exterior solar light fixtures

What in the World is a Light Fixture (and What Are the Best Ones for Solar Lights)?

exterior solar light fixtures

Here at Greenshine, we toss around lighting terminology all day–lumens, wattage, temperature coefficients, mono- and poly-crystalline–the jargon can get particularly heavy. We thought we’d educate the masses through defining what a fixture is, how fixture technology has advanced in the past few years, and how that matters when it comes to solar LED lighting. Check out this 5-minute read on the greenest lighting technology available.

Light Fixture Fixin’s

A fixture is defined as an electrical device that contains an electric lamp that provides illumination. It’s definitely a broad term, and yes, you can even find them in your home and outdoors on light poles. They’re considered the “main deal” when it comes to solar LED lights.  Some are pretty basic, some can get very ornate, and others are purely functional without any decorative flare. Not one fixture fits all situations though, and so we’ve dived into some of the best solar outdoor light fixtures for streets, public areas, parks, and other purposes. Just so you’re aware, this isn’t an exhaustive list of fixtures, only the best for exterior solar lights found at Greenshine.

Type II

The first fixture that Greenshine offers, Type II fixtures are slightly wider than their predecessors (aptly named Type I) so that the spread of LED light is a little broader. Whereas Type I has a very narrow band, Type II is better for sidewalks, park paths, and wider areas that see a lot of foot traffic. It’s a highly common light fixture and one of the most popular for pedestrian paths located by the roadside or in public parks. Check out an example of how our Lita line improved a pathway located in a park for the enjoyment of nearby residents.

Type III

Type III lighting systems are wider solar outdoor light fixtures meant for parking lots, wider areas of foot traffic, street lighting, and other areas that require broader lighting beyond pathways. This fixture works ideally with a lateral width of 40 degrees. These are currently the most popular for Greenshine and used on a wide variety of solar LED light installations across the US.

Type V

Type V utilizes a circular layout so that every light gets maximum exposure without specific direction. It’s suggested that these kind of solar outdoor light fixtures are used in sprawling parking lots, high-traffic streets, and anywhere where there needs to be wide, untargeted coverage. Typically these are found in larger parking lots, construction yards, and places where coverage is key.

All of these LED fixture Types work within Greenshine’s pole-mounted lighting solutions including the Supera, Brighta, Lita, and other solar outdoor light fixtures we manufacture.

How Light Fixtures Have Improved

Efficiency and Price

With every product iteration, we’ve improved efficiency and price per watt. You see, the light fixture isn’t just about where the light is held. The light fixture is highly engineered by experts to maximize output, minimize potential harm to the fixture (heat can significantly reduce efficiency), and increase functionality. The newest light fixtures that Greenshine offers are 15% more efficient per watt than previous models, resulting in a brighter area of light that uses less energy drawn by the solar panel and stored in the battery. LED lights have seen a price drop of 150$ per kilolumen in the span of eight years. In 2030, who knows how efficient and inexpensive LEDs will be? Plus, since we’re talking solar outdoor light fixtures, they don’t need centralized power connectivity so you can save on trenching and wiring, which are usually very expensive tasks–some lights require approximately $4,000 per light just for connectivity. That’s no pocket change.

Heat

Vast improvements in heat dispersion have boosted LED longevity significantly. The junction temperature is the primary culprit behind the eventual deterioration of an LED light, which is raised by what’s called the ambient temperature and the drive current. Junction temperature is often managed on the newest light fixtures by high-quality heat sinks or cooling fans to dissipate heat, prolonging the life of the light (an average LED light will last about 11 years with 12 hours of use a day). Heat happens to be the #1 LED killer, but modern enhancements have drawn away high temperatures so that LEDs last even longer than they used to.

Smart Controls

One of the newer functionalities for solar outdoor light fixtures is that smart controls can be added to the mix. Lighting isn’t just a matter of being “on,” it’s a matter of giving complete control of the lights to improve longevity and functionality. A solar light can be configured to turn on at the start of dusk and slowly ramp up brightness to “full” brightness once the sun’s light isn’t adequate for an area. Each light can be configured to be “on” at a certain percentage during a specific time of day so that the target area gets as much light as it needs–reducing overall fixture and battery usage, thus increasing longevity. We’re sure solar outdoor light fixtures left on at full brightness all day won’t last as long as lights that are turned on only when needed. Plus, each light can be connected to motion-control cameras to blink on as soon as motion is detected. Smart controls and added functionality like this bring security where it’s needed most–we’ve seen vast improvements in safety for rural areas since we’ve installed some of our systems in remote areas where grid power isn’t available.

We hope this brief introduction to exterior solar light fixtures is great for anyone curious about how they operate and how they’ve improved over time. Perhaps by 2030 we’ll see even higher efficiency ratings and lower prices for LEDs. For now, contact us to learn more about what we can do for your lighting needs through the power of solar LED lights.

solar street light installation cost

The True Costs of Traditional Lighting vs Solar

solar street light installation cost

When scrutinizing the details of a project, especially the budgeting aspect of it, it’s important to consider all options available to you in order to justify the dollar. Lighting is no stranger to this; something as simple as illumination in the dark can be incredibly expensive. We know those roads well, and we’re here to see that receipt get a little shorter. Traditional lighting methods–often times using high-pressure sodium technology–can be tried and true, but we’re here to tell you about solar street light installation costs. The total bill, when compared to traditional street lighting costs, is actually significantly less than you might think. Here’s the breakdown:

Traditional Lighting Costs Are Deceptive

Initially, the costs for standard lights are attractive because they’re not paired with solar technology. But a closer look shows that you’re paying a lot more than just the lights–you have to pay for the trenching and energy bills as well. Over ten years, the prices add up. Solar beats out on the costs for street lighting by skipping out on trenching and, well, it’s fueled by the sun–so don’t worry about any energy bills. We’ve even saved a company several thousands of dollars up front on day one of installation. It’s a smart thing, that solar technology. And we’re proud to offer it without hefty bills for installation. Trenching alone can cost between 5 and 12 dollars per linear foot. Why not just skip the bill altogether?

Here at Greenshine New Energy, we’re proud to offer commercial lighting solutions that light the way towards savings and a brighter future. Be a part of the solar revolution by investing in the energy resource of tomorrow: the sun. Contact us to learn more or take a look at how our technology works for a better understanding about the costs for solar street light installation.

 

 

solar street light pricing and solar energy street lights

The Cost-Benefit of Solar Street Light Installations

solar street light pricing and solar energy street lights

It’s a counter-intuitive thing, sometimes, to spend money in order to save it. We’re just like you; if we see an ad on television that promises you’ll save more if you spend more, our inner skeptic kicks in and we start to wonder if we need to spend money in the first place. It’s a little different when it comes to a city project that needs lighting–unless city streets are fine without being lit (we tend to think that’s a bad idea). When weighing the cost-benefit of lighting, you may want to look at pricing for solar street lights. Here’s why these lights are cheaper in the long run.

Solar Lighting Saves You Money–Long Term

Even though solar lighting may have a larger price tag up front, what a lot of traditional lighting companies don’t talk about is the price tag listed for connectivity. Putting traditional lights up might seem cheaper at first, but once the price for trenching, wiring, and labor are tacked on, suddenly the price doesn’t seem as attractive. That’s what we take pride in with our solar energy street lights–that connectivity isn’t an issue. Often times we make a deal that saves our customers thousands up front on day one–and that doesn’t include…

Fewer Energy Bills

Nobody enjoys bills, but they’re a staple of life that won’t disappear. That’s why were also proud to mention that our solar lighting systems come with fewer bills. Why? They rely on the power of the sun. We’re sure you won’t be billed by the sun anytime soon. Thousands of our customers are enjoying that they are paying fewer bills because of each solar installation.

Take a gander at the pricing for solar street lights by contacting us today. Or, if you’d like to learn more benefits of solar power and how it can save money, check out our customer success page. We’re in business to help business, and we do it through solar energy street lights. Have an energy-filled, wonderful day.

 

the advantages and disadvantages of solar power

Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages (For Lighting)

the advantages and disadvantages of solar power

For the past week, our salespeople have been on the phone non-stop and it’s likely because a lot of our potential clients’ competitors have been able to divert funds into better business development. Our clients just didn’t realize how that was possible until they caught word their competition was able to save several thousands of dollars on lighting alone. We guess that’s what happens when the word gets out about what we do at Greenshine, but we’re definitely happy that we hit a trend. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of unbiased education for people to understand concepts that can reduce the bottom line. We’re happy to be a facilitator in that, but maybe it’s the case you’re on the fence about our projects and don’t yet know the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy when it comes to lighting, and–more importantly–how it can help you improve your business. Here’s an unbiased look at solar energy and what it means in terms of green–both for the wallet and your environment.

The Main Advantage is in Money (and Saving it)

We’ll give you the juicier details first. Solar energy for lighting purposes might seem expensive up front because of the extras: a solar panel, the battery, the controller, and many other small extras that don’t come with traditional lighting. So the up-front pricing may seem a little steep–we get it. But when you look at traditional lighting, there’s often pricing that wiggles its way onto bills that isn’t always scrutinized–the cost of trenching for wire. Couple that with costs for labor, and you’ll recognize that traditional is actually pricier. We’ve produced some solar lighting projects in the past that saved our client significant amounts of money on day one. We kind of boast some times about shortening receipts. It’s our specialty.

Cut the Cord, Set the Power Free

A bonus of avoiding the trenching and wiring bills is that each solar light is independent from tethered power, so in the event of a catastrophic event that disconnects power underground the solar lights will remain on. We think of it as icing on the cake when it comes to the advantages of solar. Plus, if a repair needs to happen for tethered power, we shudder at the pricing for that particular project. We like to think of solar lights as independent beacons of security, remaining on when the rest of a city lies in darkness in the event of a power outage. Cut the cord; go solar and stay on.

Solar isn’t Just for One Thing–You Can Move ‘Em

One of our solar lighting projects was a bit of a head-scratcher for a client. They needed lighting for a few reasons, a set of lights for their parking lots, and then another set for a construction site not too far away. Planning, trenching, and installing stationary lights wasn’t the “brightest” idea, so they weren’t sure what to do–until they found portable solar lights that they could pick up with forklifts and move around. Their parking lots were lit as well as their construction site. It’s just another example of why cutting the cord from traditional lighting works. Wired lights just aren’t practical for certain applications, and we take pride in filling in the gaps of practicality. That’s just what solar lights are capable of doing.

Save Money–and then Make Money

One of the biggest benefits and reasons why businesses take advantage of solar lights is because of the savings up front. However, we’re here to educate that solar also makes you money. That’s right, through certain state and federal incentives, you can actually make money from solar. Through tax incentives, solar energy credits, and certain special programs where you can actually sell excess energy, one of the biggest advantages of solar energy is that you can earn greenbacks from it. We’ll leave you to do the research on your own, but we just thought you might like to know that. In case you want to make money for doing practically nothing.

Sometimes Fame Comes with Fortune

Another interesting advantage of solar power lighting is often times it catches the attention of the media. Since “green is in” these days, some lighting projects catch the attention of the local media and can boost your public presence–all because you put a solar light in your parking lot. A quick search online can reveal all sorts of different companies, municipalities, businesses, and government entities that make the jump to solar and wind up getting featured in a news report. Fame and fortune has a nice ring to it.

…And The Disadvantages of Solar?

We’re going to lay out our cards on the table and show we don’t have anything up our sleeves. Solar energy does have disadvantages, and we won’t shy away from discussing them.

Some Wince at the Pricing

Up front, solar powered light prices are high. We aren’t ashamed to admit that. But when compared to a lot of the fees you may see with traditional lighting, you can actually save money day one by going solar. Take a look at the entire bill, and you’ll see a vast difference.

Clouds Can Be an Enemy–But We’re Prepared for That

The sun doesn’t always shine unfortunately, and we recognize that as a problem for solar lighting. Dark winters and consistent storms can definitely deprive a solar panel its energy, but the “bright” side about using the sun to power lights is that solar systems–combined with the proper batteries and equipment–are capable of lighting anything for up to a week. In stormy, cloudy places, we ensure our lighting systems are beefier to combat less light. Yep, we thought of that.

And That’s All, Folks

That’s the advantages and disadvantages of solar powered lights. We appreciate you taking a look at this brief read. Hands down, solar is the way to go if you need to light something. Your wallet thanks you. Please contact us for a professional consultation and we’ll be in touch.

 

 

 

solar parking lot lights

Why Solar Parking Lot Lights are a Good Investment

solar parking lot lights

Environmentally sound, easy on the wallet, and resistant to extreme weather conditions are just a few ways to describe solar parking lot lights. When they’re paired with ultra-bright, super-efficient LED lights, these kinds of lights can help you achieve energy-saving and money-saving standards unheard of through traditional methods of lighting. Here’s a few reasons why.

You’ll See a Reduction in Cost

LED lights are up to 80 percent more efficient than many other kinds of lights. LEDs draw significantly less power and convert 95 percent of their supplied energy to light. Together, with solar power, they create one fantastic set of solar parking lot lights. The photovoltaic (PV) panel charges the battery during the day (yes, even in overcast situations and winter-time) and the integrated battery keeps the light burning all night. You’ll notice the change in the monthly energy bills–there won’t be any. In addition to fewer bills, solar lights require no trenching to connect to grid power–the savings are up front and over time. Often times installed solar projects are cheaper than traditional on day one because the trenching costs with traditional exceed solar.

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!

Save Some Green, and Go Green

Along with stupendous benefits of saving money long-term and keeping safety high in public areas, solar parking lot lights have significantly smaller carbon footprints on the environment. These lights aren’t burning anything or releasing toxic chemicals into the air. They’re pulling power from the sun and returning it to us via LED lights.

It’s a triple-whammy inside of a perfect package–solar LED lights that save money, protect people, and remind ourselves that we have one planet to live on. Take care of all three problems by going solar today. Contact us to learn more and see how you can take advantage of everything that the sun has to offer you.

best solar lighting systems

The Cost of High Temperatures on Solar Lighting

best solar lighting systems

We hate to use a cliché, but weather isn’t a drop in a bucket. We’ve got our best solar street lighting in some of the most unkind places in regards to wind, rain, snow, and heat. We’ve even talked about how snow can harm solar efficiency in the past. For this particular topic today, we’ll be talking about how heat can affect solar lighting health and how to prevent high temperatures affecting your solar installation.

What Heat Does to Your Solar Street Lighting Systems

There’s a bit of a conundrum in solar energy. Panels operate best where they receive optimal light, but that also suggests they receive a lot of heat simultaneously–which means solar efficiency drops. With each solar street light installation, there’s what’s called a temperature coefficient. As the temperature of a solar panel increases, the power output actually decreases. Pay attention to the temperature coefficient, which sates per every 1 degree in Celsius that the panel rises above 25 Celsius, the power output drops (generally). So if your panel is rated at a -.189 degree power rating, every degree it rises results in a .189 percent power loss. A single degree isn’t very significant, but as a panel’s temperature rises it will eventually produce significantly less power.

What to Do Against Rising Temperatures for Solar

Luckily, Greenshine New Energy develops the best solar street lighting against the dangers of high heat. Environments that reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit every now and then won’t affect your solar street lighting systems, but if there’s a constant exposure in that kind of environment, our engineers can step in and devise systems to protect from such detrimental climates.

It’s a catch-22 with solar power because solar panels operate best in sunny environments, but tend to lose power efficiency when they get hot–in sunny environments. We do our best to combat heat and find the narrow middle for our solar systems to operate. Contact us to learn more about what we can do for you.

Different Types of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

 

Different Types of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Do you have a specific aim when choosing outdoor lighting? Can you tell the difference between canopy lighting, LED pole lighting, and other types of lighting? What are the applications of different types of lighting? If your answer continues to be “No”, it’s a good idea to continue reading this article.

Canopy Lighting

Canopy lighting fixtures are best for many types of facilities with outdoor overhanging canopies, such as gas stations and parking lots. Both the brightness and color of the light can be customized by changing the location and the height of the canopy, providing sufficient lighting for many different types of spaces.

LED Pole Lights

LED pole lights are another type of light that are widely used in outdoor areas of commercial facilities. They are usually used as street lights in parking lots and residential areas to provide lighting for both drivers and pedestrians.

Low Ceiling Lights

As the name suggests, these lights are ideal for facilities with low-hanging ceilings, for instance, parking garages. Low ceiling lights are also customizable to meet the different needs of specific applications.

Flood Lights

Flood lights are one of the most popular type of lights that are used outdoors. They can provide broad-beam and high-intensity light and are frequently used for sports fields such as stadiums and race tracks. Smaller flood lights can be used to provide lighting for warehouse exteriors or other smaller areas.

How to Choose

When you are looking for outdoor lighting for a parking lot, street, pathway, park, or other application, it’s important to make sure you get the right type of commercial outdoor lighting. If your still not sure what the right choice is for you, you can leave a message with us or get a free lighting simulation for your project here. Our engineers and lighting experts are available to help you with your specific case.

solar lights power in the morning

Solar Lighting Basics

How Does Solar LIghting Work?

Solar lights at dawn

1 Dawn: 

The voltage from the solar panel raises and gets higher than it was during the night. When a certain voltage threshold is reached the controller will detect this and turn off the light. The battery will then being to charge itself from the discharge that occurred when it was powering the light.

solar lights at night

4 Night time: 

The voltage from the solar panel is lower than the pre-set value. After the controller recognizes this situation, the electricity is drawn from the charged battery and continuously powers the lamp fixture. The light will stay on all night until the sun rises and the cycle is completed.

solar lights power in the morning

2 Day time: 

Throughout the day the solar panels will convert the solar energy from the sun into electricity which will charge the battery. The intelligent solar controller charges the battery throughout the day and controls the current to ensure that the battery is not overcharged.

solar lights at dusk

3 Dusk: 

As the sun sets the photocell that is built into the panel will sense the voltage drop as the panels are no longer taking a charge. The battery has been charged throughout the day and is now ready to discharge and provide electricity for the lamp and turn it on. If there is inclement weather, there are at least three days backup for Greenshine’s system.

solar street light, solar powered street light

Cost Comparison Between Solar vs. Traditional Lights

If you do a quick search online, you’ll find that the popularity for solar lights has surged in the past 5 years due to emerging green technologies and rising energy costs. Among this shift in moving towards more renewable energy sources for lighting, an important question is being raised: how much do solar street lights cost compared to traditional street lighting? To solve this mystery, our expert team of engineers gathered the necessary information to provide a cost analysis of each lighting system. The total street light costs may surprise you, but we reveal all of our information in this unbiased review below.

Traditional Street Lighting Costs

How Much does a Street light Cost?

Traditional street lighting is defined as “any electrical light used for street lighting,” which most commonly use metal halide or high pressure sodium technology for lights. The average cost of one light, including the lighting fixture, pole, and base, averages at $1500. Not bad for the cost of one street light.

Solar street lights utilize fixtures connected to a (typically) silicon-based solar panel to garner electricity through a process called the photovoltaic effect, which converts light into usable voltage. These lights reside off the main power grid and can be installed in remote locations. Because of the advanced technology required for solar lights, they are more expensive, averaging about $3000 per light. That includes the light fixture, the solar panel, controller, pole, and the smaller components that make up the light. Because of the advanced technology behind a solar street light, the street light cost is admittedly higher. But often times the up-front pricing for traditional lights is more deceptive, because people often forget about what costs a lot more: installation.

The Price of Traditional Vs. Solar Light Installation

The price for a solar street light may initially be a deterrent for interested parties, until you scrutinize the monetary details. The biggest difference between the price of traditional and solar lights lies in the installation fees associated with traditional lighting.

Traditional lights are connected to a standard electrical grid to garner their power, which requires trenching and underground wiring. When adding in labor fees for trenching and wiring, this process would cost consumers about $120 per linear foot. The average cost of installation for traditional lighting would then be around $4500, significantly higher than the price for a solar street light.

Because solar lights are autonomous and off the main grid system, consumers avoid the long and costly process of trenching and wiring. The price of installation reduces significantly as a result, pricing around $1500, driving down the total cost for solar.

Maintenance Costs with LED Lights

Solar lights are most efficient when we pair them together with LED technology to light an area of concern. You may think that solar LED lights require higher maintenance and upkeep levels in comparison to traditional lights. Truth be told, solar lights actually require less maintenance than traditional lighting systems. The typical lifespan for a traditional street light averages around 5,000-8,000 hours, which is slightly less than a year of usage, while solar LED lights last 5-7 years. The secret is in the technology of LEDs–they’re much more efficient with power than traditional methods of lighting and slowly degrade over time instead of burning out in an instant.

While solar lights get repaired less frequently, the cost of each repair is higher. The battery of a solar light needs to be changed every 5-7 years. The cost of 2 batteries and labor for those changes averages around $1000. This is only slightly higher than the cost of standard lights which is about $800 for standard maintenance fees.

Energy Bills (Or Lack Thereof)

Since solar lights gather their energy from the sun, there are no energy costs! Standard lights, on the other hand, accumulate about $1500 in energy costs over 10 years by drawing power from the main power grid, and that’s the energy cost of one street light. A system of ten lights will rack up a hefty bill over the course of 10 years. We’re certain whomever is looking to purchase street lights would prefer lower energy costs. Solar wins in this category, hands down.

solar street light price
These brand-new lights replaced old, malfunctioning lights in Santa Monica Airport. No energy bills here!

Incentive Programs for Solar Energy

There’s more to solar financially than just saving money long-term! Solar lighting systems are also heavily subsidized to encourage the use of green energy. According to the NC Clean Energy Technology Center, there are about 200 financial incentive programs for solar alone. Both the private and public sector offer incentives to use solar, but each entity differs in the amount and type of incentive they provide. For example, North Carolina provides a 35% state tax credit against the total cost of a solar panel system, while the Federal government offers a 30% tax credit, so if the cost of one street light is 3,000 dollars, you’ll receive 900 dollars back in a tax credit–pretty impressive! For more information on the solar incentives, rebates, tax credits, and grants available, visit http://www.dsireusa.org/.

The Verdict between Solar and Traditional Lighting

When comparing the total costs of traditional and solar lighting, there appears to be a clear winner. Overall, solar street lights cost around $5500 over 10 years, while standard costs a steep $8300 because of trenching and installation costs. As before, this is the cost of one street light. Imagine 10 lights? 20? Suddenly, the savings with solar are clear.

In the battle of the lighting systems, technology and innovation win. While traditional lighting systems may have won some battles, solar lights win the war for street light costs. It’s the combination of high-tech solar panels with energy-saving LED lights that propel these street lights far ahead of the competition.