I'm worried solar lights won't work because of shade from surrounding trees

“I’m worried solar lights won’t work because of shade from surrounding trees”

If you’ve had this concern, you’re not alone. It’s a common and valid concern we hear from customers.

Most commercial grade solar lighting solutions are designed to perform in locations where they’re exposed to direct sunlight all day all year round, with no shade on the solar panel.

However solar lights can be an optimal solution for constant and reliable lighting, even in areas that are slightly shaded from tree canopies.

At Orca Solar Lighting we’ve delivered successful solar lighting projects in slightly shaded areas for councils, building and construction industries, mines and commercial entities.

To trust your solar lights will operate at peak performance in slightly shaded areas there are three factors you want to make sure your solar lighting provider has covered.

1. Your solar lights are designed for the purpose

Your solar lighting provider should carry out a comprehensive lighting design which includes selecting the best solar lights for your project and location, along with a thorough shading assessment of every solar light location.

During a shading assessment, accurate weather data is a key input and any shading from buildings, structures and fences are accounted for.

2. Workarounds for shade have been put in place

There are several workarounds that can be used to deliver successful solar lighting projects in areas with shade. These include:

  • Setting each solar light to the correct power model to allow for varying amounts of shade
  • Ensuring your solar lighting system’s battery and solar panel is the correct size and provides sufficient battery back-up to provide for slightly shaded applications
  • Determining if light poles should be powered by a ‘slave’ pole which has the solar panel and battery located in a shade free location, with a low voltage cable trenched and cabled to the light pole

3. They won't deliver a project that won't work

If a solar lighting solution won’t work for your project, a responsible provider will always let you know and will never supply the job.

It’s important to trust you’re working with a reputable supplier - you can trust your solar lighting supplier has been vetted if they’re a Local Government Procurement (LGP) or Localbuy preferred supplier.

Other markers can include a history of successful work (case studies) and referrals from people and companies you trust. If necessary, go out and inspect the provider’s lights at night.