Let the Sun Shine…For Safety’s Sake
I thought I had the latest?…but now A revolution in lighting is tapping into the energy of the sun, with the promise of making our lives brighter and safer. Two big changes are making this possible – advances in technology through the use of low-energy, brilliantly-lit tiny bulbs called LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) and more efficient solar “batteries” that collect power from sunlight.
And it’s not just our well being and wallets that benefit; the environment gets a safety boost too! Harnessing solar power cuts use of regular batteries and electricity generated from coal, gas and oil – all of which cause pollution. Sun-powered innovations that save money and the environment, while making life safer, include:
- Flashing LED cycle lights that cost nothing to run and can be seen from a greater distance.
- Outdoor lights that illuminate paths and driveways that are way brighter than their predecessors, reducing the risk of falls.
- Ultra-bright security lights, with motion detectors that improve home protection.
Even without the sun, battery- and mains-powered LEDs produce so much light, they’re far more safety-effective in flashlights, home lighting and key chains, and devices like traffic signals and hands-free headgear used in places like crawl-spaces. More are on the way.
The great thing is that most of these items are now easily available. You can buy them at hardware stores and online. Of course, they don’t need wiring, they’re maintenance free, and they’re not expensive – the cycle lights start at around $15 and the security system with motion detectors around $35.
However, it’s important to note that not all solar systems are suitable for all areas. And when you buy lighting, you need to be sure that replacement bulbs are available. The Department of Energy offers useful guidance on solar energy and LEDs.