Here Comes the Sun: New Solar-LED Lighting
Light at Night
All Night 365 Nights of the Year
By Dave Bowen
As retail petro and c-store sites continue to change in appearance, offer new services, build new sites or retrofit old ones, more and more new technology has been developed to advance these sites to the next level. Now it is possible on a c-store retail petro site to utilize solar LED lighting for your dumpster area, propane re-filling and air stations and even your carwash!
Over the years, various forms of solar lighting have been offered to the market, most from offshore sources and, with a few exceptions, none have ever worked well, especially in Canada due to the lack of sun in fall and winter and cold temperatures that batteries cannot handle so they just don’t work at all.
In recent years the technology has improved – somewhat – with LEDs leading the way but still no one could get solar LED lighting to operate “all night long” 365 nights of the year – until now!
Just like electric vehicles, advancements in technology and marrying the right technologies together begin to bring success to advance solar lighting to the exciting stage it is at now. All solar in the past has failed due to old panel technology, old battery technology, and not understanding how temperature affects battery life and storage.
However, a “Canadian” solar LED Lighting company has spent the last two years researching the best battery technology, doing temperature testing from extreme heat to extreme cold and developing an “all in one” assembly for low-cost installation.
Using new LiFepo4 battery temperature regulation technology we can now offer -50 to +65 degrees Celsius which also allows for a “20-year warranty” which has no equal in the market. The environmental impact of a 20-year warranty is huge as most systems need three to five batteries to get appropriate light output and offer a three-to-five-year warranty. So, on average, on existing solar lighting systems over a 20-year period, you will have between 12-20 battery changes, with associated new battery costs and installation plus costly disposal fees as opposed to “one” battery change in 20 years.
The temperature range was very important as well as most batteries are effective to minus-four and then will begin to fail and die prematurely causing more costs and environmental changes. There are those that state minus 30 even minus 40 but what they don’t tell you is that is for one operation only then they cannot re-charge. The extensive testing and actual installations have proven this new self-warming technology ensures operation all night long every night of the year in all high and low-temperature regions.
So, if you have an existing site, installation is fast, easy and low cost. As solar requires no wiring you can simply use a “direct buried” pole so you dig a five-foot hole to be below the frost line, mount the “all in one” solar technology on top of the pole, set the pole, backfill and the installation is done. Although recommended, you really do not need an electrical contactor for this installation as there is no line voltage involved, no wiring and no hydro approvals required.
On a new build or addition, you can eliminate some of the costly line voltage LED lighting with all its associated installed costs and light many areas of the site with 100 per cent energy-saving solar LED lighting technology. Solar LED lighting is the technology of the future and is being utilized in several other applications. Many installations have been done for solar LED signage lighting, especially for, say, a major retail/truck stop with a main entrance. Rather than expensive underground line voltage for sign lighting a solar LED flood lighting system can be easily installed.
Also, with the advances in technology with security cameras, solar is now being utilized for easy retrofits for security cameras for existing sites requiring no wiring or high installed costs. The same applies for new builds where solar can be utilized to operate the complete site security system again, given that the wattage draw is very low and the system works all night long, 365 nights of the year.
Both Canada and the USA have “green initiatives” for solar and wind but only Solere can give you all the features and advantages listed above for a retail/c-store petro site.
More information is available at www.solere.ca/en, where they “do their best work in the dark!”
LED advancements have also allowed for a new illuminated collision barrier product, which is excellent again for propane refill/air stations, storefronts and traffic entrances.
LED collision bollards are now available and as retail petro/c-store sites become more architecturally pleasing and attractive, a concrete-filled steel post with a yellow plastic sleeve is not that appealing and presents the wrong image.
These new collision LED bollards offer protection up to 30 KMH while also doing a quality lighting job around the area they are installed.
These bollards represent that a site is interested in idealistic change in service and appearance and that owners care about their site being as attractive and comfortable to customers as possible.
So back to the “green initiative” you now have a site with 100 per cent energy saving solar LED lighting and security cameras as well as energy saving LED collision bollards, providing extra safety as well as enhancing your site at night.
It doesn’t get much better than this to help you succeed. More info on the LED collision bollards can be found at www.nlslighting.com.
Dave Bowen is president of Roctan 2000 Ltd LED Lighting and Design. With over 40 years experience in all aspects of the lighting industry and extensive experience in the c-store retail petro market, he can be reached at email@example.com or 548-888-1113.