Solar Street Lighting and
Roadway Lighting

Solar Power Street Lighting

Why use solar powered highway lighting when vehicles have headlights?

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) Office of Safety, lighting on highways has benefits. It can significantly reduce pedestrian injuries, night-time crashes, and injury crashes on both rural and urban highways.

The FHA reports that the number of daytime and nighttime crashes are similar. The difference is that the number of fatal nighttime crashes is three times the number for daytime crashes. The reach of headlights is limited, and, on highways, cars are typically traveling faster at night. This gives drivers little time to react to pedestrians, changes in the road’s direction or other hazards.

Our transportation system is evolving to embrace public transportation as well as shared bicycle and pedestrian access. Solar powered road lights will become more important in the future.

Lighting to Meet Highway Standards

Fonroche’s application team is ready to provide design assistance to provide solar power street lighting that will meet recognized lighting guidelines. Configurations with break-away poles are available to avoid fixed-object crashes as well. Fonroche's Smartlight is the preferred solar lighting choice for DOT projects by multiple state departments of transportation, including Utah, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.

In some areas light pollution is a concern. Fonroche will use fixtures with dark-sky certification and lighting shields to create your solar roadway lighting layout.

According to the Handbook of Road Safety Measures, highway lighting can reduce nighttime injury crashes on rural and urban highways by 28%.

Are LED Solar Outdoor Street Lights Bright Enough for Highways?

Well-designed systems, like our SmartLight, are ready for highway applications. Improvements in LED efficiency mean that you need less power to light your road or street. Fonroche uses high quality light emitting diodes that balance effective lighting distribution and lumens per watt.

The solar panel and batteries are sized for the weather conditions and solar access in your area. You'll get all night lighting without the use of motion sensors. Your commercial solar LED street lights can also be networked with our wireless lighting control system, Fonroche Connect.

Solar powered streetlights offer a superior solution for your roadway lighting needs. Because there are no underground wires or interconnections, the solar lighting systems are less expensive to install. Once installed they are immune to copper wire theft, flooding, and utility power outages. The added safety of highway lighting stays in place during emergencies when it is needed most.

Solar Lighting for Residential Streets

More and more cities, towns and developers are turning to solar lighting for residential neighborhoods. Street lighting provides added safety, security, accessibility, and mobility. Together, lighting means a better quality of life. Solar powered street lights are fast and easy to implement, have greater reliability during power outages and don’t add emissions.

Increasing Safety with Solar Outdoor Street Lights

Lighting at transit stops, crosswalks and sidewalks is a proven way to reduce accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles. Lighting is also important to prevent other types of accidents, like slips and trips. This is especially important as our population ages.

Lighting for Security

There is some debate about whether lighting directly impacts crime prevention. But most people agree that lighting can make people feel more secure.

Why does that matter? People venture out into the community because they feel more secure. They create what the law enforcement officials call “informal surveillance.” In civilian terms, "more eyes on the street".

The Department of Justice lays out additional ways that street lighting can reduce crime1.

In Darkness

  • Lighting increases the risk that offenders will be seen and/or recognized. This acts as a deterrent.
  • Police are more visible and offenders are less likely to act knowing they are there.
  • If lighting helps in the arrest of offenders at nighttime, it can reduce daytime offenses too.

In Daylight

  • An investment in improved lighting shows that the city government and police are focused on security. This changes the perception that the neighborhood is "easy pickings."
  • A greater feeling of commuity pride and social connection can lead to a greater willingness to intervene in and report crimes.
  • If offenders commit crime in both light and darkness, nighttime arrests and subsequent imprisonment would reduce both daytime and nighttime crime.

Mobility and Accessibility

It doesn't matter if you are lighting a cul-de-sac or a city street. Quality street lighting makes it safer and easier to navigate streets by foot, bike, or wheelchair. By providing lighting, you also extend the hours that residents can connect, play, and exercise outdoors.

What Can Solar Street Lights Mean for You? Confidence to take the bus to the grocery store? An hour at the playground with your kids after work? Visiting with neighbors after dinner? Or training for your next marathon in the pre-dawn hours? 

1“Improving Street Lighting to Reduce Crime in Residential Areas”

Solar Lighting for Roundabouts and Intersections

Commercial Solar LED Street Lights are a fast and easy to implement way to improve safety at roundabouts and intersections. Per the FHA, lighting can reduce nighttime injury pedestrian crashes at intersections by 42%. Michael D. Rogers, of the Georgia Transportation Institute, researched crashes at roundabouts with and without lighting. He found that roundabouts with lighting experience about 60%-64% lower nighttime crash rates compared to unlit roundabouts.

Solar powered roundabout lighting can often overcome the cost and logistical barriers that leave some of these junctions unlit.

Solar powered street lighting provides an added safety benefit. Stand-alone solar lighting is capable of providing light during electrical power outages. This means intersections stay safe during evacuation and rescue activities.

Lighting Rural Intersections with Solar Power

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) compares rural and urban crash fatalities. In 2020, crash deaths were much higher in rural areas per 100 million miles traveled than in urban areas (1.84 for rural areas and 1.08 for urban areas). Solar street lighting for intersections is especially important. A light pole at one of these locations can literally save a life.

Grid-connection at rural intersections is often expensive and difficult, including trenching or moving power lines. Autonomous solar lighting can be easily installed without any additional infrastructure.

Additional Financial Benefits for Solar Street Lighting

For the first time ever, the Investment Tax Credit for Solar Technology can be monetized by local governments. Recover 30% -60% of your solar lighting equipment and installation investment.

Once your lighting is installed, you won't have any scheduled maintenance for 10 years. Plus, you'll start to enjoy the energy savings right away.

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