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How Solar Integrated Luminaires Improve Energy Efficiency



Climate change is the global concern for this generation and generations of the future. Weather and temperature extremes are becoming more pronounced, and the consequences of this continuing are already being felt around the world. Phasing out fossil fuels and moving towards sustainable, renewable energy practices, is one way that climate change can be curbed and potentially reversed. But many industries are looking at their own ways of innovating, rather than waiting for governments and power companies to make these dramatic changes.

By utilising the power of the sun, the lighting industry is developing ways of harnessing this energy during the day to power luminaires at night. This energy independence, having no reliance on the utility grid electricity, is a wholistic approach to improving energy efficiency. We may reach a point in the future where street lighting no longer requires on-grid power, producing their own electricity from solar power, saving both energy and associated energy costs.

How much energy does street lighting use? 

The amount of energy that street lighting consumes will vary depending on the location of the city, hours of darkness, number of luminaires installed, types of lamps, and a host of other factors. However it is typically estimated that street lighting, as well as to public open spaces, parks, pathways, and so on, consumes around 40% of a cities energy requirements. Which means that over a third and almost one half of a cities power and energy budget it taken up by street lighting! So anything that improves energy efficiency is going to be a welcome addition to a local governments planning and budgeting scheme. Which is where solar integrated luminaire offer a huge advantage with their ability to improve energy efficiency. 
How solar integrated luminaires improve energy efficiency
Solar integrated luminaires generate their own electricity through photovoltaic panels which harness solar energy from the sun, converting it into electricity which is stored in batteries for later use. Any city that is able to convert its entire street lighting infrastructure into solar integrated luminaires could potentially cut its energy use in half, with that saving half of the costs associated with purchasing power from the utility grid!
Improving energy efficiency of exterior lighting with solar integrated luminaires

Exterior luminaires, which produce necessary illumination during the night are typically exposed to solar radiation throughout the day. If a luminaire has the capability of producing its own energy, then it will not be dependent on the utilities grid, and be much more energy efficient that a street light that needs electricity grid power to operate.
So whether it is city lighting, car park illumination, perimeter security lighting or a myriad of external lighting applications, solar integrated luminaires will improve energy efficiency of the entire installation. Providing both energy and cost savings to those responsible for the project.

On-grid and Off-grid solar system

When implementing a solar lighting system, an important consideration to make is whether it will be an on-grid or off-grid solution. The key difference between the two is that an on-grid system is connected to the local utility network, often referred to as grid-tied, and the off-grid solution is stand alone...


Q: How can solar integrated luminaires increase energy efficiency?
A: Solar integrated luminaires are not dependent on the utilities grid as they generate their own electricity. This energy independence improves the overall energy efficiency of an installation and brings down the overall energy requirements. 
Q: What applications would benefit most from solar integrated luminaires for energy efficiency?

A: Street lighting and wide open spaces with expanses of exterior lighting will benefit from solar integrated luminaires, as their main energy load is taken by the lighting. When the lighting can generate its own electricity, it reduces the overall demand on the installation.

Q: How much energy does street lighting use and how much energy can solar integrated luminaires save?

A: Depending on the size of the city, where it is located and various other factors, street lighting on average consumes 40% of a cities energy budget. Meaning that solar integrated luminaires can potentially save almost half of the energy needed by the local government.