Solar Street Lighting
The Town of Concord Massachusetts, my home town, is in the process of removing street lights in an effort to reduce the lighting portion of the Town budget. Street lighting is funded by the tax payers through the general fund. The plan calls for a 43% budget reduction in overall street lighting. When the street light reduction project is complete there will only be lights at intersections, sharp curves in roadway, and in the business districts.
I think a better alternative would be to invest and deploy solar street lighting. Generating power from the sun means that solar street lights are cost effective and low maintenance.
Why Use Solar Street Lights:
Solar street lighting is a highly efficient, low cost, green alternative to electric lighting. Solar streetlights are designed to operate as one integrated system. This means that the power generation, storage and management of this power; solar panels, battery and controller as well as the light, frame and weatherproof housing are all one enclosed unit.
The lights can be configured to turn on and off between dusk and dawn. And the controller automatically adapts to the changing length of day through the year, to ensure the light switches on and off at the correct times.
How Solar Street Lighting works:
- The solar panel is connected to rechargeable batteries.
- When direct sunlight (indirect works too, but direct is best) hits the solar panel, a charge is induced.
- That charge is stored in the rechargeable batteries.
- At dusk, when sunlight is no longer on the solar panel, the batteries kick in and your light is essentially a battery operated light.
Benefits Of Solar Street Lighting:
- Simple, affordable and a green alternative
- Each light is independent and self-sufficient. Power outages, storms or damage only affects the uit damage and not a string or block of lights.
- Unaffected by power outages
- An economical and sustainable lighting solution
- Timer operation
- No electricity supply required
- No trenching necessary between poles
- No day-to-day running costs
- Instant solution
- Positive and visible statement of a commitment to sustainability
- Solar street lights can use LED bulbs
- LED bulbs had a long lifespan. Lifespan of solar panel is 20-25 years. Lifespan of LED street lights 6-8 years.
- Lifespan of battery is 4-6 years.
Solar Street Lighting Is Easy to Install And Operate:
There is no need to dig trench, lay underground cables or resort to other expensive methods to install street lighting. Just mount a pole and solar light. Everything is self-enclosed. Besides that they are very environmentally friendly – they do not use any greenhouse gases as sunlight is converted into energy and stored in a battery.