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Are Solar Lights Cost Effective?

Are Solar Lights Cost Effective?

Yes, solar lights are cost-effective in many ways, despite the initial investment being higher. On the other hand, solar lights are significantly more cost-effective than conventional lighting when the total cost of the lighting system is taken into account. 

We will compare and contrast solar lights with traditional lighting throughout this article. Additionally, we will examine ways to save money by using solar-powered lights and other technologies.


Comparative Analysis of Traditional and Solar-Powered Lights

The cost of a solar street light may initially appear to be a deterrent to interested parties, but this is only true until you examine the financial details. The fees involved with the electrical infrastructure development for traditional lighting are the most significant price differential between traditional and solar lights.

Conventional lighting relies on a standard electrical grid involving trenching and underground wiring to provide electricity. Trenching and wiring can cost up to $40 per linear foot when all costs are considered, including the time spent by the customer. Trenching and connecting for standard lighting would cost roughly $3200, much more expensive than a solar street light.

In contrast to traditional lighting systems, solar lights are self-sufficient and do not necessitate trenching or wiring. To put it another way, the total cost of the lighting systems decreases dramatically as a result.




What is the approximate cost of installing a street light?

Metal halide or high-pressure sodium technology is used in traditional street lights. It costs approximately $2000 to install one light fixture, including the lighting fixture, the pole, and the base. That's not bad for the price of a single street light.

The photovoltaic effect, which converts light into usable voltage, generates electricity for solar street lights, which are fixtures connected to a solar panel (typically made of silicon). Such lighting is used virtually anywhere because it is not connected to the power grid.

A typical solar light cost around $3000 because of the advanced technology required to produce them. Light fixtures and solar panels are included, and smaller components such as poles and controllers for the light. A solar street light's cost is admittedly more expensive with advanced technology. Although the upfront cost of conventional lights can be deceptive, people often overlook that electricity infrastructure is a lot more expensive than initially thought.


What is the difference in maintenance costs between LED lights and traditional lights?

When solar lights are used with LED technology to illuminate a problem region, they are the most efficient option. If you compare solar LED lights to traditional ones, your belief that solar lights require more care than traditional ones is disproved. According to the data, solar lighting systems require less maintenance than traditional lighting systems.

A conventional street light typically lasts between 5,000 and 8,000 hours, whereas solar LED lights last 5-7 years, somewhat longer than a year of use. The mystery is in the technology of LEDs, which consume far less energy than traditional lighting techniques. And progressively decay over time rather than exploding in a second.

Solar lights are repaired less frequently than other lights, but the expense of each repair is more significant than others. A solar light's battery needs to be replaced every 5-7 years, depending on usage. The cost of two batteries and the labor for such modifications are usually roughly $1000. These expenses are only marginally more expensive than traditional lighting, which is approximately $800 in addition to standard maintenance expenses.


How do Solar lights eliminate the need for electricity bills?

Since solar lights are powered by the sun, there are no energy costs! On the other hand, standard lights accrue approximately $1,200 in energy expenditures over five years by pulling power from the primary power grid; this is the energy cost of one street light. Over five years, a system of ten lights will build up a sizable expenditure. We're confident that anyone considering purchasing street lights would prefer lower energy expenses. Solar easily wins this category.


Solar Energy is renewable, making it a cost-effective source of energy.

From a financial standpoint, long-term savings are only one of the main advantages of solar energy. Solar lighting systems are also heavily subsidized to encourage renewable energy sources such as solar power. According to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center, approximately 200 financial incentive programs are available for solar energy systems only. Solar energy is supported by both the private and public sectors, offering financial incentives. Although each entity provides a different amount and type of incentive, they all have a similar goal of increasing sales.

For a solar energy system, the federal government offers a 26 percent tax credit, and the state of North Carolina offers an additional 35 percent state tax credit. As a result, if the cost of one street light is 3,000 dollars, you will receive a tax credit of 900 dollars, which is a significant saving.


How can we save money using solar lights?

Thanks to modern technology, it is possible that our lighting system has been transformed into a multi-functional lighting platform. There is no limit to what you can do. It's possible to rethink even the city's entire infrastructure and save money in the long run.



Making Use of Energy-Efficient LED Lighting

You'll save money just by swapping from incandescent to LED street lighting:

  • You won't have to replace these lights frequently because they last longer.
  • These lights can't be broken. 
  • They charge less per year for fewer units of service.
  • Due to their lower melting point, they do not catch fire.
  • Using these globes will save you money on your electric bill because they use less electricity than other globes. 
  • Less energy, better illumination: that's LED lighting.



Solar Panels Produce Clean Energy

Large solar panels are not required when solar LED street lights are used. It is possible to install a solar panel on the top of your street light pole, which will provide enough energy to power your street light system.

There is no additional charge for a solar street light because it relies on regular electricity infrastructure. During the day, the solar panel generates electricity, which is stored in a battery and used when the sun sets to power LED lights. All of your solar LED lights will continue to operate even if the weather is terrible.





When using solar lights, there is no need for an additional setup.

The use of another electrical source is unnecessary when using solar power. As a result, solar LED lighting systems are the simplest to set up. There's no need to dig trenches to run power lines. You save money on labor costs, and it's convenient and straightforward to implement, so you save both time and resources. To save money in the long run, the installation process for a solar street light will help you save money in the short term.

Street light management is a complex task. Maintenance and personnel are required for the management of operational logistics. It's difficult to predict when something might go wrong with these lights. And due to this reason, you'll appreciate the added benefits that solar-powered outdoor lighting systems provide. And, of course, these features can save you money as well.





A remote management system is a great option to ensure complete control and visibility.

A remote management system allows you to monitor and control the efficiency of solar street lights from any location. To use the LED system, you only need to have one of your devices (a mobile phone, a computer, or a tablet) connected to the internet.

This process is done automatically, allowing you to save a significant amount of both time and money. There are no crew costs associated with this service, and you can use LED lights to their fullest potential. When you reduce the amount of energy you use, you extend the life of your solar lighting system.





Deterring criminal activity through the use of CCTV (closed-circuit television)

You can add CCTV to your lighting infrastructure using outdoor solar LED lights and intelligent technology. Criminals are frequently deterred when they become aware that they are being recorded. You no longer have to worry about installing additional infrastructure to get video surveillance of your entire property.

These cameras can be linked to your solar street lights' management system, and no criminal will be able to get away.

Hidden expenses arise once again. However, the savings on insurance premiums and the decrease in robberies make the investment worthwhile.




When the total costs of traditional lighting and solar lighting are compared, it appears that solar lighting is the clear winner. As a whole, solar street lights will cost you approximately $4,800 over five years, whereas traditional street lights will cost you a total of $8,800 due to trenching and installation costs. As previously stated, this represents the cost of one street light. Consider the possibilities: ten lights, twenty lights, or more. Finally, the financial advantages of solar energy become apparent.

When it comes to lighting systems, technology and innovation come out on top in the end. 

Traditional lights outperform solar lights in many ways, but solar systems are relatively inexpensive compared to their counterparts. Solar panels with cutting-edge technology and energy-efficient LED lighting make these streetlights unique.



Cost comparison between solar vs. traditional lights. (n.d.). Solar LED Lighting | Commercial Solar Lighting Systems | Greenshine New Energy. https://www.streetlights-solar.com/cost-comparison-between-solar-vs-traditional-lights.html

How you can save money with solar led street lighting? (2019, July 9). Lightinus. https://www.lightinus.com/how-you-can-save-money-with-solar-led-street-lighting/

Solar street lights: A cost-effective option. (2021, August 4). WordPress at UD |. https://sites.udel.edu/ruthd/2021/08/04/solar-street-lights-a-cost-effective-option/

Tenkoo. (2021, June 17). Solar lights: How much energy is actually saved? https://tenkoosolar.com/blogs/built-to-the-highest-standards/solar-lights-how-much-energy-is-actually-saved

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