Global warming is no joke. As we move into the year 2017, it’s never been more important to find more efficient, ecological ways of producing energy. And thankfully, due to advances in modern technology, we’re slowly paving the path to a more sustainable future. Take solar street lights for example. These outdoor light sources are powered by photovoltaic panels which contain a rechargeable battery that draws upon energy from the sun. They can be used for all sorts of purposes, but are generally installed onto a night time LED lamp, so that they’re able to charge during the daytime. They are very helpful too.
Are They Worth It Currently?
Obviously, the technology is far from perfect. And because of that, existing solar street lights do come with certain limitations. Of course, nobody is questioning their effectiveness when it comes to producing green energy. And even in their limited state, solar street lights still output energy far more efficiently than their grid-powered variant, at least in the long term.
But because of the nature of the tech, the initial investment of solar street lights is far more expensive than conventional lighting sources. And because of their value, the risk of theft is much higher than what you’d normally expect. Solar street lights also require special maintenance that normal grid lights don’t, like regularly cleaning their solar panels which can be blocked by snow or dust.
Having said that, many experts still claim that solar street lights cost less than conventional lighting options, especially in the long term. Most of the cost reduction stems from the fact that they do not need to be attached to a utility grid to be powered.
Of course, their worth also depends on where you construct them. Common sense will tell us that countries which benefit from more sunlight should get a better trade-off when investing in solar street lights. But that’s not the only thing to consider. Let me explain.
Solar street lights don’t use wires. And that means they’re a less risky source of accidents. Therefore, in areas where you’re unable to install grid-powered lights due to safety concerns over wires, solar street lights can be a useful alternative.
Solar street lights are a relatively new innovation that has seen growing popularity in the last few years. Their ability to produce energy which is more sustainable and in a much safer manner has made them a premium lighting option for many industrial locations as well as places where safety is an issue, like newly built residential zones.
However, high initial cost and theft are just some of the biggest concerns when it comes to installing solar street lights. For many countries, it’s simply too difficult to justify the investment. And because of this, it’s probably not realistic to see these become the norm for lighting for quite a few years. But the technology will continue to improve and see growing usage in niche scenarios. And many are hopeful that future innovations will bring down the cost to a level where it is more affordable for nations worldwide.