Solar Street Lighting

By Robert Robillard on Electrical

Solar Street Lighting as a Solution

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:

  1. The solar panel is connected to rechargeable batteries.
  2. When direct sunlight (indirect works too, but direct is best) hits the solar panel, a charge is induced.
  3. That charge is stored in the rechargeable batteries.
  4. 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:

  1. Simple, affordable and a green alternative
  2. 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.
  3. Unaffected by power outages
  4. An economical and sustainable lighting solution
  5. Timer operation
  6. No electricity supply required
  7. No trenching necessary between poles
  8. No day-to-day running costs
  9. Instant solution
  10. Positive and visible statement of a commitment to sustainability
  11. Solar street lights can use LED bulbs
  12. LED bulbs had a long lifespan. Lifespan of solar panel is 20-25 years. Lifespan of LED street lights 6-8 years.
  13. 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.


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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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