Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages (For Lighting)
Posted by Stephen Shickadance in The Basics.
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.
Solar Energy Advantages and Disadvantages
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 have 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 of 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.
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