The Benefits of Solar Lighting Explained
Solar energy is evolving to be a staple for public benefit throughout the world. It has also been integrated into various outdoor lighting systems such as streets, parking lot, pathway, security, and signage lighting. Here are 7 main points why switching to solar is an ideal option. There’s a lot more to green energy than you might think, so stay awhile to learn about the benefits and advantages of solar lighting!
Take Advantage of Longer Lifespans
The recent solar technology is developed specifically with longevity in mind. The Cree LED lights are rated to last up to 100,000 hours, while the batteries last 5-7 years on average. The solar panels themselves and the light poles are rated for two decades, so rest assured that your investment will pay for itself over time. Plus, LED lights can last up to five times longer than traditional high-pressure sodium lights, and even longer for other light technologies.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) discovered through research that if solar was a world-wide energy solution, solar adoption would significantly reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and health-harmful emissions, reducing pollution and degradation of land through drilling and fracking. The amount of Carbon Dioxide emitted by all the street lights in the US is equivalent to the annual emissions of 26 million vehicles. Pollution affects us in more ways than we immediately think, but solar is significantly better for the environment and public health.
Set it and Forget It Maintenance
Commercial solar lights require less maintenance than traditional lights–an occasional cleaning to get obstructions off of the panels, battery replacements, but not much else. Traditional lighting fixtures (High-Pressure Sodium typically) require more frequent replacements, one every 5 years. It’s the proper combination of certain technologies that are rated to last a long time with a small upkeep for each functioning component that keep our lights shining. Less maintenance means less time and money spent.
Highly Technological Systems
Our solar lights are constructed with mono-crystalline panels that are the most efficient on the market today (20% of total possible power), surpassing poly-crystalline (rated at 15% efficiency). Our latest lighting fixtures, the GS-260 Pro, 290D, and the NSDB Pro, are 15% more efficient with light than their previous models. Coupled with deep-cycle lead acid batteries rated to last 5-7 years, we’ve got some of the best equipment on the market, and every few years our engineers find ways to improve efficiency and costs. Every new model gets better than the last.
Keen on Community Security
Each of these solar lights provides sufficient visibility at any time of night due to the high-powered Cree LED bulbs in each fixture. This lighting solution increases security for communities, deters crime, enhances safety, and saves money due to decreased vandalism. A recent study headed by a research team in New York did a controlled trial of LED lighting that saw a drop in crime of 39 percent. We’ve solved similar problems that companies, rural businesses, and even schools have faced with vandalism and theft simply because our commercial lighting systems boost security when and where it’s needed most. They’re versatile for any public areas such as residential localities, parking lots, public parks, commercial areas, and streets.
An Extremely Cost-Effective Lighting Solution
The true costs of solar lights compared to traditional lights are very different from what they seem like on the surface. A unit of measurable energy for solar, the kilowatt per hour, has dropped by 73% since 2010. Those numbers don’t lie–neither do shortened receipts and smaller bills. Here’s a breakdown:
- The average cost of one traditional light, including the lighting fixture, pole, and base, averages $1,500 USD per light. Admittedly, because of the advanced technology required for solar lights, they are more expensive, averaging about $3,000 per light.
- The biggest difference between the price of traditional and solar lights lies in the installation. The trenching, underground wiring, and labor required by traditional lighting totals $150 per foot, which averages $4,500 for each light. However, the cost of installing a solar light is only $1,500, already a savings of $3,000 dollars.
- The third major cost lies in maintenance. Solar LED lights last 5-7 years and get repaired less frequently. Annual light repairs for HPS and similar lights average around 35 dollars annually.
- A normal 400-watt high-pressure sodium light uses $15.00 worth of power per month. Multiply that per light (10 is a common light number), per month, and you’re easily spending $1,800 per light system annually, just on energy usage alone. You spend 0 dollars on solar energy lighting since the light from the sun is free. Not a bad price.
- If a solar lighting system costs $30,000 for a complete installation from start to finish, current tax incentives can see a return of $9,000 back. DSIRE lists a bounty of state and federal level incentives to earn money back–why not make money on your solar installation?
- The annual price for a traditional light with installation costs $6,000, which is double the price of a solar light. Annual costs for maintenance, repair, and energy uses exceed solar lighting pricing significantly. The actual return on investment of a solar lighting system over traditional is more than 50%.
The International Energy Agency predicts that solar power will make up 16% of the world’s electricity by 2050 if we continue on this path. Be a part of that percentage by going solar–increasing safety, reducing pollution, and saving money by pulling power from the sun.
If you’re in need of solar lighting to save money, protect your grounds, and “go green,” as it’s said, click here to learn more. The benefits and advantages of solar lighting are here for the taking. Who knows, with your new solar installation you may receive attention from the media for installing environmentally-friendly lights and become the talk of the town.
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