In Focus: Recent Green Technology Advances

green-technology-future

Attempting to make the world an improved and pollution-free place to live is not a straightforward task, and there are no settled principles. This is one of the tests we confront when making, executing and depending on different sources of energy; since no single source of energy is 100% ‘clean’. Nonetheless, year-after-year we continue to make great strides along the difficult road to environmentally responsible energy sources.

As temperatures increases and population gets bigger, it’s clear that green engineering holds the way to the survival of Earth and all the species that live on it. Luckily, innovators all around the globe are endeavoring to create headways that will slow down or perhaps reduce the harm caused due to our over-reliance on fossil-powers.

According to Liberty Power, in a few cases, progress in green technology is dependent upon new discoveries and developments in science, physics and engineering. On the other hand, these advancements have been dead set generally by shift in thought processes. However, the thought of “green’’ is gaining popularity among people.

Several recent innovations are based on a century-old concept: that of using tidal power to generate electricity. Harnessing this renewable resource is rapidly becoming more practical and cost-effective. In the area of solar power, the use of copper-indium-gallium-selenide compounds in solar panels substantially increases the electrical power generating efficiency of these panels, plus the compounds make construction of the panels far easier. Bladeless wind turbine designs, based on the physics of ships sails, are expected to significantly reduce the number of deaths of birds and bats. Wind turbine technology is also continuing to evolve.

Some innovative advancement in green technology are as follows:

Marine Renewable Energy: Marine renewable energy works by harnessing the power of the ocean tides and currents; a continuous source of kinetic energy that can be used to power turbines which in turn produce electricity.

Solar Power: The sun provides enough energy in the form of light to supply the world with much more energy than we currently use globally.  Certain materials produce an electric current when exposed to light, and we can harness that current to generate electricity.

Algae-Based Biofuel: Algae is a simple organism ranging from single-celled to multi-cellular forms, and is typically thought of as a kind of plant due to its ability to perform photosynthesis. Using chemical and mechanical methods, oil can be extracted from algae and converted into fuel that acts in the same way as traditional petroleum fuels

Green Roof: Different countries are rapidly adopting idea of keeping their roofs planted with grass. It not only minimizes the heat effect but also reduce summer air conditioning usage.

With this transformation in green technology it is expected that we would not only be able to generate enough energy to fulfill our needs but also keep our planet safe and healthy.

Author’s Bio: Adam Prattler is an expert in geography and writes from time to time for different information sources. He is also fond of natural beauty so much that he prefers to have fake grass around his house since natural cannot grow.

Original Article on SEPCO

How LED Technology is Disrupting The Signage Industry

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Signs have long been a popular way of marketing, posting warnings or communicating information. Traditional printed or lit signs offer limited flexibility and visibility. Fluorescent signs offer improved visibility but are prone to damage and less energy efficient. These are six ways that LED technology is changing the signage industry.

1. Going Green with LED Signage

With the emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly products, LED signage offers increasedgreen benefits over nearly any other form of signage. From reprogramming existing signs to recycling old signage, disposing of old signage is easier and more affordable than traditional signage as well.

2. Interactive and Moving Signage

LED technologies make it possible to do more than simply convey a message. From flashing text and high-contrast colors to full images and animations, LED signs allow businesses to increase engagement and promote their message, product or service with greater results. In many cases, LED signage is also brighter than other forms of signage for increased visibility and easier reading from a distance.

3. Less Upkeep and Maintenance Costs

Due to reduced energy costs and increased bulb lifetime, LED signage is more affordable to implement and maintain that other forms of signage. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average LED can have a useful life of 25,000 hours of longer. They also produce light using a fraction of the electricity of traditional bulbs. The Department of Energy predicts that their plan to switch to LED lighting could save $250-billion in energy costs and replacement costs.

4. Larger Signage is Possible Due to Reduced Weight

Due to their compact size and lightweight design, LEDs allow for increased flexibility in sign placement and larger overall dimensions without risking damage to signage or structures. They also offer a greater variety of options for focusing light. This allows larger signage without worry of light pollution or interference with the visibility of other signage nearby. Many LEDs are designed for long-lasting outdoor use, making LEDs an excellent option for signage.

5. Improved Safety through LED Signage

Unlike incandescent, fluorescent or neon signage, LED signage releases very little heat. This allows for safer long-term usage. LED signage also uses a fraction of the electricity, with some requiring as little as 10-watts, to reduce the risk of electrical hazards or stress to wiring systems. This also makes it possible to utilize solar panels or other alternative solutions to easily light LED signage without the need to modify existing wiring.

6. Signage is Adaptable and Easy to Change without Costly Redesigns

Most LED signage uses a matrix of red, blue and green LEDs to create a wide spectrum of colors. This means that if you need to change the content of your signage, it is often as simple as reprogramming the board that powers the display. Instead of replacing bulbs or entire signs, reconfiguring an existing LED sign is as simple as connecting to the controller and implementing changes.

LED signage is changing the way that businesses think about advertising and signage placement. From reduced energy costs and longer service life to improved visibility and the ability to animate signage, there are plenty of reasons to consider upgrading your existing signage to LED-based solutions.

About the Author: Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. In addition to writing for firms such as Icon Identity Solutions, IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients and websites, he also shoots, directs, and edits the hit celebrity web series “Teens Wanna Know”. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, and connect with him on Google+,LinkedIn.

Original Article on SEPCO

LED Lighting and Commercial Buildings

Chase Tower, Chicago

For me, the best way to convey the benefits of LED lighting is with numbers. Imagine your favorite department store, which is probably open from early morning to late at night. Or maybe it’s even open 24 hours a day. Now look up. Yes, that’s a lot of lights.

Commercial spaces—like large department stores—can be energy suckers, with a considerable amount of energy being used to light indoor and outdoor spaces. With some being open nearly all day/every day, energy usage can accumulate quickly. Parking lot lights, ceiling lights, freezer and display lights. You need to see it, they need to illuminate it.

Using a Cost Per Watt Chart we can do some quick math and get an accurate estimate of the savings that LEDs offer.

Cost-Per-Watt-Chart

A large department store uses 300 250w metal-halide high bay fixtures to light the interior of the store. For only one hour, the store uses 75,000 watts exclusively on these fixtures. By replacing the existing fixtures with 400 24w LED high bays, the store would only use 10,000 watts. If the store has the lights on every day for 14 hours, this is a difference of nearly $50,000 a year in energy costs (at $0.15/watt)—only on these lights!

How do these LED bulbs do it? An LED circuit achieves an incredible 80% efficiency. Which means that 80% of the energy is transferred into light, while only 20% of the energy is lost to heat. By comparison, incandescent bulbs operate at about 20% efficiency, so the savings are considerable.

A miscellaneous benefit of LED lighting for commercial use is that they do not attract insects. Bugs are attracted to ultraviolet light and most LED bulbs do not emit this type of light. I am sure we all have sat outside at night and watched hundreds of bugs fly around a streetlight. What if a business had some late night outdoor dining in the summer, without LED lighting there would be bugs buzzing around everyone’s food. But enter LED lighting, no bugs and a great outdoor meal in the summer night.

*This lack of UV rays also keeps meat fresher and does less harm to paintings on the wall.

With decreasing prices and incentives from energy companies, LED lighting has become the ideal energy-efficient solution for commercial lighting. Unlike outdated lighting technology, LEDs use a higher percentage of electricity for generating light instead of waste heat. And unlike CFLS, they don’t contain mercury or toxic substances. Most LEDs can last over 60,000 hours, and the newest LED modules have a life of over 90,000 hours. To put it simply, LEDs last a lot longer while using only a fraction of watts that other types of lighting use. And the cherry on top? They have superior lighting quality and result in a huge return on investment.

If you want to see an instant drop in your company’s electricity bill, do some quick math and figure out home much it will cost you to make the transition to LED lights. Then figure out how many months your payback period will take. Probably after six months to a year you will be experiencing some serious return on investment.  For environmentally-friendly companies, and those interested in reducing costs, investing in energy-efficient LED lighting has become the obvious answer.

Dr_Edison_BulbDr. Edison Bulb has worked in the lighting industry for over 30 years. His areas of expertise include commercial and sports lighting. He was an early adopter of LED lighting technology and has been an advocate for the transition to green energy solutions. Dr. Bulb has works hard to become empolyed as a blogger on the topics of LED questions and exciting LED applications at Access Fixtures. He finds balance in his life by researching sear engine optimization and being an avid fan of the NBA and professional tennis.

– See more at: https://www.sepco-solarlighting.com/blog/some-led-math-for-commercial-buildings#sthash.MUH8EzbI.dpuf

Original Article on SEPCO

In Focus: Off Grid Solar Power Billboard Lighting

solar-billboard-lighting

The biggest challenge associated with lighting the scores of billboards located along remote stretches of highways and byways throughout the US is the accessibility of AC power.   When AC power is not readily available or too costly to access, SEPCO’s ultra reliable grid-free solar power systems—combined with energy efficient, high performance LED flood light fixtures from our lighting partners at Hubbell Lighting—are an ideal solution.

Better yet, SEPCO/Hubbell off-grid solar power billboard lighting systems are relatively quick and easy to install.  The solar arrays are mounted to heavy duty round steel galvanized poles attached to the top of the billboard structure.  The DC power generated by the solar arrays is stored in a master battery box during the day and then, with the help of SEPCO’s ALC system controller, used to power the high performance Hubbell LED flood light fixtures at night.

Invariably, the best, most cost effective off-grid solar power billboard lighting systems will be in areas that have ample sun during the day, low levels of ambient lighting surrounding the billboard at night and can operate on 6-8 hours per night, the likes of which can be easily be split into a post dusk and a pre-dawn run time (ex.  Dusk + 6 hours…off…back on 2 hours pre-dawn)

Also worth noting that 30% Federal tax credit is available to companies in the US that utilize off-grid solar power to illuminate their billboards at night.

Have a billboard or a sign you would like to light at night but have limited or very costly access to AC power? Give SEPCO a call, we can help!

Original Article on SEPCO

Why Solar Lighting is the Future

lights

Solar energy has been harnessed by humans for thousands of years. From the earliest times, our ancestors used the sun’s energy either to heat their bodies or to dry food and clothes. But it has only been in the last two centuries that we have begun using solar energy to produce electrical energy.

The discovery of photovoltaics by French physicist Edmond Becquerel 1839 laid down the foundation for the use of solar energy as an electrical source. In his early experiments, he discovered that electrical current in some materials could be increased when exposed to light. It wasn’t until 1905, however, that Becquerel’s work was fully understood when the famous physicist Albert Einstein published his theories on the photoelectric effect. Since then, solar technology has made significant leaps in development where it became an important aspect towards acquiring safe, renewable energy.

Today, solar energy has become an invaluable power alternative across a wide spectrum of users. Among the first to take advantage of this technology are those living far from the power grids. Though the early use was limited to a few lights and perhaps an appliance or two, it later on became a standard that even when the power grid became accessible in their area they still preferred to use solar power. Solar power also became popular among outdoors enthusiasts. The portability and reliability of solar power makes it ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. Not only does it provide power for gadgets, it can also be used for cooking.

But the best achievement of solar energy use to date is providing power to the poorest areas, especially in developing countries. Lack of adequate and reliable power has always been a hindrance to a community’s growth. With the introduction of solar power, communities that used to live in primitive conditions could now boost their productivity as well as pave the way toward educating themselves and their children.

Other benefits of solar energy include:

• Helps reduce pollution – a solar system provides safe and renewable electrical energy. As such, the need for kerosene-based lighting and power generators is eliminated thus lessening air pollution. Moreover, because it runs on a photovoltaic system, solar power helps reduce carbon emissions by up to 6 tons over the rated 20-year lifetime of a typical PV system.

• Reduces the need for constant maintenance – because they are meant to be placed outside exposed to varying weather, solar systems are built to last. This lessens the need for frequent maintenance such as checking on wiring systems or other connections found in traditional power sources.

• More cost effective – though the initial cost is a bit higher, solar systems offer more savings in the long run as maintenance costs are lessened and no longer subject to fluctuating power cost changes.

• Easy installation and setup – whether for providing power for an entire home or for lighting a single lamp, typical solar systems are easy to install. Most come in pre-assembled, mount-and-forget packages that is ideal for any situation. Some companies also offer customized packages that are tailored to your particular needs.

• Improves work efficiency and literacy – in rural and depressed areas, having a reliable source of power means that a regular work day could be extended without worrying about the costs. This allows for faster economic development because local businesses could now operate event at nights. Also, having sufficient lighting means that proper schools could now be built so that children won’t have to read and write in dark conditions. It also means that people would now have access to TV and radio, perhaps even the internet, providing another means of learning.

About the Author: Cassandra Allen, Marketing Director of www.IllustraLighting.com. Cassandra is a marketing professional with over 15 years of extensive experience leading corporate marketing and internal communications for multi-national companies in diverse industries.

About the Author:
Cassandra Allen
Marketing Director of www.IllustraLighting.com

Cassandra is a marketing professional with over 15 years of extensive experience leading
corporate marketing and internal communications for multi-national companies in diverse
industries.

The History of Solar Power

solar-vintage

I’ll bet when you think of electric solar panels you think that this is a new technology, well it isn’t. Solar panels have been used and developed in the 1700’s in France. They took a while to catch on to the masses and even now they are slow to grasp the general public because of the expense of the equipment and the maintenance.

In 1954 we figured out how to harness energy using silicon-based solar cells in California, the sunniest of all places in the US. Which is the home of electric solar panels; this idea has been discovered and rediscovered many times. The issue is the expense of the equipment, weather and accessibility along with the monopoly of the electric companies.

Electric solar panels have been used in California, Texas and the plains states for many, many important things that have proven they would be great for the economy. So we must convince the Governments on a federal and state level to pass legislation to support solar energy.

When you think about it, solar energy has been used to water crops and feed livestock whereas before, farmers would have enormous energy expenses. This cuts into the daily living of the people who consume the meat and grain products that the farmers sell to the corporations. It is simple, when the overhead is crazy expensive, so is the product that we are purchasing and this is driving the economy into a worse situation, this is why we have to take action.

The Government did pass legislation in 1978 to allow alternative power sourcing companies to interconnect with the existing power companies. Shortly after that in California, the largest producer in electric solar panels in Irvine out of Camarillo CA. was born and still functions today maintaining their reputation.

Shortly after that, the LUZ-SEGS was born in the Mojave Desert. This is the world’s largest thermal energy facility. It looks really neat to visit if you get the chance and you are into alternative sources of energy.  It has the power plant in the background with rows and rows of mirrors that reflect the sunlight into the PV cells. The history of this company is interesting; they ran into financial issues and were sold but the new owners picked the business up again shortly thereafter and they are still generating power some 20 years later!

In 1996 the US Government began to run an extension of the ‘Solar one; program to the ‘Solar two’ program which ran until its end some years later. The programmer proved that the system could create, draw and use power even when conditions were cloudy long-term and when there was no sunshine at all.

There are many prototype town that are built solely on solar energy and electric cars along with crops and services which promote self-sufficiency. These prototypes are set to grow in the United States and in spotty parts of the world like Germany and parts of Scandinavia. For more information, please visit: electric solar panels in Irvine

Original Article on SEPCO

Infographic: The Impact Of EV Solar Charging Stations

Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly more popular for many reasons. Not only do they save you money at the pump, they also are a healthy alternative to modern forms of transportation. And the amount of emissions given off is decreasing as technology for these vehicles increases. The more of these cars on the road means less pollution in our air. Studies have shown future electric vehicles will emit little to no pollution. The infographic lays out the health benefits and overall advantages that come with these vehicles. The downside is that they do not have the distance capability like gas-fueled cars. However, studies have shown that soon they will be able to outperform their gas-guzzling counterpart. Already, big car companies like Nissan, Chevrolet, and Ford have all come out with their own electric vehicle. Today, more and more people are making more of a conscious effort to do good for the environment. Convert to solar charged driving today and do a good thing for your environment.

Infographic courtesy of Baker Electric Solar.

Original Article on SEPCO

Infographic: Top 10 Green Ways To Improve Our Cities

The environment is in danger, but fortunately, going green can help save the environment from further degradation. One of the things that people can do to save the environment is reduce waste consumption by encouraging recycling. Seventy-five percent of the waste in the United States is recyclable. However, studies have shown that only five percent of it is recycled.

Converting from heating oil to natural gas can also save the environment. Gas is much cleaner than oil. It also burns 30 percent less carbon dioxide. New York City plans to totally eliminate its use of heating oil by 2030. Natural gas is not only better for the environment, but it is also cheaper.

Additionally, the environment can be saved if there were more electric cars available. Electric cars use 50 to 60 percent less petroleum than regular cars. Furthermore, some people argue that electric cars perform better than regular cars.

 

Original Article on SEPCO

The New Revolution in Energy Jobs: Green Energy Jobs

Years ago, no one thought in terms of ecological home and building designs. Today it’s the norm, as the world turns toward sustainable energy. As this revolution expands, it will prove to be the catalyst for new jobs, in an industry sector that will have a wide range of different opportunities. The building designs of today, will give way to future designs that will include:

  • energy efficient ratings
  • construction materials, that reduce carbon footprints
  • micro-renewable, and
  • recyclability

These are a just a few of the changes that will be part of the building designs of tomorrow. Before buying a home, people will ask for energy audits, and use these as a part of their decision making process. Business startups now include those that will help homeowners to reduce energy, and make homes more saleable, by increasing its energy efficiency. It will also include large industrial buildings that need to save money by employing energy saving techniques and green resources.

Green energy will lead to a host of new job classifications across the world. These jobs are available today for those qualified, and will expand rapidly in the future as new technologies come online. The pace of technology is picking up almost on a monthly basis, and future job seekers will need to stay educated on all the new techniques that industries will employ. Companies will be looking for workers that are certified by national organizations, and for workers that maintain their qualifications by upgrading their knowledge base, as technology innovation expands.

Energy renewable resources and energy efficiency will dominate the next decade as companies expand into areas of:

  • solar
  • wind
  • geothermal technology
  • oceans
  • hydropower
  • gas from landfill sites
  • municipal solid waste

Energy efficiency areas that will produce new jobs include:

  • maintaining appliances with energy star ratings
  • lighting in homes and offices that are energy efficient
  • thermostats that are programmable
  • combing power and heat for cogeneration
  • manufacturing equipment that is energy efficient, and
  • buildings that are LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)

People who are educated in these disciplines will be able to find employment in a number of areas. Currently state and the federal governments are offering grants and scholarships to people wishing to study in these areas. Most studies can be done through online education sites that are part of recognized institutions, and can be schedules around times that are suitable to those studying.

New job opportunities are opening up today and more are expected in the future. Currently universities are already training people to fill these openings, and the more education people have in this area, the more choices will be available to them. Online websites are being developed to help companies fill their current searches for green energy employees.

Now is the perfect time for people who want to change careers, soldiers returning home, and those facing long-term unemployment, to start studying to fill these positions. Green energy jobs will continue to evolve in different areas over the next ten to twenty years, and education especially in the field of Solar Training & Certification, will be the main qualification and driver of who is chosen to fill a position.

The “Green Revolution” is expected to provide millions of jobs worldwide and those educated in these areas will have the security of long-term job security.

Everblue’s mission of “TRAINING EARTH’S SUSTAINABLE WORKFORCE”, addresses the environmental and climate challenges facing the global community, through exceptional hands-on training and education. We specialize in providing intense green jobs training for government employees, architects, engineers, property managers, facility managers, and general contractors.

Original Article on SEPCO

In Focus: Solar Dock Lights

On any coastal town, docks are a familiar sight to see. A lot of times people go out early in the morning and come home late at night. Providing power for lighting to these areas can be complicated, especially if no infrastructure is nearby. Solar power for the dock lights can be the perfect solution, as well as solar for powering small tools needed for the maintenance of the boat and dock alike.

Solar dock lights range from small one LED fixture to bright high powered flood lights. These lights can be easily powered by solar since shading is typically not an issue and the units are self-contained and do not require additional wiring brought to the dock location.

The lights can be powered from dusk to dawn or for any other type of run profile. They can also be switch activated to run only when you require them to run. The battery backup is sized for the application you require and be remotely mounted.

Solar power systems can be used to provide power for other applications as well including to operate small tools or other charging applications. The solar power can be mounted along with the lighting applications providing sustainable power to fit both needs.

Original Article on SEPCO

Big Box Retailers: All About Solar Power

In the news lately we have been hearing about big box stores going green by installing solar power on their stores. Which retailers are expanding their renewable energy strategies in an effort to make the world a little greener?

WalmartLogo

Wal-Mart just announced a large solar power installation on their 100th store in California. They are working in conjunction with SolarCity on the project and plan to build more stores with large solar power installations in the coming years.  Wal-Mart also employs other forms of renewable energy like natural lighting that automatically switches to commercial lights when there is a lack of natural light

IKEALogo

 

IKEA has installed solar power on a vast number of its stores.  Fact is that IKEA has always promoted sustainability by offering flat packed products that employ minimal amounts of packaging. Now, with the addition of solar power, perfectly designed to take advantage of the store’s huge rooftops, IKEA is fast becoming one of the greenest big box retailers on the planet!

KohlsLogo

Kohl’s is new to the solar energy game but they are quickly gaining traction. Their plan is to increase the solar power installed on their stores by 25% by the end of the 2012. Kohl’s also purchases renewable energy credits and has installed two wind farms to help offset their energy consumption.

What about the rest of the big box stores? While there are not any other large retailers employing solar to help power stores, there are a considerable number of big box retailers on the EPA’s partner list that are active in helping support the development of renewable energy. This list includes companies like Best Buy, Lowes, Staples, Whole Foods, etc.

Beyond big box retail stores, many large consumer package goods companies are stepping up their renewable energy efforts.  Campbell Soups recently installed solar power on the rooftop of their Ohio plant while Coca-Cola has installed solar on their manufacturing plant in California.

With more and more large companies recognizing their responsibility to help the world become a greener place, I think the solar power will continue to grow among small and large companies alike worldwide. What other companies are stepping up their renewable energy efforts?

Original Article on SEPCO

5 Reasons Your Off-Grid Solar Lighting System Fails

Whether you purchase large off-grid commercial solar light systems or smaller off-grid  home solar light systems, there are generally only a handful of reasons these lights will fail.  Hopefully after reading this list you will be able safeguard your off-grid solar lights against failure thus ensuring many, many years of trouble-free operation.

1. Solar Panel is Located in the Shade

Shading is very bad for your solar panels. Solar panels use sunlight to gather energy that is stored in the battery to power the light fixture at night. Shade prevents maximum amounts of sunlight from going through to the solar panel which in turn severely inhibits the solar panel’s power production capabilities which in turn has an adverse effect on your off-grid solar light system.  Seems simple, but you would be amazed at how many off-grid solar lights we have seen installed under a bush, tree, or some other obstruction that shades the solar panel.

SolarLight2. Light is Located Above the Solar Panel

The charge within the solar panel is what lets the system controller know when it is dusk and thus time to turn the light fixture on.  If the light fixture is installed above the solar panel, the system controller will think it is daytime and shut off the light fixture.  As such, the solar panel needs to be installed above the light source or in a remote location away from the light fixtures.

3. Solar Panel Doesn’t Face the Correct Direction

Since the sun moves from east to west in North America, the optimum amount of sun is collected when the panels are facing South. If solar panel is not facing South, its sunlight harvesting and power production capability will be severely inhibited—thus negatively impact off-grid solar light system performance.

4. Solar Light or Panel is Undersized for the Job

A high quality off-grid solar light system is designed using a meticulous combination of calculations revolving around light fixture power consumption, load, solar insolation (based on geographic location of project) and autonomous battery storage to name a few.  If any of these calculations are not performed properly, the net result will be a poorly design system that is suspect to failure.

5. Lamps or Batteries Need to be Changed

The only scheduled maintenance required for a high quality off-grid solar lighting system is a) light fixture lamp change and b) battery change.  The typical life expectancy of a CFL lamp is 20,000+ hours while high performance LED lamps are rated to last well beyond 100,000+ hours.  The battery life expectancy within a properly designed off-grid solar lighting system is 5-7 years.   If the system is not operating properly—and the solar panels are facing South and are not shaded and the system calculations/design are done properly,  chances are high that its either time to replace the lamp of the batteries.

By making sure your solar lights are installed properly will ensure many, many years of reliable operation for any application. What other reasons do you think solar lights typically fail?

Original Article on SEPCO

In Focus: Solar Power Street Light Design

Ever wonder how solar powered street light projects are designed? Here is a step by step guide.

Step 1 – Find area in need of street lights

The first thing to figure out is the length of road in need of street lights. This can be a small entrance road only a couple hundred of feet long to miles of streets through an area. Does the area currently have any type of lighting available? What is the reason for needing street lights in this area?

Step 2 – Find out if electric is available

Is the electrical grid already nearby or would you need to call in the power company to bring in electrical lines? If the electric needs to be brought to the area, how much is this going to cost? Depending on how far the grid electric is from the location of the needed lighting, this can be quite expensive.

Step 3 – Determine the lighting requirements

How much lighting is needed on the street? Do the lights need to be dark sky compliant? Do the street lights need to run from dusk to dawn or for only a specified number of hours at night? Are the street lights able to dim in the middle of the night and still provide enough lighting? These questions need to be answered before you can decide on how many lights you will need to complete the project.

Step 4 – Find all alternatives

Solar power street lights are an option to traditional electrical lights. Solar street lights do not need the electrical grid to be brought in as they are self-contained units that provide their own electric. LED street light fixtures provide the best lighting solution by using lower amounts of power, better optics, dimming features where needed, and cost less in an overall solution.

Step 5 – Contact companies for quotes

The last step after gathering the above information is to contact companies for quotes. Just like with anything else, get multiple quotes and weigh the pros and cons of every company and situation. The lowest quote is not always the best, so make sure to do your research on companies and products before you submit a purchase order.

If you take your time, do your research, and gather needed requirements, your next street lighting project will be a success. Never be afraid to ask a lot questions, they may save you time and money in the long run.

Original Article on SEPCO

Having A Green Memorial Day

Memorial Day is this weekend. What are you doing to keep your festivities green? Here are some great tips to help you reduce your impact and still have a great time.

Red Solo Cup – I’m sure most of you have heard the song by Toby Keith; if not check it out. Solo cups are decomposable, recyclable, and can now be put in your compost pile. Finally, I put mine through the dishwasher and reuse them until they break and then recycle them.

Finger Foods – Make simple and easy to handle food like hot dogs, kabobs, cupcakes, etc and reduce the need for plates and cutlery. If your party really needs things like plates and cutlery, why not pick up inexpensive plastic plates that can go through the dishwasher and be reused for other parties. You can do the same with plastic cutlery.

Local Products – Watermelon is one of my favorite things to eat when it is hot, and here in South Florida it is almost always hot. Go to your local fresh market and purchase all the produce you need for your party and help local farmers. Same goes for other local vendors that have what you may need.

Make your Decorations – Like in the picture above, you can make your own decorations that will last from year to year. Paint empty cans any way you want, punch in a few holes, and put in a candle. Or tie large ribbons on jars, chairs, or anything else. After the party is over, you can box up the decorations and use them again next year.

Give Thanks – Don’t forget what Memorial Day is all about and give thanks to all the soldiers that have fallen. And if you are a soldier or know one personally I want to say thank you for everything you have done.

Well there you have it; a few ideas on how you can make your party fun but still be green. I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend.

Original Article on SEPCO