There are two types of commercial lighting systems, grid-powered and off-grid powered. Solar-powered light systems that are off-grid provide different benefits to grid-tied light systems such as: light when there is no power for additional safety and security, lack of electric bills, easier installation, and light wherever you need it. Customizing a system for each application will ensure that your light system meets the needs of your project completely.
Light with No Power –
If you live in an area that is prone to blackouts and brownouts, then off-grid solar power light systems provide you the safety and security knowing that your lights will still function. Since they are not powered by the grid, if the electrical company has an issue, your lights will still operate just as they are supposed to.
If your area is not affected by these issues, the benefits are similar since you can rely on knowing that no matter what is going on with grid power in the area, your lights will still function. This provides additional safety and security and is popular for military and government facilities since the inception of the Federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 that states federally owned property and buildings are mandated to materially reduce current energy use while also improving energy “security,” by employing renewable power that operates independently of the electrical utility grid.
Lack of Electric Bills –
Off-grid power systems do not use electricity from the grid and therefore cost you nothing in monthly electric bills. Since the inception and popularity of LED fixtures, the maintenance on such systems has also reduced greatly. The only thing that requires maintenance now on a standard solar lighting system is changing the battery every so often. Depending on your nights of autonomy, this can vary greatly between manufacturers. Ask your manufacturer how much their system’s autonomy, or backup power, is standard and what their maintenance schedule is. The more autonomy, the longer the batteries will last and the lower the maintenance costs will be.
Converting your existing electric grid-powered lights to solar is not always the most cost feasible if everything is operating correctly. Instead, making simple changes such as switching out the fixtures to LED fixtures, installing control options that reduce the lighting, or even turning it off, when it is not required will help reduce power bills greatly. If you are looking for a way to eliminate the electric bill of your current lights, installing grid-tied solar, after making the other changes, based on your average sun insolation and usage will allow for a Net Zero project.
Easier Installation –
Off-grid solar power light systems provide a much easier installation. The light can be located where it is required. Unlike the constraints of traditional grid-powered lighting where you have to use existing poles and infrastructure, or complete costly trenching to put the power where you need it, solar-powered light systems can be installed just about anywhere. This lowers costs by allowing existing structures and areas to be undisturbed for installation. This is especially helpful in cases where grid power is far from the location of where the light is required and times where you discover, after doing upgrades to an area, that the power lines are deteriorated and would need replacing.
Light Where You Need It –
As discussed in the installation, the light can be placed exactly where it is required. Have a dark area in a parking lot? Or a pathway around a park where there is no electricity? Solar-powered light systems can be installed in just about any location. If your lights are needed in a shady area, the solar power systems can be installed up to 50’ to 100’ from the actual light so that the solar can be exposed to full sun while your light can be installed where it is needed.
Now that you know some of the benefits of off-grid solar power light systems, you will be able to make a better decision when determining your needs. Want to move forward with your off-grid solar light project? Learn about common design questions that need to be answered before a system is configured. This will ensure that the manufacturer is designing a system that will meet the needs of your project.