In an economy seeking cheaper, greener technology, solar lighting is becoming the way of the future. Solar lights are not only a safe alternative to standard electrical lights; they are a total upgrade. When it comes to green options for street and park lights, solar energy is the best weapon we have in our arsenal.
How could something so simple be so powerful and effective?
Unlike the raw materials such as coal, which need to be harnessed for electricity, the sun does not require any gathering. Not only is the extraction of these materials hazardous to both the excavators and the environment, but the eventual process and production releases those notorious greenhouse gases. That is not including the carbon emissions that must be taken into account from the transportation of these materials. Luckily, solar energy does not need to be transported. It is right there, and there are no harmful emissions, only sunlight. In addition, the best part: it’s free.
Ordinary electric lighting like ordinary bulbs and other emergency lights require a continuous supply of the fossil fuels on which it depends on. Solar energy on the other hand is a renewable resource, so each new day it provides a new supply of energy at no additional cost, saving serious money.
Location is important for maximizing the potential of solar energy, and parks are prime real estate. Being spacious, sun-soaked areas that require many lights; they allow the benefits of solar lamps to really shine.
One major benefit is from the LED lights used in solar lamps. Whereas standard CFL bulbs may provide 10,000 hours of light, LEDs can last up to six times longer. When you consider that park lights may be lit up to 10 hours a day, this equates to substantial savings of both money and materials. The white light LEDs emit is often much brighter and clearer as well.
There are also architectural advantages when it comes to sun park lighting. Because of the wiring necessary to power standard street and park lights, lamps are confined to limited arrangements. If there is less leeway on the placement of the lamps, you might have some pieces of greenery getting the short end of the stick. Also keep in mind that the use of wires means each and every light is connected to another. You either get dangerous power lines hanging overhead—or have to some do digging.
With sun park lighting, each light is independent of the other, relying on its own source of power. Solar energy is captured by tiny squares of silicon, called photovoltaic cells, which convert solar power into electricity. These photovoltaic solar panels require no maintenance, and when you throw in long-lasting LEDs, the battery is the only piece you need to worry about. Even this is becoming less of a burden, however, because nowadays solar lamps are running on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
The only costly element of sun park lighting is the initial installation, because clearly every park ought to swap out its electric lights for solar power, and that means a lot of lamps. On the bright side, this is a huge job-creator. With each new lamp that requires installation and each new solar panel, another job is being added, not to the fossil-fuel market, but the green-energy market. That means fewer hazardous excavations and less harm to the environment.