Solar Power Street Lights: Advantages v.s. Disadvantages | PBOX Solar

Why Using Solar Power Street Lights: advantages v.s. disadvantages

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The demand for power use is expected to nearly double by 2030. Consumers are guzzling power at an alarming rate, from smart home systems, electronics, and electric auto-mobiles to cloud computing and beyond. Much more is required to meet the mounting demand. Significant progress has already been made in the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.

Solar power is the conversion of solar energy into thermal or electrical energy. Solar power is a type of renewable energy supply that is both inexhaustible and eco-friendly. One of the applications of solar power is the solar street light. In comparison to solar panels for your roof in a grid-tied system, solar lights are an obvious and more economical “off-grid” solution.

How Solar Street Light Works

Solar panels capture sunlight during the day and convert it to electricity under the control of a solar charge controller. The storage battery will be charged by solar modules. The LED light source is powered by the storage battery at night. A DC controller can prevent the storage battery from damage caused by overcharging or discharging.

The solar panel is a photo-voltaic (PV) module made using the principle of PV effects, and acts as a photocell during the day to receive solar energy and convert it into electrical output, which is stored in the battery through the MPPT or PWM smart controller. When the illumination decreases at night, the battery charges to the led lighting fixture after the smart controller detects a certain voltage value. The lamp is lit. This process is reversed during the day,.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power Street Lights

Solar power street lights are also used as outdoor illumination in residential and industrial areas. While some people use lights to beautify their property, others use solar energy to have a sense of protection and safety to their building and its surroundings. Solar energy, like any other energy source, has some advantages and downsides in its application, and understanding both sides is essential

Solar power street light 2

Eco-friendly and energy savingLarge initial investment
Cost-effectiveExpensive than conventional street lights
Modern technology and low maintenance costsThe service life of storage battery
No complicated power facilitiesRisk of theft
No interdependency flawOccasional inspection when placed in extreme weather conditions
No expensive cable costs or cable theftReplacement of batteries
Durable and Safe optionThe selection of the solar charge controller
Simple installationThe low conversion efficiency
 Geographical and weather conditions



In general, solar-led lights have numerous benefits which include the lack of power connectors and ease of installation, but the question rises are solar-powered lights good enough to substitute your readily available traditional electrical lights?

Eco-friendly and energy saving:

The threat of global warming is very real. People and governments around the globe are becoming more conscious of the need of employing resource-efficient and environmentally friendly energy sources. Solar street lights do not require any fuel and run entirely on solar energy. Solar energy is limitless and inexhaustible, making it the ideal green lighting option. Coal, gas, oil, and other nonrenewable energy sources may someday run out. People are becoming more aware of the notion that using solar lights can assist individuals, families, and companies reduce their carbon footprints.


In terms of capital as well as operating and maintenance costs, solar street lighting are a better investment. Because these lights are powered by solar energy, you won’t have to pay for electricity every month. Solar streetlight have a longer lifespan than ordinary street lights. Because the lights are wireless and not connected to any power grid, there are no ongoing expenditures associated with their installation.

Modern technology and low maintenance costs:

The solar street light, which is controlled by a solar charge controller, can alter the light intensity as per user demand. Traditional street lighting has a significant maintenance cost in rural areas. The solar street light, on the other hand, simply requires cyclical examination, resulting in a cheap maintenance cost. As a matter of fact, no manual intervention is required after the installation, you may save money in maintenance costs also. It is essential to also remember that solar-led street lights are capable of illuminating throughout the night irrespective of harsh weather conditions or due to any power cut down.

No complicated power facilities:

Solar power street light 1

Solar LED street lights do not require an electrical connection. There is relatively little wiring required to link the solar panel to the luminary, and no external cables are used outdoors or at the foot of the pole, thus there are no safety concerns. When it comes to solar LED street lights, overheating, electrocutions and strangulation are not an option.

Commercial power lighting projects are typically time-consuming and difficult to complete since they require cable work, digging, cable pipe laying, cable threading inside pipes, and ditch landfill. All of these procedures demand a significant amount of labor and equipment. In addition, the transformer, distribution cabinet, and switchboard all have additional expenditures. However, each solar lighting system is unique. And do not need any cable laying, trenching, or other similar processes, saving time, money, and labor.

No interdependency flaw:

There is a lot of interdependency in traditional grid electricity. Interdependence of cables simply means that issues in one region might influence many other connected cables, ultimately affecting the entire power supply. This is not an issue with solar street lighting because each unit is an interdependent power generation system, and if one light fails, you only need to check and repair that one unit.

No expensive cable costs or cable theft:

In remote places, cable theft is a prevalent concern, and constructing cables and transporting materials to those areas can be costly. When traditional lights are replaced with a solar lighting system, these problems are fully avoided. As each unit is independent and free of any cable connections there will be no cable to steal. If a solar-related theft occurs, the operation of any other unit in the system will not be harmed. This helps to keep any possible losses to a bare minimum

Durable and Safe option:

The traditional street light may have hidden safety hazards due to, material aging, construction quality, and power supply disorder; whereas the solar led street lights do not use alternate current and hence do not have hidden safety hazards. Due to advanced manufacturing techniques, most solar modules on the market now offer a ten-year performance guarantee. These solar LED equipments have the ability to generate electricity for twenty-five years or even longer.

Simple installation:

Solar power street light are easy to install and do not require any additional wiring. Only a strong base and a battery pit are required. The installation of commercial solar lights does not require a large labor force, tools, or finances.

  • Intelligent control:

With built-in intelligence controls which give them an amazing dusk-to-dawn feature.

  • Motion sensors:

Solar street light manufactures have added a new feature using which the existing outdoor lights can be upgraded to include motion. It is quite easy, and you can simply add a motion-sensing feature without having to do any wiring. Furthermore, with the use of a remote controller, these solar LED street lights provide the additional property of being able to set all key features like turning the motion detection ON or OFF.

  • Available in wide ranges:

Commercial solar street light technology has transformed over time, and experts and researchers are continually working to improve the efficiency of solar panels. These are likely to become less expensive in the coming years. Nowadays,  different varieties of solar LED street light are available in the market, each with its own set of features, styles, size, capacities type, etc, all of which are aesthetically manufactured to meet the functional requirements of consumers.


Because of the conventional energy crisis, solar energy will be used more extensively. In recent years, the photovoltaic market has been on the rise. Solar LED street lights have been widely used for domestic as well as commercial purposes. However, there are several flaws that limit the application and marketing of this product.

Large initial investment:

One significant flaw is the large input expenditure. Solar system street light require a significant initial cost. As per a survey, the overall investment of installing a solar LED street light is thrice the cost of installing a traditional street light of comparable efficiency.

Expensive than conventional street lights:

In comparison to traditional street light, solar power street light requires a larger initial cost. Due to which many people hesitate to invest. However, they fail to realize that, in the long term, the actual investment in solar LED street lights are substantially cheaper considering the electricity, maintenance, and functional cost, as well as the solar street lights’ extended life cycle.

The service life of storage battery:

In most cases, a storage battery will not reach full charge in a year or even six months. Some of them may lose up to 50% of their charging efficiency, which will have a significant impact on the lighting situation at night during rainy days. Thus, when installing a solar power street light, it is critical to use a high-quality lithium battery.

Risk of theft:

The risk of theft is more than with traditional street lighting because the street lights with solar system are not wired. Moreover, their higher cost also contributed to the risk.  Even though cable theft is unlikely, the luminaire and panel-which  have a larger monetary worth- are easy to steal

Occasional inspection when placed in extreme weather conditions:

Solar panels might not operate efficiently in adverse weather conditions, resulting in lower energy output. Moisture, dust, and snow can be deposited on horizontal solar systems, reducing their efficacy. Users are always advised to set the panels at an angle to prevent excessive accumulation of water; but, it is also recommended that the panels and other components of the solar LED street lights be checked on a regular basis to prolong the system’s life cycle.

Replacement of batteries:

When compared to traditional batteries, the new lithium batteries used in solar power system have high durability. However, rechargeable batteries can run out over time and will need to be replaced a few times during the life of the solar power street light. When determining the entire investment for commercial solar street lights, you must also take into account the cost of replacement.

The selection of the solar charge controller:

solar power street light controller

In the marketplace, the quality of these controllers varies greatly. Despite accounting for a modest portion of the total expenditure, the controller is a vital component of the system. Hence, one of the drawbacks is the risk to choose the right or wrong solar street light controller.

(1) First of all, there should be perfect protection functions, such as battery charging over-voltage protection, battery discharge under-voltage protection, battery and solar panel reverse connection protection, LED output short-circuit protection, protection against nighttime battery discharge to the solar panel, lightning protection and many other protection functions.

(2) The higher the charging efficiency and constant current drive LED light efficiency the better, high charging efficiency can save solar panels, high efficiency of constant current drive LED light can save battery power, the overall realization of more energy saving, more environmental protection, lower cost.

(3)  It is best to use a controller with two separate controls, which makes it easy to adjust the power of the whole lamp. At night, when pedestrians are scarce, one or both lighting circuits can be switched off automatically to save electricity, and the power can be adjusted for LED lamps.

The low conversion efficiency:

Solar panels have a conversion power density of almost fifteen to nineteen percent. The conversion efficiency of a silicon solar panel is up to 25%. The efficiency of the solar street light, however, is affected by the buildings in its surrounding.

Geographical and weather conditions:

Because solar power comes from the sun, geographical and meteorological factors have a direct impact on the lighting state of commercial solar led street lights. The performance will be affected by continuous foggy and rainy weather, and the luminance or brightness of the light will not meet the global standard. What’s worse, the solar street light cannot light up.


In conclusion, the photovoltaic business will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the future. Solar power street lights will be more commonly used as technology advances and improves. The most prominent pros and cons of solar street lights have been listed above, and it is clear that the benefits outnumber the drawbacks. More and more individuals throughout the globe are switching to solar energy, making a significant contribution to environmental protection. It’s time to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of solar energy and decide whether it’s worthwhile to invest. Being a part of this revolution can benefit not only our generation, but future generations as well, by ensuring that they live in a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment.

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