3 Concerns About Solar Lights Operating in Harsh Winter Conditions
Posted by Stephen Shickadance in Inspiring Projects.
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Solar outdoor lighting is a fantastic method of utilizing green energy while enhancing safety in public areas. We’re aware of a lot of the concerns, however, of companies considering the purchase for solar, especially companies that don't reside in the sun belt or sun-heavy areas. Wintertime can be harsh on equipment, especially lighting that requires the sun to operate. Many customers in the past have asked if solar is still a viable lighting option during winter. Put your concerns to rest; solar still operates fine in winter, and our solar light systems stand up against wind, rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. Here’s how.
Does Solar Lighting Hold Up in Winter?
Solar Lighting Systems Work Well in the Snow
We’re sure there’s a concern for how solar lights might operate during wintertime. The sun doesn’t shine as often, and expensive equipment in freezing temperatures is bound to be a concern for whoever is purchasing the lights. As much as there might be cause for concern with solar light panels in sub-zero temperatures, fret not! Solar lighting equipment is specially designed so that it doesn't warp easily from temperature fluctuations. Plus, fixtures are IP65 rated, so water doesn't seep into the sensitive components from the snow that might build up on the panel. The IP (Ingress Protection) 5 rating protects against rain and snow.
Many of our light panels are tilted to ease the rolloff of snow, so even during a nasty winter storm, the solar LED lights won’t likely gather piles of snow and damage the installation. Even if snow piles up on the solar panel, a quick tap with a broom handle or similar object will knock it loose (just be sure nothing's below the snow as it falls).
Worried about low temperatures on batteries? If you’re concerned about the effect of drastic temperature changes on the batteries that house the converted solar energy, we have options to bury them to prevent volatile temperature fluctuations. Just be aware the typical lifespan of the batteries used is about 5-7 years, so if you opt to bury the battery to protect it from snow, replacing it will take a little more work. However, the batteries will be out of sight and protected in their installation boxes where the weather is less of a concern.
We considered all kinds of climate when designing our lights--they are meant to take a beating and keep on shining.
Less Light, Permanent Night?
We don’t need to tell you there’s less sunlight in winter, nor do we need to tell you that less sunlight can affect solar lighting in winter. That’s a simple, clear fact to everyone, so it’s intuitive to think that solar-powered devices don’t function well during the darkest months. Well, we thought ahead again and ensured our product contradicts a lot of the worries about solar. Here’s how:
Even in rain-heavy localities with a near-permanent overcast cloud, current solar technologies are still capable of culling light. Our solar panels rate at 50 percent as efficient when light struggles to break through the clouds. That’s not all: in developing our product, we decided to include some of the heftiest batteries on the market—batteries that will keep our solar lights running for up to 14 days. That’s right, even without constant sunlight during the darkest times of the month, our solar lights will operate for a fortnight. Rest assured that light will be around when there isn’t any—unless the sun dies out, but that's probably the least of everyone's concerns right now.
In addition to larger batteries that give two weeks of autonomy, every solar lighting system is designed by qualified engineers that know how to combat against dark skies. Every system is designed with calculated sun hours in mind on the winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. The sun hour calculation gives us the proper foundation of how to properly design a solar light, so if the sun is blocked by heavy winter clouds, your lights will continue to shine every night, all week long.
Proper Light Means Proper Solar Panel Configuration
The idea behind solar is we want to maximize potential energy gain on a daily basis. During the course of a year, the sun follows a different path every day. The sun sheds light differently on the planet during the winter months, so what’s the best practice with gathering the energy from the sun?
Our solar light panels are customizable to any angle! Follow the sun’s path to ensure the top efficiency for each of your panels. Not sure what angle you need? We’ve got people that can calculate the proper angle and help you determine where to face the panels to ensure power is maximally delivered to your new solar installation. Solar lighting during winter isn't a problem if you have the proper equipment with the proper configuration.
We could go on about why our solar lighting systems work in winter, but we’ve given you the main three points. Just remember, we have a combined span of 3 decades of work in solar. If you’re in the market to save some green, we specialize in that. If you’re in the market to go green, we specialize in that too. Just keep in mind that solar light fixtures aren’t just for when the sun is out, they’re built to last several years through thick and thin, light and dark, cold and hot. Find out the easy way what makes us one of the most trusted brands in solar. Browse our customer case studies or contact us if you have any questions. Have an energy-filled, wonderful day.
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