6 reasons why solar street lighting is the solution for a sustainable future.

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6 reasons why solar street lighting is the solution for a sustainable future.

The time to move away from electrically powered street lights has well and truly come. Electrically powered street lights were designed in the 19th century and built for the era. There’s no denying that such technology was innovative for its time; however, technology has come a long way over the past 200 years and with it the development of sustainable technologies such as solar street lighting that has paved the way forward on a large scale. 

Solar street lights provide outdoor street lighting sourcing their power directly from the sun through photovoltaic or PV panels.  

In Australia, there are 2.3 million serviced street lights, amounting to an estimated annual cost of $125 million taxpayer expenditure. 

“The amount of emissions caused by electrical street lights in local communities 

lies between 30 to 60 percent, between regional or metropolitan areas.”

 – Lead Designer at LeadSun Australia, Matthew Jones 

As sustainable technologies become more readily available in Australia, and the benefits of solar powered solutions become widely known, solar street lights are becoming increasingly adopted by eco-friendly towns and communities across the country. 

Read more about the many benefits of solar street lighting below:

Solar Street Lighting

  1. Reduces carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels at a large scale. 

Traditional street lights are electrically powered through an underground grid system. 

Not only is the traditional approach expensive, but large amounts of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas are required to produce electricity to power lights for large densely populated areas like cities. 

Solar street lighting transforms energy directly from the sun, requiring absolutely no power from the grid.

2. Non-destructive installation with energy sourced from the sun  

Installing extensive and expensive underground electrical systems is destructive to the surrounding environment.

Furthermore, electrically powered street lights need to be constantly connected to a power source, this greatly limits where they can be installed.

Leadsun’s smart solar lighting is installed using EZY-pole concrete-less footing which requires no underground cabling and therefore no destruction to the natural surroundings.

3. Increased public safety and use of community spaces 

Walking trails, shared pathways and car parks become more inviting and accessible with solar street lighting, encouraging greater activity and use of shared community spaces. 

Solar street lighting also makes for safer community spaces.  Ambient and welcoming shared community spaces inspire increased activity and engagement, along with decreased rates of crime.

4. Keeping streets alight during power outages and blackouts 

Traditional street lights are the first to go during a power blackout. Solar street lights are the reliable solution to community wide power blackouts and are 100% dependable during power outages. 

5. Adaptive technology that saves solar power for when it’s needed most. 

Leadsun Solar Street Lighting is integrated with adaptive lighting technology that intuitively responds to the surrounding environment. 

Smart Solar Street Lighting’s advanced sensor technology responds to movement in the surrounding environment, automatically dimming to 30% when no motion is detected, reserving solar power only for when it’s needed most. 

6. Smart wireless control and monitoring 

Leadsun advanced smart solar lighting systems can be configured from anywhere in the world. 

Solar powered lights can be turned on, off, dimmed and monitored from any device, anywhere, anytime. 

Most notably, solar lights can be programmed for various lighting schedules, and have advanced data logging systems that provide core information on system performance and maintenance. 

Solar street lighting is rapidly becoming the norm in communities across the world. As the cost-effective, reliable alternative to electrically powered street lights, solar street lights are the sustainable option for widespread lighting, reducing carbon emissions and decreasing environmental harm while providing greater community safety and satisfaction. 

Victorian councils ask women to map unsafe public spaces, what’s your story?

Victorian councils ask women to map unsafe public spaces, what’s your story?

In a recent podcast on RN Breakfast, Fran Kelly hosted Dr Nicole Kalms and Nia McMartin as they launched their new public safety project, ‘Your Ground’; Which empowers gender diverse and women to mark areas where they feel safe and unsafe, providing councils with vital information for community safety.  

Your Ground Interactive Map

The pair explained the project had developed from numerous factors, including a recent OECD index that found…

50% of Australian Women don’t feel safe walking alone at night”.  

Lighting in public spaces was discussed, where ‘more nuanced’ lighting solutions were the key to making women feel safe, rather than the ‘brighter is better’ approach.  

Cooma Creek Shared Pathway with Solar Lighting Upgrade

Leadsun whole-heartedly supports the ‘Your Ground’ project to identify open space areas that are considered ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’ – particularly at night; research has identified that smarter designed public lighting systems can lead to improving the feeling of safety compared to over-lit or unlit areas. In early 2020, Leadsun partnered with the City of Cooma (NSW) to design and deliver a SMART solar-powered public lighting system that was cost-effective in improving safety along the Cooma Creek trail in the evening. To find out more, visit us here

Australia’s Pathway to a NET ZERO emissions future

Scott Morrison’s Speech to BCA

PM Scott Morrison addressed Australia’s efforts on global warming in a speech to the Business Council of Australia at the annual dinner in Sydney. He explained his ambition to reach the Paris agreement of Net Zero Emissions by 2050 will be centered around “the factories of our regional towns and outer suburbs. In the labs of our best research institutes and scientists. It will be won in our energy sector”.

PM Scott Morrison addressing the BCA

While the PM did not give specifics of his plan to achieve the goal, he did mention that Australia needs to “change our energy mix over the next 30 years on the road to net zero emissions”. His comments refence the growing efforts worldwide to switch from traditional forms of energy production to newer and greener renewable energy production.

Traditional form of energy production

In his speech, he outlines that future plans would not involve “taxing our industries…off the planet”, citing it would hurt the livelihoods and employment for millions of Australians. Instead, he went on to say, “the key to meeting our [Australia’s] climate change ambitions is the commercialisation of low emissions technology,” Mr. Morrison said.

Leaders and Laggers, How Does Australia Fair?

During 2019-2020, countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and the United States had all started their intent to meet the agreed 2050 emissions goals. Additionally, countries that are in the middle of passing laws to aid their emissions reductions are Germany, Canada and Spain. Further, countries who passed laws during 2017-2020 to meet their statements include the United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand.

Scott Morrison’s pledge to achieve the Net Zero Emissions agreement comes relatively late compared to most other prominent nations. Before Australia, 110 other countries had already promised their commitment to their emissions goal or enshrined their efforts in law. More information available here.

The Path Forward for Australia

Every nation will have a different economy and set of problems that require tailored solutions to meet. For instance, Australia currently has approximately 2.3 million street lighting lamps that provide the single largest source of carbon emissions for local governments: Total emissions through traditional public lighting accounts to roughly 30-60% of a LGA carbon emission. Additionally, not only do these lights produce large amounts of emission, they cost Australia $125 million annually. More Information available here.

Traditional public lighting street lamp

This problem will only become more overbearing when tackling Australia’s promise to become Net Zero, and also adds surmounting pressure on an already overloaded and unstable electricity grid.  Also, a key consideration is the prediction of huge growth in the urbanization and creation of new residential communities – particularly in regional areas across Australia (refer to the following graph below)

Near Enough Is Not Good Enough

Knowing that the number of future new-housing communities throughout Australia is set to grow by a further 25% (Approx.) by the year 2036 (from 2021), now is the right time to begin adopting readily available clean energy technologies, because sticking to the status quo – of using Traditional electric powered infrastructure will only continue to increase energy emissions, costs add more strain onto our already overloaded electricity grid that ultimately future generations of Australian’s will pay the price for.

Australia’s SOLAR Opportunity in Getting to ZERO by 2050

As the world’s leading authority in SMART solar street lighting, Leadsun believes that the path forward for Australia to meet its net zero emissions goal is also ensuring that all NEW public street lights utilize best-in-class, Solar SMART technology that is ready NOW, to help accelerate Australia’s goal of being net zero by 2050.

In 2019, Leadsun began the largest ever solar street lighting project in the USA by beginning installation of over 10,000 smart solar streetlights.  These reliable lights have an estimated 25-year life span and are completely off-grid. Therefore, this US community of Epperson (located in Tampa Bay Florida), has ZERO Emissions generated from its new solar powered streetlights, unlike Australian Local Government area’s which average 30-60% emissions from still using grid powered streetlights. So, while the USA is benefiting from Leadsun’s environmentally friendly Solar lights, Australia is lagging 2 years behind in our efforts to reduce public lighting energy emissions.  

Leadsun Project – Epperson Estate in Tampa Florida, USA

There’s no need to imagine how Australian communities can replicate the same here; The technology is READY and AVAILABLE. With the Scott Morrison’s drive to meet ZERO NET EMISSIONS, and Australia’s prime solar energy conditions, we have a golden Solar opportunity to seize. To learn more about how Leadsun can help Australia accelerate to NET ZERO emissions, please follow this link to this revolutionizing case study and see how it too can be applied in Australia’s communities.

Leadsun is bringing SMART road lighting into all Australian municipalities – easily, affordably and efficiently. If you are looking for a dependable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar lighting solution to enhance your community’s public spaces, get in touch with us today.

Focus on walkability

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Focus on walkability ‘can make LGs a population drawcard’

Australians overwhelmingly want to live locally in walkable neighbourhoods close to parks, a new Heart Foundation study has revealed.

The survey also found that a sense of safety is high on the priority list for Australians when deciding where to live.

The foundation surveyed 2895 Australians on “what matters most to them in making neighbourhoods desirable, liveable and healthy”, with findings presented in its What Australia Wants: Living locally in walkable neighbourhoods report.

Heart Foundation Director, Active Living, Trevor Shilton said: “The ability to ‘live locally’ is enabled by having a neighbourhood where the things that you need such as fresh, healthy food, safe neighbourhood streets, and daily destinations are near to your home, ideally in walking distance”. 

He said the survey found that:  

  • Nine in 10 Australians feel that having access to fresh food within a convenient distance from home is very/somewhat important to them when deciding where to live; 
  • Nearly nine in 10 people feel that having a sense of safety is very/somewhat important to them when deciding where to live; 
  • Just over eight in 10 value having natural elements such as trees and plants;
  • Around seven in 10 Australians value traffic-calming measures;
  • Around seven in 10 also value a sense of community;
  • Eight in 10 people surveyed feel that having quality public open space close to them is very/somewhat important to them when deciding where to live; and  
  • Nearly eight in 10 people surveyed said it’s very/somewhat important to them that they can be active in their local area.

The research on what makes neighborhoods desirable, liveable and healthy is set within the Healthy Active by Design framework, a website created by the Heart Foundation to highlight how best-practice planning and design of buildings, streets, towns, and cities can improve Australians’ cardiovascular health.

Leadsun is bringing SMART road lighting into all Australian municipalities – easily, affordably and efficiently. If you are looking for a dependable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar lighting solution to enhance your community’s public spaces, get in touch with us today.

Yinnar Solar Footpath

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Yinnar Solar Footpath

“Community-led projects like this really demonstrate the benefits of transitioning to renewable energy, not only for the community but also in building a sustainable energy future for us all” – Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio.

For over ten years the community had identified lighting the one-kilometre path from the towns centre to their recreation reserve as a high priority project.

Safety concerns about people walking home next to a dark country road, particularly in the winter months, had always been a significant concern. However, the lighting would also allow the community to expand the use of their facilities.

Reticulated lighting was just too expensive and needed to be installed entirely, whereas solar-powered lights offered a cheaper, more flexible solution in which poles could be installed individually as funding became available.

The community association raised an impressive $20,000 for the solar pathway lights and was supported by the Latrobe City Council who contributed a further $20,000. The Latrobe Valley Authority granted a Community and Facility Fund worth $120,000 to complete the project in a single install.

Calls to improve lighting at Black Spots to Save Lives

Road-Safety

Calls to improve lighting on local roads to save lives

Lighting is a huge part of road safety, not only for cars and lighting black spots but also for visibility and the safety of pedestrians. With respect to pedestrians and roads in particular, according to Monash University research commissioned by walking health charityVictoria Walks, street lighting was identified as a potential issue that may help to reduce the risk of collisions at night time, with 11 percent of crashes that occur while it is dark take place in locations with no street lighting.

Lighting has been shown to be one of the most immediately impactful ways to boost both the actual and perceived safety levels of public spaces and roads. However, traditional electric lighting systems tend to present significant cost and logistical barriers due to roads and footpaths needing to be dug up for the required underground trenching and cabling. Within this context, SMART solar road lighting is the perfect solution for lighting dark spots on intersections, roundabouts, and pedestrian and cycling paths.

Research suggests there is a 35 percent reduction in road crashes when street lighting is implemented or improved.

Not only is smart solar road lighting a significantly more cost-effective solution due to there being no underground trenching and cabling required, it offers faster project turnaround times compared to grid-powered lights and flexibility as to where lights can be positioned. There are also clear environmental and social benefits – some might even say obligations – for governments to choose sustainable lighting sources moving forward.

Increasingly across Australia, local councils are overcoming the difficulty and cost of lighting dangerous intersections or long stretches of road by installing solar street lighting in situ of traditional grid-powered lighting. Successful road safety projects have already been completed in cities and towns across Queensland, Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales – with many in response to community pressure to help fix known problem areas.

Lit by the clean energy of the sun, Leadsun’s smart solar lighting is designed for local roads and is a sustainable solution ideal for increasing safety on poorly lit roads and intersections. These lights allow local councils in particular to be SMART city ready and meet growing community expectations that public space solutions minimise environmental impact. They also offer councils the freedom to connect and scale lighting solutions quickly, easily and cost-efficiently.

As smart public lighting specialists working with local government and corporate partners since 2005, Leadsun are leaders in providing efficient, smart public lighting solutions that enhance the safety of communities across Australia and the world. 

Leadsun is bringing SMART road lighting into all Australian municipalities – easily, affordably and efficiently. If you are looking for a dependable, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solar lighting solution to enhance your community’s public spaces, get in touch with us today.

10 News Coverage – The future of residential street lighting

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Australian solar technology is leading the world

The future of street lighting has now arrived! Leadsun is excited to finally announce the launch of our FREEDOM series, which is a SMART urban solar lighting solution designed for communities of the 21st century.

After more than three years of development in Melbourne, Leadsun has partnered with a leading developer of Master-planned communities in Florida, USA. Leadsun’s FREEDOM solar lights were chosen to help transform their new residential developments into the world’s smartest and most modern residential communities. So far, over 1000 lights have been successfully installed with a further 10,000 solar street lights locked-in to be deployed over the next few years.

Now is the time for progressive Australian residential property developers to utilise this new grid-free street lighting technology that has full wireless connectivity capabilities, DARK SKY compliance, and is future-proofed to power smart city devices like CCTV, public Wi-Fi access points, and more.

Click here to learn more > http://bit.ly/SMART-Urban-Lighting

Solar Tree

Solar Tree

A Big Idea!

Leadsun was invited to partner with City of Melbourne’s Industrial Design Team to create a modern, innovative and sustainable outdoor sculpture by converging Leadsun’s proprietary ‘All-In-One’ Solar + Battery + LED technologies into a spectacular tree-like sculpture that also demonstrates that we can power and light out cities with solar energy.

The Solar Tree is a big idea by Leadsun to help demonstrate City of Melbourne’s ambitious target to become carbon neutral.

The tree provides the community with a place to rest, recharge their mobile devices whilst promoting a positive social impact ensuring our public spaces are Smarter, Sustainable and Safer by harnessing the sun’s energy in a practical and functional way.

Did you know that although cities only cover 2% of earth’s landmass, they use nearly 80% of earth’s primary energy sources? Further to this, the biggest contributor to a municipality’s source of carbon emissions is from grid-connected public lighting infrastructure.

While our cities transition to renewable energy to replace existing fossil fuel electricity, the Solar Tree demonstrates the importance that collectively we must take simple steps to reduce our energy usage, not just in our homes and businesses but also in open public areas that require public lighting.

Honouring indigenous natural heritage

The Solar Tree isn’t just about technology, it’s also about sustainability and honouring the traditional and distinct nature of our municipality’s natural heritage by using reclaimed indigenous timber for the circular wooden seat located at its trunk.

The indigenous timber is selected by the local government and then hand-crafted and treated to look vibrant and elegant. It’s an important design element of the Solar Tree as it brings together both ‘nature & technology’ and the ‘past & the future’ all into one unique functional system.

Convenient meeting hub

The Solar Tree  is a great landmark and place to meet. With the timber seat able to accommodate three people, the Solar Tree has a convenient  three-way built-in USB charger at it’s trunk inviting users and visitors to sit under the solar panels and charge their smart devices 24 hours a day for free!

Technical Specifications

The Solar Tree utilises Leadsun’s innovative and proprietary ‘All-In-One’ solar-powered energy systems. The entire system features a combination of three 80W ‘Solar-Engines’ that collects and captures energy from the sun into the built-in Lithium-Ion batteries to then power the LED lights & USB chargers.

The energy produced from the Solar Engines is then distributed through its branches into ultra-efficient LED lighting fixtures featuring a motion-sensor and dimming capabilities. The Solar Tree  provides a beacon of light throughout the evening for safety, whilst demonstrating new-energy technologies through it’s USB charging station located at it’s base.

See it Live

The Solar Tree provides the perfect opportunity for municipalities to uniquely demonstrate their ambition for social & environmental leadership to the public as well showcasing new-energy technologies into public spaces & pop-up parks powered by the limitless energy of the sun.

Experience the power for yourself and charge your phone in safety under the lights of the Solar Tree located in the beautiful grounds of Birrarung Marr. The lights illuminate the granite sand and provides a warm inviting glow for the community to use the Solar Tree in the evening.

Light Relief – Channel 9 News story campaigning for more accessible and safer walking tracks

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Light Relief – Channel 9 News story campaigning for more accessible and safer walking tracks

Three times as many Victorians are searching for walking maps online and Heart Foundation figures show 31% of Australians were walking more during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Now, Victorian residents and fitness groups are being called on to lobby their local council to apply for a new State Government grant that provides funding to install solar lighting on popular pathways and recreational trails.

Victoria Walks Executive Officer Ben Rossiter is heading up the campaign to call for applications to the $68 million Community Sport stimulus program before they close on Friday (June 19).

“Since mid-March, Victoria Walks has seen exponential growth in the number of Victorians looking for great, safe places to walk,” Dr Rossiter said.

“With so many more people realising the benefits of walking, it’s really important councils invest in good walking infrastructure and that includes lighting. Twice the rate of women than men walk, and for many, personal safety can be a major concern but good lighting can help with that.”

Melbourne-based Leadsun is a world leader in solar public lighting and associate member of Victoria Walks. Managing Director Matt Pollard said just as sporting clubs upgrade facilities, walking groups and residents are now calling for improvements to pathways and trails.

“Many of the recreational trails where people love to walk are in areas where you can’t get traditional street lighting in or it’s too expensive to even try,” Mr Pollard said.

“In most cases, people either won’t use the path before dawn or after dark, or they’ll walk with an iPhone or torch to try to see where they’re going. One for one, solar lighting is more cost effective than traditional electrical public lighting as there’s no need for extensive trenching, no electrical wiring and the power stores in the battery for three days.”

Dr Rossiter said Victoria Walks had supported previous campaigns to have solar lighting installed across Victoria and urged residents to contact their local council before applications for the grant closed.

“Walking is an activity Victorians want to do. You don’t need special equipment, and you can do it with your family, with friends or by yourself and if you shine a light on a path, it’s more likely to be used,” he said.

“We want to make it more accessible and improve walking conditions, so it’s very important residents talk to their council so we can use the pathways day and night.”

Wodonga Council lights the way

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Wodonga council plans expansion of solar pathway network as the number of people walking increases

There are more than 100 solar lights illuminating paths across Wodonga with another 47 new lights to be installed in the next stage.

Deputy Mayor Cr Brian Mitchell and Manager Sport and Recreation Liona Edwards met with the founder of manufacturer Leadsun today to showcase the project and discuss the next stage.

The lights are along the House Creek trail through Wodonga including Belvoir Park to the Gateway Island with linkages to Birallee Park, David Bishop Park, Arthur Dunstan Park, Frank Krier and George Looms Park, Westlands Park, and James Taverny Park.

The next stage will cover Parkers Rd and Moorefield Park Drive to the underpass at Wodonga TAFE and complete the link from Forrest Mars Ave to Belvoir Park, a total of 47 new lights.

This continuation of path lighting will complete key linkages to the existing path networks already benefitting from previous installations and connect to major community facilities including Wodonga TAFE, Victory Primary School and La Trobe University.

The lights provide lit access to Wodonga CBD, schools, hospitals, sporting reserves and other amenities, and help increase perceptions for safety, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve natural surveillance.

Manager Sport and Recreation Liona Edwards said the rollout of the solar lighting project enhanced the extensive pathways network that was well-used by the community.

“The solar lighting project is an initiative that aims to enhance personal safety, deter antisocial behaviour and create improved levels of connectivity in the community,” she said.

Automated counters installed on each of the city’s key walking and cycling corridors – the House Creek Trail, the High Country Rail Trail and the Stock Bridge leading to Albury – show just how well-used our pathways are by the community.

Counters have shown an average of 101 per cent increase in usage during the past two months compared to the same time last year.

The latest path counter data taken along the House Creek Trail and the High Country Rail Trail showed that during the months of March to May, while the full COVID-19 restrictions were in place, more than double the regular users were making use of sections of the trails while gyms and sports clubs remained closed.

Helped by the newly sealed surface and furniture recently installed along the Rail Trail, average daily users increased by up to 171 percent near Whytes Rd and 89 percent closer into the CBA, while the recent addition of solar lighting assisted the House Creek Trail daily usage to increase up to 177 percent out by Clyde Cameron Reserve.