Harnessing the Future Intelligent Solar Lighting Solutions for Every Outdoor Space

A blog featured image for the post, "Harnessing the Future Intelligent Solar Lighting Solutions for Every Outdoor Space."
The installation and maintenance of traditional outdoor lighting systems often incur high costs due to the need for extensive underground electrical work. A typical 100-foot trench has an average dig cost of $2000, placing the cost per linear foot between $20-$30. By accounting for equipment, materials, permitting, and labor, the cost per linear foot can easily exceed the purchase price of a simple pole and light fixture. Other than luminaires and light poles, the standard solar lighting system requires four major components:
  • A photovoltaic (PV) power generator to convert sunlight to electricity
  • A battery to gather and store energy for use at night
  • A very efficient, low-wattage light source
  • Controls to manage lighting energy use
The typical setup of any solar light always includes key components such as the solar panel, battery, and light module. Solar lighting systems are often arranged with component parts separate from each other or in popular all-in-one formats. Choosing the right system is important, depending on the goal and application. Systems like MORAGA are commonly used for decorative aesthetics, and styles like CEGONIA are great for outdoor spaces where the panel needs to be redirected to support greater energy harvest.

Harnessing the Sun: Green Efficiency

The design of outdoor solar lighting systems is conveniently straightforward, yet sophisticated. At the heart of these systems lie photovoltaic (PV) cells, converting daylight into electricity, which is then stored in batteries for nighttime use. This setup eliminates the need for costly underground wiring, providing significant savings in both installation and long-term operational expenses. The challenge of a solar lighting system is being able to generate and store enough power to run the lights. Daily energy use must be matched by a PV system capable of generating several times the daily use, and a battery capable of storing it. The reason is simple: Solar collection is poor on cloudy days and the battery may have to carry the system for several days during periods of inclement weather. The larger the PV panel and battery, the more likely that the system will provide acceptable performance, even in some winter daylight-challenged locations such as Seattle and other cities in the Pacific Northwest.

Engineering for Reliability: The Solar Solution

Engineering robust solar lighting systems is crucial, particularly in regions that experience challenging weather conditions. Well-designed solar lighting solutions must compensate for cloudy days and shorter winter daylight hours, ensuring a reliable power supply. Designing such a system involves sizing the PV panels and batteries to not only meet daily energy consumption but also to provide a surplus that accounts for variable weather patterns and ensures compliance with regulatory lighting standards such as those recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Optimizing Light, Maximizing Savings

The key to an efficient solar lighting system is the optimization of light sources. Energy-efficient LEDs are favored for their low power consumption and longevity, making them ideal for pairing with solar technology. By carefully planning and selecting the appropriate wattage, these systems can deliver the necessary illumination while minimizing energy use and costs. The key to a successful design is to use the lowest wattage light source that will meet the project requirements. SOLTECH offers 200 Lumen/Watt Efficiency LED light, the best in the industry! It is a key feature to provide the highest brightness with lowest wattage.

Intelligent Controls: Adapting to Nature

The secret ingredient to making solar lighting possible is adding programmable controls that operate lights on reduced schedules or at reduced power. Advancements in control technology have empowered solar lighting systems with the ability to adapt their operations based on real-time battery charge levels. This means lights can be programmed to operate on reduced schedules or lower power when necessary, extending battery life and performance—even during challenging winter months. The integration of IAP smart programming and MPPT controllers is the basis of high-quality solar lighting. This type of programming and controllers are key to the success of SOLTECH products such as SUNLIKE and SATELIS. By implementing IAP programming, energy management is prioritized, leading to a 40% increase in off-grid lighting efficiency. With an impressive conversion efficiency of up to 97%, MPPT controllers further elevate the solar lights’ energy utilization by at least 20% over traditional methods. Ultimately, the synchronization of these internal programs and controls boosts lighting performance and reliability.

The Future of Outdoor Lighting

As solar and LED technologies continue to advance, solar lighting systems are becoming increasingly more practical and cost-effective. These systems are essential where traditional power sources are not available, and they offer a sustainable method in a world moving towards green solutions. The careful selection of LEDs, batteries, panels, and controls is what makes SOLTECH’s commercial solar lights so versatile in the hottest and coldest environments. To learn more about high-quality and reliable solar lights for your lighting project, speak with our SOLTECH team today!
Share this post: