The Best Commercial LED Street Lights in 2022
Light-emitting diode or LED street lights come in many varieties, each with its own features and ideal applications. With the recent shift toward green initiatives, many property owners and city officials have transitioned into using solar LED street lights. A solar LED street light fixture offers all of the benefits of traditional street lights, with added savings on both long-term costs and long-term emissions.
However, not all commercial solar LED street lights are created equal. Some use harmful chemicals like cadmium, undercutting the emissions saved by not relying on established power grids. Others use absorbent glass mat (AGM) batteries which don't last as long as other alternatives. Finding the most sustainable LED street lights in 2022 means going for solar LED street lights, and we've compiled the best options for you here, along with some important background information.
Are Solar LED Street Lights Any Good?
Solar lights are extremely cost-effective. Many property owners and caretakers have saved thousands of dollars upfront since solar lights need not connect to a power grid — a significant startup cost for traditional street lights — and even more over time. Solar lights cost nearly nothing to maintain, and power themselves for free, directly from the sun.
Trenching often multiplies the cost of installing industrial street lights. To lay wire for traditional street lights, teams of workers must dig holes in the ground of a depth dictated by local regulations. The workers must then lay pipe and run wires through those trenches and fill them back in. Solar systems, though, don't require any power line. No wires and no trenching means cheaper installation.
Solar lights are also more secure than traditional street lights. If a section of the power grid fails, or lines go down, solar lights keep on humming as usual. Solar lights operate completely independently of existing infrastructure so that, no matter the circumstance, you can rely on a well-lit road, highway, or parking lot.
Finally, solar LED street lights generate zero emissions from use, whereas the power for traditional street lights is only as clean as the local grid.
How Much Does It Cost To Power a Commercial LED Street Light?
Powering an LED street light system can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars per year per light. Solar LED street lights, in contrast, cost nothing to power. The only long-term cost of solar LED street lights is maintenance, which traditional street lights also require.
How Many Lumens Are Most Solar LED Street Lights?
Traditional street lights usually provide between 6,500 and 8,000 lumens of illumination. Solar LED street lights can not only match but exceed this brightness, approaching the 10,000 lumens mark.
How Long Do Solar LED Street Lights Last?
The components of a solar LED light determine its longevity. The LED itself will usually be rated for 50,000 hours. Assuming an average of 8 to 12 hours of use per day, that's about 11 to 15 years. The battery in a solar LED system usually lasts about five to seven years, and then needs replacing. Good solar LED street lights will usually withstand winds of up to 140 MPH.
Barring truly extreme weather conditions, the solar panels themselves will require no maintenance and will last a lifetime. Occasional rainfall will keep the panels clean, and angled panels will resist snow buildup.
What Is Dark Sky Friendly Lighting?
The International Dark Sky Association (IDA) awards its Fixture Seal of Approval to lighting fixtures that minimize glare while reducing light trespass and skyglow. Fixtures that bear the IDA's Fixture Seal of Approval are called Dark Sky Friendly.
Light trespass refers to any light which shines beyond the bounds of the property on which a light source has been installed. Overlighting is a major source of light pollution, and limiting light trespass is one small way of making sure that areas we want to illuminate stay illuminated without disturbing others.
Similarly, skyglow is that bright visual hum that surrounds most populated areas at night. Driving up to a city at night, or otherwise viewing it at a great distance, can provide a breathtaking visual experience. However, the same light that makes our cities shine like little gems on the horizon also obscures our view of the stars.
Blue light is a leading cause of both light trespass and skyglow. All products certified Dark Sky Friendly are fully shielded and emit minimal blue light.
Is Solar or Traditional Power Better for Street Lights?
Both solar and on-grid street lights enjoy widespread use by property owners and city managers. However, the recent rise in green energy has led many to consider solar and, eventually, begin converting their network of street lights from traditional power to solar power.
Rather than converting an entire grid to clean energy at once and continuing to take on the power loss inherent in long-distance energy transfer, converting services one at a time can help the whole world move more sustainably toward lower emissions. Traditionally powered lighting has an environmental impact entirely determined by the state of your grid, whereas solar street lights can operate at zero emissions regardless of what sources provide power to the area.
The best solar street lights also use a deep-cycle lead-acid battery to store excess power generated during the day. That way, even if the sun's not out for a while, your solar LED street light will always have a reliable power source.
Traditional street light systems can also fail during emergencies. When the grid goes down, the lights go out. Then, in the middle of an emergency, when drivers most need visibility on the road, they're stuck navigating in darkness. Solar LED street lights do not depend on power from the local grid, so they'll keep shining even in the case of blackouts, brownouts, downed lines, and grid failures.
Since solar-powered LED street lights like those offered by Greenshine also cost next to nothing to maintain, they're not only the most reliable and environmentally-friendly street lighting option but they're also the cheapest.
Which Type of Solar Panel Is Best for Street Lights?
The best-researched type of solar panel is the monocrystalline silicon panel. These solar panels are more efficient than other solar panel technologies and have the least environmental impact of any available solar technology. Some solar panels are made of cadmium, a highly toxic metal. Truly green companies always use monocrystalline silicon in their solar panels, and remain free from toxic metals.
What LED Lighting Distribution Pattern Is Best for Street Lights?
Different LED lighting fixtures give off light in different patterns, called distribution types. Some have adjustable patterns, while others have static patterns. There are six different LED lighting distribution types: I, II, III, IV, V, and VS. Type III lighting distribution is generally preferred for street lights.
Type III lighting distribution casts light in a cone with a lateral width of 40 degrees. That way, the light shines on the ground directly below and in front of the pole, offering ample illumination for medium-width roadways. When using type III lighting for a roadway, aim to have the light source positioned at a height equal to about one-third of the width of the road and no lower.
What Is the Best Commercial LED Street Light?
We've scoured the market to bring you the best commercial LED street lights for 2022 — keeping in mind their brightness, cost, blue light emissions, dark sky friendliness, and maintenance needs. Here's our definitive list of the best commercial LED street lights in 2022.
Supera Commercial LED Street Lights
The Supera Solar Lighting System is commonly used for pathways, streets, parking lots, perimeters, security, parks, and medium to large area lighting projects. The Supera series solar lighting post features a 60–80 watt cobra-head style LED fixture attached to two solar panels. The system provides optimal brightness output and a variety of distribution patterns. The IDA has certified the Supera as Dark Sky Friendly.
The Supera Series solar lighting pole features a variable watt LED fixture that may be set to 30, 40, 60, or 80 watts. It also has two solar panels to maximize energy gathering. The Supera uses Cree XPG-3 LED fixtures, which offer 130 lumens per watt of output and have an adjustable power consumption ranging between 30 and 80 watts.
The Supera system can run for seven days autonomously and uses gel deep cycle batteries designed to last up to 12 years, even under extreme circumstances. IP68 solar charge controllers help keep the battery from overcharging, further extending its life. With so many features designed to enhance efficiency, the batteries in the Supera system will far outlast their AGM competitors, which tend to give out after just three to five years.
The Supera system also comes with a 25-year power output warranty. After up to five years, the system is guaranteed to output 95% of its initial brightness. After up to 12 years, the system is guaranteed to output 90% of its initial brightness. After up to 25 years, the system is guaranteed to output 80% of its initial brightness.
You can customize the output pattern of the lights themselves to meet your needs. The height of the light posts themselves can also be customized to your specific application, depending on the size of the area you'd like to illuminate and the amount of vertical clearance you have.
Brighta Commercial Solar Street Lights
The Brighta Solar Lighting System comes with three fixture options:
The system provides optimal brightness output and a variety of distribution patterns. The IDA has certified the Brighta as Dark Sky Friendly.
The Brighta series is ideal for solar park lighting, solar pathway lighting, solar parking lot lighting, and solar street lighting. The Brighta features a simple design: one Cree XPG LED fixture, plus one solar panel composed of monocrystalline solar cells. The Brighta is an IES Type II lighting fixture, designating fixtures that best serve long, narrow lighting areas. The galvanized steel pole for the Brighta comes in 17’, 20’, and 23’ lengths.
Lumina Solar Street Lighting System
Like the Brighta, the Lumina Solar Lighting System comes with three fixture options:
The system provides optimal brightness output and a variety of distribution patterns. The IDA has certified the Lumina as Dark Sky Friendly. This solar outdoor lighting solution provides ample illumination for numerous applications — including pathways, bicycle lanes, streets, parking lots, parks, and corporate complexes. With Greenshine’s exclusive power-saving technology on the battery, this series can provide up to seven days of power backup.
Like the other two Greenshine systems on this list, the Supera and Brighta, the Lumina Solar Lighting System features a high-quality galvanized steel pole coated in corrosion-resistant powder, an aluminum and tempered glass frame, multilayer EVA encapsulation, deep-cycle gel batteries, and IP68 solar charge controllers.
The Best LED Street Lights for 2022
If you're wondering where to buy street lights, Greenshine's complete solar lighting systems will give you everything you need to set up a modern, efficient, and effective network of street lights without hunting around for each component separately. Greenshine offers long-lasting Cree LEDs, state-of-the-art monocrystalline silicon solar technology, and competitive financing options.
To learn all about Greenshine's commercial street lights for sale, get in touch today.
LATEST NEWS & ARTICLES