About solar lighting March 2023
At the start of any street lighting project, whether installing brand new street lights or renewing existing equipment, it is worth challenging traditional solutions and taking a closer look at the many benefits solar energy offers. More than ever, solar lighting is a competitive, efficient and smart alternative to grid-powered solutions. And not only when the situation so requires.
While the choice of solar-powered street lights will naturally tend to prevail in a context where connecting to the grid is simply not an option (either because it is inaccessible, insufficiently reliable or would be too costly), it may prove just as relevant in cases where existing infrastructure is already in place.
From electricity to maintenance, public lighting expenditure accounts for substantial budgets and makes up a sizeable share of public spending in energy, up to 60% according to several studies conducted by the World Bank and the EU. Solar street lights, whose batteries get their power from photovoltaic panels, provide a major competitive advantage: they operate completely independently from the grid, thus eliminating all electricity bills. In addition to energy savings, local authorities get a better return on investment thanks to solar lighting solutions’ low installation and maintenance costs.
Unlike grid-connected street lights that require digging, wiring and burying cables, there are no heavy roadworks involved when deploying solar lighting solutions. Thanks to their “plug and play” installation, Sunna Design’s solar street lights are operational in no time at all: once the street light pole is installed, assembly time takes no more than a dozen minutes. Those solutions, both robust and quick to set up, can also be used for temporary site lighting or to meet emergency lighting needs. Thanks to their NiMH battery, Sunna Design’s street lights can be shipped by air freight, unlike solutions using lead or lithium batteries.
Solar lighting operates completely independently from the grid. As a result, grid malfunctions or prolonged failures have no impact on solar street light solutions. Moreover, each lighting unit within an installed base operates individually, meaning that if a failure should occur in one street light, the incident will remain an isolated one. Choosing solar lighting means removing the risk of leaving an entire neighbourhood in the dark in the event of a power failure.
Thanks to many technological breakthroughs, autonomy from the grid isn’t the only thing setting solar lighting solutions apart. At Sunna Design, our solar street lights are equipped with a smart electronic board which provides smart energy management using patented algorithms. This system enhances battery life and provides the highest service throughout the year, whatever the circumstances. Our anti-blackout feature ensures you benefit from an efficient and uninterrupted service 365 nights a year, even during extended periods of low solar radiation..
According to figures from the French Lighting Association (AFE), 75% of the 90 million city street lights installed in Europe are over 25 years old – aging equipment whose upkeep and maintenance is placing an increasing burden on local authority budgets. Apart from minor preventive maintenance such as the visual inspection, cleaning and annual checks of installations, solar lighting solutions do not require heavy operational costs. Sunna Design’s solar-powered street lights are robust solutions designed to last. They come with a 6-year warranty and the lifecycle of their individual components can extend up to 25 years, depending on the region in which units are installed.
The choice of renewable energies (RE) in public lighting projects is part of an environmental approach that is now widely needed. Solar street lights are environmentally-friendly solutions that give public stakeholders the opportunity to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint, in a sustainable development perspective. Solar lighting helps reduce light pollution caused by artificial lighting and limit its harmful effects on ecosystems and biodiversity. Sunna Design’s respect for the environment is reflected through our products, since all components used in our street lights are fully recyclable and do not contain heavy metals. In some cases, the use of solar street lights can help earn points for buildings’ BBC / LEED certification.