Avoid 4 Mistakes With Solar Parking Lot Lighting
Solar parking lot lighting systems are quickly becoming a popular choice for many businesses and organizations. They offer many benefits over traditional grid-powered lighting systems, including being easier to install (no trenching required), using zero energy, having no monthly bills, and providing a renewable source of lighting night after night.
Despite these advantages, there are still some common mistakes people make when choosing and installing solar parking lot lighting systems. In this article, we’ll examine a few of these mistakes and show you how to avoid them.
Avoid Being Installed In The Shade
When installing a solar lighting system, it is important to pay attention to the location, as the shade can be a major issue. In parking lots, it is especially important to avoid locations where there are trees or tall buildings, as this can block sunlight and reduce the efficiency of the system. Solar lighting systems need full access to direct sunlight during the daytime in order to work properly.
If your project area doesn’t get much direct sunlight, you’ll need to do some extra engineering to figure out the best way to install your solar panels. One way to combat this problem is by increasing solar sizing. This will ensure that your panels are able to capture enough sunlight, even during times of the day when the sun isn’t as strong. You could also try removing trees or shifting the installation location to a spot where there is more direct sunlight.
Avoid Selecting A Wrong Wattage
There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to Solar Parking Lot lighting. Many people believe that they can get the same amount of light from an LED as they could from an old-style metal halide or sodium lamp. However, this is not the case. It is important to understand the difference between the two types of lighting in order to make an informed decision. Another common misconception is that you can simply pick an arbitrary wattage for your new LED light. However, this will not provide the correct lighting. This is because directional LEDs require a different wattage than old-style lights.
The best way to handle this problem is to do a complete lighting plan to meet a light level requirement. This will allow your lighting engineer/designer to determine the best placement for lights and the appropriate light distributions to illuminate the area. To get started, provide them with an AutoCAD file or at least an address so they can assess the visual requirements.
Installing LED lighting in your parking lot not only saves you money on energy costs but also guarantees that the light levels required for safe illumination are met. We have seen customers switch from 400-watt metal halide fixtures to 50-watt LED fixtures and still meet all light level requirements. This provides a more custom solution for your project, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach of traditional lighting.
Avoid Selecting A Battery With Less Capacity
As the demand for renewable energy grows, so does the need for reliable storage solutions. Solar Parking Lot lighting manufacturers are under pressure to provide systems with enough storage to meet customer needs. However, many popular storage solutions only provide 1-3 nights of backup power, which is not enough to cover inclement weather or extended power outages. Even with the advent of lithium-ion batteries, which are designed for continuous discharge, this is not a viable long-term solution. Reliable solar lighting requires a better storage solution.
If you’re looking for a solar system that will work reliably even in bad weather, our systems are a great option. With a minimum of five nights’ autonomy, you can rest assured that your system will keep running even if there are a few days of bad weather. And in colder climates, we increase the backup to account for how batteries discharge differently in the cold. So if you live in an area with colder winters, you can be confident that our systems will keep working even when the weather is at its worst.
If you want a reliable security system that won’t break the bank, investing in a backup battery is a great idea. Not only will it lengthen the lifespan of your system, but it will also save you money on maintenance costs in the long run. Instead of having to replace your batteries annually, you’ll only need to do it every five years or so. This not only lowers your operational costs, but gives you peace of mind knowing that your system is always up and running.
Avoid only dusk to dawn operation
There are many reasons why solar parking lot lighting systems are becoming more popular. In many cases, they are being installed in areas where traditional line voltage lighting has degraded or broken over time. Additionally, they are often used in new installations during the design phase. This is because a great many facilities do not require full lighting from dusk to dawn. Even some companies that operate 24/7 only need employees outside during certain hours. This makes solar parking lot lighting a more cost-effective and energy-efficient option.
It can be very beneficial to explore different options for operating schedules, as it could potentially lead to significant reductions in system sizing, or allow for a larger increase in system wattages when lighting is required. For example, having the lights dim after business hours or even turning off in some cases can be a great way to cut down on costs.
Only when people are active or during shift changes does lighting become mostly necessary. This is a great reduced wattage option that allows for constant illumination until motion is detected. However, when the area is active, only high-powered illumination is used. By looking at a project from different perspectives, more options become available and each project can be more customized.
In the end, it is important to consider all aspects of a solar parking lot lighting project to ensure success. This includes looking at the system from different angles to make sure it is reliable and meets all light level requirements. Additionally, having plenty of backup is crucial, and the system must be able to operate as required for a specific installation. While grid lights are a common option, solar lights offer a whole host of benefits that should be considered when making a final decision.