Solar Street Lights:How Smart They Can Be?

Solar Street Lights:How Smart They Can Be?

Solar street lights represent an innovation in the lighting industry with many documented advantages over traditional sodium-based street lights. However, despite all the attention given to solar LED street lights, the anticipated market boom over the last 10-15 years has not happened yet. Even though, market analysis predicts that the solar street light industry will reach 15 billion USD by 2024, there are 300 million traditional street lights still operating worldwide. Traditional street lights account for 19% of the global electricity consumption, costing Europe €10 billion per year.

Solar street light failures due to lack of prolonged system autonomy (dependence on weather conditions), short battery life cycle, absence of monitoring functions and unreliable performance are some of the reasons which are slowing down the much anticipated market growth. To put it bluntly, clients in the solar street light industry want two crucial outputs: 365 days of light and low maintenance costs to be able to benefit from clean energy (zero electricity cost) over the product lifetime. Current solar powered street lights cannot deliver such performance results.

Solar Street Light Benefits from Smart Technology

While reading this blog you might be saying to yourself “Why should I bother to think about solar streetlights? They are there just to provide light.” Solar street lights enhanced by intelligent technology are more than just lights, they provide a multifunctional platform that gives you the power of light in your hands. Smart hardware and software communication technology can improve solar street light functionalities, efficiency and ultimately their real-life applications. They’ve got motion sensors, dimming functionalities and use wireless networks to send valuable data back to the utility, company or infrastructure provider with information on their energy generation and light performance. This is made possible by using cloud-based software for remote management of each street light unit in real-time.

Check out below how smart technology benefits solar street lights functionalities to deliver what is promised to the users:

Monitoring and Control

People need validation of the benefits from using off-the-grid solar street lights. A dedicated remote management software for proactive monitoring and control enables users to manage all aspects of the lighting system and keep track of the amount of money and energy saved each month. Such cloud-based platforms offer proactive monitoring of light performance in real-time with significant cost reductions associated with expensive maintenance issues and provision of daily, weekly and monthly reports related to the operating status of the solar light system. Smart technology is a powerful mechanism for optimizing lighting intensity, brightness and performance to significantly increase the energy efficiency of solar street lights.

Increased Battery Life Cycle

The battery of each solar lights off-the-grid system is the most critical part with the biggest probability of failure over longer periods of time. Batteries usually last only up to 3 years and replacement cost is estimated at 600-800 USD per unit. Cloud-based software charging profiles and life cycle management will increase battery longevity by 40%. Delivering the right amount of charging power into the battery reduces maintenance and replenishment costs. Installation of temperature sensors in each battery in the system will provide instructions as to which charging profiles should be used in a given period of time. In short, smart technology can increase battery life cycle up to 10 years through real-time management of battery performance and control of battery discharge and voltage.

Reduction in Maintenance Costs

Cloud-based smart technology eliminates 80% of the ongoing maintenance costs of solar street lights via proactive online monitoring. Real-time monitoring together with customizable email or text messaging in case of failures reduces reaction time and improves monitoring flexibility. If the solar street lights cannot be repaired remotely and physical inspection is needed, the fact that you know the type of failure and the exact malfunctioned unit in real-time, reduces your allocation of resources, time and costs for repairs dramatically.
Motion Sensors and Dimming Functionalities – Conserving Solar Energy

Motion detection allows for a unique possibility to set lighting schedules based on your specific preferences at different times during the night, including motion detection for pedestrians or vehicles. The main objective is to conserve energy during the night. Using automatic dimming functionality and motion sensing, the city of Barcelona achieved 30 percent energy savings across the urban lighting system.

Five Reasons Why Solar Street Lighting Is A Smart Decision For Cities



When you think about it, the locations fit for solar street lights are not as limited as many would suggest. People perceive limitations in solar street light applications caused by weather conditions (lack of sun) and shading. However, the introduction of smart technology and the sheer amount of under performing outdoor lighting units together with remote areas without lights increase the potential for installation of new solar street lights or solar retrofitting.

With the ongoing smartification of cities by applying new energy efficient technologies, implementation of green urban design projects and increasing demand for energy savings you can always find a diverse range of potential applications for solar powered street lights (such as public parking lots, parks, sidewalks, squares, city districts, roads, bicycle lanes and many other).

As with any renewable energy product that comes onto the scene, customers are chiming in with, “Will it function longer and better than other street lights? How to achieve ROI and energy savings in the shortest period possible?”

The short answer is: “Absolutely”. The longer answer? Read on to find out what are some of the main urban applications of smart solar street lights (and be sure to follow Lightinus on Facebook and Twitter for more info on this topic!).


Cities, Municipalities and Urban Planning Departments dwell on energy efficiency, effective transportation and communication, waste management, security and high quality of public services for citizens. In this regard, the implementation of Smart City Initiatives is perfectly aligned with the benefits that smart solar street lights bring to the table. Introduction of intelligent technology in combination with clean energy sources results in long-term sustainability and improved public services. Modernizing street lighting infrastructures is part of many successful Smart City Projects: read the following article on 6 cities that achieved significant improvements through smart technology and green energy practices.

Today, we still have over 300 million traditional street light installations which generate high energy cost and are highly inefficient, do not deliver reliable illumination, require high maintenance and high installation cost and produce CO2 emissions. The opportunity cost of not improving public street lighting infrastructures is rising exponentially. To illustrate, 33% of all European street lights still use standards developed in the 1930s, which require costly on-site maintenance and allocation of lots of resources. According to a pilot research at city level in North America taking into account 190,000 traditional street lights, given that sodium bulbs have a life span of 5 years, the replacement and maintenance cost for each bulb is 330 USD, which means that on average the city replaces 38,000 lamps per year. The total maintenance cost for this activity amounts to 12.5 million USD per annum.

Can you imagine the savings that could be accomplished by solar retrofitting or installing smart solar street lights (either completely off-grid or solar/on-grid) in urban areas? Actually, we can calculate energy savings from using solar street lights based on the following information about your existing street light network:

  1. Purchase Price per pole
  2. Installations Cost per pole
  3. Average Electricity Cost per year
  4. Average Maintenance Cost per year


Traditional street lights are expensive, typically consuming about 40% of a city’s total electricity costs. Switching to LED street lights with remote control systems can provide the same amount of lighting ( even better) at just a fraction of the energy used, while decreasing significantly the maintenance costs. Solar LED street lights on the other hand, facilitate even more the energy efficiency case for cities. They can provide the same features as grid tied LED street lights plus limitless clean energy power that will further reduce the energy costs at city level. To read more on the differences between traditional and solar street lights read this blog.

The City of Barcelona achieved 30 percent energy savings by implementing smart technology across their urban lighting system.Light on demand is the key concept in generating energy savings and increasing the optimization of your solar system. Dimming the light from 100% to 50% in late hours during the night, can make a huge difference in millions of euros from increased energy efficiency. Motion sensors make sure that when someone walks by the street light, the LED light is again at 100% for couple of minutes. Reduction in wasting energy for light is as important as preserving other precious resources.


Just as with any economies of scale scenario, it is a game of numbers – as the number of smart solar street light installations increases over the city area, the percentages of energy savings will increase and the maintenance costs will decrease. Also, in areas without access to electric grid networks, the installation cost of new solar street light is much lower than the cost of extending the grid access for conventional street lights.


Remote management system is the key to always knowing what is going on with each component of your off-the-grid solar lighting system. With no remote monitoring tools in place, you would always have to send a technician to check each unit on-site and you will never have in-depth information in real-time on your system status. The better monitoring and control you have of your solar lighting system, the more savings you will have from free clean energy.

With optimized solar LED street lighting system you will experience economies of scale of light performance and higher reliability than traditional street lights, better illumination, decreased maintenance costs (no need to replace bulbs and allocate resources for expensive on-site system checks) no CO2 emissions, free energy, remote control and monitoring functions that will boost your ROI. Over a 15 year period, smart solar street lights can generate combined savings (including free energy generation, energy savings through optimization and increased light performance as well as reduced maintenance costs) between 1500-2000 USD per street light unit. These economic benefits are followed by modernizing your public lighting infrastructure, streamlining the work of urban operators and decreasing the city’s CO2 emissions. Everything you need to know about how to increase solar street light performance and reliability is available here.



Take the following fact into consideration as well. The use of electricity to drive conventional outdoor lighting leads to production of carbon dioxide. If global traditional street lights were converted to solar street lights, this would reduce global electricity consumption for lighting by more than 52%, avoiding 735 million tons of CO2 each year. The Paris Climate Agreement is seriously tackling such issues and cities are the biggest greenhouse gas emitters.


Here you can find the most important questions and details that may help you save money and improve your decision making process when implementing solar street light project. You need to know all the positive and negative aspects of the solar LED lighting system, how it functions and how smart technology can ensure performance reliability and cost efficiency over the product lifetime. Asking the right questions to your solar street light provider is crucial!



Public street lighting is a valuable resource with long-term implications for urban areas. Below are the potential applications of smart solar street lights for cities and municipalities. Implementing state-of-the-art solar powered street light accelerates the use of intelligent technology and clean energy across many sectors.














6 Reasons Why Smart Solar Street Lights Are A Unique Solution For Smart Cities

It’s the new buzz word and it’s encouraging to know people are heeding the call. Are you listening?
Smart cities.
Wireless technology and data dissemination enable us to live wiser, healthier and more environmentally friendly lives. Smart cities are part of this technological shift in the fields of energy management, transportation, waste management and Internet of Things (IoT) for improving public services. By using scarce resources efficiently, a more beneficial future is possible for the people & the environment.

Will your Municipality or City take part in the Smart City Concept?

Why are Smart Cities Important?
Why is it so important to search for new ways of improving public infrastructures? Can’t we keep the status quo? Not, if a city wants to achieve sustainability in the long run.

Firstly, consumers are getting used to fast and effective online services thanks to the boom of IoT. If governments and local officials don’t supply the same quality of public service, citizens will look for – and move to – places with modern and enabling infrastructures that will satisfy their needs.
Secondly, all cities have limited resources and budgets. This applies to space, water, energy, transportation and other public assets. To ensure survival of the city and a sustainable life for its citizens, public officials must learn how to manage these resources efficiently. Luckily, smart technology helps us improve urban life significantly.

The Importance of Smart Solar Street Lights in Smart Cities
Don’t you think it’s time to upgrade the Street Lighting System in your City or Municipality? The investment in smart solar street lighting now will result in energy efficiency and cost savings in the future. To delve deeper in the topic, read the article “Five Reasons Why Solar Street Lighting is a Smart Decision for Cities“.
When officials turn to modern solar energy solutions as an effective outdoor lighting option, it has a positive effect to the functionality of many public infrastructure areas. If you’re serious about creating a smart city, you can’t leave out these important aspects of smart solar street lights.

  • Clean Energy

Why use up traditional fossil fuel driven energy sources if there is a renewable energy source that will supply the same amount of power without harming the environment? Investing in solar energy now may be the best move to improve your energy management needs in the long run.

Solar street lights use clean energy which is absorbed by solar panels and stored in solar batteries to power LED lighting during the night. With solar powered street lights you will not deplete oil or water resources while reducing environmental pollution.

In addition, you don’t have to compromise on efficiency in public and municipal lighting. Solar LED street lights prove to be much more efficient than traditional outdoor lighting methods:
1.The LED lights require less power;
2.The solar street lighting system is functional even when the city’s electricity grid has problems;
3.You’ll never run out of a clean energy power source if you implement a smart energy management system.

If you want to supply efficient public services to your community, you can’t allow to have energy disruptions. Since solar outdoor lighting systems provide viable solutions for businesses and private users as well, smart cities can motivate solar street light installations among their citizens. By implementing solar energy projects, smart cities could provide practical examples of the benefits of using solar LED lights and work close together with the community to inform the citizens about this clean energy application. It’s much easier to ensure resources are available in the future if the entire city works together towards green energy goals.

  • Electricity Cost

What prevents cities from implementing new outdoor lighting systems? Take a guess. My answer is budgetary restrictions first and foremost.
However, this should not be a problem if smart solar street lights are part of your smart city development plan. Since solar LED lights are powered by off-grid solar energy source, the city’s electricity cost should eventually decrease. The energy savings from installing solar street lighting systems will enable new funds for implementing many other applications complementary to the smart city concept.

  • Environmental Impact

Will the modern feature of smart solar street lights cause more harm than good? Read this article to find out the answer.

While this is true for some technological innovations, smart solar street lights have virtually no negative impact on the environment:

Since the sun’s energy is used to power the system, no natural resources are depleted;
LED lights have lower CO2 emissions than traditional globes;
There will be fewer emissions by the entire solar off-grid lighting system and thus less pollution;
The solar street light poles don’t require a grid connection. This in turn reduce construction work and installation procedures, which translates into fewer risks of impacting the flora and fauna in the area.

  • Remote Management Technology

An additional reason most high-tech developments are put on the back burner is the added effort most new systems require by the user. On the contrary, a smart solar LED light system aligns perfectly with a smart city concept. It’s both user friendly, fast and efficient.

  • Simplified City Management

The smart city concept is structured around managing a city more effectively. You can do much more whenever you save time, energy and human resources.

This is possible with smart solar street lights. Remote management technology helps officials determine when a LED light or solar system component is out of order. Maintenance can be focused on where problems occur instead of wasting time looking for problems or waiting for the public to report them. The remote management technology provides information in real time, so officials stay informed 24/7. The smart cloud software enables officials to adjust settings of the solar light system if necessary. Solar LED lights can be dimmed for optimum energy usage. This is ideal for low traffic areas or when solar batteries run low on power.

Remote management control also enables the lights to be automatically dimmed or activated via motion sensors. This saves even more energy and doesn’t require workers to do it manually. Wireless cloud based systems are the way of the future and solar LED lights make automation possible for smart cities.

  • Improved Service Delivery

One of the primary objectives of smart cities is to provide their communities with improved service delivery. A smart city solar LED lighting system enables officials to offer citizens an integrated platform of services. Solar street light poles can integrate Wi-Fi network, buttons to request emergency services, charging spots for smart devices, online applications, digital info displays and much more.

  • Multiple Uses and Integration of the Solar Street Light Pole

Smart solar street lights can create the framework of a smart city to provide services sparked by the IoT:

1.Use the poles as foundation for a city wide Wi-Fi system;
2.For instance, citizens gain access to Wi-Fi to find information on:
2.1 Available parking when sensors pick up where open spaces are and distribute the information via the system;
2.2 Details about traffic congestion;
2.3 Payment options for parking;
3.Benefits for officials include gathering information from sensors integrated in the street lighting system on traffic and environmental pollution. Big Data can be converted to valuable information and statistics to further improve the city’s functioning and urban planning decisions.

The concept of smart city should be on everyone’s agendas: officials and citizens. You won’t have a modern and functional city without digitizing and modernizing your infrastructure. Otherwise, how are we going to benefit from what technology offers us? Citizens demand it and the long-term plans of your city require it. A smart solar street light system is the inevitable springboard to your city’s clean energy transformation.

Solar LED Street Light Solar Panel

Solar street lights become more and more popular . Solar street lamps are mainly consist of solar panel, solar controller, lithium battery, light sources. We are going to talk about solar power panels today.

Solar power panel, also known as “solar chip” or “photovoltaic cell”, is photovoltaic semiconductor slice that use solar light to generate electricity directly. Single solar cells cannot be used as power supplies. As a power source, several individual solar cells must be connected in series, connected in parallel, and tightly sealed into components. Solar street light utilized solar power panel to absorb sunlight for producing electric power. So solar power panel is the most important and most valuable parts of solar street light. There are vatious types of solar power panels
Crystalline silicon solar power panels: polycrystalline silicon solar power panel, monocrystalline silicon power panel
Amorphous silicon solar power panels: thin film solar power panel, organic solar power panel
Chemical dye solar power panel: Dye Sensitized Solar power panel
At present, crystalline silicon, including polysilicon and monocrystalline silicon, is the main photovoltaic material. Its market share is more than 90%, and it will still be the mainstream material of solar power panel for a long time to come. There is no difference between polycrystalline silicon solar power panel and monocrystalline silicon solar power panel. It only differs in that monocrystalline silicon solar power panel has the highest photoelectric conversion efficiency among all kinds of solar power panels at present, is about 15% and the highest is 24%, but the manufacturing cost is so high that it cannot be widely used. The photoelectric conversion efficiency of polycrystalline silicon solar power panel is about 16%, and the manufacturing cost is lower than monocrystalline silicon solar power panel. However, the service life of single crystal silicon is longer than polysilicon solar power panel. For the cost-effective to consideration, monocrystalline silicon solar power panel is better than polycrystalline silicon solar power panel.