Amidst all the hubbub about tackling global warming and cultivating green energy, one subject receives little coverage: streetlights. While an important public service, streetlights are expensive to maintain and taken together, suck down a lot of energy. So when a city like Los Angeles announces that it's converting 140,000 streetlights to light emitting diodes or LEDs, and Pittsburgh states that it's considering doing the same with 40,000 lights, it's time to take notice.
LEDs are gaining traction as a great alternative to traditional lighting because they are relatively environmentally friendly, don't consume much electricity and have long life spans. They last so long -- 14 years or more in some cases -- that they can be considered "semi-permanent"
In the past, LED lights had been seen in devices like indicator lights in appliances, calculators or in large sports scoreboards. But now, many large cities around the world -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and Tianjin, China, to name a few -- are now switching to LED Street Light. Portugal is in the midst of a massive conversion program that is expected to encompass all of its streetlights.
Advantage of LED Streetlights
Chief among the advantages of LEDs is that they have extremely long lives -- they don't have filaments that can quickly burn out -- and they don't contain toxic chemicals like mercury, unlike traditional high-pressure sodium lamps or mercury-vapor lamps. An LED light can last 100,000 hours. These lights also have reduced maintenance costs because of their long lives, and they give off less heat than other bulbs. Because they last so long, LEDs are suitable for places where replacing light bulbs is expensive, inconvenient or otherwise difficult.
LEDs are highly energy efficient. While compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) recently have been touted as the standard in green lighting, LEDs actually have double their energy efficiency. They use 15 percent of the energy of an incandescent bulb while generating more light per watt. LEDs produce 80 lumens per watt; traditional streetlights can only muster 58 lumens per watt.
Because of their energy efficiency and long lifespan, LED Module Street Light is advocated as a means for reducing carbon emissions. According to one estimate, converting all American light fixtures to LEDs would halve the amount of energy used for lighting in the country. By integrating solar panels, the lights can become self-sufficient and even send excess energy back to the grid, with the adoption of so-called "smart" energy grids.
Solar Street Lights are powered by photovoltaic panels, meaning they produce clean and sustainable energy. When choosing to rely on solar energy for public lighting projects, local authorities can effectively reduce their energy consumption as well as their carbon footprint. By doing so, they limit their environmental impact and play an active part in the energy transition, in line with national and global energy policies.
But there’s more to it. Adopting solar lighting solutions helps preserve biodiversity in areas that are the most sensitive to light pollution. Solar street lighting systems adjust the intensity of the light over the course of the night through the use of dynamic lighting profiles, making street Lighting Pole more respectful of living ecosystems – especially birds, whose migratory behaviour is strongly affected by light pollution.
More generally, it’s important to consider the key role played by lighting in the creation and flourishing of communities. Quality solar lighting offers citizens a better experience of the city. It helps improve the readability of public space, thus making it more accessible and welcoming. It acts as a driver of social cohesion, strengthening the ties and interaction between individuals, while allowing them to carry on their social and recreational activities throughout the evening.
Installing All in One Solar Street Lights provides an opportunity to extend parks night-time opening hours or promote access to outdoor sports facilities. In addition to encouraging people to visit public places after dark, it also improves their safety. On rural roads or cycling paths, the presence of solar lighting solutions helps promote better traffic flow and reduces accidents.
Cities face major challenges: demographic growth, urban concentration, mobility, the evolution of citizens’ needs... To meet these, public stakeholders need technological innovations they can trust and rely on to rethink and transform the existing public space, with the aim to make cities smart and sustainable.
At the heart of smart cities, street furniture is undergoing digital transformation to be able to generate information. This is the case for solar-powered Garden Lights, which are evolving to integrate and power various communication equipment and intelligent applications (billboards, interactive terminals, advertising displays, Wi-Fi hotspots…). An example of this is our RISE-On range, a smart solar engine that powers all outdoor electrical equipment in cities.
While access to electricity is growing globally, more than 11% of the world's population still lives off-grid, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). This figure rises to 46% in Africa, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa where nearly 600 million people live without access to electricity. Providing off-grid populations with access to energy plays a crucial role in accelerating their economic development, reducing inequalities and improving their security, in addition to having a positive impact on education and schooling.
Deploying solar Flood Lights on a city’s main roads, streets and in other public places makes them easier to access, supports businesses and improves social ties. Additionally, in more isolated areas, these lighting solutions help reduce insecurity, theft and assaults. They have a particularly strong impact in sensitive areas such as refugee camps, where the lack of lighting leads to serious crime. Replacing oil or kerosene lighting systems with solar-powered solutions also helps create a healthier environment that improves the health and well-being of the community.