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Why Municipalities need solar lighting

Project managers weigh many factors when planning municipal solar street lighting projects for their community.

Street and walkway projects are expensive and often leave limited funds for lighting. In many cases, wiring to the site is expensive, and permitting can be difficult. City ordinances often specify strict illumination requirements, and lights must provide a certain level of lighting on the ground while preventing upward or horizontal light pollution to be Dark-Sky compliant. Solutions should have low downtime and extended warranties.

Solar-powered lighting systems specifically designed for streets, parking lots, sidewalks, and parks address these complex requirements—and they provide some additional advantages beyond those of wired lights.


Advantages of solar lighting for municipalities

Municipal street and walkway solar lights provide several clear operating benefits over wired lights: they have zero ongoing electricity costs and low maintenance costs.

Solar lights also bring several unique benefits in terms of installation: they are easy to install and avoid complications involved in obtaining wiring permits. Because solar systems are self-contained, they work in any size installation—one unit or thousands of units—without extra investment in physical infrastructure.

Product examples

Communities around the world are promoting walking, cycling, and public transportation for a good reason—they improve energy efficiency and health. These changes are beneficial for our communities, but they require more complex lighting solutions. Low-income areas, in particular, rely heavily on walking and cycling, but they are often the same neighborhoods that lack adequate sidewalk and lighting infrastructure. Where funding for public lighting is limited, strategic placement of solar street and walkway lights can help bridge this gap and bring safety to the areas that need it most. For these applications, Sol’s All-in-One and EverGen systems provide effective solutions. Our iSSL Series and UP Series, are flexible, cost-effective solutions that can quickly be installed on pathways, parking lots, or general-purpose areas. Trails and pedestrian walkways are challenging applications to connect to grid power and are other examples of ideal solar lighting systems. The EverGen M Series is popular for remote applications thanks to its advanced controls, autonomy, and durable construction.

Case studies

The City of Whittier, California, was planning a 2.8-mile extension of the Whittier Greenway Trail, a high-volume pedestrian and cycling corridor. However, the trail’s distance from the utility made connecting to the power grid expensive and impractical. The project required solar fixtures that could provide exceptional lighting while being Dark-Sky compliant and having low ongoing maintenance costs. Sol’s proposed solution of 56 EverGen M Series solar lighting systems met all these requirements at a lower price than competitors’ solar light systems.

The Haxton Way Trail is a three-mile walkway that spans ecologically sensitive wetlands belonging to the Lummi Nation near Bellingham, Washington. Intended for both pedestrian and cycle traffic, the walkway was built to reduce fatalities on a particularly dangerous stretch of roadway. Besides safety, the top considerations were low environmental impact and cost-effectiveness. Sol’s solar pathway lights were the ideal choice—they eliminated the need to dig environmentally disruptive trenches for wiring and kept light pollution to a minimum, preserving the wildlife and the view.

Why work with us?

Here at Sol by Sunna Design, we believe the best lighting solutions are smart, sustainable, economical, and built-to-last. We’ve installed over 100,000 lighting systems across the world and know how to solve your most formidable lighting challenge. We look forward to answering all your questions about municipal solar lighting solutions and showing you just how practical, safe, and sustainable they can be. To get started, tell us more about your project: Pathways & Parks, Roadways & Streets, or Parking Lots.