Street lighting accounts for a large percentage of total energy consumption worldwide. Street lights are being used for public and residential lighting and they vary in size and consumption depending on the purpose of lighting. Considering the fact that a modern LED street light unit generally consumes about 80 Watts of power, this is a domain that needs immediate attention in order to save energy and improve efficiency of street lights.
Urban cities and towns use fluorescent, CFL, high pressure sodium lamps, metal halide bulbs and lately LED lights. The street lighting system is usually installed and maintained by the respective municipalities and most times, area-wise lighting needs are not taken into consideration. As a matter of fact, the needs of pedestrians, vehicular traffic and road crossings must be well studied before the installations since the lighting needs are different in different areas.
How to reduce power consumption?
It has been observed that almost 300 million street lights use outdated technology and ‘dirty’ energy sources which contribute to global warming. Since they consume more energy, there is always a high demand for massive production of fossil fuel energy. Switching to renewable energy sources is the perfect way to fix this problem. Modern solar street light can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50%.
Wastage of electricity is a common problem in India and despite being an electricity-deficient country, you can see street lights working even during the day. Electricity theft is another huge issue and it is not easy to track the amount of electricity consumed by each street light, making it challenging to determine if there is a leak somewhere in the line. Considering all the above, the benefits of replacing regular street lights with solar-powered street lighting are many.
Solar energy is available in abundance and must be freely accessible by everyone. Solar street lights run with the help of unlimited renewable solar energy which is safe for the environment and helps in eliminating carbon footprints.
There is no light pollution and since solar energy is completely free, there is absolutely no cost for the energy used. Solar street lights with motion sensor and dimming options help in saving energy and the lights can be installed considering area-wise lighting needs in mind.
Solar street lights do not require to be connected to an electrical grid as solar panels harvest solar energy and convert it to usable electricity during the day and the electricity stored in the battery powers the lighting unit at night. There is absolutely no interdependency weakness as solar street lights operate as independent units and are not affected by power outages.
Solar street lights sense darkness and operate from dusk to dawn automatically. Wastage of electricity is out of question and to operate the light, there is no need of any appointed personnel.
Solar street lights are not connected to the grid and there is relatively no installation, maintenance or operation cost involved and apart from the initial investment, there is a lot of money that can be saved in the long term by civic bodies and individuals with the help of solar street lights.
Installation of solar street lights does not require any extensive tools or labour and the installation process is simple and uncomplicated. Only minimum manpower is required for the installation as a solar street lighting system has integrated components and each light operates independently.
There is no electricity or cable theft possible and the lights do not pose any threats. Since there are no external wires, there is no risk of overheating or cable-related accidents.