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Solar Lighting F.A.Q.

Answers to your solar lighting questions

If I have access to cheap electricity rates, does solar lighting still provide value?

Answer:

While solar lights generate their own power, it’s prime value is a much lower install cost. For a wired solution, the minimum cost of trenching for wires and a connection to the electrical grid is $25 a foot. This per foot cost can quickly increase depending on the terrain.

Why solar lighting?

Answer:

Our solar lighting is the simplest and most cost effective way to light outdoor spaces.

We offer a range of high-quality solar lighting products that provide reliable lighting for multi-use pathways, parks, parking lots, collector streets, local streets and more.

Municipalities, corporations, government agencies and more around the world choose First Light products first because: 

  1. Our team provides excellent service and is here every step of the way to help you get the best lighting solution.
  2. Our lights are made from the most robust materials to ensure ongoing performance. 
  3. Our overhead lights and bollards offer easier specification and installation [link] which reduces hassle and costs
  4. Our lights incorporate smart technology to optimized performance and reliability in all conditions

Many of our customers have told us that our lights are a “no brainer”, and we agree.

How tall can I mount the luminaires?

Answer:

The best mounting height for pole mounted lights depends on your lighting goals, the area to be illuminated and the luminaire being used. 

Typical pole mounting heights are:

  • 12-16 feet for pedestrian scale applications like multi-use pathways
  • 18-25 feet for parking lot and area lighting applications
  • Up to 30 feet for local and collector streets

Contact our lighting team at 1-844-279-8754 for a free design consultation on what would work best for your project.

What is the typical spacing for your lights?

 

Answer:

This varies by project. Generally, we recommend spacing luminaries at a distance approximately 5 to 6 times the mounting height. For example, luminaires mounted on a 16 foot pole would be spaced 80 to 96 feet apart.

Do you provide IES files?

Answer:

Yes, here are IES files by product for download:

  • BFL-S
  • SCL2
  • SCL
  • IPL
  • PLB
  • PLB-AC
  • WLB

 

Can you help me determine what lights I need?

 

Answer:

Absolutely! We’re always happy to talk about what light would be most suitable for your project. Call us at 1 844 279-8754 or contact us.

What distribution should I choose?

Answer:

Our lights have 4 common distribution options. Type 2 and 3 distributions are ideal for applications like multi-use pathways, sidewalks, local streets and collector streets. Type 4 and 5 distributions are commonly used in wider area applications like parking lots, plazas or parks. 

The best distribution depends on your lighting goals and the specifics of your project. Call our lighting experts at 1 844-279-8754 to discuss what would work best.

 

How long will your fixtures last?

Answer:

Our fixtures’ estimated useful life is 15–20 years.

How long will the light’s battery last?

Answer:

Our high-performance lithium batteries have a typical useful lifespan of 8–10 years.

My light has been in storage for an extended period. Is there anything I need to do?

 

Answer:

During storage, lithium batteries will slowly discharge, but should remain usable for a long time. Our lights’ adaptive capability will recharge a discharged battery in most circumstances by simply installing our light in a sunny location. When you connect the battery, you will see one of three scenarios,
  • the light illuminates on for about 20 seconds, indicating a high charge level,
  • the light flashes three times, indicating a low charge level,
  • or the light does not illuminate.
If you see either the steady illumination or the flashes, the light will easily charge itself in the bright sun. If the light does not illuminate at all, the battery is likely very low and may need recharging. Contact us for assistance in this case at 1-844-279-8754.

Can the lights shine all night?

 

 

Answer:

Our lights have the capacity to stay on all night provided they get an average of 2–3 hours of direct sunlight a day and their lighting profile is set to stay on all night. For times when conditions are less ideal, we have incorporated adaptive capabilities to ensure that the lights adjust their output so that they can stay on all night, every night.

When do your lights turn on/off?

Answer:

All of our lights turn on at dusk by default. You can then choose a lighting profile to program when lights turn off, dim or turn on again through the night. The time when they turn off or dim can be set in two ways – the time elapsed from dusk or before dawn (a duration based lighting profile) or at a specific time according to a clock in the light (real-time based lighting profile).

The profile chosen at the time of order will be programmed at the factory. A lighting profile can be changed for luminaires at any time through First Light’s iOS Solar Light Control app. To change the profile of First Light bollards or other luminaires, please call us at 1 844 279-8754. 

Duration Based Lighting Profiles

Order Key Code

Performance

00

On at dusk > Off at dawn

01

On at dusk > Off after 6 hours

02

On at dusk > Dim to 30% after 6 hours > Off at dawn

03

On at dusk > Off after +5 hours > On 1 hour before dawn> Off at dawn

04 (bollard default)

On at dusk > Dim to 30% after 5 hours > Brighten to 100% 1 hour before dawn > Off at dawn

05

On at dusk > Off after 3 hours

06

On at dusk > Off after 4 hours

07

On at dusk > Off after 4 hours > On 1 hour before dawn > Off at dawn

08

Off (typically used with motion sensing)

09 (luminaire default only)

On at dusk > Dim to 30% after 3 hours >Brighten to 100% 1 hour before dawn > Off at dawn

10

On 30% at dusk > Off at dawn

*Please note that profiles 05 to 10 are currently available for First Light luminaires only.

Real-Time Based Lighting Profiles

On at dusk > Off or dim at specified time between 18:00 and 06:00 > Off at dawn (if applicable)

Order Key Code = TX0000

  • T = Real-time based lighting profile
  • X = D (dim) or O (off)
  • 0000 = Choose a time between 1800 and 0600. Examples: 2230 = 10:30 pm, 0000 = midnight, 0100 = 1:00 am

Can a dimmer be installed on a PLB-AC?

Answer:

The PLB-AC does not come with a dimmer. However, the light’s driver will support an aftermarket low voltage (ELV) dimmer, also known as a trailing edge or reverse phase dimmer.

The sunlight at my site is highly variable, how do I know if your solar lights will operate effectively?

Answer:

Our lights work best with 2–3 hours of direct sunlight. Without this, all of our solar powered lights are equipped with our innovative Solar Lighting Controller (SLC). The SLC in each light is self-learning which allows the lights to predicatively adapt to their surroundings, providing a level of lighting performance and reliability unmatched in other solar products. A brief conversation will determine if our SLC can provide the lighting levels you require. Please call us at 1-844-279-8754.

How long will the lights function without sun?

Answer:

Our adaptive capabilities ensure that our lights can function through extremely adverse conditions of up to 21 days without any effective charging. This compares to 3 to 5 days for most other options which may or may not be sufficient. 

 

Are your lights vandal resistant?

 

Answer:

Yes, our lights are designed and constructed to resist damage from vandalism. Watch our video demonstration of how robust our products are.

Click here to watch

How long does it take to install your lights?

Answer:

All First Light products are designed to be as simple to install as possible. We find that it typically takes under 5 minutes to install our solar bollards [link to video], under 10 minutes for our solar luminaires and less than 30 minutes for our BFL-S solar street light. 

 

Do I need an electrician to install your lights?

 

Answer:

No. Our lights have been designed to installed by general contractors or laborers. However, we recommend consulting your local authorities to determine any legal qualifications for installation in your jurisdiction.

Are your lights a challenge to install?

Answer:

Our lights have been designed to be easiest to install outdoor lighting products. This is because:

  • Solar lighting does not require a connection to the electrical grid, eliminating the need for a connection to the power grid and trenching.
  • Our lights are self-contained. 
  • Our lights require no complicated onsite assembly, or specialized skills or equipment to install.
  • There is minimal site disruption and remediation.

Watch our install video:

What type of base do you recommend for the bollards?

 

Answer:

Our bollards are typically mounted on concrete footings.

What type of base do you recommend for the luminaires?

 

Answer:

We recommend concrete footings for luminaire poles.

How much do your lights cost?

Answer:

Budgetary pricing for our bollards starts at $775 US (use lowest end user bollard price) and $1695 US  (use lowest end user luminaire price) for our solar powered lumnaires. 

Call us at 1 844-279-8754 or contact us for a quote.

 

Where can I buy your lights?

Answer:

We have a worldwide network of distributors and agents that provide local representation for First Light Technologies. Please call us at 1-844-279-8754 and we can connect you with a lighting expert in your area.

How quickly can I get the lights?

Answer:

Our typical shipping time for the continental U.S. and Canada is 4 weeks.

Do you have a quick ship program?

Answer:

We have quick ship program for quantities of 10 or less of our most popular product options. These ship within 1-5 days and there is no up-charge or minimum order:

 

  • PLB – Bronze
    • Order Key: PLB-102-BZ-ASM-NW-XX
  • IPL – Bronze
    • Order Key: IPL-PTM-BZ-T2-NW-XX
  • PLB AC – Bronze
    • Order Key: PBL-AC-102-BZ-ASM43KUV7
  • SCL – Bronze
    • Order Key: SCL-SPMS-BZ-T2-NW-XX

Do your products qualify for government rebates?

Answer:

Yes, our lights qualify for a number of high-value government rebates. To determine which you might qualify for in your area, please call us at 1 844-279-8754.

Do your products qualify for LEED credits?

Answer:

Our products may contribute to the achievement of the following LEED credits:

  • SS Credit 8: Light Pollution Reduction
  • EA Credit 1: Optimize Energy Performance
  • EA Credit 2: On-Site Renewable Energy
  • MR Credit 4: Recycled Content

Where are your lights manufactured?

Answer:

Our lights are manufactured at our headquarters in Victoria, BC, Canada.

Does First Light have fixtures installed in my area I can site visit?

Answer:

Most likely! Give us a call at 1 844-279-8754 and we’ll track down the installation closest to you.

How do I dispose of the light’s lithium battery at the end of its life?

Answer:

Although lithium-ion batteries are non-toxic, it’s still important to recycle them appropriately. Recycling centers that accept lithium-ion batteries are common and easy to find in the United States and Canada. Contact your local recycling center for more information.