Situated along the world-famous Alaska Highway, the City of Fort St. John is home to more than 21,000 residents in Northern British Columbia, Canada.

The wild and beautiful scenery of Fort St. John is paralleled by challenging winter conditions that only the North could offer. The city had previously used wired bollard lighting at a traffic median to better highlight the turn lane and to add protection from traffic in the opposite lane. With the wired lighting starting to fail, the city turned to solar lighting.

Fort St. John ‘s location in Northern British Columbia Canada.

Deep Freeze and Easier Maintenance

Temperatures in Fort St. John can reach a frigid low of -31°F. On several occasions, these extreme temperatures have led to ruptured water lines beneath the traffic median.

“We have a main water line going across the road and, once in a while in winter that thing busts open and they have to dig in. They always break my wires, so we thought we’ll pull out all those wired lights and put in these new solar bollards.”

City Electrician

City of Fort St. John, Canada

By replacing the current wired lighting with First Light’s WLB Solar Bollards, the challenge of replacing the broken water line becomes a lot less complicated. Our solar lighting is truly off-grid meaning, the worry and hassle of digging up wires and damaging the conduit underneath are removed.

Heavy yearly snowfall adds to the challenging winter conditions. In the past, cars and snowplows had damaged lights used in this traffic median. With all of its components contained in a single light, and no connection to the power grid, a WLB Series solar bollard can simply be bolted back down to the concrete or replaced within a few minutes.

Adaption and Northern Sun

Solar technology in Northern locations is challenged by two factors. In the winter, the days are shorter and the nights are longer — resulting in limited sun exposure for solar panels to charge their batteries. Ideal solar lighting locations near the equator benefit from the sun’s location directly overhead. The further north you move, the lower the sun sits in the sky, limiting the quality of the sun’s energy hitting the solar panel.

“The most important selling point was the batteries can last for at least 2 weeks even if they don’t get charged.”

City Electrician

City of Fort St. John, Canada

Fort St. John is currently our Northernmost installation and highlights the WLB’s ability to predictively adapt to its surroundings. Like all First Light solar products, the WLB series incorporates our Solar Lighting Controller (SLC). Each light intelligently monitors its individual situation to provide optimized performance under all conditions.

A Great Solution

For many reasons, the WLB Series solar bollards were a great solution for The City of Fort St. John and other traffic locations. The frigid climate and northerly location certainly presents a multitude of challenges, however our bollard lighting can easily stand up to the challenge. City crews will continue to appreciate the simplicity and resilience of each bollard and drivers will benefit from the amazing nighttime performance year-round.

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Contact us today to find out all the ways solar lighting can benefit your projects.