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Educational   22 April 2024

 

Why solar lighting is an ideal solution for dog parks

 

Dog ownership is on the rise in the U.S., with nearly 45% households nationwide owning at least one. As a result, more and more dog parks are being built to give dogs and their owners a safe outdoor space to exercise and socialize.

 

While creating a new dog park might initially seem straightforward—put up a fence and fill a water bowl—the reality is they require a tremendous amount of planning and resourcing. Things like parking, shade, seating, waste collection, and reliable lighting are all things that need to be considered.

 

As with playgrounds, adequate, reliable lighting is key to accommodating pet owners who take their dogs later in the evening, providing visibility and safety to both pets and people. While they may not require the same light levels as a roadway or parking lot, it’s still important to have enough light to make it feel safe, accessible, and inviting when the park is open.

 

three dogs playing at an off-leash dog park with grass, ramps, and tires to jump through

 

 

The growing popularity of pop-up dog parks 

 

While certainly not new, pop-up dog parks have experienced rapid growth over the past decade, particularly since the pandemic. Data from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) show that 55% of park and recreation agencies now have established dog parks.

 

These parks effectively let cities trial a dog park at a location to determine whether or not a permanent park would be suitable. Testing its layout, popularity, and safety is essential before investing the funds to build a permanent park.

 

 

The challenge of lighting pop-up parks with traditional lighting

 

The flexible nature of these parks requires a flexible solution—something that cannot be said of traditional, grid-connected lighting, which typically required trench digging and wiring. The lengthy installation and extensive costs do not encourage experimentation, as once the lights are installed, moving or altering them opens the door to even more costs.

 

In a location where grid connections might not be close by, and that might already be developed as a recreational area with trees, trails, and playgrounds, an off-grid, non-invasive solution is ideal, and that’s exactly what solar powered lights provide.

 

 

sign for Hound Town Dog Park in the City of Moreno Valley with Sol's iSSL solar light highlighted in the background

 

Why solar is a perfect match for dog parks

 

Solar lighting offers many advantages for dog parks, both pop-up and permanent.

 

Installation flexibility

Unlike traditional lighting, solar lighting products can be installed virtually anywhere, since they don’t require access to the electrical grid. If a pop-up location is later determined to be incompatible with a permanent dog park, the direct burial poles can easily be relocated.

 

Safety first

Adequate lighting is essential to safely enjoy public spaces after dark and solar lights have the added benefit of being reliable and resilient (i.e. no immune to blackouts and interruptions to the grid).

 

Compliance with Community Bylaws

Sol’s solar lighting products are able to be adjust their lighting levels and profiles to be in compliance with local bylaws. Every product can turn on and off at designated times.

 

Cost-Effective Solution

A simple, non-invasive installation and renewable energy source (i.e. no utility costs!) make solar lighting a cost-effective, long-term solution for dog parks.

 

Motion-Sensing Technology

Sol’s iSSL and UP2 product ranges are equipped with motion-sensing technology, wasting no energy and reducing light pollution when their services are not needed.

 

 

Implementing solar lighting in your pop-up dog park

 

Despite their temporary status, there are several considerations when planning and implementing a pop-up dog park with solar lighting.


The first step is to advocate for it: on social media, at city council meetings, to family and friends, and more. For information on how to advocate for solar lighting, read our article found here.

 

The next step is to consider every benefit that it offers your community. To learn more about implementing solar lighting, contact Sol today.

 

Other news articles you might be interested in

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Leveraging the enhanced Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to reduce the cost of solar lighting

Using solar lighting to enhance safety and security at electric vehicle charging stations

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