School campuses have lots of activity during the day, but what about all the activities that happen at night? Make sure you are safe by lighting up those spaces.
Making sure to illuminate pathways, parking lots, and roads around the school’s campus is essential to the safety of students, staff, and visitors. Solar lighting can help provide just that, especially in remote areas of a campus where grid power may be difficult to get. Let’s look at why solar lighting is a go-to option for school campuses and how they can utilize them to provide safety and security through renewable energy.
Why Solar LED Lighting?
Solar LED lighting systems have evolved over the last couple of years. Solar has become more efficient, lower in cost, and more reliable than ever before. A well-designed system will last 5 years with no maintenance and have a lifespan of 25-30 years or more. It can also be used to teach students about solar energy.
Solar also provides sustainability as solar does not require the need for fossil fuels or energy from the electric company. There is no need to worry about a blackout since the solar lights are not reliant on the grid. The solar lights will continue to shine no matter how the electrical grid is performing.
Teaching Students about Solar
A solar LED lighting solution for a school campus can be a great teaching opportunity, showing students how the technology works. Students can observe the system in action and see how the system works. They can also compare multiple systems if you install different ones and see the pros and cons of each design.
Installing a solar lighting solution on campus and having the students involved will get the class talking about renewable energy, see how things are connected, and maybe spark some ideas on how to do things better, more efficiently, and increase design and engineering focus with solar.
Increase Safety and Security
Increasing campus illumination at night will allow for additional safety and security of students and faculty. This increase in visibility will allow people on campus at night to feel safe as they move about, going from class to class, office to office, and to their place of residence and vehicles.
Lower Operation Costs
Off-grid solar lighting systems have no power bills because they use no electricity from the actual grid. After the initial installation, there are no energy costs associated with the lighting as all power is produced by the sun. The only "power bills" are from the replacement of the batteries every 5 years or more. And since the lights are designed to last 25 years or longer, that can equate to huge savings. That savings can be then better put to use proving additional resources to students and faculty.
Lower Maintenance Costs
Maintenance is one of the biggest costs that most people don’t associate with lighting; however, this can add up quickly with standard lights and the need for photocells and light bulb changes. Instead, the solar LED lighting systems only need to have a battery change once every five years or more. This cost can be drastically lower than the electrical costs of traditional lighting systems.
Ways to Use Solar Lighting for School Campuses
There are a number of ways a school campus can use solar lighting systems, from parking lots and pathways to smaller systems such as signs and flags. We wanted to go over a few different options available to campuses to meet all their lighting needs with off-grid solar solutions.
School Campus Parking Lots
School campus parking lots are a great place to utilize off-grid solar lighting solutions. Parking lots are known as a place that requires decent illumination for safety and security reasons. People coming and going from the area benefit from having good visibility provided by LED lights.
School Campus Pathways
Pathways around a school campus need good illumination for staff and students when moving around at night. The additional safety provided by lighting is key. Pathways require low-level lighting and the same lights used for other areas like parking lots and roadways can be used along a pathway to keep the designs and aesthetic the same. Solar can also use decorative fixtures, such as the SolarUrban, instead of traditional systems, like the SolarViper, and produce the same light output and have access to the same optics.
School Campus Signs
Signs are also a perfect way a school campus can utilize a solar sign lighting solution. Since signs can be located in remote areas, the availability of solar in place of grid power can be a great cost-saving. Signs utilize one or more LED flood fixtures for most applications, or use small LED modules for internal sign applications. The floods or LED modules don't use a lot of power and can be efficiently operated by a solar power system.
Since solar sign lighting systems adapt quite easily, every system can be designed to meet the need of a specific sign. Therefore, if your campus has multiple signs of various shapes and sizes, and at multiple different locations, the solution can be configured for each signs' needs. Best of all, the solar solution can work perfectly even if the sign is located in the shade since the solar assembly is separate from the fixtures and can be installed nearby in full sun.
School Campus Flags
School campus flags can each have their own solar flag lighting solution, allowing each flag on the campus to follow the flag code and be illuminated all night. Each system can be configured to mount directly to the flagpole itself or nearby on the ground shining up at the flag. Each solar flag lighting solution is self-contained and sized to operate the LED fixture all night, year-round. There is also plenty of backup power, so you never have to worry about your campus flag being left in the dark.
As you can see, solar lighting can make an impact in many ways, including teaching students about sustainability, learning about solar panels, battery, and light technologies work, and maybe even finding a way to make the next biggest jump in technology. The cost savings can make waves to provide more for students and faculty. And the ability to provide the needed safety and security will make your campus a bright spot in many peoples' lives.