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November 19 , 2023

Know about Solar Street Lights

We intend to provide you an un-biased, rational and transparent way to select Solar street light manufacturer in India. We hope that after reading this write-up you will be able to find a trustworthy supplier of Solar street lights at low cost without compromising on product quality and after sales support.

We assume that you are trying to find a reliable Solar street light manufacturer for your government tender or private customer requirements. For government tenders, you will be having a technical specification sheet which comes with the tender document. However, for a private customer requirement, you will have to suggest the product specifications to the customer depending upon the application. Sometimes the customer suggests the wattage of required LED light and rest of the system needs to be designed for providing proper solar light backup throughout the year. Here “throughout the year” is a really important consideration which requires proper system design considering rainy / foggy / cloudy days which might occur randomly throughout the year.

As you must be aware, Solar lights can function properly only when the solar panel receives sufficient sunlight to charge the battery. Even on foggy / cloudy / rainy days, where there is diffused sunlight, the solar panel might charge the battery 20% to 50% as compared to a clear bright day. Generally, a well designed solar light will be able to provide full night of backup and still be left with 20% – 30% of the battery charged. This is important since the left over charge in battery can be bonus power if next day is foggy / cloudy / rainy. So, the left over charge in the battery added to next day’s battery charging in diffused light condition should be enough to power the light for one more night.

Some important points in a well designed solar light are as follow:

  • The Solar panel wattage should be sufficient to charge the battery 80% to 100% in 1 day of clear sunshine
  • The power of LED light should be such that after consuming battery charge for 1 night backup, the battery still holds 20% – 30% charge
  • LEDs should be mounted on a proper heat sink to dissipate generated heat properly
  • The product should actually offer technical specifications claimed by supplier. Some Chinese / Indian products are under-rated in terms of battery capacity / LED wattage / Solar Panel wattage and fail if customer does technical testing of the product
  • Product should be stable and not prone to frequent failure
  • The solar street light manufacturer should be stable enough to honor product warranty (This is very important for government Tenders, where 5 year warranty is to be offered by installers / tender awardees)
  • Product packaging should be robust for safety during transportation
  • Product should be able to withstand high wind conditions

Keeping above points in view, prime importance must be given to selecting a well established solar street light manufacturer . In recent times, many smaller suppliers have entered the market of Solar lights. These smaller suppliers generally aggregate various components of Solar light and then simply assemble the product and supply in market. Mostly, none of them follow any Quality Assurance procedures and also are not able to provide after sales support in terms of repair / replacement of faulty parts during warranty period / post warranty period. Mostly such suppliers enter the market with the motive of one time supply of light and keep changing their businesses / product offerings. Although such suppliers offer low pricing, which attracts buyers, but in the long term the buyer has to suffer penalties / loss in reputation in cases where sales support is to be provided.

We recommend that before finalizing the supplier, you should always visit the supplier, to ascertain that proper manufacturing infrastructure is present with the supplier and that the supplier follows proper Quality / Testing procedures.

Some FAQ about solar lights:

Are solar street lights any good?
Solar street lights are an excellent choice to light up areas which do not have grid power supply. These can be remote area in fields or even on hilly terrain. Solar street lights eliminate the need to dig up trenches and lay power lines for supplying power. Solar lights can simply be installed on a pole anywhere and do not require trained man power for installation.

What is the cost of solar street lights?
Cost of solar street light depends on the wattage of light being installed. A higher wattage light requires bigger solar panel and higher battery capacity. Making the light costlier. On an average 12W LED Solar street light costs in the range of Rs 7500/- to Rs 9500/- depending upon quality of components. A 25W LED Solar strret light costs in the range of Rs 10000/- to Rs 12000/- including pole.

What is the purpose of solar street light?
Solar street lights are environmentally friendly way of lighting various places including remote areas, parking lots, common areas in housing societies, boundary lighting, etc. Solar street lights can also be installed as security lighting in military installations and other places.

Do street lights affect solar lights?
If light from a street light falls on the solar panel of solar street light, then the solar light might detect it as daytime condition. Since solar panels are used to detect day or night condition, light falling from other street lights might affect the functioning of solar street lights. However, good quality solar street lights account for this and can function without any problem.

Do solar lights charge on cloudy days?
Yes, contrary to the popular belief, solar street lights get charged on cloudy days also. Amount of charging depends on how thick the cloud cover is. Generally on a cloudy day, you can expect that the solar light will be charged approximately 35% to 50%

Can I leave solar lights out in winter?
Yes, solar lights are designed for outdoor environments. Solar lights can function perfectly within 0 C and 50 C temperature range. Solar street lights are waterproof and can function well even during rainy conditions.

How do solar lights turn on at night?
Solar panel voltage is used to detect day / night condition in solar street lights. When sun’s rays fall on solar panels, some voltage is generated. This voltage is measured by the solar street light driver card and is used to detect day / nigh condition. Solar street lights automatically function from dusk to dawn and help in saving energy.

How do you activate solar lights?
Solar lights get activated if the voltage generated by solar panel is lower than 5V. During daytime, a typical solar panel will be generating around 17V to charge a 12V battery.

What does F and S mean on solar lights?
F and S on some solar lights depicts the lighting mode. F stands for flashing mode and S stands for static mode. In static mode, the light will glow full bright throughout the night.

Can you charge a solar light indoors?
Yes, you can charge solar light indoor by placing the solar panel of the light under light. The light can be from an incandescent lamp, LED light or any other power source. The higher the light intensity, the better the solar light charging.

How do you charge solar lights for the first time?
After installing the light, leave the light in sunlight for 1 complete day. This will ensure that power battery voltage is reached. After 1 day of charging, the solar light will start functioning properly and will provide good backup.

Do solar lights work straight away?
Working of solar lights depends on amount of charge available in their battery packs. Some manufacturers provide the light with discharged battery. This is a safety measure for transportation purpose. Other manufacturers provide half charged batteries, so that the user can test the light while purchasing.

How long do solar lights Last?
Solar street lights come with 2 night backup. This is also referred to as 2 night autonomy. 2 nigh autonomy ensures that the light will provide proper backup even on cloudy / foggy days.

Can solar lights get wet?
Yes, solar lights are waterproof and can function properly even if it gets wet.

Is it OK to leave solar lights on all night?
yes, solar lights are designed to be run full night. Light housing is designed to dissipate heat generated by LEDs.

Do solar garden lights work in rain?
Yes, solar garden lights do function in rain and are designed to be waterproof and dust proof.

How much sun does solar lights need?
Solar lights are designed to charge the battery fully in 6 – 7 hours of clear sunlight. This time will vary depending upon light intensity. Also, solar lights should be installed in a location free from shadows of trees and buildings for best performance.