The cost of producing solar string lights has been cut in half, compared with conventional electric lighting, according to a new study by the Canadian Solar Energy Association.
The association’s research shows that the cost of a 100 kilowatt solar string light is about 60 per cent cheaper than an equivalent electric light and that a 100 watt solar string can be produced in just three days at a cost of less than $300,000.
“We found that the price difference between traditional and solar lights is so small that it is very, very significant,” said Craig Stedman, the group’s president and CEO.
“It is a significant cost savings compared to electricity.”
Solar string lighting is often produced by taking a string of solar panels and bending them to form a light bulb, and the LED light is often attached to the string.
But there are other ways to make a solar string.
One is to heat water in a microwave and then turn it into a steam lamp, which produces a steady stream of light.
Another is to turn a wood beam into a torch.
The current cost of such lighting is about $1,000 per hour.
The group is now working with a company in British Columbia to produce its own solar string lighting, and is planning to start selling the technology to retailers.
“The cost of lighting is dropping.
We are getting cheaper light at a higher price point,” said Dr. Robert Mathers, a University of Calgary associate professor who has studied the costs of solar lighting.
“If we are able to make this technology more widely available, it will allow people to live in more compact homes and make more energy choices, especially in rural communities where there is a lot of solar light.”
While the group has worked on producing a string light, the company that makes the technology for the industry, Solar Lighting, does not produce a string for household use.
The research was published in the Canadian Journal of Physics.