Solar Street Lighting
The threat of climate change due to a dramatic increase of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions like methane, and hydrofluorocarbons, have accelerated dramatically after the Industrial Revolution and increased the threat of climate change in the past few decades, threatening both the environment and our society.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, reported in his 2014 Mitigation of Climate Change study that the burning of coal, natural gas, and oil for electricity and heat is the largest single source of global greenhouse gas emissions amounting a 25%.
Meanwhile, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reflected in their latest Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, that the electric power sector is among the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in the United States, representing 28% of all emissions.
n order to reduce air pollution produced by carbon emissions and other harmful greenhouse gases, one of the priorities of governments, environmentally conscious corporations, and citizens around the world, has been reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and faster adoption of renewable energy sources like solar energy, to power a clean and affordable economic future.
LEDs and Solar Power
The Alternatives to Conventional Street Lights
Today, cities and municipalities around the world are transitioning from older tech represented by non-renewable technology (incandescent bulbs, fluorescent and mercury street light bulbs to modern solar-powered street lights (LED) due to the great benefits they provide over traditional lighting. Solar Street Lighting.
LED stands for the light-emitting diode. A diode is an electrical device – made from semi-conductive materials such as silicon or selenium with two electrodes: an anode and a cathode: through which electricity flows, when current passes through the semiconductor material the device emits a visible light that is reliable, instantaneous, and able to be dimmed. Solar Street Lighting.
These unique characteristics and others like compact size, long life, resistance to breakage and vibration, good performance in cold temperatures, lack of infrared or ultraviolet emissions, ability to dim and provide color control, and instant-on performance, have transformed everything from car headlights to streetlights and even Christmas trees.
Compared to their conventional incandescent or high-pressure sodium (HPS) counterparts, solar street light with LEDs uses less energy, produce better, more direct light, and last almost seven times as long, resulting in significant cost savings.
The new generation of solar street lights, use LEDs as light sources and are cheaper in terms of initial investment, operational and maintenance costs and infrastructure need it before deployment, meaning that more street lights can be installed for the same cost while delivering greater benefits for the people and the environment.
Solar Street Lights Benefits and Advantages Over Traditional Street Lights
When it comes to traditional lighting, the major expense with traditional street lighting comes from the initial installation, maintenance, and of course, energy costs for the ongoing operation of the lights. Solar Street Lighting.
The estimated street light pole and installation cost in the United States are between $2000 to $3000 per light pole and an added cost of up to $1000 for the installation, electricians’ labor, and an ongoing cost of $10.36 kw/h as per energy consumption U.S average electricity cost.
Traditional streetlights are also grid-dependent, and hard to install in remote locations without supporting infrastructure.
In contrast, Solar Street Lights, are proving to be a financially smart decision, easier and faster to install, and good for the environment making it a clear choice when compared to traditional ones. Solar Street Lighting.
Some of the greatest benefits of Solar over Conventional Street Lights are:
- Compared to conventional incandescent or high-pressure sodium (HPS) lights, solar street lights use less energy, produce better, more direct light, and last longer making them more cost-effective in the long run.
- Solar street lights use renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, reducing the carbon emissions and energy expenditure of traditional lights.
- Their typical rated lifespan ranges from 15,000 to 50,000 hours compared to 2,000 to 29,000 hours for a traditional light.
- Monthly energy bills and maintenance costs are very little to non-existent resulting in significant savings over the lifespan of the light and in most cases reducing the original cost of the light to 0.
- A solar streetlight can work without being affected by power outages, grid failures, power interruptions due to natural disasters, and many other factors that can impact the proper functioning of traditional streetlights dependent on the grid.
- Using smart and green technology, solar street lights operators can configure lighting schedules to collect data like energy consumption, temperature, and efficiency of each individual fixture. This way they can discover all kinds of issues like malfunctions or lack of connectivity by being alerted in real-time.
- Modern solar street lights have built-in solar panels, batteries, motion sensors, and control modules which allow a simple and faster deployment and installation over traditional street lights as no trenching for power lines or power infrastructure construction is necessary.
- Solar-powered streetlights can work regardless of grid failures, power interruptions due to natural disasters, and many other factors that can impact the functioning of grid-dependent traditional streetlights.
Solar Street Lights, the Green Alternative for a Cleaner and Brighter Future
Successful cost-effective deployments of solar street lights are clear, real-life examples of the benefits of solar street lights while showing national governments, private enterprises, and citizens around the world, that we can build smarter, brighter, safer, and more productive cities while reducing carbon emissions, pollution, and the costs of maintenance and installation of street lighting. A total social, economic, and environmental win.