How Solar Power Can Make a Big Difference on Boston's Streets
Let's be real, we don't often think about street lights. Unless one is out when we're driving down a dark meandering road, or if they're the beautiful antique ones in Charlestown or Beacon Hill, we pretty much ignore street lights. But, did you know that Boston has 67,000 street lights?!
Many of these street lights use high-pressure sodium technology, which, unfortunately, is very energy intensive. Slowly, these lights are being replaced with the help of Massachusetts utility provider National Grid and several intermediaries. To save on energy costs, Boston switched to using LED street lights back in 2010. But as most of those LED street lights still rely on electrical power to run, they can go out anytime when a citywide blackout strikes -- unlike a solar LED street light that can run even without electricity!
The Benefits of Solar Street Lights
Solar LED street lights don’t need a power source - Installing a typical LED street light in Boston requires intensive labor which costs the city a lot of money out of its annual budget. On the other hand, installing a solar LED street light can be completed quickly by a qualified electrician. This means no more calling utility crews just to get a single street light installed!
Solar LED street lights eliminate the need for a power line extension. Some areas of Boston very well-lit at night mainly because of the hassle and expense of extending power lines to add more street lights to those locations. With solar LED street lights, the city can avoid spending much money on having power lines extended and help light up dark areas which will help make the city safer.
Solar LED street lights that use smart technology and motion sensors can turn themselves off and on only when needed. Some areas in Boston don’t have vehicles or pedestrians passing by at all in the wee hours of the morning. Unfortunately, their street lights may still be turned on during those times which costs the city both energy and money. With solar LED street lights that use smart technology, the city doesn’t need to worry about wasted energy and money as they can dim themselves during late hours and brighten themselves as well using motion sensors that can detect any movement from a vehicle or pedestrian.
Street lights are essential anywhere, especially in a major city like Boston. They can help avoid accidents and give pedestrians peace of mind by protecting them against criminals. However, street lights cost money to install and maintain. Boston could save more money by installing solar panels alongside its LED street lights.
We've long known the benefits of green energy, but who would have thought about the benefits of solar street lights? We hope to see them in Boston and other cities soon!