Solar Powered LEDs: Green Convenience and Versatility|
Going green is having a larger impact than many would have thought possible several years ago when the term first began to be popularized. Built upon a simple premise, going green simply means at its most basic level that you have decided to incorporate environmentally conscious practices into your usual routines. If you once relied on large amounts of paper to keep your business running, perhaps you now work to reduce paper consumption by switching all of your record keeping to digital files. Perhaps you have implemented a recycling policy among your staff, or offer incentives and bonuses for the most environmentally sound business proposals. Whatever the case may be, although the intention is to reduce dependence on costly energy and non renewable resources, going green is also turning out to be an economically lucrative exercise in practicality and convenience as well.
Aside from the obvious industries that are appearing as a result of the “going green” movement, individuals and businesses following such a plan are realizing net reductions in operating costs, increases in productivity and reduced initial outlays on investments in their operations. The company that recycles in bulk finds itself going from simply throwing out the trash to receiving a return on recycled materials. The office that switches from wasteful incandescent lighting to energy efficient LEDs finds its electrical bills slashed and its employee productivity increased. Government subsidies and tax breaks add to the list of possible benefits making it not only easier to switch to more energy efficient operations, but easier to realize fast returns on the initial investment.
There are other arenas where the benefits are not so obvious. Consider for example the full implications of setting up an operation in a remote location; say a modest radio tower for instance. Of course the obvious costs would be the purchase or lease of land and the materials and construction involved. However, without power there can be no operation, thus we must also factor in the costs involved with not only powering operations, but getting that power to the operations. This means paying to have utilities run to the site, a connection established and an eventual monthly bill for electrical consumption. Going green however suggests a different alternative that provides not only the needed power, but free power after a short period of regular operations.
What we are talking about here of course is solar power. Perhaps you have seen this discussed before and were amazed at what appeared to be a highly complex and highly expensive alternative to simple connection to the local electrical grid. This impression, however, is misleading. When considering solar energy the initial outlays do indeed appear costly. The equipment and installation represents a significant investment and maintenance also adds a further expense that must be factored in as well. Yes, these things do indeed carry a price tag, but it is their potential that reveals the true costs over the life of the operations which show us that not only is going green beneficial, but cost effective as well in the long run.
Imagine now this radio tower, but instead of being connected to the electrical grid, is run entirely by banks of batteries which are recharged daily by the sun. Let’s assume this entire arrangement initially costs $250,000 to install and set up; quite an expense indeed. However, let us now consider the monthly utility bills were this operation relying on power from the local grid. In a commercial operation, these costs could easily run $5,000 per month. This would mean that in addition to the initial costs of running utilities to the site, an additional monthly utility cost is also incurred ending in a yearly expense of $60,000. Lets us now consider the solar powered version with its operations independent of the local electrical grid. At $5,000 per month saved, this operation will have paid for its solar powered operations inside of four years and after those four years, the electrical power generated and used is essentially free. Given a lifetime of 15-20 years, such an operation could save almost one million dollars in operating expenses. Clearly, going green does have its benefits!
Going green with solar power does not have to be done on such a grand scale in order to produce significant benefits. Modern solar technology coupled with the advancements in LED lighting technology have produced some extremely simple yet effective ways for almost any application to produce savings and convenience unheard of only fifteen years ago. Consider for example what it would cost to install lighting around a private boat dock or in a remote location such as a personal hunting cabin in the mountains. Of course there is the prerequisite initial outlay for materials and installation which in truly remote locations may not even be possible, in which case generators and fuel then become additional expenses. Then of course there are the increased utility costs associated with operating this lighting. When all is said and done, considerable initial outlay has been incurred and a new monthly expense created.
Consider now the options that a solar powered light like Larson Electronics’s SPLED-5 solar powered area light offers. With little more than a very modest onetime cost outlay and a simple installation, highly effective, maintenance free, fully automatic solar powered lighting can be installed anywhere it is needed without any need for connection to an external power source. Such options provide the ability to fully realize all the benefits of electrical lighting without a single one of the drawbacks normally encountered. There will be no monthly increase in an electrical bill, the LEDs will last for over a decade, and anytime illumination is needed it will be available in abundance.
Portable and standalone solar power and LED lighting technology makes this kind of scenario entirely practical and realistic. Whether it is large scale or small, the benefits of going green are simply too great to dismiss as novelty or too expensive any longer. The fact of the matter has become this; environmentally friendly operations do not need to be expensive. They not only provide savings in both energy and natural resources, but offer us alternatives that in reality far outweigh traditional options in costs, versatility and convenience.