Q: How do solar lights work?
A: Solar-powered lighting consists of a solar panel or photovoltaic cell that collects the sun’s energy during the day and stores it in a rechargeable gel cell battery.
A solar lighting system consists of various components, including an intelligent controller that prevents the solar panel from overcharging the battery bank. It also senses when there is no longer any energy from the sun and automatically turns the LED light on using a portion of the stored energy in the rechargeable battery.
Q: What are the steps in your system check?
A: Every project runs through a series of comprehensive and real-life simulations to determine the best, most cost-effective solar lighting system for a specific location.
First, the EverGen system is configured by our proprietary sizing engine using data we have gathered over the last two decades of real-world experience. The sizing engine crunches thousands of data points, backed by 20 years of NASA data, to ensure your system works for the long term—exactly as planned.
Second, our internal team of solar lighting experts double-checks the EverGen system configuration and lighting layout to ensure you have the best light uniformity, meeting the right light levels at the most affordable price.
Third, the EverGen Setup App provides a step-by-step smartphone guide for any level of contractor to use onsite during the installation process; this will guarantee that every light is installed and commissioned correctly.
Q: How often will a solar light need to be maintained?
A: Solar-powered outdoor lighting is virtually maintenance free, since the batteries require no regular service. Every EverGen system includes free LightGuard™ remote monitoring, which uses GPS to pinpoint system faults and notifies you of the location via email. A 10-year warranty comes standard with every EverGen light, and also includes a 5-year battery warranty. An extended-life 10-year battery upgrade is available. LightGuard™ Plus for API and dashboard-status remote monitoring are also optional upgrades.
Q: Will the lights still work if it’s cloudy?
A: Sol’s lights work even after cloudy days. During daylight, even when overcast, the solar panels continue to charge the batteries, and the system is designed to work for at least four days with no sun! (This is what we refer to as the autonomy of the system. Four days is what we consider to be the industry standard.)
Q: How long does each system last?
A: Each component of a Sol system has a different lifespan:
- Solar panels: up to 20 years
- Batteries: approx. 5 years
- LED fixtures: approx. 50,000–100,000 hours
- Electronics: approx. 5 years
Q: Are there grants available for solar lighting projects?
A: Grants such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) or Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) have been used in the past to fund solar lighting projects. Funding for lights as part of a Safe Routes to School initiative may also be available. Check for federal and/or state grants that might be applicable to your project (with the help of a grant writer).
Q: Will an EverGen light stay on all night?
A: Yes—a system can be configured to run all night or dim to your specification. The EverGen can be programmed to operate using several operating profiles, such as dusk-to-dawn, or customized with Dark-Sky Lighting Controls that help minimize wasted light and light trespass.
Shown: Example of a “5-Dim-2” operating profile vs. a “7-Dim-2” operating profile.
Q: How do I become a distributor?
A: To become a distributor, submit an inquiry through our Contractor & Channel Partner page. A member of our team will assist you in becoming a Sol Channel Partner.
Q: What does “guaranteed light levels” mean?
A: Thanks to the impact of LED improvements, solar LED lighting systems can provide the light levels recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the recognized authority for establishing lighting performance in North America. Solar LED lighting systems are capable of meeting recommended standards for street lighting, parking lots, pathways, and security applications.
Depending on your application, your lights may be required to meet IES levels during certain hours. While some solar LED lighting systems may appear to meet the IES light levels, they may not meet them during bad weather because the system is poorly sized and relies on ineffective dimming.
Meanwhile, when dimming is used effectively, it can help ensure your system meets the light levels you require during the hours you need it, every night. Our high-quality LEDs, efficient batteries, and durable solar panels ensure the system you buy now performs exactly as planned throughout its lifespan. If you need light, you get it with no compromise on light level.
Q: What does “light quality” mean?
A: Light quality refers to the uniformity of the light: you’ll notice it on a street or parking lot where there are patches of bright areas and patches of dark areas on the ground. While the human eye is good at adapting from day to night, it’s not good at dealing with both bright and dark areas at the same time. Traditional high-intensity lights are often so bright, they make it difficult for the eye to make this adjustment. Thanks to ever-advancing technology, LED lighting can offer lower, more uniform illumination with better light quality than high-intensity lights, to the benefit of all users.
Q: Can I convert an existing street light to run on solar power?
A: The pole may be able to be reused for a solar lighting system. However, the light fixture itself would have to be replaced with a fixture built to run on solar power. Learn more about this topic by reading our blog post.