Lighting has long been an important asset to any RV park. But solar lighting is a new invention that is proving to be an extremely cost-effective way to improve the appearance and safety of your property. So what is achievable with solar lights in your RV park?
First of all, why use solar to begin with? There are several reasons you should consider this type of lighting.
- It doesn’t require wiring. OK, that’s the biggest reason. Wiring is expensive and requires a certified electrician. It’s similar to the ink cartridges for your computer printer – the unit itself is cheap to trap you into huge costs later. Therefore it’s not really the cost of the electrical fixture, but the cost of wiring it into your system that really adds up the expense. Sometimes a $200 light fixture costs over $1,000 to wire into your power grid.
- It doesn’t require monthly electrical cost. Solar energy comes from the sun and – unless the price changes – that’s free. All you do is install the fixture and it charges by day and turns on at night.
- It’s environmentally sustainable. Renewable energy is environmentally friendly and in vogue right now. Many customers will be impressed that you are thinking “green”.
The types of solar lights and their price
There are three types of solar units that we have used recently, each with their own purpose:
- Bollards which mark and light paths. These are important features of any RV park and provide invaluable safety when it’s dark out. You can buy these bollard solar lights for around $200. These are an exceptional value as the cost to run the wire over a vast distance along a trail or path would cost a fortune.
- Coach lights that mark individual lots. Many RV parks have a light feature to denote each lot, provide ambient security light and to allow for the ability to see what you’re doing after dark. You can buy these fixtures for around $200 each. By not having to wire them, you will save a huge amount.
- Street lights that illuminate a larger area. Solar lighting does not end simply at smaller fixtures that illuminate smaller areas – they now include large 20’ high streetlights. Once again, the cost savings on these is huge since they don’t require any electrical work to install them. Due to their large size, they’re not cheap at around $1,000 per unit. But when you compare a similar electric unit of that size, they are still a fraction of the cost when power is included.
Is there anything as effective for the money?
It should be noted that these fixtures pay dividends both in the day and night, as they look great when the sun is shining. Repetitive design elements give the customer a feeling of professionalism and value for their money. So the addition of light fixtures is only partially for when it gets dark, and partially for the positive impact on daytime aesthetics.
But there are also certain limitations
Although solar lighting has made great advancements over the past few years, there are still some important limitations to these type of units.
- They require the sun to charge, and when it’s cloudy they won’t be able to store enough power to turn on and run the necessary hours. In addition, they cannot last all night, so they will naturally run out of power before dawn.
- Solar lights – despite improvements – are still not nearly as bright as conventional lights. However, this can actually be beneficial in some cases, as your customers in the RV park are not desiring daylight at night, but merely ambient light to keep them oriented.
A great way to increase the desirability and safety of your RV park is through the installation of solar-lighted fixtures. They are relatively inexpensive to purchase and don’t require any wiring or monthly power cost.