the box and drive there and then set it up. It’s easy as pie.
2. WindyNation 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit
This is a relatively small scale set, but it still packs good power. It's made to function as a power source for the traveler. It's easy to handle, so if you're looking for a power source when you're out camping, this is the best solar kit. You can enjoy charging your devices while basking in the outdoors.
Owing to its small size and good output, it directly contends with a small generator for the spot of a reliable source of electricity. So, before you decide to buy a pricey generator that uses oil and generates a nasty exhaust, consider getting an eco-friendly, non-polluting solar set that needs no refueling.
However, because of that very size, it isn't one of the best solar panel kits for home. The output might let you run a full camp set up or even an RV setup, but with a house, it can power two rooms tops. No wonder, microwaves and fridges are a big no-no. They'll fry the wiring. It is more suited for the outdoors.
Installing it is pretty easy too. You just follow the instructions, or better yet, just use common sense. All it does have are a couple wires and rivets, a controller to control the power output, and the panels. It really isn’t anything to scratch your head over.
However, controlling it is another story, though. The control unit does a pretty mediocre and borderline bad job of controlling the output. It isn’t that off, but there are quite a few inaccuracies. The controls aren’t simply that sensitive. It isn’t a problem on a sunny day, but when power is scarce things are different.
3. Renology 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Starter Kit
One of the best solar panel kits, especially for the outdoors, has been developed by Renology. The size is very manageable, and this makes it a perfect add-on to an RV or camper. You can enjoy full electrical coverage anywhere, and at no additional cost, unlike with generators.
And the set is open-ended. That means that you can add solar panels. The recommended number is four, as it will provide the described power. However, that's not the end of it; you can keep adding. It has the potential even to be a fully functional house panel set.
The panels themselves are pretty sensitive. We have been led to believe that cloudy skies are the bane of a solar-powered device. This model defies that troupe and performs even under overcast skies. Yes, there is a power output drop, but it isn't much. You have enough power, sunrise to sunset.
It isn’t tied to just one thing either; you can hook it up with almost any appliance. I think that is what makes this one of the top solar kits on the market as of now. You could use it on the lights, fans, or just use it to charge your phone. The possibilities are endless with this type.Maintaining this super versatile device is pretty easy too. All you gotta do is sometimes just adjust the position. And if it gets a little dusty, wipe it clean. Don't use water, though, water and electrical stuff are basically oil and water. Dry wipe, gently, and it should look brand new.
4. WindyNation 400 Watt Solar Panel Kit
This model consists of a full set of instruments. There is the classic solar kit that includes of solar panels and screws to fix it. The inverter is there to moderate the current flow and make it suitable for your devices and appliances. And of course, we have the battery that collects the power and stores it.
With the myriad of items provided, you might think that setting them would be at least a little complicated. But you’d be wrong. It’s surprisingly simple to arrange. You just screw on the panels and then plug it in with the charger. Then you plug the charger in with the inverter. It’s as simple as that.
It definitely competes to be the best home solar kit because of its gargantuan power output. Even mains electricity competes with this for the spot of a home power source. It runs at a full 120V, and that means it is more than enough for even the heavy duty appliances. Even PCs and TVs can run with this.
This monstrous power output lets it be a standalone power source, and thus, it makes for an excellent choice if you want to go off-grid. A distant cabin or home is a perfect place for something like this to give you power. It’s output also makes it a lifesaver if some natural disaster cuts out power.
There is one issue that can be an obstacle and even a hazard. The wires that come with this aren't really suited to carry the high output and might overheat. They might even burn. Be careful. I suggest you get thicker wires that can safely take the high power output of the device.
5. Renology Phoenix 200Wh/ 150W Portable Generator
This set is actually smaller than many, and that facilitates its portability. Unlike many solar panels sets that are bound to a certain setting, this one can easily be carried around and set up wherever. This opens a whole new realm of possibilities for you to have power at no cost.
The good portability also makes it a great option for camping out. You could pack it all up in your van and drive all the way out into the woods and still enjoy electricity. Setup is also relatively simple. The model is also great if you want to just get away and live off-grid for a while.
Easy setting up also means that it's a good solar set to keep in the case of an emergency. You could keep it aside in case for any disaster that takes out the power. Natural disasters such as hurricanes or storms tend to take out the power, and you can prevent that. Even if you're forced to evacuate, you can take this with you.
Not only is installing it easy, but it also has a good interface to work with. You can really see how your device is working. There is an indicator that constantly monitors the level of sunlight your panels are getting. On top of that, you also have a voltage marker to show the output of the device.
However, despite all of its merits, it isn't without its limits. The output for this isn't for a house. And you can't even rely on it in certain cases in a disaster. It simply won't power a heater or air conditioner because the voltage demanded by these heavy appliances is simply too much for this small set.
6. GVSHINE Mobile Solar Light System
This solar set comes with a full light system. This means that you can get illumination as soon as you hook this setup. And the lights themselves are LED lights. That means that they are much brighter than traditional light bulbs and on top of that, they consume much less electricity.
The ease of use and the readymade LED lighting system makes this a really convenient set to have in case of an emergency. Flash floods, hurricanes, or storms can cause great damage and take out the electricity. And that's when you use this for emergency power and immediate illumination.
If you want to fit them in a house, you can do that too! The panels, as well as the additional LED lights, can be fit onto the house like fixtures. This versatility nominates it to be the best home solar kit. You can also fit the whole setup into an outhouse and enjoy the same lights and power output.
Don't think that it's only good for homes, though. You can take it out for a great outdoors trip. It is quite easily portable, and the LED lights give it an immediate source of power. So, you can set it up next to your tent or cabin and enjoy the outdoors off-grid with electricity at the tip of your fingers.
Another reason why it is a great choice to have is because of its amazing battery life. Often, a big problem with solar sets is that without the sun they completely shut down and an hour or two. Not this one though. Even without any sun, it can keep things running seamlessly for hours.
7. ECO-WORTHY 25W 12V IP65 Solar Panel Kit
Consisting of a simple and compact design, this solar power set is quite the steal and is considered one of the best solar panel kits. Its size lets it be portable. That means you can pack it with you and go off on a road trip. You could hook it up to your RV or camper or set the whole thing up at a campsite or a cabin and still get the facility of electrical power.
And to further its viability in the great outdoors, the panels are made to be fully waterproof. Its wiring and circuitry won't be harmed. That's right; you no longer have to bring your panel inside every time the sky grows dark with rain clouds. You can just leave it out, and it'll bear the elements easily.
Its adaptability and versatility are further complemented by the amazingly high power output of the set. That means that you'll not only get a set that fits virtually anywhere, but you'll also find that it can power over a room's worth of appliances and even more. You could, in theory, use it for two rooms.
The controller is great too. It has two output modes, or phases, high and low, and that lets you control the output. While idle, the controller doesn't use battery power. This is crucial to prolong the battery life duration as the charger can eat quite a big chunk of power from the battery.
With all of these merits, you might think that it's perfect, but there is one thing you should take note of, the wires provided are poor. On low output they're fine, but on the higher output, they risk overheating. So, I suggest you get replacement wires just in case, better still you plug it in with the replacement wires to start with.
8. WindyNation 200 Watt Solar Panel Kit
I think this one gets the crown for the best jack of all trades solar set. First and foremost, it is excellent for outdoor activities. You can pack this in with your camping gear and go off to enjoy the outdoors. Got an outdoor, off-grid cabin that you need to power? This is what you need.
You might also like this if you run a small food stand or shake machine that needs a mobile power source. It's perfect for a soda stand or juice bar too. And it's professionally viable. It replaces the generator. Just think, no more noises or the constant refueling. Only easy, unlimited energy.
Its power output is amazing. This makes this a very viable option for a home solar set. It effortlessly powers the LED light set of four that it comes with, along with fridges, ice machines, televisions, internet routers, and even washing machines.
The set also packs an inverter. The inverter lets you convert the DC (direct current) in AC (alternating current). AC is usually the staple for most electronics, and they are geared to process AC. Hence having the inverter lets you get started without having to invest in an adapter.
There is a shortcoming; however, it needs fuses. Unfortunately, the fuses aren't built in. Usually, that is the case, and hence, people make the mistake of not getting a fuse. Yes, you can run it without fuses, but it means risking your setup getting fried. Invest in some fuses, and you're good.
9. ECO-WORTHY 12 Volt 100 Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel Kit
If you're looking for a power source, especially for your electronic or digital devices, look more. This probably is your best bet. The output has a USB port, and that means you can just plug in your charger right into this and charge it. That means you have your handheld devices active at all times.
The panels themselves are very sensitive. Cloudy days can really hinder solar panels ability to provide power. And even with this set, there is a drop in voltage. However, the drop is only about a couple of volts on this. So, you might see a few hiccups on a cloudy day but other than that it should be fine.
It even has a charge controller. The controller limits power output at seventy-five percent. This saves the battery life and puts less strain on the battery. However, one whole quarter of the power is wasted, and that can seem like a big deal to some. Whether it is a plus or minus is on you.
Setting it up is simple enough though, there are only a few items, to begin with. Only the wire, panels and the controller are there. It’s easy to connect them all, and it takes only a few minutes. You just plug the wire into panels and then the controller. That’s about it.
Despite all of its upsides, you need to take care though. The whole thing is somewhat delicate. You need to be careful with your solar set. The wires connect rather weakly and can dislocate easily. You can also permanently damage your set if you drop it. It isn't very solid.
10. ECO-WORTHY 800 Watts Solar Panel Kit
Manufactured by ECO-WORTHY, this set comprises of everything you could want in a fully-fledged solar panel set.
There are the panels that collect sunlight, the inverter that moderates and converts the current from the panels, a box to contain all the wiring, a charge controller and a mounting system. It has all the bells and whistles.
While there might be a myriad of items, it's really easy to hook them all up. They are all labeled, and you can easily infer which goes where. The wires go into the charge controller and inverter and panels, but the order might confuse you, so they are labeled too. This lets you get everything done easily.
The power output on this is simply titanic. It can power the home almost seamlessly. It can power many different, high functioning appliances, such as televisions, computers, and much more. It can run kitchen appliances too, such as fridges and washing machines. It even can power coffee machines!
If you’re going outdoors, this is a great option too. It is just portable enough to be propped up onto an RV or camper. You can even set this all up in a remote cabin or retreat that is off-grid and thus provide power for you to live there. You can also use it to power the residence of a scout team or something similar.
Unfortunately, the downside to this otherwise perfect product is its wiring. They are simply too thin. I suggest you get thicker wire with this otherwise you risk burning up your entire setup. While it does run with the wires given, they heat up considerably with prolonged use. Better safe than sorry.
What to Look for When Buying One?
Here are the factors that you should consider before investing your money. These will help you find the best home solar panel sets.
1. Power Output
This criterion is obvious. You wouldn't settle for something that can't power the things you want. However high power panels are generally more expensive, so remember that.
Also, on another note, high powered panels tend to be less portable. So, if you want a home panel system, go for a high powered one; otherwise, a low output is fine.
2. Battery Life
While it is assumed that a solar panel would only be useful in the sun, it is desirable to have power when the sun is out. So much so, that it is a criterion in and of itself. If there is a cloudy day or some other issue, you will appreciate when the power doesn't just black out. The charger is just perfect for that.
3. Panel Sensitivity
Now this is more important if you extensively depend on solar power. Some of the panels are sensitive enough to keep working even in overcast weather. Others only function in direct sunlight. Buy in accordance to where you live. If you live in arid areas, sensitivity may seem not that important to you.
This isn't that important if you're solely looking to invest in a home solar kit. However, if you're looking to go camping with it, or to run it on a vehicle, the portability is definitely a key criterion to judge. It can be tricky to balance that and power output, but it's possible with some reading (like reading this review).
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it waterproof?
Most panels are. However, some mobile ones aren’t. Check with the provider. Water can mess up all of the circuitry, so be careful.
2. How many things can it power at once?
Don't test it out. Chances are you'll fry the wiring. Instead, look the amperage and voltage setting of your battery. The rest is just simple arithmetic.
3. Can it power an oven?
Some can. Be careful before you plug one in. If beyond its capacity, the panel set will overheat and can be irreversibly damaged.
4. Is the kit expandable?
Most are. And I suggest getting one that is. If it isn't, it is often explicitly stated. Still, you should contact the producer.
5. How to perform maintenance?
The golden rule, no water. Use a duster or a dry cloth to clean out dust and cobwebs.
I’m sure by now you already know enough to come to a conscious decision about solar panels. If my solar panel kit reviews manage to help you find the ideal kit, then I’ll consider my efforts successful.
Let me know about your decision in the comments section.