Solar lighting solutions have evolved tremendously over the last decade. We have found ways to increase efficiencies, storage capacities, lumen outputs, and so much more. But adding too many options to systems can jeopardize their functionality and cause more issues in the long run. Keeping it simple (sweetie) will ensure system functionality and have less pieces to maintain over the life of the systems. Here are some ways you can K.I.S.S. your solar lighting system in your design phase.
Standard electrical lights typically use a timer or photocell to tell them when to turn on and off. Most systems operate dusk to dawn or dusk for a set period of time since power sources are unlimited. In the solar world, power sources are not unlimited, and systems need to be sized up a bit differently.
In the solar LED lighting world, systems are sized according to load and operation. New technologies have come out to allow for adaptive lighting (or dimming) to help reduce the power consumption, and therefore, reducing the solar power assemblies that are required to operate the lights. This helps reduce costs while still providing light to areas that may not require full intensity after a certain time.
Motion detectors are also a great way to reduce costs. Have a remote area that doesn’t get much activity, but needs light every so often? Having a motion operated light is a great way to have a lot of light for a short period of time for safety and security. Motion detectors come with limitations and should be installed correctly to ensure the operation of the light.
A lot of solar lighting companies have decided that mixing the adaptive lighting and motion together is a great way to have the best of both worlds; however, adding too many different operations to a system tends to cause more problems than they solve. Instead, we need to take a step back and go back to basics.
If the light needs to operate all night because it is a 24/7/365 operation, then dusk to dawn at full is the way to go. If the company shuts down at 10 pm and all workers are gone by 11 pm, then have the lights shutting off or reducing after midnight is a great way to save energy and reduce system sizing and costs. If the location is remote with light only needed for safety and security for when people are there, then have the lights operation either from dusk for x number of hours, turn off and switch to motion for the rest of the night, or just operate them on motion from dusk to dawn.
This type of system design will ensure that the light will operate as expected for years to come and not have any hiccups along the way. K.I.S.S. solar LED lights provide the best ROI, lower maintenance costs, and provide the most reliable systems in the field. What other reasons do you think these types of lights should come back? Let us know in the comments.