How Will Solar Street Lighting Change American Cities
In the US, there is an estimated 26.5 million street lamps (not including lights on highways) that provide illumination for public roads, intersections and sidewalks. Every year, the luminaries consume roughly $2 billion of energy. To cut down on energy consumption, cities and the private sector (the private sector runs up to 60 percent of street lights in the country) are looking to new lighting technologies: solar street lighting, batteries and LEDs.
Traditional vs Modern
There is a plethora of advantages associated with solar-powered street lights. For cities working with tight budgets, it is important to understand that initial investments will be high, but costs related to panels and batteries will eventually cover themselves in the long term. Traditional street lamps cost less to install, but maintenance becomes an issue immediately after installation, since they are powered by electricity.
Additionally, minimal wiring is required to setup and operate solar-powered street lights. Some components are also solid state, so the parts don’t get worn out as fast as their predecessors. From an environmentally-friendly perspective, the modern lighting systems do not contribute to pollution.
LEDs, compared to metal halide or fluorescent lamps, make perfect companions with solar panels. The units consume up to 30 percent less energy and require less replacements over long periods of use. They also match the solid-state features of the panels, since LEDs do not utilize loose parts, harmful gasses or filaments for illumination.
Focusing on Color Temperature Ratings
Unlike traditional lighting technologies, LEDs can be configured to emit a very comprehensive range of color temperature settings. For street lamps, this is a huge benefit.
Cities no longer have to commit to high-wattage lamps with high lumen ratings in order to promote clarity during nighttime applications on busy roads. Such lights can be replaced with low-wattage lamps with high color temperature ratings.
For example, a 110-watt high-pressure sodium lamp that offers 6,900 lumens at a color temperature of 2,000K is no match for a 30-watt LED luminary that provides 2,800 lumens of light at a color temperature of 6,500K. At low color temperature settings, the HPS light features a dark, yellowish beam. While at high color temperature settings, the LED lamp emits a pure white light.
Based on the above, going with LEDs for Solar Street Lighting can save cities money without affecting light quality and performance. When paired with solar energy, the entire lighting system becomes even more efficient. By using converting natural sunlight into clean, usable energy, urban locations become less reliant on fossil fuels. You can find a variety of solar LEDs by following the link here.