The Advantages of Solar Lighting
So much is written and said today about ¡°greening our planet¡± and reducing carbon footprint. There is a big push for solar energy and harnessing and using the natural resources that we have available from Mother Nature. To this end, solar lighting is often looked at, and often considered as an option for organizations who want to go as green as possible in what they are doing.
SONARAY has seen this become a trend for signage, in community parks, along walking trails, on streets, in parking lots, and really in lots of different and unique applications.
We sat down with the folks at SONARAY and asked them to give us some reasons why they think solar lighting is a viable choice for customers these days. It might seem over-simplified, but for the longest time solar lighting has been somewhat suspect in quality and a bit pricey for some. Our conversation with SONARAY leads us to believe that this trend is changing.
At the top of the list for advantages of using solar, SONARAY pointed out the obvious – solar doesn¡¯t require electricity or expensive wiring. This is something that has become increasingly important today because we¡¯ve been told that the average cost to run wire for a project is $35 a foot. When you take a look at a billboard or a remote area not near to a power source it becomes a financially-compelling argument that solar could be a great way to go. We know that hasn¡¯t always been the case because of the cost of solar panels and fixtures. Often it was hard for the greenest of the green to justify such expense, but today with the increasing cost of labor, electricity, raw materials, etc., solar lighting looks like it can pay for itself with a much better return on investment than in the past.
That in fact was the second point mentioned by SONARAY. They believe that the price of solar fixtures have actually decreased over the course of the last several years – even at a time when most items have seen increases in price. This isn¡¯t to say that the materials or fixtures themselves haven¡¯t recently increased a bit, but overall when looking at a longer term trend, the price for solar fixtures has actually apparently come down or become more reasonable with a much better option to be able to pay for themselves. One only has to consider that number of cost for running wire and then looking at all the time and trouble it takes to run that wire. Quickly the cost for bringing electric to more remote areas escalates to a point where solar really becomes a reasonable discussion. Couple this with an acquisition cost that is no longer too high and solar starts to look really, well, like a bright idea.
Next up on the SONARAY list for advantages of solar is that the company extols the quality of newer fixtures and panels. In the past, SONARAY admits that some solar fixtures or panels just didn¡¯t have the quality or duration of light that folks needed to make them a viable choice for their areas. Today, battery life and batteries are better so that the charging takes less time and even less sunlight to get to a point where the fixtures produce what the user needs. And the fixtures are durable, and easy to maintain for optimal performance. SONARAY solar fixtures also carry a great warranty so they back up what they sell very nicely. And, if you are someone looking to take advantage of solar, but you can¡¯t risk cloudy days or the chances of the solar not being all it needs to be all the time, then SONARAY can help with that too. They have select fixtures that come as a hybrid with a battery back-up. So, this means if the solar unit doesn¡¯t produce what you need, the battery back-up can take over. This mitigates the chances for you to be left in the dark when you can¡¯t afford that.
Traditionally solar fixtures have also been looked at as something that doesn¡¯t seem to work that well in cloudy or colder environments. While there is no debating that the more sun the more likely you are to be in an area where solar is used, SONARAY tells us that the quality and engineering of today¡¯s fixtures and panels make them a good choice even in Northern areas or climates that in the past might not have been a target to use solar. Again, the battery back-up also can help for situations and in areas such as this.
To round things out on solar SONARAY tells us that they have a very broad product line when it comes to solar. Area lighting, including a nifty All-In-One light that actually has an inconspicuous panel built into the fixture is a popular choice among users. The brand also has solar light bars, solar flood lights, and a wide selection of attractive fixtures that blend in well in areas where aesthetics are important.
We also asked SONARAY about their stock situation on solar fixtures given that many folks in the lighting industry seem to have stock-out situations on all kinds of lighting. They said that while they can¡¯t always promise a particular fixture will be in stock they have taken steps to bring more fixtures, batteries, and panels to their central shipping locations to keep the delivery time bearable in most situations. In fact, they told us that they have a large shipment of solar products arriving in Virginia very shortly after the publication of this blog.
In summary solar lighting has taken huge steps forward in the last few years. It¡¯s no longer something that is done just to make a user feel good about doing the right thing for the environment. Solar is now a choice that can make the user feel good while also making their wallets feel fuller. And that¡¯s a type of green that most anyone can appreciate.