Nestled at the foothills of a small mountain preserve in San Tan Valley, Arizona, is San Tan Heights, a new construction community in a tranquil desert setting offered by Pulte Homes. It’s focused on community amenities and innovative home designs. The community includes an abundance of parks, playgrounds, multiple sports courts, and greenbelt areas with over 6 miles of trails.
When Pulte Homes needed lighting installed quickly for this community development, he immediately thought about First Light Technologies. He had used First Light previously on the first stages of the Aloravita residential development, which resulted in that project saving over $300,000.
The deciding factor for using the SCL2 solar luminaire was how quickly it could be shipped and installed at the location.
“The main reason to purchase the project was that we could essentially contract this project and turn around and develop it within 30 days. In order to maintain schedule, solar was our only viable option – otherwise, we would have had to engage additional consultants, plan reviews, further engage the utility provider for the street lights, and it became a schedule concern.” – PulteGroup
In addition to the ease of installation, they knew the value of solar’s cost savings over traditional wired outdoor lighting.
“They (FLT) essentially minimized cost as much as possible, which also meant eliminating any kind of site electrical or street light plans because the county did not require either. It’s not a huge upfront cost differential that we’ve experienced, not just on this project but also on other ones. The savings is really in the ongoing expense, not having to have a power pedestal or monthly expense. Plus, honestly, it’s one less trade that we have to coordinate.” – PulteGroup
The aesthetics of the neighborhood were also taken into account. Many outdoor lighting solar fixtures use large solar panels that aren’t integrated into the design.
“You don’t have bulky disconnected free-standing solar panels. Their streamlined look is ultimately attractive, and that is why we continue to look at them as a viable option. The first phase of Aloravita has used your bollards, and we continue to bring them back because they’ve performed. It’s a product I use professionally but would also use in my own community.” – PulteGroup
When asked if solar has impacted him as a developer, Mike shared his thoughts:
“Absolutely; I think a good example is this project. That was directly a schedule impact. We had to go through the site’s electrical design and re-engage the utility provider to incorporate street lighting. As a developer being able to offer lit-up corners via the overhead solar option and bollards in the retention grass areas and little parks, I think it was a wise decision from a feeling of safety. From my perspective and our overall operations team, it was a win-win.”
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