It is no longer rare to see a solar street lamp. City, town and village managers, in their endless quest to cut costs and increase efficiency, have discovered that solar powered street lighting does the job better than conventional, grid-powered lighting, at a fraction of the price. There are a number of reasons why solar is better when it comes to street lighting and these can be summarized as capital cost, operating cost, reliability and environmental.
As mentioned above, the overall cost of a solar street lamp is minimal compared to conventional, old-fashioned grid lighting, but the costs that there are tend to be concentrated in the capital cost phase.
The pole and the lighting unit have to be purchased and they must be sturdy and long-lasting. So the capital cost is the biggest outlay. But it is important to note that erecting a solar street light is incredibly affordable when compared to opening trenches, laying cables, installing meters, not to mention the high “hidden” cost of the infrastructure connected with the grid: power stations, sub-stations, transformers, etc. City managers are, of course, good at juggling budgets, and they can easily establish that installing solar street lights is financially worthwhile.
As soon as the solar street lamp starts operating, the benefits begin to accrue and just don’t stop! First, there are no monthly power bills to be paid. Sun power is free. Then there is no maintenance. A solar street light installation can last literally for decades (except for the batteries) without receiving any attention at all. Most types of solar street lights have detectors which differentiate between light and day, so the LED lights up without any human intervention and switches off at dawn. Of course the photovoltaic cells automatically collect solar energy whenever there is light. Thus the operating cost of a solar street lamp is non-existent when compared to old-fashioned street lighting.
Because of its reactive nature, a solar street lamp is incredibly reliable
Reputable makes of solar lighting systems includes batteries which have five days and more of residual electrical capacity. This means that even if there are five days of bad weather with zero visibility, the lights will still operate. And because most such solar outdoor lighting systems incorporate LEDs, the lights will continue to operate even if there is inadequate electricity to power them. They will grow dimmer but will not extinguish. When the sunlight returns, the LEDs will operate to full capacity once again. In the unlikely event that one light should fail, no other light will be affected, making solar street lighting extra effective. This is because each light has its own independent power plant and is unconnected to any other.
Finally there is the environmental aspect. Solar power is clean power. There is no fossil-fueled power station, no nuclear power plant involved. Solar street lamp networks are clean to install and clean to run. The entire environment benefits from the use of these solar lights. With all the millions of miles of roads and streets in the world, installing solar street lighting can make a huge difference to the earth. Learn about LED