Solar Power + LEDs = Ultra Efficiency|
Conventional lighting no matter how it is produced relies on a steady supply of electrical energy to operate. Everything from the security lights in parking lots to the simple walkway lighting of a commercial building rely on a connection with the local power grid to provide needed illumination. While this lighting is highly effective and adds a great deal of convenience to businesses and industries that operate past daylight hours, it is also expensive and not always practical. Of particular concern is providing lighting solutions in remote areas and locations where access to reliable power sources is not always convenient or practical. While batteries and generator based power sources are capable of providing significant sources of electrical power in remote locations, these options are both expensive and impractical. Neither of these addresses the need to lower the rate of electricity usage by outdoor lighting applications that commercial industries are experiencing due to the rising costs of energy.
Many industries are already addressing these problems by embracing new technology that promises to eventually provide solutions to almost every lighting requirement their operations present. Advances in lighting technology like the development of high efficiency LED lamps promise to greatly reduce the energy requirements of industrial and commercial lighting. Already these lamps are providing great benefits to the companies that are including them in upgrades of their current lighting equipment. Across the U.S., cities and states are enacting trials and programs geared towards phasing out the use of inefficient lighting for public areas with high efficiency LEDs and are reporting substantial improvements in the rate at which energy is being used. LEDs are being used to replace incandescent bulbs in streetlights, traffic signals, bridges and other structures and show a marked reduction in the amount of energy these sources are using, up to a 70% increase in efficiency.
As well as reducing the amount of energy needed to produce illumination, other technologies are also being utilized to further drive down costs and reduce dependency on energy produced by conventional means. Alternative energy sources are moving past the research and development phase and into brisk development as they are included in overall energy reduction plans around the globe. Both wind and solar energy are being tapped as effective sources of electrical energy and are being combined with other technologies to produce energy solutions that are both efficient and economical. While wind and solar power are not a constant source of energy, coupling these sources with advanced energy storage methods and equipment that makes efficient use of that stored energy has produced energy solutions that are both practical and reliable for a large variety of applications.
The greatest promise is being shown by methods which incorporate both advanced lighting and energy production technologies. By combining the extremely high efficiency of lighting technologies like LED’s with cheap and free sources of energy like Solar, lighting equipment is being created that can produce illumination that represents almost no cost over the life of the device. While solar energy is not constant, storing the energy produced by solar cells in batteries has allowed manufacturers to design lighting equipment that can be operated anytime it is needed. The largest drawback to methods such as this has been the high energy requirements of traditional lighting equipment. LEDs solve this part of the problem by requiring very little energy to produce significant amounts of light, providing an efficient way to effectively tap into the energy provided by solar energy. When combined, an effective and practical lighting solution is created that has more benefit than just a reduction in energy consumption.
One of the side benefits of solar powered LED lighting is that it is not necessary to connect it to the local power grid. This reduces the cost of installation and allows this type of lighting to be used in locations that do not have easy access to a local power source. There is no need to install the added transmission wiring or equipment that accompanies installing lighting in remote locations which would represent an increase in the size of the electrical grid and added costs. Solar powered LED lighting can be installed as a stand-alone source of illumination that will operate reliably without any dependence upon outside sources of energy. Solar powered LEDs like Maganlight’s Solar Powered 5W LED Light offer an attractive alternative for commercial industries that are interested in reducing their overall energy usage as well as providing lighting for operations in remote locations.
Lighting like this can be installed as dock lighting, lighting in rural settings, general area lighting, storage area lighting and more without any need for connection to a power source. The use of smart technology allows the lights to operate differently as the situations dictates. Sensors installed within these lights allow them to vary their brightness according to needs. If someone is in the area, their presence is noted by sensors built into the light, which then increases the brightness of the light until their presence is no longer noted. In this way, these lights can operate for a full twelve hours in normal mode and provide four hours of continuous bright light if needed. The LEDs used in these units construction have an effective life that spans up to a decade of use, providing a reliable source of light that will need little maintenance or servicing over the life of the device.
This solar powered LED lighting technology represents what will eventually become the lighting of choice for every locality as the benefits in energy reduction and longevity become more readily apparent. As these lights continue to be used in projects across the world and the technology continues to advance, the benefits of this technology will only increase in scope and provide ever greater returns for those who decide to utilize them. With over a quarter of the worlds energy used just in producing lighting, the potential savings in energy costs alone is staggering. In the U.S. alone over 60 billion dollars annually is spent providing illumination in our cities, homes, and businesses. LEDs and solar powered sources of illumination promise to cut those costs by at least half if enough lighting can be upgraded to these technologies. At the current rate with which these technologies are being implemented, it is only a matter of time before these benefits are fully realized.