Although the cities of the world appear to be brightly lit when viewed from outer space, most city lighting is comprised of low voltage lighting systems that make it possible for human beings to function economically and socially after dark when there is no natural solar lighting from the sun.
These lighting systems include street lighting, which is the most abundant form of lighting, the illumination of parking lots and building complexes and lighting at installations such as harbors, railways and airports. Traffic lights are another form of ubiquitous low voltage lighting.
Parallel with all the other economic changes occurring across the world, city managers and developers of large complexes, installations and public spaces are realizing that solar energy is perfectly adequate for powering low voltage lighting systems. A quiet solar revolution is taking place.
While most households regard solar power as the type involving arrays of photovoltaic cells mounted on rooftops, in actual fact the area of solar powered lighting systems in which great leaps forward have been made in recent years involve small “solar factories” mounted onto lights.
For instance, many solar buoy lights in harbors are floating lights with photovoltaic cells mounted on the light itself, just adequate to draw enough solar energy to power that particular light. The low (in fact non-existent) maintenance cost of such a self-contained harbor lighting system is obvious.
These standalone solar-powered low voltage lighting systems offer great flexibility
No matter how remote the location where the developer or manager would like to place the light, as long as it can be installed just once, solar lights like these can be run for years once they are in place. Take for instance a college or university campus or even a hospital. Illumination is really important for security and convenience purposes, but campuses and public buildings are generally higgledy-piggledy complexes with alleyway, high buildings and irregular areas. A solar-powered outdoor lighting system is perfect for this type of application.
All it takes is to identify where the lights should be placed
There are no limitations to where the solar light may be placed (door lintels, rooftops, on top of walls, on window sills) because no trenching, metering or wiring is involved. The solar lights can then be mounted where they are highly effective and yet out of reach of vandals. These solar powered low voltage lighting systems require virtually no maintenance and each light is a designer solar light meaning it is perfect for its purpose and operates on its own without depending on an electrical grid. In other words, it is immune to blackouts, as is the complex where it is situated.
The benefits of solar lighting systems are obvious when it comes to hospitals, large government and corporate complexes which never sleep as well as educational institutions and public places, from railway stations to the streets of cities, towns and villages. Even remote places such as emergency phones on turnpikes and interstate highways make use of solar powered low voltage lighting systems.