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What is solar street light?
Solar street lights are raised light sources which are powered by solar panels generally mounted on the lighting structure or integrated into the pole itself. The solar panels charge a rechargeable battery, which powers a fluorescent or LED lamp during the night.
What’s Advantages of solar-powered street lights?
Here are some of the major pros of solar power street lights.
1. Install them anywhere
They are perfectly suitable for any exterior light requirement.
- Street and roadways
- Parking lots
- Perimeter security
By choosing solar canopy lighting, parks or parking lots will stop being a load on the annual bill.
2. Saving money
Solar-powered street lights have almost no operating cost associated. Just put the lights up and leave the rest to the sun.
Since they work with LEDs, bulbs do not need to be changed as frequently as with conventional lighting.
Take advantage of tax incentives and government rebates with these systems!
3. No more dark places
Since solar canopy lighting operates off-grid, the solar-powered lights will remain shining in case of power outages.
4. Minimized risk of accidents
Solar-powered street lights do not have external wires, given that they are not connected to the grid. The personnel who fix street lights will be safer while working with these.
Solar canopy lighting only depends on the sun for operation. For this reason, the carbon footprint associated with public lighting is eliminated.
6. Grid independent
Since solar-powered street lights produce their energy, out of grid reach areas can seize this feature and count on street lighting.
What’s Disadvantages of solar street lights?
Here are several cons to solar street lights.
1. Higher initial investment
Their up-front costs are higher than in the case of conventional lighting. For this reason, most people are kept from switching to this system.
2. Easily stolen
Given the absence of wires, solar-powered public lights are more sensitive to being stolen. Besides, they are also more expensive than regular street lighting, boosting the chance for theft.
3. Accumulation of snow or dust on horizontal PV-panels
If no maintenance is given to the system during extreme weather conditions, energy production lowers or completely stops.
In this case, snow, dust or moisture accumulation leads to panel cell damage or lifespan shortening. Read our guide on the lifespan of solar panels.
4. Batteries replacement
Just like any other battery, solar-powered street system batteries must be replaced a few times during the panel’s lifetime.
This adds up to the total lifetime cost of the system. Read this guide about solar panel batteries.
How do solar public lights work?
As you might imagine, the solar canopy lighting principle is the same as with any other system that involves solar panels.
The solar cells in the panel seize the energy from the sun during the day. That energy is converted into electricity and stored in the battery.
Once sunlight starts to fade and the solar panel voltage drops lower than 5 volts, LEDs progressively start to light on. They will remain on throughout the night, consuming the energy stored in the battery.
The next day the cycle repeats.
Well, LEDs have a few attributes that make them superior over common High-Pressure Sodium Lamps (HPSL).
LEDs consume much less energy than any other commercially available lighting technology. Typical source efficiency circles around 80 – 130 lumens/watt.
Also, they emit light directionally, i.e. over 180º, contrarily to common lamps which emit it at 360º.
LEDs kick out the need to redirect or reflect light, leading to far fewer losses than with conventional lamps.
This comparison is better explained by the illustration below.
LEDs’ lifespan is also much larger than other lighting technology, which is one of the big myths about LED lighting.
You can easily bet on an LED lasting up to 60,000 hours. Some of them even go up to 100,000 hours or more.
They also offer very high light quality with very low maintenance costs and hassle.
The fact that LEDs are more efficient than traditional lamps, implies smaller solar panels size.
Sensors are included within the fixture to increase the whole system efficiency even further and decrease its energy consumption.
A light sensor system commands different radiance levels depending on the time and sunlight intensity.
The time control mode makes LEDs not to shine at 100% when the sun barely starts to go down. Instead, they are lit according to the available natural light and the light requirement.
For example, they start running at 50% “brightness” at dawn and work it up as time passes by. So, at 7:00 pm they might run at 70% and reach 100% at 8:00 or 9:00 pm.
Motion sensors detect movement near the street lighting pole, and this will make LEDs to shine at their 100% capacity. When no motion is detected, then a portion of the LEDs will go off.
Motion sensors allow having some light glowing even when no movement is detected, avoiding complete darkness.
Integrated vs. Split Type
Thanks to technology innovation, batteries, and LED lighting are getting smaller.
The smaller size of components means that they can be integrated into more compact units.
All-in-one fixtures require no wiring and are easier to install, involving no complex processes. In other words, you don’t require electrical or specific technical knowledge for the installation.
The low energy consumption of LEDs makes these solar-powered systems to extend their autonomy to 5+ days. Even places with intense rainy seasons or lower irradiance can still benefit from solar canopy street lights.
LEDs can be work with both, split or integrated types.
All-in-one systems, however, have better hurricane/typhoon resistance than split-type. This is due to the compactness of the former.
On the contrary, the split type has the solar panel separated from the lamp, making it more vulnerable to harsh conditions.
Compact systems are easier and cheaper to transport than split ones. In terms of space, you could twofold or threefold your solar street lights load in a container.
Furthermore, given the lower space requirements, the storing costs will also be lower than in the case of the split type.
Why choose solar street lights China?
Solar Street Lights China offer systems adequate to operate from rural to suburban and metropolitan areas. OuyadSolar is the world leader in All-in-one systems. They developed the first integrated solar street light type and have lighting solutions for every application. They offer top-quality technology that resists the harshest of conditions.