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As the threat of climate change is getting wider recognition at different levels, the transition to renewable energy sources is happening at a much faster pace than ever before. One of the most widely used renewable energy sources is solar energy.
Apart from powering houses and offices using solar PV modules, solar energy is also effective as an outdoor lighting solution. In this article, we are going to talk about one such lighting solution, namely, solar street lights.
Traditional street lights use electricity generated using conventional sources to function. Although new, energy-friendly technologies such as LED bulbs, have made street lights more environment friendly, they have not ended their reliance on conventional energy. Solar street lights, on the other hand, are fitted with solar panels and batteries, and it uses the energy trapped from sunlight to function. In this way, it ends dependency on conventional energy sources, leading to drastic cuts in terms of carbon emissions.
However, choosing a solar street light might be a tricky task. Not only are there too many brands and products to choose from, but they also differ in terms of the specs, features, power ratings, price and so forth.
Therefore, in this article, we will help you choose the best solar street light in the market. We will review some of the best solar street lights that are available in India, and also list down all the important factors that one must look for while buying a solar street light.
The Murphy 48W LED solar street light is a durable and superior product and is built to last. The product features a heavy duty aluminum structure that offers high conductivity and stable performance. The aluminium body of this street light is meant to be resistant to corrosion, helping the lamp maintain a long term and stable performance.
In addition, the aluminium cover for the light is built using a high quality prismatic epoxy. It is designed in a way that the fixture remains protected and the heat dissipation process is enhanced. The product also features a highly efficient LED lamp, that helps illuminate the street without any interruptions, even on days when the sunlight reception is low.
Besides, the LED bulb of this solar street light uses a High Lumen technology for providing a comprehensive lighting solution. Not only does it enhance efficiency, but it also adds to the performance of the product. Further, with a low brightness decay, the output can remain 5 times longer than traditional MH and HID bulbs.
Apart from the durability and efficiency that this street light has to offer, it also comes with an IP 65 waterproof rating. This ensures that all the components of this solar street light remains protected against strong rainfall.
It also ensures a great deal of protection against dust and other pollutants, which affect the performance of electrical components. It is a perfect product for use in areas which receive a high degree of rainfall during the year.
Coming to the more technical specifications of this street light, the Murphy 48W LED street light has a high CRI of more than 80 percent. The CCT of the lamp ranges between 6000-6500K and it emits a cool white colour light. Moreover, this street light has a beam angle of 120 degrees, and thus, it can cover a significantly large area of the street. The nominal voltage ranges between 140V-285V.
The available protections on this solar street light includes short circuit, open circuit, under voltage, over voltage protection, alongside a surge protection of up to 6 KV. Murphy also offers a 2 year warranty on this product. All these specs and features make this one of the best solar street lights in India.
This is a 10W LED solar street light, with a 5 V, 9W solar panel, and is meant to deliver excellent performance in illuminating parks, pathways and streets. According to the company, this solar street light has a lifespan of 10 years, which is pretty great, considering its affordable pricing. The product features an automatic on and off feature, with 100 percent brightness in the beginning.
When there is no motion detected, the brightness of the lamp reduces to 15 percent. When motion is detected again, the bulb lights up to offer 100 percent brightness again, before automatically being reduced to 15 percent brightness in the absence of any motion. All of this is done using a Radar Motion sensor, which can detect movement in the radius of 8 metres. In this way, this product offers a high degree of energy efficiency, allowing it to perform even on days with low sunlight reception.
The LED lamp of this street light can illuminate an area of 60 to 80 square metres, which is a significantly large area, considering the low output that this product offers. It comes with a 18000 mAh battery, which has a charging time of 6-8 hours and a lighting time of 10-12 hours. However, note that the battery backup and lighting time depends on sunlight intensity. Thus, these numbers would vary in different areas.
On cloudy days, the lighting hours will be reduced because the battery wouldn’t be fully charged. Moreover, this solar light switches on only when there is no other powerful light source close to it. During installation, also make sure that there is no shade falling on the solar panel of the device (such as shade from branches of trees), as it will significantly affect its performance.
This is an IP 65 rated solar street light, which ensures that it remains protected against water damage. Moreover, it has an anti-corrosion surface, ensuring greater durability and longevity. The installed height of this street light is 3 to 5 metres, and it offers a wide beam angle of 120 degrees. The battery has a lifespan of 4 to 6 years, and you would require to get your battery replaced once its lifespan is over.
Tapetum also offers a one year warranty on this product. However, the warranty is subjected to certain exclusions, such as electrical burn outs, physical damages, or tampering with the product. All these specs and features make this a great product and an excellent street lighting solution.
The Life King 20W solar street light is a superior product, and comes loaded with incredible specs and features. It features a 6V, 10W polycrystalline solar module and a 10000 mAh lithium ion battery. Under bright, sunny conditions, the time required to charge the battery ranges between 6 and 8 hours.
An excellent feature of this street light is that it comes with an optically controlled motion sensor. It can detect movement happening in the area beneath it, and accordingly adjusts the brightness of the lamp. In this way, it saves a lot of energy, allowing the LED lamp to illuminate the ground for a longer duration.
In the beginning, the lamp offers 20 percent brightness. In the first six hours of use, when it detects movement, it lights up to a 100 percent brightness for 20 seconds. After 6 hours, it only lights up to offer 50 percent brightness for 20 seconds when any movement occurs beneath the street light. The sensor can detect movement within a radius of 20 m.
This street light can illuminate an area of 60 to 80 sq. metres. It offers a beam angle of 120 degrees. It is suitable for installation on a pole with a diameter of 50 to 75 mm. In addition to these incredible features, Life King offers a warranty of 2 years on this product. However, a major drawback of this street light is that it does not have an IP rating, although the company claims that it is dust and water resistant.
This is another great solar street light, offered by Sparkel Electricals. It can be operated directly using a 12 V battery, or through a solar charge controller using a solar panel and battery. It can also be used with the help of a 230V AC to 12V DC adapter ranging from 1A to 5A.
One of the most distinguishable features of this solar street light is the lamp used on it. It comes with an original EDISON LED lamp, which can offer a brightness of 2240 Lumes and a colour temperature of 6500 K (Natural White). Moreover, the lamp comes in a pressure die cast housing with toughened glass. The lamp is also placed on an aluminium board, so that there is a better heat dissipation.
In terms of protection, this Sparkel street light offers a Reverse Polarity Protection, which is supplied with a 0.5 metre, dual core wire. The key selling point of this product is its waterproofing. It comes with IP66 waterproofing, which allows it to remain fully functional even when it is raining heavily. All these features make it one of the best solar streets lights in the market.
This is a powerful solar street light and is very suitable for illuminating a wide street. It comes with a 40W LED lamp and is powered by a 6V, 9W solar module. This street light, too, comes with an automatic motion detection sensor. It can detect any movement happening beneath it, and accordingly adjust the brightness of the lamp.
This technology makes it an energy efficient product, and increases the functionality and the lifespan of the lamp. It offers a 10 percent brightness in the beginning and goes to provide a 100 percent brightness for 30 seconds, as soon as any movement is detected.
Then it automatically switches to 15 percent brightness and remains steady at 15 percent, until and unless there is a movement beneath the street light again. The motion detector can detect movement within 8 metres of the street light.
Moreover, it comes with a powerful lamp that can illuminate an area of 60 to 80 sq. metres. It features a beam angle of 120 degrees. It is also fitted with a powerful, 10000 mAh battery that usually takes around 6 to 8 hours to charge. The charging time, however, depends on weather conditions and the reception of sunlight during any particular day. Once fully charged, it can function for 10 to 12 hours.
This solar street light is suitable for installation on a pole with a diameter of 50-75 mm. Moreover, it is a 100 percent waterproof product, as it features an IP 65 rating. RJ Solar also offers a 2 year warranty on this solar street light.
This is another good solar street light offered by RJ Solar. However, it has a slightly less powerful lamp. It comes with a 20 W LED lamp and features a 5V, 6W solar module. The battery capacity of this solar street light is, however, small. It features only a 5000 mAh lithium ion battery.
This solar street light features a motion sensor, which is capable of detecting any movement happening under it, and adjust the lamp’s brightness accordingly. When the street light is switched on, the lamp lights up to only 10 percent of its brightness. As soon as any motion is detected, the lamp lights up to its full brightness for 30 seconds, before automatically switching to 30 percent brightness.
The area that can be detected by the motion sensor is 8 metres. Since it has a less powerful area, it can illuminate an area of 40 to 60 sq. metres. In addition to these features, this solar street light comes with a 2 year warranty, making it an excellent product choice.
Finally, on our list, we have HYKON’s Gardenia solar street light, which comes with a 15W lamp. The best thing about this solar street light is its ability to function in any climatic condition. The working temperature of this product lies between -47 to 70 degrees. Thus, it can be installed anywhere, from the poles to the equator.
The LED lamp of this street light is highly efficient and has a long service light. The entire module is waterproof and durable. Thus, heavy rain or snow will not damage this solar street light. While there is no information with regards to the battery capacity, the company claims that it can power the lamp all through the evening and the night. Further, it comes with a LiFePO4 battery, which is usually used in electric buses.
Other attractive features of this product include its integrated design, modular production and single screw installation. It is, thus, a very easy to install product. In addition, this solar street light boasts of a low voltage design, which is reliable and safe to use. All these features make it one of the best solar street lights in the market.
Solar street lights can be classified into two types - All in One solar street lights and Integrated solar street lights.
The All in One solar street lights have a compact design and come in a modern form factor. It houses solar panels, charge controller, battery and LED within a single unit. These solar street lights are usually fitted with motion control sensors and they automatically switch on in the evening.
The motion control sensors make use of infrared waves to detect any movement that happens below the street light. Whenever there is a movement, the lamp lights up to offer its maximum brightness, and in times, when there is no motion, the lamp lights up only to 10-20 percent of its brightness. In this way, the motion sensor ensures a higher degree of efficiency and increases the functioning hours of the street light. It also increases the longevity of the lamp.
Integrated solar street lights, also known as split solar street lights, come with a separate solar panel unit , while the battery and the lamp are integrated into a single unit. These solar street lights do not come with motion detection sensors. However, there are two different kinds to choose from.
The first kind offers a 100 percent brightness from dusk to dawn, whereas the second kind offers 100 percent brightness during the first four hours, and then lowers the level until sunrise. In this article, we have included both all in one and integrated solar street lights in our list of the best solar street lights in the market.
The area to be illuminated is one of the most important considerations to make while buying a solar street light. This will depend on your requirements, such as whether you want a street light for a narrow street, or a wide street. Solar street lights are not only meant to be used for illuminating the streets, but also for public street lighting, park lighting, sidewalk lighting, farm and ranch lighting, perimeter security lighting, dock lighting, fence lighting, and residential property lighting.
For the best results, it is advised that you should maintain a pole distance of 10 to 15 metres, so that there is a sufficient distribution of lights. In addition, make sure that the area where you are installing the light receives sufficient sunlight, and is not covered with tall buildings and branches of trees.
This is one of the most important factors affecting the performance of a solar street light. While purchasing a solar street light, make sure that the product uses a lithium ion battery with a good capacity. Further, pay attention to the kind of batteries used. SMF batteries are not really good and they must be avoided. The best option is to go for a solar street light that features a LiFePO4 battery. Otherwise, simply stick to the Lithium ion batteries.
Since solar street lights are always placed outdoors, it is normal for them to face harsh weather conditions. One of the things that affect any electrical equipment is rain. Thus, make sure that the solar street light you are buying is waterproof.
Usually, there are three kinds of waterproof certification standards available for solar street lights. They are indicated by their IP rating. An IP55 rated product offers protection against dust and water jets projected by a nozzle of 6.3 mm. IP65 rated products, on the other hand, are able to protect themselves against all kinds of water jets. An IP66 rated product can protect itself against powerful water jets and IP67 rated products are able to protect against underwater immersion up to 1 m depth.
The life of a solar street light depends on the battery quality, LED lamp quality and the quality of other parts used. Normal lithium ion batteries require replacements every 2 years. However, the new and superior LiFePO4 batteries can last up to 8 years. Some of the best solar street lights we have reviewed in this article come with LiFePO4 batteries.
Yes, solar lights do work in winter. In fact, they can work in every season. The only prerequisite is that there should be sufficient sunlight for the battery to charge. Thus, the backup is usually lower in winters, as compared to summers.
Solar street lights are an innovative product, as they help in reducing carbon emissions and society’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources. However, buying a solar street light can be a bit tricky, given the wide range of options in the market, and the innumerable technical specifications to consider.
Therefore, in this article, we provided you with a detailed buyers’ guide for solar street lights, so that you can choose the best solar street light, according to your preferences and needs.