Just type the solar street light into your search console, you will be amazed at the options looking right in the face. Such is the growing popularity of solar-based products due to the growing demand for renewable technology and increasing the cost of energy. You could be curious as to why this technology is gaining ground in the market? You might begin to wonder what is the solar street light cost comparison in relation to other types of street light? An evaluation of the solar street lighting system produces some interesting insight into why this technology is growing in the market.
What is the Cost of Each Type of Street Light?
The solar street light unit is a type of street light sourcing its power from the sun through an installed solar panel using a procedure known as the photovoltaic process. The solar panel converts solar energy into usable electricity stored in the solar battery in the form of chemical energy. The big plus about this type is that they are usually independent of the national electricity grid and can be used in remote regions.
Due to the fact that solar lights make use of highly advanced technology, the initial cost to acquire them is usually expensive at an average of $3000 for each solar light fixture. This includes all the components that make up the whole solar street light.
For the traditional street light fixtures, they source their power from the electrical power grid for lighting. This light fixture usually uses high-pressure sodium or metal halide for lighting. On average the light fixture cost about $1500, which is considerably cheap for one street light fixture.
Taking a look at the solar street light comparison with traditional street light shows that the initial cost of the solar street light fixture is very high compared to the traditional street light. However, the overall cost of a solar street light is still lower than that of the traditional street light, when you take into consideration the cost of installation, maintenance, monthly bills paid for electricity in the traditional street light.
Solar Street Light Cost Comparison with Traditional Street Lights
A look at the initial cost of the solar street light may deter potential buyers until a closer look is taken at the total overhead cost. The major area where you save on the price of solar street light is the installation cost, which is way cheaper than traditional lights.
To source for power, the traditional street light has to connect to a typical power grid, and to do this involves carrying out a series of underground wiring and trenching. Carry out the calculations of the labor cost associated with these exercises will require you pay around $120 for each linear foot. When you sum up the total cost of installation, you will come close to $4500 on the average. That is substantial costly than how much it will take to install a solar street light.
Due to the fact that solar street lights are independent units and not connected to any power grid, there is no need for underground wiring and trenching like in traditional street lights. This brings down the cost of installation to a very low level at about $1500.
MAINTENANCE COSTS IN EACH TYPE OF STREET LIGHT FIXTURE
Generally, solar street light used LED light fixtures for lighting purposes. This further drives down the maintenance cost of the solar street light compared to the traditional street light that uses metal halide or high-pressure sodium light fixture. The traditional light has an average lifespan of 5,000 to 8,000 hrs. That is not up to a year of usage. On the other hand, the lifespan of a solar street light is usually between five and seven years. The LEDs used in solar street light use power more efficiently.
Although, a solar street light is maintained less frequently when it is repaired the cost is a bit higher than traditional lights. A solar street light requires the battery to be replaced every five to seven years. To change two batteries and the cost of labor will cost about $1000. For traditional lights, the cost of maintenance usually stands at around $800 but you have to maintain more frequently than solar lights.
Monthly Electricity Bills
Since traditional street light source power from the main electricity grid, there is a monthly electricity cost associated with its source of power. Over the course of ten years, the bill for a single street light can add up to close to $1500. When you add that up for hundreds of light fixtures, you have a hefty bill on your hand. On the other hand, solar street light sources its power from the sun, which is free, which means it is free from monthly electric bills.
INCENTIVE PROGRAMS in the SOLAR Sector.
One thing about the solar energy industry is that there are lots of incentives to boost the use of renewable energy. The solar light fixture is subjected to heavy subsidy programs to bring down the cost. Going by the report from NC Clean Energy Technology Center, in the solar sector, there are close to 200 financial incentive packages. There are incentives in the public and private sector to switch to solar energy, however, this is different per entity in terms of the kind of incentive offered and the amount. For instance, the U.S. government provides a 30 percent tax credit on the overall cost of one solar panel unit. That is if a solar street light cost about $3200, you will get back $960 in tax credit.
When doing a solar street light cost comparison with a traditional street light, clearly the solar street light has an edge over traditional lights. In total, if a solar street light cost about $5500 over the course of ten years, then a traditional street light will cost about $8300 over the same period.
In the comparison of street lights, solar street lights are clearly gaining the upper hand in the market right now. It will only get better as solar technology improves and more cutting edge technologies are introduced to drive down the price of solar products.