Solar gate openers have recently been rising in popularity. They operate like regular gate openers, but instead of electricity, they’re operated with energy that’s generated by the sun. Individuals like installing solar gate openers in their home so they won’t have to worry about their gate not operating in case of a blackout or power outage.
While there are multiple benefits of installing a solar gate opener, there are a few things you’d need to keep in mind. To help, we’ve created a comprehensive guide about what to look for when purchasing your solar gate opener. We’ve also added a list of 5 of the best solar gate openers in the market to get you started.
Benefits of Solar Gate Openers
One of the first benefits of solar gate openers is that they’re cost-efficient. Since it utilizes energy from the sun to operate, you’ll be paying much less on your electricity bill. While you might have to fork out a little more for the initial product cost and installation fees, you’ll be saving money in the long-term.
Solar gate openers are also eco-friendly, so you’re reducing your impact on the environment. With electricity, it’s usually powered by burning coal or nuclear power, which can negatively impact the environment. By contrast, solar energy is much cleaner, and you’ll be reducing your overall carbon footprint.
The installation process of solar gate openers is also straightforward, and you can install it in a remote location or a place that doesn’t have access to power. With traditional gate openers, you’ve got to dig into the ground to run the cables or call an electrician, and you won’t need to do that with a solar gate opener.
Another great benefit is safety. With solar gate openers, you won’t have to worry about cables or power outages. It’ll also always be working even if you don’t have running electricity, so you won’t be left feeling vulnerable – especially late in the evening.
Lastly, solar-powered gates have also become more affordable as the cost to manufacture photovoltaic (PV) panels has reduced considerably. As such, you should be able to purchase a solar gate opener that fits your needs at a reasonable price.
Pros and Cons
- Cost-friendly. Solar energy is free so that you won’t have to worry about having a hefty electricity bill.
- Eco-friendly. Since a solar gate opener relies on solar power, you’re doing your part for the environment.
- Great options for remote areas. If you tend to have power outages or live in a remote area, solar gate openers are a great option since you won’t need to depend on electricity.
- Easy to maintain. Solar gate openers are sturdy and don’t require much maintenance. Installation is also a breeze, and you won’t have to worry about wiring.
- Dependent on the sun. Since solar gate openers are dependent on the sun, its performance could be hampered by cloudy weather.
What to Look for in Solar Gate Openers
There are a few things you’d need to consider when purchasing solar gate openers. The first thing is the capacities. This is one of the most important features and is essentially the lengths and weights that the gate can handle.
Solar gate openers usually fall into three different classifications – light, medium, and heavy-duty. You’d need to know the capacity you need and make sure that the gate opener you’ve selected can handle your gate’s length or weight. Another thing to take note of is that the capacity usually refers to either the maximum weight or maximum length, and not both.
Then, you’d want to think about the type of gate opener you’d want. There are usually four different types – single swing, dual swing, single slide, and dual slide. You can also think about additional features and if you’d need them for your solar gate opener. Some kits, for example, may include batteries and even remote controls, while others may not have them. While you can always purchase these components separately, it’s more convenient to have it all in one kit.
Top 5 Best Solar Gate Openers
This easy to install solar gate opener comes with everything you need. It’s meant for single vehicular swing gates, and also comes with a 10W solar panel. Upon your purchase, you’ll also get an 18-month warranty on the motor and gear assembly. While you’ll have to purchase your 12V battery, all necessary installation hardware and fasteners are included and can be easily installed with available tools.
Other great features of this solar gate opener include tube brackets that make it easy to install, a three-button remote transmitter that can reach up to 1,000 feet, and a GhostCode feature that’ll keep your system safe and secure from hackers. Those who have purchased this gate liked how the hardware was made of good quality; it came with instructions, and how the program control panel was easy to use.
- Comes with an 18-month warranty
- Comes with all necessary installation hardware and fasteners
- Has a three-button remote transmitter
- Comes with instructions for installation
- You’ll have to purchase the battery separately along with other components
This powerful solar gate opener comes with a strong motor that has low power consumption. It’s specially designed for heavy-duty sliding gates that weigh up to a maximum of 1,600 pounds in weight, and 40 inches in length. You can choose to power this particular gate by either the AC source or through the solar panel. The motor is made of durable pure copper wire material, ultra-quiet, and requires minimal maintenance.
You can use it for all types of sliding gates, from steel to wood, chain-link, and more. Installation is easy, and you can do it with regular tools without extra welding or high-voltage electricity. You’ll get all the instructions with your purchase along with full mounting hardware. It’s also got enhanced security technology along with a soft start and stop for long-lasting performance. You’ll also get a 12-month warranty in case you run into any issues along with a 30-day complimentary return and exchange service.
- Strong motor with low power consumption
- Designed for heavy-duty sliding gates
- Easy instructions for installation
- Comes with a 12-month warranty
- Remote needs to be in direct line of view of the gate and pretty close or it won’t work
This solar gate opener is excellent for solar swing-type gates and is quick to install on your own. Your purchase comes with a limited lifetime warranty, and the gate is also optimized for tube gates. It works well for any dual swing gate up to 24 feet, and you might have to purchase additional components such as a push-to-open bracket kit depending on the type of gate that you have.
You’ll also get a 10W solar panel along with your purchase, tube brackets, and a three-button remote transmitter. Those that have purchased this kit mentioned that it’s reasonably priced and able to endure various weather conditions. They also said that even though there’s minimal sun, the gate opener still worked well. Some that ran into issues also appreciated the excellent customer service they received and the swift responses.
- Easy to install on your own
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Works well with dual swing gates up to 24 feet
- Works well in various weather conditions
- You may have to purchase other components depending on the gate that you have and your needs
This particular kit comes with a 24V DC motor with low power consumption, and this solar gate opener is great for light-duty single swing gates with a maximum length of 12 feet and a maximum weight of 300 pounds. The extendable swing arm is made of aluminum material and is long-lasting and perfect for lightweight gates.
You can use this single gate opener for all types of single swing gates made with different materials from steel to wood and vinyl. Your purchase also comes with instructions, so installation will only take a couple of hours. Those who have purchased it like how it’s relatively easy to install, relatively quick when it comes to opening and closer, and that the keyfobs can work for a longer distance.
- Great for light-duty single swing gates
- Made of durable aluminum
- Comes with instructions for easy installation
- Keyfobs can work for a longer distance
- Doesn’t work great in cold weather
Last, on the list, you’ve got this fantastic solar gate opener that comes with a robust 180W motor that’s great for heavy-duty sliding gates that have a maximum length of 40 feet, and a weight of 920 pounds. The gate opener can be powered by the AC source or by the control panel. The motor is made of pure copper wire, and your purchase comes with a 30W monocrystalline solar panel. This solar gate opener also has an adjustable self-close time feature in 30-second intervals.
Upon your purchase, you’ll get a few items, including the gate opener, solar panel, solar controller, remote control transmitter, base plate, emergency release key, a full set of required installation hardware, a warning sign, and a detailed installation manual. Depending on the gate’s length, it’ll open and close between 20 to 60 seconds, and it can work in a variety of weather conditions.
- Comes with a robust 180W motor
- Great for heavy-duty sliding gates
- Comes with a detailed installation manual
- Works in a variety of weather conditions
- You’ll have to purchase your own power supply cord and battery
The Bottom Line
If you’re living in a rural area or frequently experience power outages, solar gate openers are a great option. We hope that this comprehensive guide provided you with insight into what to look for when purchasing a solar gate opener and that the product options were a great starting point.