Why Buy Solar Lamp Posts for Your Garden?
If you aren’t that familiar with solar lamp posts and other forms of outdoor solar lighting, don’t feel bad – most Americans aren’t either. But this is rapidly changing as ordinary homeowners increasingly look for simple and proven ways to combat skyrocketing utility bills.
Perhaps you’ve also begun exploring some of the more popular energy-saving strategies, such as:
• Installing a smart thermostat to control heating and cooling
• Replacing older appliances with ENERGY STAR alternatives
• Switching out incandescent light bulbs with LEDs or CFLs
Of course, every improvement in energy efficiency helps. But for truly optimal savings, you must expand your thinking. Instead of focusing on improvements exclusively within the home, you should view your complete character as one energy-consuming unit. The lamp posts and lights in your garden, for example, are major electricity hogs that often get overlooked. Out-of-sight and out-of-mind, they’re easy to forget – already by trained and licensed energy auditors. And in addition, these very lights carry tremendous possible for long-term electricity bill reductions.
According to the US Department of Energy, nearly 20% of average residential electricity spending goes toward lighting. A meaningful percentage of that goes towards outdoor lighting since they typically function for long periods of the day. And these “hidden” costs are not exclusive to residential strength consumers. In many cities across the country, streetlights and other external illumination represent the single largest energy-related municipal expense.
When you total up all of the costs together, the numbers are staggering. In a groundbreaking study by Florida Atlantic University’s physics department, researchers discovered that when you combine all residential, commercial, and municipal external lighting together, the U.S. spends about $11.6 billion yearly. Of that figure, approximately 30% is what they call “wasted lighting” ($3,487,306,003)!
How much of this $11.6 billion comes out of your pocket directly? A lot more than you probably realize. clearly, you don’t have the same lighting needs (or bills) of a small-extent city. But already if you have just 1 or 2 outdoor lamps on your character, you’re nevertheless throwing away money month after month. And those prices are trending upwards as utilities continue raising their rates. In some situations, we’re talking about hundreds of dollars a year in unnecessary charges to illuminate your home’s garden at night. Imagine what you can do with the additional money! If you’re okay with forking out that kind of money year after year in external lighting costs, there’s no reason to read on (from a financial viewpoint!). The system already works for you.
But there is a growing movement across the country to reduce these unnecessary charges as much as possible. The trend first started when budget-strapped cities began outfitting highway signs and street lights with solar photovoltaic (PV) technology. instead of rely exclusively on the utility grid, these local governments realized they could illuminate their communities using clean and free sunshine. And far from being an expensive upgrade, replacing grid-tied lamps with solar powered alternatives turned out to be an affordable investment that quickly paid for itself. In the past 5 years, solar costs have come down already more, bringing the technology within easy reach of everyone. Better nevertheless, the payback periods are already shorter.
To understand why this is, let’s do some quick calculations. We’ll keep the numbers conservative and the math very simple. Let’s assume that your monthly electricity bill approaches $200 (which is pretty reasonable). And let’s also assume that external lighting accounts for only 3% of that total bill (which is already more reasonable). This method you’re spending an average of $6 a month to illuminate your character at night.
Now, imagine you bought a solar lamp for $59 (yes, they do exist!). With this solar lamp form, it’ll take you fewer than 10 months to fully recoup the upfront cost of switching out your current lamp posts with the solar different. After this 10-month breakeven point, all of your additional lighting needs are 100% free. And the return on your investment only grows with time as utility rates continue to increase. If electricity prices double overnight, for example, you’d end up saving $12 a month instead of only $6. That’s one of the major beauties of solar energy. You’re forever protected from future price hikes. (Of course, if you choose to replace your existing bulbs with LEDs, your breakeven point will be longer. However, aside from the fact that just switching to LEDs also costs money, you’ll also be missing some of the other benefits of going solar. So why go only halfway?)
And those are just the financial savings. You must also factor in the environmental savings that solar lamp posts provide:
• The average garden light stays on about 10 – 12 hours a day.
• A grid-tied, 40-watt incandescent light bulb left on for that long generates nearly 200 pounds of C02 every year.
• Switching to energy-efficient light bulbs can help reduce that pollution slightly – but not completely. already grid-tied LEDs nevertheless pollute.
By contrast, outdoor solar lamps don’t pollute. Solar technology relies on an infinite source of clean, free, and replaceable strength.
The financial savings, in addition as environmental responsibility, are obvious benefits of using solar powered lights. There are, however, numerous additional benefits:
– Solar powered lamps are incredibly easy to install. Since there is no wiring involved, they require do not require a licensed electrician or specialized experience. By simply following the manufacturer’s instructions, you can have your solar lamp lighting up your garden in no time.
– The placement of traditional outdoor lamps are limited to where electric wiring can easily reach. Not so solar powered lamps. These can be installed at the precise location of your choosing, as far as that may be from any source of artificial energy. You can now illuminate any part of your scenery, placing the lamps at the most strategic locations.
– Light fixtures powered by the sun require very little maintenance. The LED (light emitting diodes) light bulbs that they use can last for decades, and the rechargeable batteries, which store the sun’s energy, can last for 1-2 years before losing efficiency.
– Your lights will continue to shine in the event of a strength outage.
Here are some tips for successful installation and maintenance of solar powered lamps:
– The amount of sunlight your solar lamps receive will directly affect its light output. Try to install your lamps where they will receive at the minimum four hours of direct sunlight daily.
– In the northern hemisphere, wall mounted solar lamps should confront south; otherwise they might not receive enough sunlight.
– Keep a distance between these lamps and artificial light supplies. Nearby supplies of light may confuse the automatic sensor which turns the solar lamp on at dusk and off dawn.
– After installation, leave “off” for one to two days, to allow the battery to charge completely and effectively.
– For optimal performance, clean your lamp’s solar panel regularly. Make sure they are clear of dirt, snow, or dust. However, take care not to use abrasive cleaning agents.
– If you are storing the lamp, remove the batteries to best preserve their strength.
When prospective customers first hear about outdoor solar lamps for the home, they think it’s some futuristic technology from a sci-fi novel. And perhaps a number of years ago, they would have been right. But solar-powered lighting isn’t futuristic anymore. The technology exists – and it continues to help tens of thousands residential, commercial, and already municipal customers dramatically reduce their utility bill spending.
And as they watch their bills spread, these same customers are also shrinking their carbon footprints in addition. They’re helping to make the planet cleaner and greener – while saving money in the time of action. And the best part is – making the switch from traditional lights to solar-powered alternatives is an investment that can pay for itself within months (not years).