We often think of estate or roadway lighting as a feature used in residential or business developments – but it’s an equally valuable way to incorporate safety lighting and wildlife-friendly pathway lights in parks and open spaces.

There are countless benefits to choosing solar lighting for play parks, public areas and private gardens, not least that an off-grid lighting solution is considerably more efficient than trying to hard wire lights.

Solar Lighting in Parks and Green Spaces

Urban expansion throughout South Africa is a well-documented trend and also means that we prioritise fresh air, natural landscapes and having access to activities such as walking, hiking, cycling, or just visiting a park with our families.

Lighting is essential in any parkland – public or privately owned – for several reasons:

  • Work schedules often mean that the most common time to use recreation areas is during the evening or earlier in the day.
  • Cycle routes and walking paths are often used to walk to and from school or workplaces, necessitating safety lighting, particularly around water or trip hazards.
  • Dark, unprotected parks can become criminal activity hubs, whereas a brightly lit outdoor space is inviting and far less likely to become unsafe.

One of the biggest issues for city planners and developers is that it can be astronomically expensive to install the wiring and infrastructure required to power sets of street lights.

It may be prohibitively costly to install a mains grid solution in more remote parks and green spaces away from residential areas. Even where that is possible, the likelihood of blackouts still means that local people are less able to make good use of parks and play areas.

Solar power offers an efficient, affordable and reliable answer, with a range of benefits encouraging greater recreational usage of a park before and after sundown.

The Benefits of Solar Lighting for Recreational Areas

By nature, solar energy lights do not require any link to the grid, which means no need for electrical trenches, disruption, or uprooting plants and trees while wiring is laid.

Another significant advantage is that a mast-mounted street light, used to illuminate park pathways, is tamper-proof and has no wires that could be cut or vandalised.

There is also a range of compelling environmental reasons to consider solar lights for outdoor spaces:

  • Harsh lighting can harm wildlife, affecting breeding patterns, nesting spots and natural protection from predators.
  • Solar lights can be programmed to operate only during specific times or when the light reaches a certain level, avoiding light pollution.
  • Preserving battery power through optimised lighting ensures a solar light will last for years and will not require significant maintenance or battery replacements.
  • The lack of electrical trenching ensures that the ground is not disturbed, roots and grass can grow safely, and there are no hazards associated with power lines buried underneath the surface.

Off-grid solar lights for walkways are subtle and provide the perfect lighting to allow for safe walking and cycling without excessive light levels that can damage eyesight or distract drivers on adjacent roadways.

As solar technology evolves, estate lights have also become slimmer, without large, bulky solar panels – making a solar lighting solution aesthetic, discreet, and highly dependable.

Applications for Solar Lighting in Public Places

Electricity costs continue to climb yearly, and community leaders and municipalities can advocate for sustainable power sources while reducing their ongoing costs by switching to solar.

In smaller towns, the strain of roadway lights can also impact residents and pressure the grid, affecting the reliability of domestic lights.

Solar-powered street lights can instigate positive change with a wide range of uses:

  • Illuminating car parks and residential parking lots.
  • Lighting outdoor sports pitches during the evenings.
  • Promoting access to green areas for families.
  • Improving safety on cycle routes.
  • Boosting traffic flow in co-usage paths for walking and cycling.
  • Extending opening hours for play parks.

Automated solar lighting accumulates energy from the sun during the day. It does not require manual monitoring or activation, allowing groundskeepers and maintenance staff more control.

Moving away from fossil fuels is also an excellent way to reduce the carbon footprint produced by a community.

Choosing Solar Lights for Parks and Recreation

The right solar lights for a sports centre, car park, public park or children’s playground will depend on various factors.

Solight suggests you consider your requirements before deciding on the optimal lighting solution, such as:

  • The intended hours of usage / whether the space needs lighting year-round.
  • Whether you would prefer automated or manually operated lights.
  • The total area to be covered, i.e. the size of a car park or the length of a walkway.
  • How many lights you require, and the appropriate spacing between units.
  • The type of lighting; whether a security solution, to promote accessibility or to allow children to use play facilities in the evenings.

Our comprehensive ranges of Estate and Roadway Lights and Landscape Lights are a good starting point if you require inspiration.

Landscape lights provide a range of illumination angles and can be used to brighten a contained space or spotlight focal points, directional signs and footpaths or entrance gates.

Solar street lights deliver a stronger lighting source and are ideal for cycle routes, car parks, or multi-use areas.

Solar Lighting Suggestions for Open Outdoor Areas

Below you’ll find quick links to three of our most popular outdoor solar lights, with a performance capacity that makes them suitable for parks and green spaces.

  • Solar Street Light – Camps Bay: A waterproof IP65 street light mounted six metres high, with remote control lighting modes and TCS technology to prolong battery life.
  • Solar Street Light – Atlas: An integrated solar street light with a temperature resistance battery, pole-mounted up to seven metres and a three-year professional warranty.
  • Solar Landscape Light – Halo: A multi-angle landscape light with an advanced light scatter design, ALS 2.1 patented technology and ten days of illuminations even in overcast weather.

Please get in touch with the Solight team at your convenience if you would like further details about any of these models or independent advice about the right solar lights for your outdoor spaces.

You can also find full product details and demonstration videos on our site that explain how these solar street and landscape lights work and the angles and reach of the lighting provided.