Solar pathway lights now surround Lee Lake. This makes the trail accessible to visitors all year long.
Bartlesville has an extensive trail system, but the Lee Lake Trail is a favorite because of it’s proximity to the lake and because it is a convenient loop. It’s ideal for the weekends but also for a quick walk before or after work in summer. Until now, the early sunsets of fall and winter made the trail too dark for an after work outing.
The same features that make the trail so attractive, make it a non-starter for traditional lighting provided by the utility. Mature root systems, proximity to water and long wire runs to grid made trenching and wiring lights just too expensive to consider. Fortunately, Bartlesville’s Community Development Director didn’t stop there. She suggested investigating a solar powered lighting alternative.
Solar pathway lights are entirely stand-alone. The lighting could be installed without any trenching, wiring or conduit. The direct burial poles also eliminated the need for installing concrete footings and trying to get cement trucks into the area. This cut enough cost to make the project feasible.
The City chose the reliable SmartLight solar street light for all night lighting all year long.
In addition to the cost saving benefits, the SmartLight is great in areas that could be impacted by flooding, vandalism or power outages. Because all of the electronics are located at the top of the pole, flooding isn’t an issue and vandals can’t reach the system’s 365 Power Center.
Solar powered pathway lights by Fonroche are low in maintenance cost as well. The Smartlight has developed a design protocol, battery management system and specially formulated Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack that will provide 10 years of reliable performance before any scheduled service. This is about twice the expected battery life of the most expensive lead acid systems. The batteries are also ready for extreme temperatures. The hard freeze of 2021 didn’t faze the lights at all and they can tolerate high temperatures too.
Parks and green spaces mean a lot to communities. They offer opportunities for people to connect socially, to exercise or just decompress. Offering lighting in parks makes them accessible to more people more of the time. With solar powered pathway lights, the addition is easier, faster and more cost-effective than ever.