Pathway and sidewalk lighting are great applications for solar lighting solutions. These walkways are often located in parks or generally off the beaten path. The electrical grid may not be available in these areas. Even sidewalks adjacent to roadways can present costly challenges related to extending the power grid for lighting purposes. Solar lighting can be used for lighting these walkways without the need of the electrical grid. Solar panels produce their own electrical energy that is stored in batteries which are used to power the lights at night.
There are a variety of reasons lighting may be needed on pathways. As mentioned earlier, often times these walkways are located in remote areas. These areas may not see any significant ambient lighting making them too dark to use at night. Solar lighting can make these spaces available for enjoyment at night as well as during the day. Safety from crime can also be a factor in the need for pathway lighting. Proper lighting can be a powerful deterrent to criminals and allow people to feel safe walking at night.
Most solar pathway lighting installations use one or more solar power assemblies to run power to a string of lights mounted low to the ground. This reduces the cost of the overall installations by not needing a separate solar power source for each light fixture. This also allows the power assembly to be located in an area with full access to the sun during the day, while the fixture locations may be shaded part or all of the day. Usually low voltage DC power is run from the power assembly to the fixtures, allowing for the use of direct buried UF cable instead of having to run the wires through costly conduit. In other installations with longer strings of lights, an inverter may be used to run AC power out to the fixtures.
With the advancement of LED’s, several fixture styles have become available for use with solar pathway lighting systems. Most any size, shape and style of bollard lights are available. If preferred, pagoda style lights may be used also. Even lights specifically used for dock and boardwalk type applications have their place in solar pathway lighting solutions.
Like many lighting applications where light is needed in remote or hard to reach areas, solar lighting can be an ideal tool for improved pathways.