Solar street lights have gained more popularity in the commercial application when compared to residential use. This is evident when you consider the efforts of governments and non-governmental organizations in the installation of street lights to light up road paths, roadways, walk paths, highways, community streets and other places that require night lighting. What is common is that most people fail to factor in cost planning when they venture into solar street light projects. We forget that the best way to know the price of a commodity is by first understanding the solar street light cost. There are other costs besides the cost of buying solar street lights that need your attention.
The five sources of solar street light cost mentioned in this article should help you prepare well for your project. The knowledge of these costs is a key tool in the development of planning strategies. Here are the five sources in that control your solar street light investment.
The Cost of Solar Street Light Design
The solar street light cost concerning design takes into account the use of technology and other factors in the selection of the equipment. You will find that more advanced solar street lights are expensive. The increase in cost is as a result of added value in terms of technology and material selection.
There are three designs available in terms of solar street light:
All-in-one or fully integrated design
Semi-integrated design (energy storage on the lighting fixture)
Fully independent design (separate light fixture, solar panel, and solar battery)
From the list, a fully integrated solar street light is expensive but has ease of installation.
Technology comes in the form of control of power use and protection from damages. Some solar street lights come with wireless control and light adjustment capabilities supported by motion sensor technology.
In terms of protection from damage, the material selection for the street light pole comes at a price: Stainless steel is expensive compared to anodized aluminum. On the other hand, the cost of a solar street light increases with the Ingress Protection ratings. You will find that IP65 solar street lights are more costly compared to the ones with IP55 ratings.
In design, choosing a solar street light with the wrong specifications comes with a cost of return and purchase. The best mitigation plan for design cost is to fully understand what you need for a successful solar street light project. Size the solar panel, light brightness, and solar energy storage capacity to meet your illumination goals.
The Lighting Cost in Solar Streetlights
This is the cost that occurs when we use traditional halogen lamps as compared to the use of contemporary technology such as light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs).
If you wish to produce a level of brightness of between 400 to 500 lumens using incandescent, CFLs or the LED bulbs, then you will require an operating power of 40 watts, 8 to 12 watts or 6 to 7 watts. From the comparison, we understand that form among the list of bulbs, the one that uses LED technology consumes less power.
The element of cost, in this case, comes from the life span of the bulb. The more wattage it consumes, the more you will need to replace this component. Therefore, to achieve your illumination goals without wasting more power and increasing your cost of operation, you need a reliable lighting source.
The Cost of Installing Solar Street Lights
Another source of solar street light cost is the installation process. This source is often associated with the fees paid for professional work and the mistakes made in the assembly and connection of the circuit. However, when you look at it from a different angle, you will notice that poor installation can also lead to damages and accidents.
The installation of a split design solar street lights requires:
- The construction of the foundation,
- The installation of the battery and battery box
- The assembly of the solar street light (lighting fixture, solar panel, and controller)
- Checking the connections to ensure everything is in place
- Erection of the solar street light assembly on the foundation
If you wish to erect and install the solar street light installation on your own, then you will need to follow the instructions and safety guidelines to ensure a successful installation. However, the use of professional service takes care of the safety concerns and the cost of getting the right tools for this operation.
The installation is just a one-time cost if done correctly. This cost should be included in your budget when considering to buy a solar street light. If you are lucky to buy your street light from a company that offers free installation, they you can omit the professional fee and cost from mistakes or accidents linked to the installation process.
Solar Street Lights and Operational and Maintenance Cost
Are there operational costs in solar streetlights? Yes, but it depends. The operational cost comes only as a result of damage and theft. This cost is often associated with government projects in areas that are prone to vandalism and malicious mischief. In terms of roads, accidents do happen, and sometimes street lights suffer the most.
Maintenance cost can be minimal depending on the quality of your solar street light components. The life span of the solar panel, battery, and bulbs should help you in scheduling when to replace them. The cleaning process depends on the environment and the amount of pollution in the area.
The cost in cleaning is associated with the resources and tools you use in cleaning up your solar street light panel and dusting of intricate parts for optimum performance.
The five sources of the street light cost goes a long way in determining the success of your project. You can take advantage of this information in the budgeting and planning phase of your street light project. What you need is to take care of the solar street light cost in advance so that you can fully enjoy the benefits of your project without going back to your pockets.