It’s clear to many, especially in the lodging and hotel business, that the effort to “go green” has been greater than ever. With the rising costs of energy, the biggest effort is to find renewable, cheap energy that hotels can rely on for decades. The daily use of electricity, water, heat, lighting, and whatever else a tenant or guest may need can make significant use of the most abundant energy source that everyone benefits from daily: the sun. Using renewable energy lowers costs, ensures continued business success, and keeps guests happy without cutting corners in order to set competitive prices.
Let’s take a moment to express why using solar powered LED lights for your business is better than ever in this day and age. The facts about solar may surprise you.
Is Solar Power Worth the Investment?
A little history lesson can reveal the direction where solar is headed and if it’s worth taking the initial plunge. In 1839, Alexandre Edmond Becquerel discovered the photovoltaic effect, a marvelous phenomenon that turns sunlight into electricity. It was a major step forward towards a new horizon where we could harness the power of the sun and use it to our benefit. The only problem at that time was the technology was incredibly inefficient at less than 1 percent. Now, a strong solar cell efficiency percentage is 35 percent, demonstrating that the technology has developed in the right direction. Over time, small incremental developments in PV technology have pushed solar cell technology into more viable, affordable territory.
The double-whammy of photovoltaics is that a decade ago, the cost per wattage produced by a solar panel was about $8.50. Today, the cost has reduced to approximately 3 dollars per watt. Plus, the individual components for solar—the module, inverter, and other electrical components—have all seen reduction in prices. That’s specifically the reason why many businesses today are altering their parking lot lighting to that of solar—the savings ultimately outweigh the upfront costs—and we tend to think saving money is something we all want to do.
Are Solar Powered LED Lights Difficult to Implement?
No, quite the opposite when compared to conventional lighting. Here’s why: conventional lighting methods—such as high-pressure sodium lights—require connectivity to a main power grid in order to function. No-brainer there. Solar lights are independent from any power source (except for the sun, that is) so there’s no underground work needed. If your lodge requires trenching, it can exceed several thousands of dollars, but don’t take our word for it—a quick search online reveals a linear foot trench can cost from 4 to 12 dollars each. And that’s just trenching. Plus, each solar light is unaffected in a power outage. You can be sure your guests will feel safe and secure in your surrounding area with solar parking lights illuminating your grounds. Want more facts? Some solar lights are portable, so your business can use them however needed, whether they’re for a construction project or you just need to shed some light on your grounds. Plus, angling your solar panels in order to maximize energy output is easier than you might think; there are plenty of tools online to help you find the proper angling to get more sun, even in the darkest of days.
What Other Benefits Can I Get from Solar?
Along with saved energy cost over time, a virtually endless supply of energy, grid-independent lights, low-maintenance operations, a minimized ecological footprint, and ensured safety for your guests, your lodge can actually qualify for the Solar Investment Tax Credit and save a whopping 30 percent on your solar lights installation. It’s important to recognize that this year may be the last to get the maximum benefit from it. Next year may not hold the same benefits and we doubt that the tax credit return will outweigh the savings if solar goes even cheaper or more efficient. Take it from me, I know the business well enough to justify others’ strategies on what and when to purchase. The timing couldn’t be more perfect to change your outdoor lighting to solar LED lights.
Scott Hanson is CEO of Greenshine New Energy. Greenshine New Energy specializes in developing and manufacturing customized solar outdoor LED lighting systems for a wide range of lighting applications. The company provides cost effective, industry leading and proprietary solar lighting solutions for commercial, residential, and industrial projects. Greenshine New Energy solar LED light systems are installed at over 5,000 locations all around the world. Go to www.streetlights-solar.com.