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SEPCO's blog on all things renewable and green

The A – Z of Solar LED Area Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

11/13/14 9:30 AM

Solar LED Area LightingSolar LED area lighting can be used for many applications ranging from small single LED lights along a pathway to large overhead lights for roadways and parking lots. Each system should be designed for the specific application and to provide the required lighting levels. Good research on the project application, design work and choosing of the final product will ensure that the end user gets exactly the type of system that perfectly fits their needs.

Small walkway lighting can be accomplished in multiple ways. From small off-the-shelf lighting systems for home walkways to larger corporate walkways using higher powered bollard fixtures vary in their design, costs and maintenance. The off-the-shelf systems typically each have their own solar panel, battery and all included in each fixture. These systems are not high powered, but can outline the area they are placed along. These systems require a lot of maintenance as their solar is only sized to provide a small amount of power with little to no backup from the battery, making the system use all available power nightly and reducing the battery lifespan dramatically; typically needing replacing every year or two.

Larger bollard fixtures can be installed in one of two ways; each having their own solar power system integrated within the bollard fixture, or multiple bollards powered off a single large power array. The single bollards that each has their own solar power system provide a little better storage than the small big box solar lighting systems; however, they will still require much more maintenance than a commercial lighting system. These types of systems have a flat panel on the top of each light requiring constant cleaning, especially in the northern snowy areas, and are more prone to vandalism. The batteries are typically only a couple day backup, which still produces a short lifespan of a battery. Large solar arrays powering multiple fixtures will provide a longer lasting system as there is typically a minimum of five nights autonomy and the solar is sized to replace the total usage every night in the worst case scenario, winter.

Other area lighting applications use larger fixtures such as floods and overhead light fixtures. These are much higher powered systems and provide large area lighting for parking lots, streets, perimeters, etc. These systems each have their own solar power assembly to provide the power to the fixture and operate as specified by the end user. These systems need to still be sized properly to ensure they are reliable and provide a long lifespan.

These larger projects have a considerable amount of customization options and discussing the needs of the project with the lighting designer will guarantee that the light specified for the project will meet the needs perfectly. Different distributions for different lighting applications can be used to customize the lighting system so that lighting is only installed where needed and not wasted. Also, control options provide specific lighting needs, such as dusk to dawn or specific timing, even dimming options that can be considered. Always make sure that the lighting representative knows the end project requirements before specifying any type of custom control electronics.

Next time you are looking to light up an area and need a solar option, consult your solar lighting specialist to help you design the perfect system tailored to your specific needs. From big to small, solar LED area lighting can be a great choice.

 

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Topics: Solar Lighting, LED Lighting, Boat Ramp Lighting, Off Grid Solar Lighting, Large Area Lighting, Area Lighting

Commercial Solar Flood Lighting at Docks & Boat Ramps for Safety

Posted by SEPCO

7/8/14 9:30 AM

Most boaters like to go out early mornings or late nights to get the best catch. Lighting up the boat ramps and docks provide safety and security to boaters leaving while it is dark. The lights will help indicate where boat ramps are and allow for easy visibility at night to lower accident rates and provide a safer environment while they are loading and unloading boat trailers. They will also allow easy visibility of docks to reduce accidents when taking off on the water.

Tibor-Reserve-2Boat ramps and docks are typically in rural areas and do not readily have access to grid power. Stand alone solar powered lighting systems can easily adapt to these environments and provide the lighting without grid extensions and trenching through parks and preserves. They also provide a green alternative and lower the need for dirty forms of energy in these natural environments.

The solar light for boat ramps is typically an overhead flood style light to provide large area illumination. Single our double fixture configurations can be used, and with swivel heads, can point in any direction on the pole. 

Dock solar lights can be run along the dock itself or using overhead fixtures. The solar for the dock lighting can be mounted directly on the dock or on a pole nearby. The lights can use bright white lighting or wildlife friendly lighting, depending on the needs of the area. 

We have completed many boat ramp and dock projects all over the US. These systems have been configured for different environments and adapt well to harsh winters of the north to the salty waters of coastal areas. The lights can be configured to run from dusk to dawn or even be operated by a motion sensor or switch to lower the power needs. Large flood fixtures are perfect for lighting up the large area, and by using energy efficient LED technology, there is much better lighting provided for better visibility.

The lights can also be used in the parking lots nearby to keep personal vehicles and trailers safe and well illuminated while people are enjoying the area and loading and unloading vehicles and equipment. The lighting can also be installed for park restrooms and other nearby structures such as pavilions and along walkways, all of which does not disturb the natural landscape.

Need solar lighting for you boat ramp or dock? Contact us today for a free project evaluation and quote.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Boat Ramp Lighting, Dock Lighting

MDNR Maple Bay State Park Solar Boat Ramp Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

8/29/13 7:30 AM

MDNR Boat Ramp LightingSEPCO was recently contacted by MDNR to provide lighting at the Maple Bay State Park for their boat launch and parking areas. The lights were needed to provide safety to boaters and park goers, but the cost of trenching standard electrical, putting in a meter and boring under the concrete to get the power where they needed it was cost prohibitive. This is where solar lighting was their perfect solution.

Provided were two lights to provide lighting for four hours after dusk and turn back on two hours before dawn. The lighting is provided by a Viper fixture and is powered by a 125 Watt solar power assembly. These systems have a backup of up to 5 days of no sun; which is important in the winter for Michigan.

The installation of the lighting was only part of a large project at the Maple Bay State Park boat launch area. They also provided other features such as a two lane launch ramp, two courtesy piers and vehicle trailer parking areas. They also installed naturalized storm water management system and barrier free accessibility, which greatly enhances the service to the boating public.

This is not the first project completed at a boat ramp in Michigan; however, it is the first to use the bright LED Viper fixture. Our other projects included power flood fixtures using compact fluorescent lamps. With the life expectancy and lumen output of the LEDs being superior, LEDs will surely start to be installed more frequently.
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Topics: Parking Lot Lighting, Boat Ramp Lighting

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