Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Lighting Goes Off the Grid


During the last year or so, we have completed several Whole Foods-centric projects. A number of them have been urban redevelopment, which was the case with a job that we’re closing out now. It involved the installation of hybrid street lights.

We worked with UGE to place Sanya SLS hybrid streetlights at the perimeter of the parking field. Each fixture has a 200-watt wind turbine with a 230-watt solar panel. Together, they provide power to a battery that drives an 85-watt LED light, storing additional energy for up to five days of no sun or wind. These energy-efficient light fixtures make the most of solar and wind power, complimentary technologies. When the wind is blowing, it may not be a clear day, and vice versa, so the combination makes sense.

Lights 2A couple of thoughts:
While utility costs are eliminated, with the present capital cost of the system, the physical ROI is nonexistent. However, these fixtures show “what can be,” and they maintain an illuminated parking field during power outages.

Having said this, they’re a billboard for sustainability. This, coupled with the lowered carbon footprint, makes the price tag on hybrid lights a bit more reasonable.

Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.