The case for solar-powered LED lighting

Rapid developments in solar cells, LED lighting and energy storage are creating great opportunities for solar-powered solid-state lighting, says Moneer Azzam of SolarOne Solutions.
The outdoor lighting industry, as with so many other application-oriented industries, assumes that the power source is infinite and always available. This is a tribute to the reliability of the electric grid – at least in developed-world nations. It has certainly made life simpler for the lamp/lighting designers who, for the most part, are able to divorce the lamp characteristics from the energy source. The developed world is starting to learn that the power source is far from infinite.*

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Some companies are not waiting to see the bottom of the barrel, and are exploring alternatives that range from replacement power sources to energy demand reduction. A number of companies are developing technologies that achieve both: SolarOne Solutions’ work in solar-powered solid-state lighting under the SOLEDâ„¢ brand name is an example of this.

[* Estimates indicate at current levels of energy usage, the earth has about 150 years of energy stored in the form of oil, coal and uranium. However, if the entire population of the earth consumed as much as Americans’ do on a per capita basis, that amount drops to 15 or 20 years.]

Continue reading