There is much talk in the media about outdoor solar lighting and solar power as an obvious alternative to the commonly mass-produced electricity sources involving the burning of fossil fuels and nuclear fission.
Because solar panels are still a rarity, lots of people think that solar power has not come of age. In fact it has come of age, but not yet as a commonly used source of electricity for applications inside buildings. Instead the great technological strides have been made in solar lighting technology thanks to the cost-cutting drives by managers of large business complexes and public spaces.
Solar power outdoor lights can be found in parks, hotel grounds, hospitals, at airports, harbors and train stations. And, of course, solar powered street lights, traffic lights and parking lights are operating quietly and efficiently not very far from where you now are.
A pioneer industry in the field of outdoor solar lighting was the maritime industry
Presumably because sea-going vessels operate so close to the elements – the wind and the sun – sailors and skippers were among the first to ask why the exposure of boats to the elements could not be put to good use. The solar manufacturing industry was quick to meet the need. Today every yacht, ship or tender has a range of solar power lights for every possible use.
Whether it is emergency lighting, night lighting, danger lighting, SOS lighting, it is available to the maritime industry. Even buoys in harbors are solar powered. In its quiet and unobtrusive way, solar lighting is taking over from expensive and harmful grid electricity in dozens of ways. For those who are keen to know that they do not leave a dirty carbon footprint behind when lighting outdoor areas, solar lighting is the answer.
Nothing is burned and nothing is wasted where outdoor solar lighting is used
Apart from their attractive “green” aspect, solar outdoor lighting systems provide great convenience, efficiency and reliability. Obviously a main solar benefit is that no power bill arrives at the end of each month, plus each solar light has its own little “power plant” in the form of photovoltaic cells, as well as the system for converting solar power to electricity, on the light itself. This means no opening of trenches, no power generation stations, no cables, no meters, no substations, no switches and no transformers.
The initial costs of outdoor solar lighting systems are limited to the self-contained energy collection and distribution system and the attachment of the unit to the location where it is required to operate. In other words, you place it in the sun where it can collect energy and where it can distribute light at night.
Because each and every solar electric light operates independently, each one has its own control system so it can be programmed to turn off and on as needed. It can also be controlled by a light sensor for dusk to dawn operation. When compared to the traditional systems’s cost for cable, trenching, metering equipment and construction – plus monthly electric bills ad infinitum – the advantages of solar lights are immediate and dramatic