With today’s demand for reliable and sustainable lighting, solar-powered street lights are becoming a more popular preference over regular street lights. What’s even more interesting is solar street lights manufacturers aren’t shying away from exhibiting state-of-the-art technologies and new developments incorporated in their solar products.

Not only can you now buy solar LED street lights at an affordable price but also at a competitively high-quality state.

Indeed, this green alternative and renewable energy lighting solution have a lot of heads turned especially from government agencies around the globe. People are buying a depot of solar street lights from manufacturers to be installed for public utility lighting, commercial lighting and road illumination. Even gardens have their own line of decorative solar lighting solutions.

If you consider buying these eco-friendly, versatile street lighting solutions, this article presents a comprehensive cost rundown of solar street lights.

Where are you going to use solar street lights for?

There are many types of solar street lights available in the market ranging from the application to application. Some are used for garden lighting, which obviously has a lower wattage and illumination (and cheaper price), while highway illumination requires much more lumens, wattage, and overall power. So depending on the application, prices range as well as you can see below.

Application Garden lighting, landscaping, residential area Local roads, small roads, event lighting Main Road, Highways
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/street-lights-solar-battery-1427619425 https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/cleveland-ohiousa-february-23-2019-brite-1357434749 https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/street-lighting-poles-solar-panels-1035992578
Features Light control+smart induction+remote control Light control+smart induction+remote control Light control+smart induction+remote control
Battery Capacity 10AH-30AH 15AH -24AH 15 AH – 27 AH
Solar Panel Power 12W to 40W 40W to 130W 120W to 200W
LED light Power 6W to 12W 15W-100W 15W-100W
LED Light Luminous flux 600-1800 LM 1950LM – 15000 LM 2400LM – 18000LM
Cost Range (Alibaba) $20-$80 $60-$300 $800-$4,000

From the table above, you now have an idea that the more significant the solar street light application is, such as in highways and big roads, the higher its price per unit. You can purchase from China solar street light manufacturers at around those prices or even a lot cheaper.

What’s the difference between regular street lights and solar street lights?

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Once you have determined your specific need or application, we can now compare solar street lights with regular street lights to be able to justify their costs.

For the succeeding parts, we can generally compare traditional street lights with solar street lights used in highway and road lighting. People have been interested in its capacity and cost analysis for the longest time, and here, we did a review of each based on our company research.

Items Traditional Street Lights Solar Street Lights
Lamp Type Metal Hallide LED
Brightness 3000 lumens 3000 lumens
Characteristics Not energy efficient Energy saving
Grid dependence grid-tied off-grid
Power consumption 50 watts 17 watts
light efficiency 75 lumens / watts 180 lumens / watts
Working hours 12 hours per day 12 hours per day

As you can observe from the table above, solar street lights present a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly solution compared with traditional street lights since they are grid-independent, has lower power consumption, and has a higher lighting efficiency.

Regular street lights are those with a metal halide or low/high-pressure sodium bulbs. Aside from being energy-consuming and hazardous to the environment upon disposal, they consume a large portion of utility expenses for the government to pay each year.

How many watts does a normal street light use?

For the example above, we used metal halide as it is the most popular traditional street lamp. There are other types of street lamps such as Fluorescent bulbs, Incandescent bulbs, high-pressure sodium and low-pressure sodium. The fluorescent bulb was once used in the early 50’s to the late 70’s, but was later replaced with high-pressure sodium and low-pressure sodium.

Here are a typical traditional street light specifications using different lamps.

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Traditional Street Light Solar street light
Incandescent Fluorescent Metal Halide High Pressure Sodium Low Pressure Sodium LED Lamp
Wattage 25-150 18-95 50-400 50-250 18-180 4-28
Output (lumens) 210-2700 1000-7500 1900-30,000 3,600-46,000 1800-33,000 450-5000
Efficiency (lumens/watt) 8月18日 55-79 38-75 72-115 100-183 180
Life (hours) 750-2000 10,000-20000 10,000-20,000 18,000-24,000 16,000 80,000
Energy use high medium medium Low lower lowest

Why is Energy Use or Knowing the Wattage Important?

As you might have guessed, LED lamp wins hands-down when it comes to the lowest energy consumption as compared with other light sources. One of the reasons is that they are energy efficient and can save you a lot in electric bills.

LED lamps can provide high lumens at low wattage and is very efficient as compared with most traditional street lights.

Take for example park lighting. The common wattage for traditional street lights found in parks is usually 400 to 800 watts. When you use solar LED street lights, it can be around 40-500 watts. Therefore, by just using LED lamps for street lights gives you about 40% to 65.5% savings in electrical consumption.

Then of course follows the money saved. When you choose solar LED street lights, you can save about $300 per lighting fixture each year in electrical costs.

How much electricity does a street light use per day?

Now let’s look into the electricity bill of grid-tied street lights. Take for example a 100 Watts Metal Halide street light installed on a highway road. Most of the time, street lights are used for 12 hours a day.

KW per Hour = 0.1 kW per hour
Consumption for 12 hours = 0.1 kW per hour * 12 = 1.2 kWh.

Assuming electricity costs 35 cents per kWh (0.35$ per kWh)
1.2kWh * $0.35/kWh = $0.42 per day ($12.6 per month or $151.2 per year or $1,512 in 10 years)

How much do street lights cost?

Since traditional street lights are connected to the grid, imagine how much coal is being consumed just to light up these street lights for 12 hours a day.

Now let’s be up with the costs. If you purchase a single street light, you would pay $1300-$1800 for a set that does not include the installation and maintenance fee.

How much is the cost for street light installation?

Installation costs for traditional street lights are very high. The average cost of an electrician to put up a street light installation for you is about $4000 to $5000. This includes the equipment, labor and tools needed for the installation. If your lighting project is on the highway, it can cost you even more.

What is the cost rundown between traditional street lights and solar street lights?

Let’s face it. You can expect a higher upfront cost for investing in solar street lights than traditional street lights, but in the long run, the tables turn. Due to higher maintenance and operation costs and the existence of electric bills for traditional lighting, solar street lights are more economical in a span of a few years.

And finally, here is the rundown of what we discussed for a traditional street light cost versus the comparative cost for investing in a solar street light over a 10-year analysis.

Traditional Street Light Cost Solar Street Light Cost
Light (initial cost) $1,400 $3,000
Installation $4,600 $1,500
Maintenance $850 $1,000
Electric bil $1,450
Total Cost for 10 Years $8,300 $5,500

Regular Street Light vs. Solar Street Light Installation Cost

As seen in the table above, installation fees for solar street lights are way cheaper than traditional street lights installation. You see, in solar street lights, installation is very easy. Everything is pre-made and all you need to do is assemble its parts with a bunch or screws. Solar street lights manufacturers usually make it very user-friendly for consumers so that a total novice can actually do the installation by himself even without technical knowledge.

Maintenance Cost Comparison

Maintenance cost might be a deterrent factor for purchasing solar street lights as it is higher than traditional street light maintenance fees. Nevertheless, the good thing about solar street lights is maintenance frequency is lesser.

This is due to the fact that an LED lamp has an average life ranging from 25,000-80,000 hours while a traditional street lamp has a maximum life of 24,000 only. This shows that you have to replace MH light bulbs more often that LED lamps.

A large chunk of maintenance cost also falls for battery replacements as they need to be replaced every 5 to 7 years. The average cost for this may account for $1000.

Energy Costs

Finally, traditional street lights cannot escape from the grid as they get energy from it. Solar street lights get energy from the sun, which is practically a free source of energy. So in a span of 10 years, you could have saved a lot of money when you invest in solar street lights. When you choose traditional street lights, you would have to regularly pay electricity each year.

The Verdict

Solar street lights are practically more economical and eco-friendly than traditional street lights. While the upfront cost for a solar street light might be higher than traditional street lights, they give more advantages in the long run.

A great tip is to source solar street lights from reliable manufacturers as they offer cheaper prices for bulk orders.

HeiSolar is an all-in-one solar street light manufacturer in China. We have been exporting solar street lights around the globe for many years. You are at a great advantage if you do business with us so don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about solar street lights.

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