In addition to saving your energy bill, solar lighting systems should be functional in use. The process may seem confusing – but it’s relatively straightforward. There are a few factors that should be taken into account when designing the solar lighting system.
We’ve rounded up six easy tips to help you achieve the best outcome.
Figure Out How Much Lighting is Needed
Is there a specific requirement for lighting systems in your area? If you don’t know, try talking to the local regulatory body to see if there are any guidelines you should follow. Different municipalities have different standards they may enforce on your project.
System Components You’ll Need
No two solar lighting systems are alike and will vary based on their system requirements and installation area. For example, a 100 watt LED fixture will require a certain type of solar power assembly to function from dusk to dawn in one location but will need a completely different size in another. This discrepancy is explained due to the variance in solar radiation.
You need information for light level requirements to find the appropriate materials required. It’s worth noting that decreasing the wattage and adding a few more poles can make the project more feasible while providing the desired light levels.
Each location has its own storage requirements. It is recommended to use a solar generator, especially if the area is prone to cloudy days. You’ll need to study the weather patterns for a more accurate analysis of storage requirements. This information, along with how cold or hot an area gets, will determine how much backup storage is needed to ensure long-term system operation.
Choose an Appropriate Fixture Style
Find out which fixture style is best for your area. You will find various designs, including decorative, flood, overhead, and pathway options. For example, floodlights are just as good for larger areas as they are for smaller areas, such as wall washing and directional uplighting. Meanwhile, overhead fixtures provide ideal lighting for applications such as parking lots and roadways.
Decorative fixtures are used on a smaller scale to complement the existing architectural style of the area. These fixtures are available in various customisations that may not be available with other traditional options.
Flood fixtures are used for various applications such as signs, security, and flags. They provide many lighting patterns with an entire range of wattages. Ceiling and wall fixtures are great for mailbox clusters and bus shelters.
Determine the Operation Profile
Most solar lighting systems are used for dusk to dawn operation – but your specific requirements may vary. It is beneficial to implement adaptive lighting controls to reduce power requirements when there is no one in the location. This will provide a more cost-effective solution for most projects. You can use motion-activated infrared sensors for areas where lighting is only needed when someone is in the area.
The type of operation profile will play a role in designing the correct solar power assembly at the chosen light fixture and wattage requirements.
Mounting Hardware Options
Your options for mounting hardware range from fixture brackets for connecting the fixture to the pole or ground. Hardware options will vary for poles, ranging from anchor base to direct burial. This also includes information for materials such as aluminium, concrete, and steel. The hardware must be fully compatible with the weight of the solar power assembly in order to make the project successful.
The power assembly can be configured to run one fixture or several fixtures, depending on the needs of the project. For example, one area may require three to ten fixtures, all operated by a single power assembly. The same applies to overhead systems.
Knowing your project’s design requirements will ensure that your system will operate as intended with appropriate lighting levels and uniformity for the project. There is no such thing as a one size fits all solution for solar lighting systems and each project will have unique requirements. Doing your homework before designing a solar lighting system will ensure you will never be left in the dark again.