CATS: For environmental sustainability, security and even safety, solar ‘lights’ the way

Number 25 in the Clean Air Technologies Series.

On a recent trip back to Fresno from Monterey, California, upon entering State Route (SR) 99 from SR 152, I noticed quite a few of the light standards that had previously been used to supply light for roadway illumination purposes were unlit.

So what was the reason or reasons for this move? Were said lights off because of copper wire theft or was this an attempt by state or county interests to conserve energy, save money or both?

Now I would have to think that each of those standards cost a pretty penny to put up and if not used, then wouldn’t that sort of defeat the purpose of their being installed in the first place?

So getting back to the energy-conservation/money-savings scenario, I guess I could accept that. Besides, it isn’t as if motor vehicles don’t come with headlights.

Okay, to carry on, coming to mind also is such a thing as solar lighting and solar lights and with that there is every reason to believe that many of the light standards seeing non-use could be re-equipped with solar-light hardware to allow them to function again.

I don’t know how much of a problem copper wire theft is where you live, but I know in Fresno it was a big problem. It could still be.

Given this situation, it would seem to me, in a case where streetlight wiring has been pilfered, a city could forego having to invest considerable sums of capital for the purchase of replacement wire just to be able to bring said light-standard lighting back online and operational.

Meanwhile, for those standards remaining intact, swapping current light hardware with that of the solar variety, conceivably electric bills would be so much lower or quite likely, non-existent.

On the application side of the coin, I can think of several places right off the bat where solar lighting could substitute for the standard electricity-supplied kind. Think stadium lighting, for one. Or even traffic signalization, lighting in parking lots and garages to name two more.

How about around the home exterior? I could see such lights not only existing for the purpose of providing light, but for reasons of safety and security too. I’m pretty sure the list of applications does not end there.

With less or even no demand placed on the electric grid supply I just don’t see the downside to solar lights and lighting.

That there is lack of air damage via their use which scores a big one for the environment, solar lighting lights the way.

– Alan Kandel

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