Every component in a solar street light system contributes to the cost of the unit. The Solar street lamp is the source of the light, and in most cases, it takes the lion’s share in the contribution. The use of solar energy as the source of power has brought some designs, material and technological changes. Most of the latest features of a street light are only applicable in the lamp. In this article, we will be highlighting five variables that determine the cost of solar street lamp installations.
Design is the first variable that you should consider when you wish to install a solar street light. It is the visual representation of the component in terms of size, shape, color, texture, and form. Modern solar-powered street lamps come with the solar panel split from the lighting structure and mounted on the pole or fully integrated into the light source.
Design as a variable may also include the artistic nature of the product and efforts made towards giving it aesthetic value. In this definition of the variable, you will find modern, classic, standard, architectural and custom styles. The more complex the design of the street light the more expensive it becomes. Therefore, the cost of the lighting source is directly proportional to its design.
Technology as a variable in the cost of solar street lamp installations deals with other features apart from the production of light. It can be the use of sensors to detect motion below the lamp, or change of ambiance. Still, in the automation of the lighting structure, technology may also take the form of brightness adjustment. You can also place the water-resistant technology in this variable since it goes beyond the use of material.
You can also view this variable in terms of the type of light sources used. The LED (Light-Emitting Diode) and High-intensity discharge (HID) technologies are standard in almost all solar street lamps since they provide extremely efficient and harmless lighting with a long lifetime.
A solar street lamp is quite costly with the use of more than one technology.
After the design, the most outstanding variable would be the material used in making the solar street lamp. Plastic and metal are most typical materials you will find in lighting fixtures. Some will come with an aluminum alloy case construction with tempered glass, while others have cast-aluminum cases with ripple glass.
The material will give the lamp the qualities that contribute to its functionality. The choice of material will determine the cost due to the availability of the material and the value associated with it. The use of aluminum alloy by most manufacturers is a strategy to reduce the cost and make the product more affordable.
The cost of installation comes with the complexity of the lighting fixture. If wiring is required, then you may need to pay an electrician or solar expert to do the work for you. In case the lamp you buy does not come with a bulb, then you’ll have to purchase one or more for your light source.
In case you do not have the required electrical knowledge and skills to install a lighting fixture, try consulting an expert before you get electrocuted. The best thing with modern solar-powered luminaries is that they come with less wiring, just a simple plug, and use. The only cost in the installation of a split solar system would be to purchase the right cables.
As for fully integrated Luminaires, you only need to mount it on the pole, and your work will be complete.
Maintenance as a variable comes into the picture during the operation of the solar street lamp. The components that make up the lighting fixture do come with different lifespans. These components need replacement after a couple of years of service. The total lifetime cost of the lamp relies on the number of alternatives you will need to make over the lifetime of the fixture.
It is not a guarantee that your solar street lamp will function as designed. There is more than one external factor that may affect the performance of your light source. Mother nature is one of these factors, so the presence of severe climatic conditions may damage or destroy a component. Extreme weather conditions can reduce or even stop the production of light.
Besides replacing faulty parts of the lamp, you will have to clean your light frequently to remove the dust or any formation that may hinder the production of efficient illumination. Cleaning is essential in fully integrated solar street lamps since the solar module is part and parcel with the fixture.
The cost of maintenance is spread over the life span of the solar street lamp and is usually lower than the other variables. From the design, you need to determine the correct value of the maintenance factor.
Cost of Solar Street Lamp: Conclusion
The cost of solar street lamp installations is dependent on the five variables listed and described above. The first four variables (design, material, technology, and installation) contribute to the initial cost of purchasing a lighting fixture.
The result of these four variables will determine how much you will pay for the purchase and installation. They are the reason why the initial investment of purchasing a solar street light is higher compared to conventional street lights.
Therefore, they type of light source you choose determines the cost of your investment. How well you combine the variable will decide how much you will save compared to the traditional lighting fixture. You can reduce your costs by using efficient and easy to handle luminaires with an IP rating and power factor of at least IP652 and 0.95, respectively.
Focusing on quality in each of the mentioned variables will significantly optimize your lighting fixture and reduce the initial cost of investment and operation. Considering the available light source brands available in the market, you can choose the quality that you think will work best for your project.