Hi @Marvel_Equity! You have a lot of great questions about solar lights, and I’ll try to answer them here for you. I work for Gama Sonic Solar, and we want to be sure that people understand their options with solar lights and can make sure that they are the right fit for them. Solar lights are not a panacea and are not the best option for everyone. But in some cases, they can be the perfect solution. It all depends on your needs and your location. I’m going to go point by point and try to address your questions:
Few questions on how this works. One, i know when parks are built, non conforming but then sometimes the ordinance comes along and says new development requires .xx lumens or whatever the rating system is.
You will definitely want to look into the local regulations that impact your park. Some places have more strict rules around mobile home park lighting than others. For example, we’ve seen at least one community that specified that one lamp post needed to be placed every 4 lots, and they wanted to review and approve that lamp post, but they didn’t specify the lumens, style of light, or anything else about it – it was all approved on a case-by-case basis. So you will want to do your homework – locally – and read up on the requirements. Please do try to talk to people in person if you have questions about laws, codes, and ordinances. Usually, someone in the office in charge of these things will be happy to explain it to you. Document everything you are told, and if possible, double-check everything so you can be sure that you’re on the right side of the authorities.
So if the park is considered not bright enough, is that something you want to try and conform to regardless for liabilities sake?
It would be a good idea to speak to legal authorities to find out whether or not poor lighting is a legal liability in your jurisdiction. However, you can see a lot of evidence in favor of providing basic lighting around your property to enhance safety. At a minimum, it makes sense to provide enough light to enable people to see where they are walking so they can avoid trips and falls. It’s morbid to think about, but simple accidents and falls can kill. Most people would sleep easier knowing that they had done their part to help ensure a basic level of situational awareness and safety with proper outdoor lighting
Then when adding street lights, ideally you run underground but realistically trenching seems prohibitive for such a project. Then you can string overhead lines between lights but not as nice.
One reason why our customers will choose solar lights over gas or electric lights is the fact that digging, trenching, and wiring is completely unnecessary for solar. You can save a lot of time, money, labor, and bureaucratic red tape with solar lights. You can also place them just about anywhere you want (as long as they receive 4-6 hours of direct sunlight most days).
I don’t know if there is a solar street light. I am aware of the gamma sonic pieces but as I understand those are more “decorative” or our people able to hit the minimum lumen requirement with those?
There are many different kinds of solar street lights on the market. We provide “decorative” products and “functional” products (and even our functional products are styled to be attractive and fit a wide variety of architectural styles, from modern to traditional and in between). We definitely hit industry standards for light brightness. We do occasionally have customers who purchased low-lumen, decorative lights that are less than half of the brightness of some of our other models, and those customers will sometimes say that our lights aren’t bright enough. We think that is just a misunderstanding or miscommunication between their expectations, needs, and the lights they chose. That is why we try to make sure that our customers have as much information as possible before they invest in solar, and we are the first to say if we think a particular light may be a better fit, or to say that we don’t think our lights are the right fit at all. We want all our customers to be happy customers.
That being said, I answered a few other questions on the forum, and in those answers, we specifically address brightness needs and lumens. Here they are:
Lastly, you can add new poles but say you have power poles by the power company, I have sometimes seen existing lights on those. Maybe a case by case basis with the power company but if you can tack onto their poles and just be responsible for the lights, that would seem to ease the project depending on the pole layout. I guess there will be some variance to on placement if you can make it light enough in this fashion and still might have to add to areas with no reach.
And for the people that are typically doing these projects, are you using an electrician, are there exterior lighting companies, utility infrastructure contractors. Any tips on who to talk to are appreciated.
If you want to use solar lights, you can place them on top of existing poles without having to remove them. If you are installing poles, you will probably want to work with a contractor to pour a concrete base and mount the pole to that base. You also don’t need to use an electrician for solar lights. There are exterior lighting companies that can assist you in choosing where to place the lights and what products to use. Keep in mind that some of them are paid significant amounts for labor. Since electric and gas lights require more labor to install than solar lights, they may have an incentive to push you away from solar lights and towards electric and gas lights. Make sure you work with a trustworthy, honest outdoor lighting contractor or landscaper.
Wanted to reach out here first before getting clubbed over the head in the wild. And if you have done a recent project, if you are willing to share that would be great. I’ve seen some that are just treated wood poles, fancy aluminum. Different types of bulbs.
We do have happy mobile home parks, communities, HOAs, and cities across the country that we can give you as references. If you go to our youtube account (I’m at my link limit here so I’ll have to just tell you to google it), you can find some video testimonials.
I know Frank talks about how some residents might complain about adding lights. Ideally, you wouldn’t need to do that but if there is a mugging that is due to low lighting, I’m sure there is some type of case law on this. Or maybe there isn’t and it falls on the individual MH owners to keep the area around there homes lit?
Again, you will want to look at local regulations and laws. One of the responses I linked to above also talks about a reason why residents may not want lights: light pollution. In that article, I talk about why the need to avoid light pollution is one reason why you don’t always want to install blindingly bright lights. If the lights are too bright, your residents may actually be less able to see, because the lights could temporarily blind them if they look directly at them. Also, if lights are too bright, they create excessive shadows and contrast, which make it harder to see clearly. And the residents will not want lights that are so bright that they have to install light-blocking curtains to sleep, or can’t go stargazing in their yards. There is a happy medium between too bright and not bright enough, and in that happy medium your residents will feel safer but will not be annoyed by the lights.
Residents will also probably want to know that the lights being installed will be attractive, not eyesores, and will be maintained. We design Gama Sonic lights to be attractive and we make sure they are easy to maintain, repair, and replace. We also make sure they are designed to withstand all weather conditions and last for at least 10 years.
I hope this helps answer some of your questions. If you have any more concerns, you can shoot me an email at mj at gamasonic dot com or call us at (678) 736-8303.