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Solar vs. Traditional Street Lighting

During the summer in New Mexico, the days are stiflingly hot. Temperatures can soar over a hundred degrees and stay there for hours.

If you aren’t heading to your backyard pool or off to an air-conditioned store or movie theater, it won’t take long for the heat to feel stifling. Being trapped indoors can make you feel claustrophobic.

The heat isn’t just oppressive in the desert climate of New Mexico. In the summer of twenty twenty-one, temperatures in the Pacific Northwest climbed to well over a hundred degrees and stayed there for days.

The lines on the Max, Portland’s public transit system, started to melt in the heat. They were not built to sustain the extreme temperatures we’re now seeing as a result of climate change.

No matter where you are in the United States, you need a way to beat the heat.

One way to do this is to spend time outdoors outside of the hottest periods of the day. This means that you may be taking walks or playing outside after the sun goes down in the evening or before it rises the next morning.

Of course, you’ll want to be safe. If you live in an area where there is little outdoor lighting, taking a walk after dark might be too risky. Taking a stroll through a dark street in Los Angeles could get you mugged, kidnapped, or just plain old lost.

Doing the same in a rural environment could mean that you could find yourself in the midst of a pack of roving coyotes. Sure, they’re small, but they’re mighty and their teeth are sharp. You don’t want to find yourself in this predicament.

So what’s the solution? Wearing a self-cooling suit? Staying locked indoors for months on end?

It could be much simpler than that. All you need is Street lighting to keep you safe and active.


Street lights have a long history. They were first implemented in ancient Rome to help travellers move safely through the night.

The cobbled streets were uneven and waste channels ran alongside the road. A person out walking after dark could step in the wrong place and twist an ankle or even fall into public waste. This could result in sickness or even death.

The solution was to add lamps alongside the roadway. These lamps were oil powered and had to be lit by professionals each and every night. They also had to be snuffed out by the same professionals at the start of the next day, or they would continue to burn and waste fuel even as the sun shone down.

This system stayed in place for hundreds of years. The British Empire installed them all over their island as well as in places where they established colonies. One of those colonies, as you may remember from history class, was America.

Of course, now we are no longer a colony. We also have moved on from this antiquated system.

The next iteration of this helpful invention was gas-powered. Now it was no longer necessary to rely on the efforts of a few dedicated whale-hunters travelling the globe in search of some of the world’s most sensitive and intelligent animals to kill.

It was a step forward, but the changes weren’t done yet.

In the eighteen hundreds, the switch began to electric lamps. They were cheaper and cleaner and soon spread worldwide.  Click here for more information about this technology.

In the modern world, there are two different types of light that are widely used. The first is LED. These letters stand for light emitting diode. These energy efficient bulbs use up to ninety percent less energy than a traditional bulb, making it cheaper and easier than ever before to keep the streets illuminated.

You may have LED lamps on your street. The easiest way to tell is to look into the bulb after dark. LED lights tend to have a bluish tone to them as opposed to traditional bulbs, which are often yellow or white.

While LED lights are very common, a new invention is quickly overtaking them. These lights run off of solar energy. That means that they are able to create and store energy from the sun during the day, then run off of the stored power at night. Click the link: to find out more about this technology.

The sun provides an ongoing source of clean energy that is attractive to many modern-day consumers.

Head to Head

When considering installing new lights in your neighborhood, there are a few things to consider.

First, you’ll want to assess your current power grid.

If you’re in an unincorporated area, an LED light might be a challenging choice. That is because you’ll have to find a way to add on to the grid in order to make your lights work.

Solar, on the other hand, has the benefit of being self-sufficient. Each pole creates its own energy, which means there is no need to plug into a power source.

This can also be beneficial in the case of inclement weather. An LED pole needs to be plugged in. If the power grid is down, the light won’t work. But a solar light doesn’t suffer from the same weakness. Their powerful batteries can hold a charge for up to five days of uninterrupted power.


No matter which option you choose, installing new street lights can be a great way to improve safety and security.

Adding lights to a parking lot has been statistically shown to decrease incidents of violence. Adding these time-honored structures to your street is a great way to increase property values for every house and lot located there.

Take your time and do your research before committing to any one option.  Once you’re ready, take your pick and get to work! You’ll be glad you did.

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