Solar Streetlights are a far better fit than traditional streetlights in South Africa.
Loss of lighting in critical areas reduces visibility on our roads and endangers the lives of both drivers and pedestrians. Well-lit areas are also a proven deterrent to criminal activities.
Current factors leading to loss of lighting include disconnection of power due to unpaid bills but far more common is downtime due to copper cable theft.
Another trend on the rise is sabotage of the timers on streetlights that switch the lights off during the day and turn them on when it becomes dark. The timers have been a target of deliberate damage, which has led to the lights illuminating throughout the day and night; this apparently enables criminal syndicates to use these circuits for illegal connections. Solar streetlights require absolutely no interaction with South Africa’s national power grid – you could call them “wireless – so they cannot be affected by vandalism of the power supply or be switched off due to non-payment.
Sinetech offers a large range of elegant, self-contained solar street lighting solutions, most notably the All-in-One range and the Optimal One range. Both boast IP65 ratings, lithium-ion batteries with built in charge-controllers and 5 Year Warranties. The lights can be mounted to any pole or wall. The Optimal One range offers further customisation where fitting to existing streetpoles is concerned, as both the angle and rotation of the solar panel as well as the lens can be changed to ensure optimal alignment with the sun’s rays.
Capital cost is more or less equal to the traditional grid-connected streetlight, but there are a number of additional benefits. Lifecycle maintenance costs of the installation are favourable as the Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs used in the streetlights, use a lower voltage to produce a brighter light and can be used without replacement for about 20 years.
Renewable energy from the sun means independence from the Eskom coal-based generation of power, which in turn equals cost savings and environmental gains.
Let’s take a look at the costing considerations that must be taken into account for traditional vs solar street lighting:
Installation of solar-powered streetlights equals instant electrification – there is no need to trench cables or wait for connection to the grid. Installation can take as little as 30 minutes: attach the street light to the chosen pole, switch the unit ON and you’re in business!
- 5 year warranty vs 1 year limited warranty of other contenders
- No electrical setup costs
- Safer option, no stealing of cables / illegal connections
- Ease of installation: no need for highly-skilled installers and a street lighting project can enhance a local community with job creation, in partnering with Sinetech partner for training and sign-off’s
- No energy consumption or running costs
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Low maintenance
- Sufficient light output as per regulations as a service delivery
- Latest LED, PV and battery technology is incorporated into the unit
- Lamp replacement is only necessary after 50 000 hours, compared to the 12 000 hours shelf-life of older technology street light lamps.
- The lights automatically switch ON at dusk and OFF at dawn. Adjustable brightness settings can be engaged during periods of inactivity (see graphic below), with bright mode (100%) being activated only when motion is detected. In this way, the built-in PIR sensor extends battery life.
PIR Sensor – Motion Detection: You choose the level of brightness to be engaged during periods of inactivity. Bright mode (100%) is activated when motion is detected. In this way, the built-in PIR sensor extends battery life.