With rising popularity in the last decades, solar street lighting is becoming a dominant option in the lighting sector. The option is flexible, making ideal for various applications including residential, commercial, and institutional setups. If you would like to sideline the traditional system of street lighting and replace it with a popular alternative, here are six things you should know before you install solar streetlights.
1. Zero impact on the environment
In the present era of green technology, using solar powered gadgets is one way to eliminate the carbon footprint. Engineered by certified solar power industries, solar-powered lights utilize energy from the sun, which leads to no destructive impact on the surrounding. On the contrary, traditional street lights use electricity from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels and natural gas. With continuous exploitation, these resources continue to dwindle.
Once installed by a reliable and certified lighting contractor, standalone lighting units illuminate open areas or streets. The units come with LED lamps with low power consumption and high illumination qualities. A standard solar street light consists of the following:
- Lighting fixture
- Charge controller
- Rechargeable battery
- Solar panel or a photovoltaic module
- Light pole
All the operations are solar-based with no adverse effect on the environment.
2. Solar street lights are powerful
Solar street lights come with affixed or inbuilt LED lamps. Besides, users can color the lamps to their taste to increase nighttime visibility. Traditional street lights have halide lamps that do not emit as much power and visibility as the solar-powered units. The solar panel generates electricity to charge the battery during the day. A circuit that uses sensors controls the charging system. All the components are portable and fixed on a pole. The solar panel takes the uppermost position of the pole to enable it to grab as much solar power as possible without shading.
3. They are not cheap
Compared to the traditional street lights, solar street lights are more expensive. That said, they are better for the environment and cheaper in the end. Traditional street lights can be cheaper during installation, but they come with lifetime maintenance expenses that are non-existent in the solar-powered units. Once acquired from a reliable solar street light manufacturer, solar-powered lights have little or zero maintenance, making them cheaper in the long-term. The price depends on the components. For instance, the solar panel that generates solar energy and turns into electricity is available in different forms. There are two main types of solar panels: crystalline and thin-filmed. Even within the two categories, there are variations that can influence pricing greatly.
4. They have a longer lifespan
Traditional street lamps have a life span of 5000 hours while solar-powered lamps have nearly ten times as much. LED lamps in the solar-powered lights come with a rechargeable battery that stores electricity supplied by the solar panel. Besides, solar power applications utilize deep cycle batteries that can withstand deep and repeated discharge. Types of batteries used in solar street lights include:
- Lead-Acid battery
- Nickel-Cadmium battery
- Lithium-Ion or Lithium-polymer battery
These batteries are maintenance-free and have a higher depth discharge.
5. Solar street lights are dependable
Solar-powered lamps will keep your street or open area illuminated even when conventional electricity goes off. Traditional street lights go off immediately in case of a grid failure. On the contrary, the LED lamp used in solar-powered street lights has a longer lifespan and a higher electrical efficiency. Besides, LED is a perfect combination with solar power because it works under low voltage, low power, and low heat. It comes to full brightness without the need to warm up. Importantly, the lamp has heat-dissipating elements such as cooling fins and heat sinks, which improve reliability.
6. They are available in different types
If you are shopping for solar street lights, you should first identify a reliable supplier. You can purchase online or in lighting stores. Popular options include:
- Alien Energy
- Best Solar
- Mainframe and many others
Once you choose a reliable lighting contractor, you should discuss everything in detail and sign a written contract. Besides, obtaining quotes from two or three different suppliers can help you identify a provider with the best offer. Other things to check include a valid license and active liability cover.