Solar street lights shine bright in the eye of the storm

When Category 5 Hurricane Ian tore through Florida in 2022, it laid waste to the city and the electricity grid. In the eye of the storm and after, Leadsun solar street lights provided a beacon of hope for one small community in Fort Meyers, Florida.

When Christy Fox from Fort Meyers, Florida found herself staring down one of the most damaging storms in history, she had no idea that one simple energy-saving idea in the unassuming form of a solar street light would become her guiding light through the disaster.

In late 2022, Category 5 Hurricane Ian tore through Florida with 240 kph plus winds and 17 inches of rain. It was the third costliest weather disaster on record and the deadliest hurricane to strike Florida since1935. 2.6 million homes and businesses were left without power and in some cases the blackouts lasted for weeks.

solar street lights hurricane ian
An image showing some of the devastation of Hurricane Ian in Florida.
“These lights pulled through for us during Hurricane Ian. When we didn’t have power with the blackout, at least all our street lights were working the entire time”

Christy Fox, resident of Fort Myers, Florida.

Solar street lights power up when the electricity grid shuts down

Luckily for Christy and her neighbours, their master planned community was equipped with energy saving solar street lights powered by the sun. The street lights, which have their own battery supply and require no mains power were unaffected when the energy grid shut down. While large parts of Florida were plunged into darkness during the storm and for weeks after, Christy’s community powered on. It gave residents a sense of security as they weathered the worst of the storm and enabled them to help tackle the cleanup afterwards.

solar street lights
A Leadsun solar street light stands tall after Hurricane Ian

 “These lights pulled through for us during Hurricane Ian,” said Christy Fox, ‘when we didn’t have power with the blackout, at least all our street lights were working the entire time.” A local community centre was repurposed as a storm shelter and donations were collected by more fortunate residents like Christy less affected by the storm.

 The solar street lighting system installed in the residential community where Christy lives was designed, manufactured and installed by Leadsun. An entirely off-grid LED street lighting solution, it has adaptive sensors, wireless asset management and control and is also dark sky compliant.

 “It’s a testament to the quality, durability and robust design of our solar street lights,” said Leadsun Managing Director, Matthew Pollard. “Because each Leadsun solar street light is powered by it’s own onboard patented dual Lithium LiFePO4 battery system, our street lights can keep shining for up to four days without sun. This is especially useful for storm affected areas which can experience days of cloudy weather. We’re very proud to have played even a small part in helping this small, resilient, forward thinking community weather the storm.”

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