Don't leave residents in the dark by falling for these common issues

The key to good solar street lighting is in the components.

When specifying solar lighting there can be a lot of new knowledge to digest. Different solar products make use of different panels, batteries, and controller technologies. Which can make it hard to compare “apples to apples”.

To avoid becoming overwhelmed specifiers must select a manufacturer that is prepared to provide detail around components used, and importantly, solar viability and autonomy calculations.

Acrospire was one of the first to market in the UK and so we have a LOT of experience. Our UK-climate-optimised solar lanterns and solar street lights, offer a variety of features such as PIR motion sensors, remote monitoring, and adaptive lighting. However, if solar isn’t right for your scheme, we will tell you.

Download our FREE report: How to select the right solar street light

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Is solar street lighting right for me?

Solar lighting is a nuanced field; customers need to collaborate with a manufacturer who provides honest and straightforward guidance tailored to their unique project requirements. Here are a number of questions we’re frequently asked to help you decide:

Solar isn't right for every scheme. As part of our ‘solar honesty’ policy, we will always offer candid advice to our customers, including autonomy calculations, and will be truthful when solar doesn't make sense.

Those who need a quick-fix lighting solution:
Solar lighting can be installed as a temporary (or permanent) lighting solution for schemes without electricity: knock-downs, event lighting, parks or pathways where you are awaiting mains connection or where trenching costs have been cost-prohibitive.

Those looking for quick pay-backs:
Yes, solar lighting can be more expensive initially, but taking into account trenching and today’s astronomical electricity costs, they pay for themselves incredibly quickly – making them a sound environmentally friendly investment. Light with no ongoing costs.

Initially, yes! The upfront cost of solar lighting does deter some, as the products are more expensive than traditional mains-powered street lighting, but the long-term cost savings and environmental benefits are undeniable. As an off-grid solution - you should also take into account trenching cost savings on new projects.

Autonomy refers to the ability of a solar lighting system to operate independently and sustainably by the battery alone, at a set power, without any further solar input.

It represents the system's capacity to generate and store enough solar energy to power the lights (and in the case of our Aeromax, CCTV, illuminated signage and Smart City devices) during periods of low sunlight, and importantly for street lighting projects - at night.

Through a simple formula (Battery Capacity/Usage).

The battery capacity is always fixed but the usage will vary depending on a number of factors, including, how many watts are being used and for how long.

The below calculations are based on the following information:

Battery Capacity – 1000Wh, LED Power set to 8W, Winter on time – 16h
Summer on time – 8h

☀ Summer Autonomy

Usage is 8W x 8h = 64Wh
Autonomy is 1000/64 = 15.6 days

🌦 Winter Autonomy

Usage is 8W x 16h = 128Wh
Autonomy is 1000/128 = 7.8 days

We are pleased to offer free of charge autonomy calculations for your project, alongside our complementary lighting design services.

The answer is, it depends. We will need to determine whether your existing column can support the additional weight of a solar system and if it is located in a shadow-free area, ensuring direct sunlight is available (for example, not directly underneath a tree).

The key to a reliable solar-powered luminaire is in the components.

Don't leave residents in the dark by falling for these common issues:

🔋 Small battery capacity
If your lantern doesn't have enough battery storage it may not be able to run all night. It could also dim after just a few hours to conserve power

☀️ Inadequate solar panel
If the solar panel is improperly sized, it won't generate enough energy to keep the light on all night without dimming (we see this a LOT with solar bollards - which in our opinion are not fit for purpose)

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