Buying solar LED streetlights is not a simple task.
With tons of models available in the market, sometimes it is a real hassle to pick the right one for you. Not to mention that solar street light suppliers will present you with some parameters upon giving you the quotations.
We understand your problem. Having lesser to zero knowledge about these parameters and accessories is too frustrating for your end.
So, ADN provided the basic parameters and accessories you should familiarize yourself with before purchasing solar-powered streetlights.
High Quality & Well Functioning Solar Street Lamps
Upon installing solar lamps, you can immediately see if it is functioning well or not. To test the quality of your solar street lights, you may look at their brightness, lighting time, and lifespan. You will identify the lighting time of your solar street light in the next few days after purchasing it. As for the lifespan, it will take you some time to test it. However, when the solar street light fails after a few months of careful usage, it’s a clear indication that it has poor quality.
Four Main Accessories of Solar Road Lights
Solar panel street lights comprise four main accessories, the LED, solar panel, controller, and battery.
LEDs serve as the light sources of solar street lights responsible for converting electrical energy into light. Solar panels play a vital role in converting solar energy into electricity. Once the solar energy is converted into electricity, the battery stores that electricity so you can use it. Meanwhile, the solar controller regulates the orderly function of LEDs, solar panels, and batteries.
Solar outdoor led light batteries mainly include gel batteries and lithium batteries. But currently, solar street lights favor lithium batteries. Generally, a solar street lamp battery has four parameters—battery voltage, battery AH, battery cycle life, and battery operating temperature. In determining the battery capacity, you should consider the battery AH and voltage. For example, the capacity of a 3V 6AH battery is 3V X 6AH = 18 WH.
When determining your solar street lights’ lighting time, you should take note of their battery capacity. Usually, the battery voltage is around 3V and 12V/24V. The low-cost and low-powered solar street lights typically use second-hand 3V batteries. But, the project-type solar street lights with high-quality requirements almost use 12V/24V batteries.
It is also crucial to understand your solar light’s battery cycle life and capacity to determine its lifespan. If the battery capacity is large while the cycle life is high, the solar light’s lifespan might last more than five years. Meanwhile, if the battery capacity is small while the cycle life is low, the lifespan might only last for a few months.
The quality of battery cells is also one of the key points to consider in choosing the right. If the quality of the battery is too poor, the battery can burn and explode. Therefore, when purchasing solar street lights, always confirm with the supplier whether the battery cells are grade A. You may also ask for the brand, and whether the battery cells have passed MSDS, UN38.3 certification, etc.
For more information about solar street light batteries, stay tuned only here on ADN.
Generally, the first two generations of light sources were Edison bulbs and energy-saving lamps, while LEDs are the third generation. Compared with the previous two generations of light sources, LEDs are more energy-efficient, fitting the specifications of solar street lights.
Light Effect (LM/W)
Let’s make it simple, the light effect is the brightness that solar street light generates per watt. Generally, the luminous efficacy of lights determines how efficiently it converts electrical power into light. The ratio of the light flux to power is expressed in lumens and denoted by the symbol lm/W. Ideally, a Dickson bulb usually has only 20 lm/w light efficiency. While the light efficiency of energy-saving bulbs ranges between 60-70lm/w. But the light efficiency of LEDs can reach 200-230lm/w.
Also, the LED light efficiency has little to do with quantity but quality and what type of LEDs you use. For example, in some low-quality 2835LED, the light efficiency is only around 140-150lm/w. 1000 pieces of this LED light will only cost $10. On the contrary, high-quality 5050LED can reach 230lm/w light efficiency. For every 100 pcs of 5050 LEDs, you will only pay $20.
The advantage of using high-efficiency LEDs is that you can save the cost of solar lamps. With the same lumen value, the higher the light efficiency, the lower the LED power, and the smaller the solar panel power and battery capacity. Usually, the cost of solar panels and batteries accounts for the overall cost of solar streetlights.
CCT （Color Temperature)
When it comes to color temperature, the general rule of thumb is the higher the color temperature, the higher the light efficiency. Light equipment uses 3000K-7000K. The warm light uses 3000k, warm white is 4000K, and white light carries 6000K. Solar lights generally use 6000k without any special requirements.
Solar Panel Parameters
Aside from the battery and LED parameters, you also need to pay attention to the following solar panel parameters:
Types of Solar Panels
Typically, solar street lights mainly use monocrystalline silicon and polycrystalline silicon solar panels. Monocrystalline silicon has higher photoelectric conversion efficiency compared to polycrystalline silicon solar panels. Monocrystalline silicon solar panel also costs higher than polycrystalline silicon. Currently, most solar street lights use monocrystalline silicon solar panels. Check here for more Solar panel guidelines.
Solar Panel Power & Size
Generally, a solar panel with higher power generates more electricity per unit of time. You should also note that the solar panels’ power is directly proportional to their size. So, if you want to check the power, you can examine the actual size of the solar panel.
Solar Cell Grade Level
Another significant solar panel parameter is the solar cell grade level. Class A solar cells, being the higher grade, usually have a lifespan of 25 years. While poorly rated solar cells have a lifespan of only a few years or even months. The solar panel lifespan of low-power solar lamps that usually cost only tens of dollars can last only a few years. If you want your solar street lights to last more than 10 years, opting for project-type solar street lights is the best option.
Solar Charge Controllers
The solar controller can be divided into MPPT controller, and PWM controller, according to the charging method. The charging efficiency of the PWM controller is only efficient at low temperatures. On the other hand, the MPPT controller’s charging efficiency is higher than that of the PWM controller at low temperatures. In terms of pricing, the MPPT controller is more expensive than the PWM controller.
If you reside in a hotter place such as Southeast Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, you don’t need to use an MPPT controller. Just be careful with some solar street light suppliers claiming they use MPPT controllers but, in fact, use PWM. Always check the table parameter and the actual product.
You can also classify solar chargers according to the battery voltage which is divided into 3V and 12V/24V. Most 3V solar controllers only cost around $1-$5, and consumers often use these in cheap low-power solar street lights. In terms of voltage, a 3V solar controller can drive a maximum LED voltage that is not higher than 30W. Also, the lifespan can only reach 2-3 years. Therefore, the available solar street lights in the market with 200W, 300W, or even 500W are falsely marked.
After reading the above information, I believe you can finally judge the quality of solar streetlights. You only need to know about solar street lights is their parameters and accessories. To test whether you truly understand the information we provided, we have listed the parameters of the two solar street lights briefly.
The street light above is a notable household solar street light, which uses 3V second-hand batteries, a 3V controller, a low-grade solar panel, and a span of low-efficiency LEDs. Manufacturers falsely labeled it as a few hundred watts, but the actual power is only around 5 to 10W. In terms of lifespan, it can only last 1-2 years, while the lighting time can last only a few hours.
Usually, consumers use this solar street light for high-quality solar street light projects. As a solar street light factory, we use this light for government projects in the United States, Spain, Australia, Dubai, and other countries. If the customer wants to reduce the cost as much as possible, we will also use the 3V battery and controller. You can guarantee that the lifespan can reach up to 3 years as we use a high-quality 3V battery and controller.
For any solar street light project and to get professional solar street light solutions, do not hesitate to contact ADN COMPANY.
Want to get the most detailed solar street light design to win the solar street light project? Feel free to check this article.