Wanting to use solar lighting for your business? Maybe for a sign. Or a parking lot. Maybe you would like to have solar lighting installed on the roads of your HOA. There are so many applications that solar lighting can perfectly fit into; however, there are six questions that a reputable solar lighting company will ask you. Having the answers before you contact them will ensure a more accurate quote and information provided for your project. It will also make sure your systems perform exactly how you want them to for years to come.
1. Where geographically will your systems be installed?
There is so many factors that goes into making sure your solar lights have enough solar energy to power the lights how they are required. One of the biggest factors is the number of sun hours provided on the worst day of the year, typically December 21st. The reason for this is if you size the system to run perfectly for the summer sun hours only, in the winter the systems will fall short, turning off or not even operating at all. Having an undersized system will also put unnecessary strain on the battery system, making it not last as long as it should. Determine the geographical location of where you want the systems installed. A zip code works perfectly and will help your solar company determine the number of sun hours available.
2. What are you light level requirements?
Knowing the light level requirements for the project is a great way to make sure the lights perform how you need them to. Getting a quote for a 15 Watt LED fixture when high security is needed and a 40 Watt LED would provide better light can completely change your quote around. Make sure you explain to the solar lighting company whether you need something that is very bright or just for small area spot lighting. And remember, the higher the wattage fixture, the larger the solar power system required to power that fixture properly. You can always reduce costs by having the light turn off when it is not needed, or dim down at non-peak times.
3. What are the dimensions of the area requiring light?
This questions needs to be answered no matter what the project is. If it is a sign, making sure the correct size fixture or number of fixtures is specified for the project. Parking lots require fixtures that provide a larger light pattern, but still knowing the size of the overall area will help determine how many fixtures are required. Make sure you get the dimensions of the area needing light and let your solar lighting systems company know. If you have an AutoCAD file or overall sketch of the area, this is a plus, but not needed to provide an accurate quote.
4. Do you require poles?
If you purchase poles from your solar lighting company, they can make sure the pole is sized to hold the weight of the solar as well as be the correct height for the project. If not, they can let you know what size pole you will need. There are many options available and most companies can even get wind load calculations for areas in hurricane prone areas so that the lights will still be there even after a storm.
Making sure you know the answers to the above before contacting your solar lighting company will ensure you will receive the most accurate quote possible. Without the above information, it is hard to determine exactly what your needs are for lighting and can create a lot of back and forth between you and the company. If the questions are not even asked, this is a good sign that your solar light will not operate how you expect it and you should look for a more reputable company.