Solar LED Lighting – Air Force Base Install


In January 2010, Solara Systems management team embarked on a transformation from a classic Low Voltage contractor to a Low Voltage integrator. Seeing that the lighting industry was introducing alternative lighting like LED . We recognized an opportunity to utilize our Low Voltage experience and apply it to the lighting world using Solar/Battery as the main power supply, thus taking the whole system off grid.

In our experience working from a garage and hooking up and powering our first design from a car battery. We understood very clearly that the lighting industry was taking a high voltage approach and passing up the true savings by making all lighting low voltage. We were not constrained by the traditional designs that incorporate some sort of transformer or driver at the light source. This was another point of failure and a spot where energy was lost and heat was generated. By passing 12 volt through to the lights utilizing a controller we were able to power eight lights per solar panel for up to nine days on battery  alone.

After obtaining UL listing on all components we then presented our solution to the Air Force. They were so impressed with the design that we were issued a Notice to Proceed right away. The project was turned over to the Air Force in July 2010 and has been operating every night since without one failure or outage. We are in the design phase for a commercial and residential version of the perimeter lighting already installed. Also, we have preliminary designs for an intelligent solution that will communicate via web server, the options are endless. The typical approach to more energy efficient lighting solutions has been taking a traditional high voltage approach. Don’t take the building off grid just take the lighting and other low voltage technologies off grid and pass the ROI on sooner.

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