The cities of Goleta and Visalia, Calif., are demonstrating that commercial solar outdoor lighting is a good lighting solution for bicycle trails. The solar setup eliminates the need to install wiring infrastructure to connect to the electrical grid. This saves money compared to grid-connected lighting, while also preserving sensitive natural environments.

Sol Inc. recently completed the installation of commercial solar outdoor lighting along the Maria Ignacio Creek Trail, a 3.22-mile paved path that follows the canal of the same name in Goleta, Calif. The trail is a popular with pedestrians in West Santa Barbara and Goleta, as well as with recreational and semi-pro cyclists, bicycle commuters and cyclists traveling the Pacific coast route.

The city of Goleta, which is the home of approximately 80 high-tech research and development firms, is located adjacent to the University of California at Santa Barbara. The trail offers a convenient way for students and commuters to avoid busy streets, as well as the chance to experience the wildlife and birds that live along the creek.

Thirty solar LED lights were installed by the county of Santa Barbara along a 1,750-foot portion of the trail in Goleta. The addition of solar outdoor lighting through Goleta’s portion of the trail completes the lighting along the entire bicycle path, bringing the total number of solar lights installed to more than 300. The lighting enhances safety for commuters that use the trail during evening hours.

The installations cost a total of $117,750, which includes solar LED lights, poles and the controller unit. The solar units eliminate the cost of trenching, wiring and other expenses associated with connecting to the electricity grid — plus there are no electricity bills. Also, there’s no need to dig up the natural landscape.

One advantage of commercial solar outdoor lighting is that it continues to shine during power outages or brownouts. The batteries that power the solar lights store the sun’s energy, so the lights can continue to shine for five days without sunshine. The solar units provide security lighting during blackouts when traditional outdoor commercial lights, such as sodium vapor or metal halide, fail to perform.

Another California city that is using Sol’s solar commercial outdoor lighting is the city of Visalia, located in the San Joaquin Valley approximately 190 miles north of Los Angeles. In photo at right: Sol solar fixtures light up the night in Visalia. Visalia recently completed the installation of nearly 30 solar commercial outdoor lights along the 3,600-foot Packwood Creek Trail. The Sol 20/20 systems that were installed feature long-life LED luminaires. The installation is the third commercial solar outdoor lighting project that Visalia has installed in recent years.

Visalia chose to install solar lighting because of the cost savings when compared with electricity provided by grid-tied lights. And as in Goleta, the addition of solar lighting has enhanced the utility of the trail, which is used for walking, running and bicycling, by promoting its use in the evening hours.

Palm City, Fla.-based Sol specializes in solar outdoor commercial lighting, with more than 60,000 installations in 60 countries on six continents. Go here more information on Sol’s solar commercial outdoor lighting.

Learn about Sol Inc.’s recent installation of 20/20 solar LED lighting at Indian River State College in this video.

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