Why are solar street lights beneficial for rural areas?

There are many areas in India that are still deprived of basic amenities and the people spend most of their lives in darkness and suffer from lack of education and other facilities as well.  Considering the fact that rural areas have less infrastructure, getting access to electricity could be very challenging and costly.  Sufficient lighting can bring in an increased sense of safety and security in people and reduce rate of crime.

solar street light 20 watt

Most rural roadways and public spaces rarely have street lighting and in some cases, there are residences that still lack electric lighting, affecting education of children, cooking and other activities which require electricity.  Solar power can be thought of as an ideal solution for areas like this.  Rural localities can benefit tremendously from solar street light as they require no wire connections or electricity powered through them.  Solar energy is available to rural and urban areas alike. 

Solar street lights work on the principle of photovoltaic effect.  Solar panels collect solar energy and uses it to charge the batteries. The solar battery supplies power to the LED lights at night that illuminate the streets and homes in the rural areas.  Solar street lights are the ultimate energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting solutions for remote places.  These lights help in reducing the carbon footprints as they produce no toxic emissions and harmful pollutants.

Simple installation

Solar street lights are simple and integrated outdoor lighting units that can be easily transported and installed anywhere without any trenching or burying the cables.  Each solar lighting system works as an independent unit, hence interdependency weakness is not a concern.  With minimum help, the lights can be hoisted in areas where sunlight is available throughout the day.  Installation cost is a lot lesser compared to conventional street light installation.

Low maintenance

Solar street lights do not require any regular maintenance and since the lights are automatic, there is absolutely no human intervention needed for their operation.  However, for longevity and efficiency of the lights, they may need to be cleaned once in a while and inspected for any replacement or repair.  Solar street lights do not have any movable parts and require very minimal wiring, making them less vulnerable to connection issues.  All the solar components come with a long lifespan which reduce the need for routine maintenance.

Long-term benefits

Solar street lights are not affected by rising electricity prices as they run purely on free solar energy.  The per-unit price is expected to increase further in the future and solar-powered street lights would be untouched by surging electricity prices.  The authorities can save on installation, maintenance and operation costs and use those resources on other projects to improve the quality of life of the citizens.  Since they are wireless and do not depend on grid electricity, solar street lights continue to work during natural disasters and power outages.  They are waterproofed and are designed to work in extreme weather changes.

Energy saving options

Depending on area-wise requirements, the type of solar street lights can be chosen.  Areas where there is less vehicular or people activity at night, all in one motion sensor street lights are the ideal choice.  Dark intersections, pathways, streets, parks, and other public areas can all be illuminated by integrated solar LED street lights as they offer illumination throughout the night.  The energy saved through motion sensor and dimming options is useful to illuminate the lights on non-sunny days.  Solar street lights use efficient LiFePO4 batteries which can store sufficient energy to operate the lights for 2-3 nights.

Safer lighting option

With solar street lights, risks of health ailments can be minimized and the standard of living can be improved.  Many in the rural areas still rely on kerosene lamps and lanterns to move from one place to another, which although are inexpensive can cause respiratory and eye problems.  Solar street lights do not use any external wires or cables and therefore, they do not pose any risks such as electrocution, strangulation and overheating.

Application of solar-powered lighting units can help ‍improve the quality of education in rural localities, create safety for those who return from work at night or anyone who would like to use the public spaces in the evening.  In short, solar street lights could improve the quality of life in various walks of life for the people in remote areas if the authorities are willing to invest in eco-friendly solar lighting options that will have unending benefits to both the civic bodies as well as individuals in the future.