Are Solar Parking Lot Lights Worth the Investment?
Posted by Stephen Shickadance in The Basics.
You're here because you want to know if solar parking lot lights are worth it.
Yes. That's the short answer.
The longer answer? With no carbon emissions, nothing to burn, no power to consume (other than solar power, obviously), solar parking lot lights are worth the investment because they save companies and cities several thousands of dollars while reducing our overall carbon footprint.
Read further, you'll discover why that's the case. But first, how these modern marvels of lighting work:
How Solar Lights Work
It's simple, actually. The solar panels mounted on a pole (or a solar power generator if that's your preference) draw in solar energy from the sun. The energy is converted from AC power to DC and stored in a battery, also mounted on a pole.
Sensors in the energy management system detect a drop in light and the LED fixture turns on, drawing power from the battery that was gathered during the day.
What To Consider Beforehand
Before you make a purchase, you'll want to consider the manufacturer you choose for your lights. Many manufacturers in the solar market have a "one size fits all" approach, which is not ideal. You'll need qualified lighting engineers to design, size, and position each light so they receive the maximum allowable energy during the day and the best lumen output for the lot in question. Bad lights from a poor manufacturer can cost you too much time and money.
In addition, you'll want a manufacturer that provides a strong warranty, whether limited or full. Be sure to read all the documentation on your warranty to understand the terms of it.
Are Solar Parking Lot Lights Worth the Investment? Yes, and Here's Why:
A lot of businesses and municipalities look at solar parking lot lights and wince at the up-front price tag. Typically, you'll pay about 50% more for a solar light over a traditional light because of the additional solar components.
So, essentially, if a traditional grid-tie light costs 2,000, expect to pay about 3,000 for a solar light.
So you might be wondering how is a solar investment worth it, especially if there are so many more expensive components to a solar light?
Here's a fantastic example of solar parking lot lights for an airport in Santa Monica.
Savings on Trenching
The biggest hidden cost for a lighting installation is through the trenching for the lights. Feel free to do your research on how much it costs to trench and wire a light, but if you'd rather save yourself the time we've done the math and research for you.
Costs to trench and connect a single light can skyrocket the project price to higher numbers, depending on the project specifications. For instance, in order to trench for power to connect the lights, trenching costs can average about 40 dollars a linear foot. That cost quickly adds up, especially if the lights are in an expansive lot. The price typically exceeds the total price of just purchasing the lights themselves. Additional prices can add on, especially if the parking lot is already paved over.
Not only will you need to pay for labor to crack the pavement if it's paved over, but you'll also need to block off that particular section of the lot from customers. During that construction time, you'll need to find a place to relocate commuters, especially if you have limited parking lot space and enough commuters for an overfill.
Some places don't even have the time or capability to block off parking lots for lights. We're talking about a 2-week timespan to shut down a lot, forcing people to park elsewhere. Not ideal.
Plus, it's unsightly. There's a reason why construction sites are blocked off with opaque barriers. It's to keep people out and to hide how it looks.
So, the benefits of solar lighting are worth the investment because you skip all that hassle. You skip the trenching, relocation, unsightly construction, and timespan of essentially shutting the lot down.
Plus, you save the money it would cost to perform all that hassle. One solar project saved the customer nearly half a million dollars.
So how long would it take to install solar lights in a parking lot?
With an average of roughly an hour per solar light, you can have an entire parking lot of 20 lights installed in a weekend, perhaps even in a single day depending on the lot and crew size installing them. Solar lights are a long-term, viable parking lot investment that save companies time and money up front.
Everyone Loves No Energy Bills
We don't know anyone who likes getting bills (we sure don't), but just like roaches, they don't go away. Thankfully, through solar, you can get rid of your monthly energy bill. The annual cost of a ten-light system (HPS, metal halide, other technologies) that doesn't use renewable energy can cost 20 dollars a light per month. Just 10 lights over the course of a year can cost 2,400 dollars just to operate.
Or, you could choose solar lighting and pay 0 dollars annually. We'll let you decide which you prefer.
Smile, You're Getting Attention
A lot of municipalities have blazed a path towards going entirely solar. News stations and media outlets recognize efforts in going green. Another reason why buying solar parking lot lights as an investment is that it's positive for the publicity of a business.
So, if you need more foot traffic (and some boosted revenue in turn), give solar a shot.
Additional Benefits: Improved Safety in Parking Lots
Parking lots at night can, unfortunately, be heavy targets for criminals and vandals. We have scores of success stories of how solar LED lights have reduced crime and helped pedestrians feel safer at night. We're happy to be a leading provider of lights that, frankly, fight crime! Plus, these lights don't need to be turned on manually—integrated sensors turn them on when light levels start to drop and they turn off to conserve battery life and charge during the day.
Better for the Environment
Green energy is all the rage recently. There's an energy crisis on the horizon, and every day the crisis crawls closer to a global shortage. Thankfully, using solar is a way to combat that.
Think of every public light across the world that uses energy on a nightly basis. It's unfathomable how much energy is consumed every day, even for just public lighting.
Public lighting contributes to 7% of our overall carbon footprint, globally. That definitely contributes to global warming and how volatile our weather patterns have been over the decades.
Investing in solar parking lot lights is worth it because you help contribute to the green initiative--saving energy for the future while protecting us and our environment.
We here at Greenshine New Energy are experts at developing solar lighting systems for parking lots. With over 30 years of combined experience, we know how to light a lot properly using the most respected and trustworthy technology on the market. We use CREE LED fixtures to light whatever needed. The solar panels we use are highly-efficient monocrystalline silicon panels guaranteed to charge the batteries that power the parking lot lights.
If you want to save money, time, and the environment, request a quote today and we'll get busy working for you. Thanks for reading.
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