August 31, 2022

By Anastazia Csegeny

Lights, natural or artificial, are important for everything we do. We rely on lights to read, write, drive, cook, clean, and so many other things every day. But it can be difficult to find cost-effective and energy-efficient lighting without skimping on brightness and taking up too much physical space. Thankfully, Daisy Energy, in partnership with Clear Blue Technologies Inc., is bringing a new kind of lighting into mainstream use: off-grid streetlight systems.

Off-Grid Lighting vs. On-Grid Lighting

Off-grid streetlights are a worthy successor to the on-grid streetlamps we have come to recognize as the primary outdoor lighting source for parking lots, recreational parks, sidewalks, and laneways. On-grid street lighting systems are unfortunately characterized by a number of pitfalls. High costs are expected when installing new streetlights since significant trenching and cabling is often required, and the ongoing costs of power usage and transportation quickly add up. On-grid systems are also energy inefficient, even if they use light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. And when disruptive and frustrating Canadian weather conditions take out an on-grid streetlamp, unforeseen downtime and a costly maintenance visit are certainly on the horizon.

Off-grid solar street lighting solutions effectively eliminate all the previous problems of on-grid systems, often with the added benefit of remote and cloud-based technology. Clear Blue’s Illumient Smart Off-Grid streetlights do not require any trenching or cabling, which already reduces upfront capital costs and the stress of installation. Additionally, the Illumience Cloud Control and Communications software grants the Clear Blue Technologies team remote monitoring capabilities 24/7, as well as the ability to ensure proactive and streamlined servicing. Every Illumient light features a wireless connection that transmits data over the internet, including voltage and current readings, battery temperature, and turbine frequency, which ensures your lights are functioning properly at all times.

Recent Installation Sites

Clear Blue Technologies have already proven the reliability of Illumient products and their Smart Off-Grid streetlights, with lighting installations across 9 Canadian provinces, 26 US states, as well as installations of their other Smart Off-Grid technologies in 37 countries across the globe. Their streetlights continuously withstand extreme weather environments, and they function well in both urban and rural landscapes. Many government bodies have already been implementing widespread smart lighting initiatives to light remote intersections, meet energy efficiency targets, reduce crime, upgrade older infrastructure, and take the next steps in transitioning to web- and cloud-based technology. Just recently, in August 2018, the Village of New Maryland in New Brunswick installed 13 Illumient off-grid streetlights along a two-lane highway running through the centre of the Village. With these new lights, New Maryland has been able to enhance their local business environment and encourage more tourists and residents to shop locally and experience the now welcoming and “downtown” feeling of the municipality.

The City of Hamilton, Ontario has also invested in off-grid streetlighting systems, particularly in parks and residential areas. On Mountain Brow Boulevard, 40 solar powered off-grid lights were installed in the park near the Niagara Escarpment. Since the land is composed of mainly limestone, trenching and cabling for electric lights would not have been an easy installation. The City was also interested in reducing utility costs, which led them to consider Illumient lights for the area. Mohawk Road East and Eringate Park also saw the installation of more than 60 off-grid lighting systems over the course of the past five years. Pedestrian sidewalks, park pathways, and an elementary school in the area are now illuminated by powerful and eco-conscious Illumient off-grid streetlights.

Meeting All Lighting Needs

Off-grid light systems can also be customized for specific purposes. Cities using Illumient lights have extended the versatile technology and software to include motion sensors and security cameras, which increases the system’s functionality for major roadways, bridges, and city streets. For businesses, similar to the installations in New Maryland and Hamilton, off-grid streetlights can illuminate storefronts and parking lots, which significantly increases safety for employees, customers, and clients who may be arriving or leaving the premises in the evening. Further, off-grid lighting can be constructed from a variety of different materials and installed to align with your existing business style and design. Batteries for the system can also be stored either internally or externally so they do not interfere with any of your business operations.

Daisy Energy is proud to be a part of the move towards sustainable off-grid streetlighting alongside Clear Blue Technologies and the innovative Illumient products. While exterior lights are certainly important for any business, they should not waste energy, disrupt your surrounding landscape and green space, or cause financial strife. If you think your business is ready to make the switch to a smart, energy-efficient, off-grid lighting system, contact Daisy Energy for a professional consultation, and we will work with you to find the solutions that best fit your design preferences and budget.