What to ask before you choose an LED street light manufacturer

Thousands of LED street light manufacturers compete for business in the US and around the world, but they may not deserve equal consideration. Some key measures can give you a guide to selecting products that provide durable and reliable street lighting for optimum visibility.

Choosing Products with Complete Assemblies

Products that are ready to install with a full set of components that work together save time and help ensure efficient operation. You can gain efficiency by choosing a manufacturer that produces complete assemblies for the solar panel, battery, light controller, fixture and pole.

Solar Panel

The panel assembly contains components that must include a framework, solar cells, a glass lens and an aluminum mounting bracket. The rear of the panel needs a vent that protects it from debris or unauthorized access.

Solar Battery

The assembly components must include a battery and wiring to connect it to the solar panel assembly and the light fixture. The battery must have the ability to sustain at least five days of power to ensure uninterrupted operation. Days that provide no sun do not allow the battery to recharge and can shorten its life. Five days of independent power sustain the system and prolong the life of the battery. Housing for the battery assembly must include a box with vents that let heat escape. Placement of the assembly beneath the solar assembly can provide shade that may help prevent the battery from overheating.

Light Controller

Inside the battery box, the light controller manages the operation of the system. It must provide the option to create a profile that customizes the hours when the system operates. Typical configurations must allow settings for dusk to dawn or others that include split time. A low voltage disconnection (LVD) capability can prevent draining the battery down to zero after it reaches a critical point.

Fixture

A light fixture needs to shed the amount of light that photometric measures indicate as acceptable for conditions that comply with your specifications. Fixtures must meet the requirements for distribution patterns and light levels.

The types of distribution give you a comparison point when selecting a manufacturer. Type I throws light on walkways or medians, and Type II illuminates side streets. Type III provides a lateral width equal to 40 degrees, essential for roadway lighting and parking areas. Type IV produces a semi-circular light pattern from a roadside mounting position, and Type V provides a circle of evenly distributed light at intersections among other locations.

Pole

Knowing the wind load that a pole must endure helps you select from materials such as steel, concrete, fiberglass or aluminum.

Mounting Bracket

A manufacturer that provides mounting brackets can ensure the ability to install the fixture at varying lengths from the pole. Setbacks from the road may require brackets that can reach the point where the fixture can produce the proper amount of light on the street. Some manufacturers offer brackets that have aesthetic as well as utilitarian designs. An aluminum bracket with stainless steel hardware provides a serviceable combination that minimizes maintenance.

Checking for Incentives

Aside from producing products that meet or exceed your specifications, some manufacturers offer incentives that may assist you in making purchasing decisions. Participation in the UN Global Compact by corporate leaders shows an acceptance of global civic responsibility. The project endorses universal principles that respect human rights and the environment.

You may find cost savings by making comparisons of warranties. Some manufacturers offer financing solutions to public needs for managing budget constraints for capital improvements. Savings calculators can assist you when you have privately funded projects that can benefit from a payback analysis.