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.

Leadsun’s 15th anniversary in business

Leadsun’s 15th anniversary in business

2020 marks Leadsun’s 15th anniversary in business, and as pioneers in the solar street lighting industry, we couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve achieved over the last 15 years. Whether it’s creating a higher level of safety in the community by lighting up dark public spaces or providing a sustainable lighting solution to cut carbon emissions in communities, there is no challenge we have not overcome.    

Since 2005, we are extremely proud of the positive impact we have made to Australian communities and the challenges we have overcome.  And even in these turbulent times, we want you to know that we are here for you, forging ahead and open for business, ready to help light up your community with affordable solar lighting that is quick and easy to install.

The Challenge

While 2020 has presented many challenges to us all, and the focus right now is staying healthy and socially conscious, we must stay positive and keep moving forward as a community learning from the past and strengthening the future. As we start rebuilding communities that have been affected by bushfires and floods, now is the time to seek new orientations and take a fresh approach to safety and sustainability. 

7 Questions you need to ask before you start a commercial public lighting project

7 Questions you need to ask before you start a commercial public lighting project

When you install a traditional commercial light, you don’t often need to be concerned with whether it will be “bright” enough or will operate continuously because there is an expectation that it will work as specified. You trench, lay cables, connect to the utility, and bam—you have light!

However, if you’re looking to avoid the costly and time-consuming trenching option and you’d rather not pay any on-going power costs, then a properly-sized solar lighting system is a fantastic option. While a solar-powered commercial light can achieve the same lighting results as a traditional light, there are a few specific things you will need to evaluate to ensure you get the right results.

Why are we asking these questions?

  • Avoid overspending: ensure the lighting system will use properly-sized components for your project needs vs. having an unnecessarily large and expensive system to compensate for poor design.
  • Avoid battery replacements or auto shut-off: install an efficient system that will be able to sustain your light requirements over the long term vs. one that dims the lights, leads to premature failure of the battery, or shuts the lights off completely.

Q1. Ask about the Project Location

What is the exact location of the project? Try to get an accurate street address and site description whenever possible.

Why? This allows the manufacturers to factor solar insolation data into their system design.

Different areas receive different amounts of sunlight each day. For example, a solar light specified for sunny, southern Los Angeles would be smaller and therefore wouldn’t be able to generate enough power to provide continuous light for Anchorage, Alaska. And a solar light specified for Anchorage would be unnecessarily large for Los Angeles.

Knowing the project location allows the manufacturers to build and specify their systems for your exact location and to avoid proposing a system that’s too small or too large for your area.

Also, a street address can allow for the assessment of potential shading hazards—like trees, buildings, or other obstructions—which could block the solar panel from the sun and decrease your system’s performance.

Q2. Ask about the Project Application

What kind of area are you trying to illuminate? Knowing the basic type of street vs. pathway will change the lighting output requirement.

Why? The application may affect pole height, pole spacing, and light levels requirements. A street, for example, will probably require higher light levels than a trail or park. Here are some possible applications:

  • Shared Pathway
  • Residential street
  • Recreational Reserve
  • Car Park
  • Thoroughfares
  • The entryway to a building

Q3. Ask about the Project Dimensions

What is the length of the street/pathway or size of the general area (for a parking lot, etc.)?

Why? The size or length of the area will affect the number of lighting systems required, and uniformity of the light hitting the ground, which all factors into the overall project cost.

Q4. Ask about the Pole Details

Is there a specified pole height? What type of pole is required?

Why? Pole height may affect the number of lighting systems required for the project. Pole type may affect the installation costs.

Q5. Ask about the Required Light Levels and Uniformity

Is there is a state/municipal standard for light levels for the project, what are they? What light levels need to be met on the ground (measured by foot candles or lux)? What uniformity requirements are there if known?

Why? Different applications will require different light levels, which plays a large role in determining the overall project cost.

Q6. Ask about the Operating Profile

How long does the light need to be on each night? When the light is on, do the light levels need to be met throughout the night or just at certain times? If you’re unsure, a good manufacturer should be able to help.

Why? The operating profile is a key aspect of a solar lighting project. Manufacturers will “tune” their systems differently for power management, based on these profiles.

Here are some examples of operating profiles:

  • Dusk to dawn (all-night operation): the light will run at the same light output level all night.
  • Dim in off-peak hours: for example, the light will run at the required light output level for 5 hours after dusk, then dim to 30% of the required light level. 2 hours before dawn, the light levels will return to 100% until sunrise.
  • Off or dimmed at an exact time: for example, the light will run at the required light output level until 11 p.m., then will turn off.

Q7. Ask about the Color Temperature

What color of light is required—warmer (3000K) or cooler (6000K)?

Why? Color temperature affects the fixture power output, and can factor into the project cost. While light color temperature may be more of a preference than a requirement, cities are leaning more towards lights with warmer color temperatures as they seem to be better for our health and the environment.

In Summary

Asking these questions can ensure you’re specified a solar light that will meet your project requirements over the long term at no extra cost. You can also be confident that your lighting system won’t die prematurely or become unnecessarily large and expensive.

Contact us for learn more about common specifications of solar lighting systems and how they can affect the overall performance and cost.