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SEPCO's blog on all things renewable and green

Benefits of Solar Powered Security Lights

Posted by SEPCO

9/24/13 7:30 AM

Tibor-Reserve-1The best way to keep your parking lot, street corners and public places lit, like parks, clinics and municipal buildings, are the use of solar powered security lights. The reasons are simple; low maintenance, un-compromised performance and zero energy use. 

Maintenance is virtually non-existent. Modern versions are powered by a lithium-ion rechargeable battery that will last for years before it needs replacement. The high output LED lights will virtually never burn out and the solar panel is maintenance free. Once the light is in place, the only maintenance there will be is to change the battery, and that won't happen for years down the road.

High output LED light fixtures give off a bright white light. This makes it easy to see in the illuminated area at anytime of the night. However, the best part about solar powered security lights are the fact that even in a power outage, they will still work. It doesn't matter if there is limited power, fluctuating power or no power at all. Since solar powered security lights get their power from the sun, they will come on at dusk regardless of what is happening with the electrical supply grid. No matter what, the area you need illuminated will always be lit.

Of course, solar power means there is no associated energy cost to make it work. The more lights that are put in place, the more savings you'll realize. For example, if you have ten 400-watt security lights surrounding a building, they are using 4000 watts of electrical grid power for 8 to 10 hours per day, every day. Since a solar powered security light uses no grid electricity at any time, once purchased, there is no more associated energy cost to use them. That also means that for those properties that are striving to meet environmental regulations, there is no easier way than to install solar powered security lights. 

The question that needs to be asked is, why doesn't every town, municipality or city with public buildings  have them installed? The price per fixture is comparable to a hard wired security light, there won't be any maintenance costs once they are installed, illumination quality is virtually the same, or better, than grid powered fixtures and the energy savings will continue to add up every night that they shine, week after week, month after month and year after year.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Security Lighting

Implementing Green Home Security

Posted by SEPCO

7/11/13 6:30 AM

There’s no question that your home needs to be protected; however, if you’re an environmentally-conscious person and don’t want to implement security solutions that have a negative impact on the ecosystem, you might have a difficult time finding suitors.

While there are plenty of home security systems available to you, those that have been created with careful consideration of their environmental effect are just now starting to gain traction.

house keys

We’ve seen all manner of energy efficient appliances, so it was just a matter of time until other household electronics begin to follow suit. You’ve still got to do some searching, but it’s getting easier to find security companies that are taking part in the green initiative.

Regardless of how you feel politically about the topic, it does save you money and lower your electric bill, which is something we all can agree is a good thing.

So here are a few ways that you can go green in terms of your home security system.

1. Led Technology -- Light emitting diodes (LEDs) last much longer and consume less energy than most other sources of light. Since it is such an efficient type of light, most security systems will use them for screens and light-based indicators. This is going to make a particularly big difference if your security system uses technology that has a video feed or monitor of some kind.

2. Wireless Options -- Once again, this is an area where a lot of security systems are moving to, because aside from being more economically friendly, wireless systems are just more popular and easier to manage.

Wireless technology uses less electricity; however, if you have a larger building where materials and distance can interfere with performance, wireless technology may pose some minor issues. In general though, for smaller homes and offices, wireless systems will work flawlessly.

3. Environmental Controls -- Some security systems are able to alert you about temperature leaks, water damage, carbon monoxide and other environmental factors that could be affecting your home.

These controls usually have settings that will automatically notify you when the temperature rises above or below a certain number, or when it detects other drastic changes or inconsistencies in your home’s ecosystem.

4. Just the sign -- It’s unfortunate, considering the amount of work companies put into their technology, but the most effective component of a security system in deterring burglars might just be the small sign that security companies allow you to put outside in your front lawn.

Some companies will sell you the rights to use just the sign. If a criminal sees that sign outside your home, they’ll almost always move on to a house that doesn’t have one. Whether you decide to invest in just the sign or entire security system, it is vital that you invest in some kind of security solution to deter burglars.

Protecting your Home and Staying Environmentally Friendly

Installing more electronics in your home never feels like a “green” thing to do, but it can be done responsibly and in such a way that is environmentally safe. Technology has come a long way, and as electrical components become more and more efficient, you can probably rest assured that a security system will fall safely within the realm of eco-friendly products.

In fact, many home security companies, such as Protect America, have implemented programs to try to stay green. When searching for a security system, be sure to consider how environmentally-friendly their products and services are.

About the Author: Marcela De Vivo is a freelance writer in Southern California whose writing covers everything on home security, DIY, family health, marketing and much more. She makes sure to follow these tips when it comes to keeping her home and family safe. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook to learn more eco-friendly tips. 

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Topics: Guest Post, Security Lighting

The Dollars and Sense of Solar Powered Security Lights

Posted by SEPCO

1/10/13 9:30 AM

Solar Powered Security LightsThe use of solar lighting technology can be a great advantage to businesses and other properties where lighting is required.  Solar technology allows the use of the sun's rays to store energy for lighting during the dark hours.

This type of technology is very economical for commercial and residential buildings alike.  It requires no expensive wiring, insulation or connection to electric outlets.  The simple exposure to the sun during daylight hours is all that's required to power this technology.

From a money saving angle, this technology is unbeatable.  Installation costs are minimal and are one time only fees. There are no monthly expenses as with standard lighting and electricity. You don't even have to worry about power outages since every solar security light has its own power system. Solar powered security lights are becoming the economic standard for many businesses, schools, and government buildings alike.

Solar powered lighting can also be used with motion sensor technology making security lighting the most sensible choice.  Not only is it cost effective, but the security motion technology deters trespassing during off hours.  The convenience and practicality of solar security lighting is as smart as its money saving technology.  For centuries cultures have engaged the heat and power of the sun to assist in everyday activities.  Safer than fire, solar technology has grown and become more efficient than any other source of natural power.

Illustration Credit:

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Security Lighting

Remote Security & Work Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

6/12/12 7:30 AM

A large commercial gas company cited the following lighting needs for a remote pump and monitoring station: dusk to dawn security lighting in addition to high intensity work lighting on a bi-monthly basis.  Due to the remote nature of the site, the cost to extend the electrical grid for AC powered lights was cost prohibitive. On the other hand, with off-grid solar lighting systems all costs and issues associated with AC power grid are completely eliminated because the lights do not rely on the AC power grid at all, but rather off-grid through the power of clean, renewable solar energy. What a perfect combination of remote security and solar power.

Union Gas Solar Security Light

The lights purchased provide added security to the area and secure the remote pump and monitoring station, as well to the workers that come out bi-monthly. By using solar powered light fixtures, each equipped with a high performance LED light engine with dual light settings provide effective, ultra reliable security lighting. These systems operate dusk to dawn year round in addition to a high intensity work light on a bi-monthly basis with a simple flip of a switch. All things considered, this project is an ideal application of off grid solar power lighting systems!

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Topics: Solar Lighting, SEPCO News & Information, Security Lighting

Guide to Security Lighting: Where to Implement

Posted by SEPCO

3/22/12 7:30 AM

Parking Lot Solar Light SecurityIn the previous post on why to implement security lighting we discussed the need for security lighting. This time we will focus on where security lighting needs to be installed. Each type of application has different lighting requirements to keep people and property safe, and the types of fixture vary for each application.

Residential Security Lighting

Residential areas and homes should implement security lighting to deter intrusions and help keep families safe from harm. Landscape lighting is a great way to illuminate various areas outside a home and show boundaries more easily. Flood lights that are activated by motion detectors are another way to have the element of surprise while illuminating the area with a bright light for good visibility. Streetlights along residential streets help make sure people that are out after dark walking are safe.

Unoccupied Area Security Lighting

Storage yards and industrial areas typically employ perimeter lighting to provide added security around the boundaries to prevent trespasses. Container and rail yards have additional lighting between the containers to prevent tampering with the shipments.

Office and Commercial Building Security Lighting

Entrances are one of the most important locations for implementing security lighting for business owners. They are key points that, in the case of robberies, having them well lit will be instrumental in a successful identification. Also having well lit entrances and surrounding landscapes makes the business much more respectable looking to perspective clients. Parking lots for employees and customers also need to be well lit for the safety of people traveling to and from the building at night.

These are just some of the ways that different people implement security lighting dependent on their particular needs. The location of where you chose to place security lighting is very important and should be thought over carefully so when you chose to place the lighting it works exactly as it needs to so your needs are fully fulfilled. I hope the information in this post helps you on your way to successful security lighting.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, General Lighting, Security Lighting

Guide to Security Lighting: Why to Implement

Posted by SEPCO

3/13/12 7:30 AM

Security Solar LightingSecurity lighting has been instrumental to deterring crime and improving security to public, business, and residential spaces. The lighting reduces crime by facilitating surveillance by authorities and communities after dark and enhances community confidence and increases informal social control. The objectives of installing security lighting include:

  1. Provide clear visibility of areas from a distance to see anyone moving in or around the area
  2. Remove potential hiding places around routes that are traveled by pedestrians
  3. Provide facial recognition at a distance of about 30 feet
  4. Assist the use of other safety devices such as cameras in the area
  5. Deter crime against property and people
  6. Increase nighttime pedestrian traffic and feeling of security

The responsibility of providing the security lighting falls on the property owner, business operator, or resident as it is not only assisting the surrounding area but also their own sense of self security. What is also beneficial in this aspect is that they know the surrounding area and the flow of traffic better than a stranger to the area.

Installing security lighting is beneficial to both personal home owners and business owners in different ways. To a personal home owner the why is simple, not only does it drastically lower the chance of a break in or theft of outside property it also, in the case of theft or trespassing, gives a much better chance at being able to identify the perpetrator or catching them on camera. This gives the homeowner a greater sense of control and safety should such a thing occur.

For the business owner the same sense of safety and control would apply but for them it also brings a sense of safety and security to the surrounding area and the people and employees who frequent the business. Night employees would undoubtedly feel much better about leaving their work if there were safety lights to light up their parked car. Customers who shop at night are also much more likely to shop at a business who has taken the time and care to set up security lights to brighten up their area rather than a dimly lit, shady looking store. As you can see the benefit of security lighting for businesses is not only for the safety of the business's property but also the people who use it.

As you can see the benefit of security lighting far outweighs the initial cost or hesitation of buying the lights. Nothing is worth more than the peace of mind and sense of safety that such a simple thing as lighting can bring to both the property owner and the business operator.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, General Lighting, Security Lighting

Safety Provided By Solar Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

1/24/12 9:30 AM

Safety Flood Light SolarA large industrial facility had a serious problem on their hands. In short, an employee was hit by a car one night after walking down a set of stairs and across a poorly lit crosswalk. Immediately following the accident, the facility managers knew they had to install a light to illuminate the stairs and crosswalk ASAP!

The challenge was the tremendous amount of time/expense required to bring AC power to this remote section of the facility.  A high performance SEPCO solar power flood lighting system turned out to be the perfect solution!

Installed at the top of the stairs, the power flood light fixture—equipped with a 39 Watt super metal halide lamp—does an excellent job illuminating the stairs and the cross walk from dusk to dawn thereby ensuring the safety of all employees who use this area of the facility throughout the night. Better yet, the solar lighting system was purchased for a fraction of what it would have cost just to run AC power to this remote area of the facility and installed the same day it was delivered!

Due to the overall success of the project, SEPCO is working with the Facility Manager to illuminate other areas of the property with high quality commercial lighting powered completely by clean, renewable solar energy.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, SEPCO News & Information, Security Lighting

Solar Lights for Your Community

Posted by SEPCO

11/8/11 9:30 AM

With the many communities being developed all around there are steps the individuals living within the community can get together to have implemented, either at the beginning stages or years after the development is completed. Talking to the contractors and community board to show them the savings both environmentally and financially will have a great impact on many decisions. Here are a few things that can be changed over to renewable energy to lower cost and reduce the overall environmental impact.

Solar Roadway Light

Solar Roadway Lights

Most developments have lights on the streets. These light provide security to the residences while also improving the overall look of the area by being architecturally friendly. There are solar options that eliminate the electric costs while keeping with the security and architectural integrity. These lights can provide the same lighting levels as the standard electrical lights, and if on a coastal area, can be turtle friendly as well. The same types of lights can be used for golf cart pathways and sidewalks around the community.

Solar Parking Lot Lighting

Solar Parking Lot Lights

Most communities have a pool, clubhouse, golf club, and other gathering structures where parking lots exist. These parking lots need adequate light for security of the residences and vehicles. Solar parking lot lights provide the same lighting levels without the additional trenching of installing traditional electric. The lights also can still meet the architectural integrity needs of the community.


Solar Sign Light

Solar Sign Lights

The entrance and directional signs around the community can also be lit up by solar power. Solar sign lights provide illumination to any size sign from monument signs to smaller signs around the community. Even banner signs can be illuminated by solar. One of the largest benefits of these types of lights is the lack of trenching needed to bring in standard electric as these signs are typically in median and remote locations. Just drop the pole in the ground and mount the solar and fixture, no additional digging required.

Solar Landscape Lighting

Solar Landscape Lights

Communities like to showcase their landscapes around the development by adding lighting. These lights can also be powered by solar, and since multiple fixtures can be powered by a single solar power system there is no need for a single solar power system for each light.

There are also landscape lights available for the individual homeowner. These lights do not provide the same lighting levels as commercial solar lighting systems; however, provide atmospheric lighting and can outline walkways, driveways, and other landscape areas. Residential style solar lights can be found at any hardware, big box store, or online. These lights typically only provide a few hours of illumination and do not provide a backup for times of inclement weather or winter months, but are perfect where the illumination is not required to meet specific lighting requirements.


So next time there is talk about lighting in a community, remember solar lights can provide the same lighting needs while reducing the impact on the Earth and the wallet. For large scale projects like the ones motioned above, make sure to seek a reputable manufacturing company. Different types of solar panels, batteries, control electronics, and fixtures will make or break the solar lighting project. By making sure the lighting levels required by the project are met and the companies providing the lights have high quality parts will save you time and frustration in the long run by lowering the maintenance and increasing the life of the systems purchased.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Street Lighting, Security Lighting, Parking Lot Lighting, Sign Lighting, Landscape Lighting

Solar and Wind Working Together for a Single Purpose

Posted by SEPCO

10/4/11 7:30 AM

Solar Wind Hybrid Light

We completed a project with a company that integrates a solar power system with a wind turbine. Both are used to generate power to charge a battery that powers a light at night. This system can then charge the battery during the day using both technologies and throughout the night with the wind system.

Here’s a great video on how one community used solar and wind hybrid systems to make the Fish Creek park light up at night without having utility costs associated with standard electrical. The City of Grand Prairie uses solar and wind lighting systems to power the lights from dusk to dawn to keep the families, walkers, and joggers safe from unwanted company.

Solar Wind Hybrid Light

This also cost the city less as there is no reason for grid extensions. The lights run on the solar and wind power alone, allowing for quick installation and no wires having to go underground. The solar wind hybrid systems also allow for no power bills from the local utility company saving the city even more money.

Combining solar and wind power is a great solution when the amount of sun is not as high as in other areas because it would lower the amount of solar required to power the device. For more information on a solar wind hybrid system, contact us here at SEPCO.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, General Lighting, Security Lighting

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