Signs are installed all over the world. Some signs provide information such as directions, what businesses are located at a specific site, or just a place marker for people in the area. Signs are sometimes installed alone, while others are installed with landscaping, such as trees and shrubs. Integrating landscape floodlights with the sign lighting system is a great way to showcase the landscape at night. Best of all, with a commercial solar sign lighting system, integrating the additional landscape lights is easy with the same solar power assembly.
Most signs are either illuminated by floodlights or internal LED modules. The signs can either be single-sided or double-sided. The solar power assembly is sized up to operate the floods or LED modules for a set period, either dusk for several hours or all night. Sizing up some additional floods for landscapes is an easy way to illuminate the landscapes around the sign’s installation area. Since most of these smaller floods are very low wattage, the additional load to a solar power system isn’t too substantial to significantly affect the sizing.
Let’s look at a few projects that showcase this type of lighting well.
The Las Ventanas HOA wanted a bright solar lighting fixture to illuminate their sign as well as some extra fixtures to illuminate their landscape around the stone entrance sign. We used a 10 Watt LED flood fixture and three 3.4 Watt small flood fixtures to illuminate the landscape. All this is powered from dusk for 6 hours by a single small solar power assembly.
Since this project was in such a remote location with no ambient light, we could use a much lower wattage and provide good illumination. The photo doesn’t do the project justice as the sign looks way too bright, and the landscape is well lit; however, the customer was happy with the installation.
The Welcome to Martin County signs around our small county mostly have just the signs illuminated by our solar power systems; however, a few also have some landscape lights for the trees behind the signs. These systems are much larger as they have more lights at a much higher wattage than other projects.
Martin County started with compact fluorescent fixtures, but as technology evolved, they transitioned over to LEDs. The LED fixtures are able to provide much better lighting than the old-style lights using the same solar power assemblies. The new flood fixtures were upgraded as the old-style lights started to need replacing.
Our newest project featuring both a sign and landscape lighting in one system would be Orchid Bay HOA. This project features three ingrade bullet lights mounted behind the sign to shine up at the large trees while the single flood fixture illuminates the sign all night. In addition, this project showcases a single small solar power assembly as the lights are much lower wattage but still very high in lumen output.
The lower wattages are able to be used in remote applications such as the above; however, where more ambient light exists, like the Welcome to Martin County signs, higher wattage, and larger solar power assemblies are required. Also, these three projects are all located where there is good sun, even in the winter. In northern climates, the same setups will require a more extensive solar power assembly, but the same overall illumination is available.
To operate these projects from dusk to dawn, larger systems are typically required; however, the low power requirement of the floods allows for a lot of fixtures to operate off a single solar. The highest wattage fixture is typically the sign and the rest are half the wattage or lower.
Another consideration is the installation. Since most fixtures need to be installed in the shade, like at the Wawa landscape lighting project, remotely installing the solar power assembly allows the solar to capture plenty of sun to charge the batteries fully. The low voltage wire can be installed around the area to bring power to these fixtures, even when located directly under the tree. This type of system is not available with many off-the-shelf solar systems you can find online.
There are many areas where utilizing multiple lights on a single power assembly source can be a great option. This can also help lower the costs since you will not have everything on separate panels, and installation would be simpler. Talk to your solar specialist to see how they can accommodate your solar landscape lighting needs with your solar sign lighting requirements.