Solar energy is the new way to street lights


An adequate illumination of public or private areas and properties is necessary for various reasons, the most obvious being general orientation and security. But a well arranged illumination can also create a pleasant atmosphere.

Acquiring and installing outdoor lights can be a complicated affair because of extensive trench work and cabling, and quite often main electricity supply is not reliable or readily available.

In addition to that, electricity consumption of traditional outdoor lights is expensive with total energy cost being many times more than the initial investment.  It is estimated that in some municipalities up to 30% of the electricity consumption goes to street illumination.

During recent years, however, there has been a fast development in technology that has now made it possible to install street lights and lights in public and private areas without having to depend on existing power infrastructure.

Reliable LED bulbs with a very low energy consumption in combination with solar panels has opened the doors for completely new ways of illuminating both municipal and private streets and estates, and also car parks, factory yards, school compounds, gardens and parks, etc.

Integrated light package now available

Recently an integrated street light package was introduced to the market by Davis & Shirtliff. It consists of a high performance LED lamp unit providing a 40 W output and 2400 Lumens of illumination, mounted in a corrosion proof aluminium housing. The unit comes with a digital microcontroller that provides automatic regulation of battery charging and load control. The lamp automatically switches on and off at dusk and dawn and even offers various operation programmes, such as shutdown in the middle of the night. Each lamp unit can also be manually adjusted.  LED indicators show operating status.

An 80W or 120W solar panel and a 12 Volt, 100AH maintenance free battery, mounted in a lockable waterproof battery box, is also part of the package.

Everything can be mounted on a 6-10 meter steel mounting pole with an adjustable mounting frame for the solar panel on top.

A cost effective and reliable solution

The LED lights,powered by modern polycrystalline photo voltaic solar panels, have a lifetime of 50,000 hours. Compared to equivalent traditional bulbs,they use less than 10% energy, so a 40W lamp gives the same amount of light as a traditional 400W lamp. Due to recent advances in LED and PV module manufacturing processes they are now also very cost competitive.

Provided that light is needed for 7 hours every night, the lamps will last for twenty years, which is the same lifetime as is expected for the solar panel. Only the battery will have to be changed during that time. Apart from that, there are no operating expenses.

Davis &Shirtliff isthe region’s leading water and power products organization with many years of experience in solar technology for water pumping.They are one of the leading participants in the East African solar industry offering a complete product range including PV modules, controllers, batteries, inverters, pumps, accessories and hot water heaters, all of which are either imported from world-leading suppliers or manufactured at their extensive Nairobi headquarters. The new street light range are launched under the company’s own ‘Dayliff’ brand and are fully supported by the same service and backup expertise as all other products of the company.

This very cost effective and reliable solution makes street lighting independent of mains electricity and has now made it possible to extend illumination of public and private estates to areas where it previously was not viable to install outdoor lighting. Needless to say, it is also a very environment friendly solution.


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