I have a design that uses a solar panel to convert sunlight into electricity that is stored in a sealed lead-acid (SLA) battery. The power from the battery is then used in the evenings to power LED lighting. LEDs and solar power go well together.
I am using this system to illuminate my home in the evenings (and early morning), and am able to save from 10% to 15% on the electric bill each month. The system is maintenance-free, and works daily without need for attention.
The LEDs are controlled using a micro-controller on a PCB. The LEDs are turned ON/OFF using an InfraRed (IR) controller. I also have various settings that can be set using the IR remote.