Lighting bollards are everywhere you look and are one of the more common forms of subtle outdoor lighting options. This article will be taking a look at some of the key differences between hard-wired light bollards and light bollards that are solar powered. Once you are aware of the advantages or disadvantages of each, you’ll be better prepared to make an educated decision on which choice is right for you and your lighting project.
What Are Light Bollards?
We see bollards everywhere, in shopping centres, parks, pathways, homes and more. The standard non-lighting bollard is generally used as a form of barrier as they are made very strong, but also look good in the process. A typical bollard is a cylindrical shape with an average height of between three and four feet.
Lighting bollards still offer an attractive form of barrier, while at the same time providing subtle lighting to really add some practicality as well as ambience to a pathway or other area. Often you’ll find light bollards bordering small lakes in shopping malls, gardens, driveways in homes and the like. They are a cost-effective and very attractive addition to any place they are installed.
What is Hard-Wired Lighting?
Hard-wired lighting is lighting that is directly attached to the electricity supply. This could be via a power cord and plug, but generally hard-wired means directly wired into the electricity system itself. Hard-wired is not battery operated and doesn’t generally have any battery backup power.
The majority of lighting you see around the streets and in homes and buildings is hard-wired lighting. It’s been the standard way of installing lighting and other electric powered fixtures virtually since electricity was invented.
How Does Solar Lighting Work?
Solar powered lighting offers a stand-alone lighting solution that doesn’t need any intricate wiring. Solar lighting comes with solar batteries and a solar cell to collect its power directly from the sun. Generally, in a sunny country like Australia, so long as the solar lighting receives full sun during the day, the batteries will be able to store enough power to illuminate the light all through the night.
Solar powered lighting is also often automatic, meaning it’s programmed to turn on when the sun goes down and turn off again when the sun rises. Other solar powered lights might require the user to switch them on and off manually.
The Advantages of Solar Powered Light Bollards Compared To Hard-Wired Light Bollards
Like anything there are usually advantages and disadvantages to every option. However, there are certainly some very distinct advantages to installing solar powered light bollards over their hard-wired counterparts.
For starters, there is a lot more to the process of installing bollards that have to be wired into the electrical system. This means calling in the services of a licensed electrician to perform the installation, which will obviously be an added cost to the project that could really blow out your budget.
While on the subject of cost, running light bollards that have been hard-wired is an ongoing energy expense. Each month or quarter the cost of running these lights will be added to your electricity bill.
The installation process for installing hard-wired light bollards will also be considerably longer as the bollards don’t just have to be installed in the ground, but all the wiring attached as well.
Let’s now take a look at solar powered bollard lights.
Once the bollard has been installed, that’s it. Job done. Therefore, installation is far quicker, which also means it’ll be considerably cheaper without the need to hire an electrician or added labour.
Another obvious advantage is running costs. There really aren’t any. The lights are powered by energy from the sun, so once they are set up they are free to operate for as long as the solar batteries last, which can be up to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer of the light bollards. Some batteries can even store enough power to operate the lights for 4 consecutive nights during periods of rain and heavy cloud cover.
Possibly the only real disadvantage solar powered lighting has compared to hard-wired lighting is its reliability during extended periods of extremely poor weather.
Being solar powered, these light bollards are very kind to the environment and don’t put any extra drain on resources and the city’s energy supply. By installing solar powered light bollards you’ll be doing your part in helping save the planet.
Although hard-wired lighting definitely has its place, I think we’ve been able to illustrate that solar powered light bollards have more advantages over their hard-wired counterparts and are definitely worth seriously considering for your lighting project.
Images from Orca Solar Lighting