Monday, January 18, 2010

Making a difference with outdoor solar lights

A Florida company that manufactures solar lights, such as large parking lot and outdoor street lights is working to help in Haiti. They are donating lights to help with the relief effort that can be used in hospital areas and to help increase hours for aid.

It seems like such an obvious idea - why do outdoor lights not get power from solar? In practice it's not as easy as it sounds. You need lights you can count on and they need to be really bright to help. Consistency is not the strong suit of mother nature. The other outdoor lighting issues include rain, high winds, and sun damage. I even had ants move into the battery pack on my solar flood light experiment last year.

Sol is an innovative company in Palm City, FL that has been working on commercial solar lighting since 1990 and seems to have a good handle on what it takes. They use the location of where the lights will be used as a determining factor in the type of light. Strong winds and rain require the Tropical Storm Light model and that is what they are shipping to Haiti. You can read more about these at Treehugger and in the NY Times.
PS - Thanks to everyone that gave to WMNF for Haiti - the last tally I heard was right at $100,000 in one day!

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