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solar bike trails tracks and pathways

How Solar Lighting Makes Communities Safer

By | Blog, Latest News

How Solar Lighting Can Make Our Communities Safer

A recent article published in the Morning Peninsula News highlights the community push for safely illuminated public spaces such as pedestrian walkways.

A local resident of Mornington Peninsula Shire, Victoria, launched a public campaign to have lighting installed at a nearby overgrown path that is often busy with pedestrian thoroughfare.

They are concerned with the safety of their local neighbourhood and are campaigning for a well-lit and maintained walkway to drastically reduce the risk of community safety being compromised.

The goal behind the campaign is to significantly reduce the chances of slips, falls and people lurking around by being provided adequate lighting and regular maintenance of the walkways.

Read the full article here.

solar bike trails tracks and pathways

The Hard Facts

Evidence supports this demand; Community Crime Prevention Victoria found that by having lighting in public spaces can be an effective crime prevention tool to improve surveillance and increase the risk of offenders being detected. In addition to this, people can feel safer in well illuminated areas, increasing activity, which can further improve secondary surveillance and therefore deter crime.

Further to this, a major study conducted in New York City found that the installation of street lighting reduced night-time crime by 39%.

The study, which was developed by the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab in conjunction with multiple government stakeholders, designed a randomized controlled trial involving 40 odd public housing developments, all of which had elevated levels of crime, and half of which received new lights and half did not.

The findings of this study have shown that it is possible to consecutively reduce crime and the local jail population, through the installation of streetlighting.

You can access the results and full report here.

The Bottom Line

Here at Green Frog Systems, we are strong advocates for illuminating parks, pathways and opens spaces with clean, solar energy to improve public safety.

However, the biggest challenge that organisations and businesses face with installing lighting in public spaces is the bottom line –cost.

One of the many benefits with solar lighting is that it eliminates the need for groundworks, saving local authorities and facilities managers money on installation and by reducing power consumption.

Thanks to solar lighting technology, essential projects that were previously deemed unviable due to high installation costs are now possible.

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For more detailed information on how to design lighting for crime prevention, we recommend referring to this resource

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global partnership with CU Phosco Lighting

Global Partnership with CU Phosco Lighting

By | Blog, Latest News

Green Frog Systems solar lighting are pleased to announce a joint partnership with CU Phosco Lighting (formerly known as Concrete Utilities). This collaboration between the world-class manufacturers will see future development of a range of co-branded products featuring cutting edge solar harvesting, energy storage and power management technology and CU Phosco designed luminaires.

CU Phosco Lighting is the longest established and premier exterior lighting group in the UK. They design and manufacture exterior lighting luminaires, floodlights, lighting columns and masts. Their lighting columns and masts range from 3 metres to 60 metres in height and can be seen on roads, motorways, at airports and ports, in shopping centres, housing estates and sports stadiums throughout the world.

CU Phosco’s founder Charles Albert Marques M.B.E. was originally from Adelaide, Australia. He enlisted in the Australian Expeditionary Force in 1914 to fight in the First World War and with his father he was sent to Gallipoli and France. After the war both father and son decided to settle in England where they started Concrete Utilities Ltd.

Earth Hour 2020

Lights out for Earth Hour

By | Blog, Latest News

Press Release >>

Earth Hour 2020

Prominent solar lighting technology company Green Frog Systems is one of many companies and businesses that will turn the lights out on Saturday March 28 as part of Earth Hour.

Green Frog Systems is turning the lights off at their company headquarters in South Australia and USA head offices on Saturday March 28 2020 as part of Earth Hour, the global conservation movement. All mains powered lights at the Green Frog Systems Australia head office at 51 Langford Street will be switched off for one hour between 8:30pm and 9:30pm as part of one of the largest global grassroots movements for the environment.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) began Earth Hour in Sydney, 2007 and each year thousands of businesses and individuals show their commitment to the environment by turning off their lights.

WWF encourages Australians to participate in Earth Hour 2020 by switching off their lights for one hour to show their support for Australia to get back on track to meeting its international climate commitments.

Green Frog Systems is actively helping Local Government and businesses of all sizes to reduce their emissions by designing and developing a range of highly energy efficient, solar lighting systems capable of replacing utility grade street lighting, without an electricity grid connection and zero carbon emissions once installed.

The company also designs solar energy capture and storage systems for Local Government on sporting facilities, public spaces and community assets. These systems provide power to multiple devices including irrigation controllers, communication towers and security cameras, further helping Local Government reduce its carbon footprint without obstructing the development of community assets.

Studies have drawn a noticeable relationship between neighborhoods that encourage after hours activities in public spaces by improving accessibility to them, with generally happier ­people, a greater sense of community inclusion and overall healthier residents.

Turning the lights off for Earth Hour 2020 is a symbolic gesture of solidarity in the global effort to reduce harmful carbon emissions and we encourage everyone to make this statement with us and participate wherever they can.

For further information regarding Earth Hour you can visit www.earthhour.org.au

 

 

Cyclone Damien no match for GFS-200

By | Blog, Latest News

Cyclone Damien brought wind speeds of 194km/hr but didn’t leave Karratha completely in the dark with 288 GFS-200’s safely illuminating the streets and pathways when mains lighting supplied by the power grid had failed.

Full story here >

Tropical Cyclone Damien struck the WA cast earlier this month as a category 3 severe tropical cyclone at around 3:30pm on Saturday the 8th of February bringing with it severe, destructive winds, torrential rainfall and storm surges. The recorded rainfall for the region was 235.2mm received by 9:00am Sunday with about 10,000 residents affected by power outages and intermittent phone reception and over 100 calls for assistance.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said Karratha and Dampier residents were hit with the brunt of the storm with Karratha residents surviving the hardest impact as the eye wall crossed directly over them. Tropical Cyclone Damien was the third tropical cyclone for the season but the first to be classified as severe.

solar powered street lights in Karratha Wa
solar street lights - Karratha WA

Weather conditions in the Pilbara region can be some of the harshest in Australia. The City of Karratha had trialed other solar lighting products in the past but few could endure the punishing conditions.

Green Frog Systems have established a name in this space, designing high performance solar lighting to withstand extreme environments such as these and agreed to supply the City with GFS-200 6m solar street lights. These units carry a cyclone rated structural design (Region D – Severe Cyclonic ) and will reliably continue to operate through extreme temperatures, storms and flooding.

Since 2017 Green Frog Systems have worked with the City of Karratha, deploying almost 300 solar street lights with another shipment set for delivery. The City has been so impressed with the GFS-200 solar street lights that they have identified Green Frog Systems as their preferred supplier for all solar powered lighting.

From nearly 300 installed only three (3) solar lights were damaged during Cyclone Damien from flying debris.

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salt spray testing preview image

Salt Spray Corrosion Testing

By | Blog, Uncategorized
Products designated for outdoor use are exposed environmental elements with few quite as demanding on exterior coatings and fittings as salt rich coastal locations such as wharves, jetties, piers and marine infrastructure.

5 years of salt exposure in 30 days.

This process uses an acidic sodium chloride solution as a form of accelerated corrosion test that delivers a sustained corrosive attack to coated finishes and the exterior shell of a product in order to evaluate the suitability of the coating or finish for use in coastal and marine environments.

Demonstrating prolonged resistance to salt spray or salt fog is just one of the tests performed and routinely inspected by the Green Frog Systems quality control team as part of our manufacturing process. This is not just for regulatory compliance to our independently audited quality standards but also to ensure we are consistently delivering higher quality products to our customers that will endure continue to perform in the most demanding environments.

Solar marina lighting at the burswood jetty Perth, WA
Solar marina lighting at the burswood jetty Perth, WA

In locations such as these > Salt corrosion resistance is essential for functionality and appearance

solar marina lighting project at burswood jetty Perth WA
Solar marina lighting at the burswood jetty Perth, WA

Salt spray testing is an important part of compliance with a range of regulatory standards, one of the most common is ISO 9227:2012 — Corrosion Tests in Artificial Atmospheres. To maintain this level of compliance with the ISO 9227:2012 standard, exterior materials and coatings are to be subjected to 720 hours of continuous exposure to a 5% atomised mineral salt solution

If you are considering lighting on a jetty, wharf, coastline or marine location
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Turtle friendly solar lighting

Turtle Friendly Lighting Goes Solar

By | Blog

It has been known for quite some time that artificial night lighting affects wildlife such as insects and turtles by disorientating them away from their natural breeding habitats such as beaches and coastal areas. Sea turtle hatchlings naturally use the darkness of the horizon to determine their journey from the nest to the ocean, by adding artificial light the landward horizon is no longer the darkest horizon which leads turtles astray – leaving them moving towards danger instead of the sea. Female sea turtles also adapted to avoid illuminated beaches after the fatal effects to their hatchlings, a study by Michael Salmon found that when coastal areas were illuminated, nesting activity declined close to zero, but when they were turned off, nesting activity increased.

While efforts began in the early 2000’s to develop LEDs with a  correlated colour temperature low enough not disrupt or alter the behaviours of turtle and wildlife populations these early prototypes came with a significant loss in efficiency.

Fast forward to today however and much has changed. These days LED fixtures with a range between 2700K and 3000K are now commercially available with equivalent energy efficiency of 5000K lamps. Furthermore, the development of different colors of LEDs and different filtering technologies has led to a range of turtle friendly lighting solutions that when powered by a green renewable energy source such as solar offer a highly adaptable environmentally responsible alternative for coastal lighting applications.

While efforts began in the early 2000’s to develop LEDs with a  correlated colour temperature low enough not disrupt or alter the behaviours of turtle and wildlife populations these early prototypes came with a significant loss in efficiency.

What can be done with lighting to ensure you are being environmentally responsible?

Reduce Brightness: Brightness not only effects turtles, the brightness of LED lighting can have a significant impact on birds, insects and other animals as well as creating light pollution. By dimming the lights, you can significantly improve the wellbeing of natural habitats and reduce light pollution. Humans naturally adapt their vision to the brightest light in the area which means that when met with darker areas visual acuity is lost. By using a dimmer light, visual acuity is more stable and will adapt to changes in brightness more easily. It is possible to reduce brightness levels of outdoor lighting to meet environmental needs while retaining the lighting levels needed for human activity.

Consider your LED’s Spectrum: By avoiding lights with shorter wavelengths such as blue or ultraviolet light, there will be less environmental impact. Using lights with longer wavelengths (such as red and yellow hues) is more friendly for not only our animals but human eyes as well. LED’s with a CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) value at the warmer end of the spectrum below have less impact on both wildlife and humans.

CCT colour index

Direct Lights Downwards: By shielding light sources to ensure they only illuminate the areas required, and do not create any upward illumination you reduce the environmental effects, particularly light pollution.

Duration: By reducing the time that your light sources stay on, or how bright they remain throughout the night can also reduce impacts. For example, lights that are motion activated or that reduce intensity during times late at night or very early morning when people are less likely to be using the area.

Reference: Salmon, Michael. (2003). Artificial night lighting and sea turtles. Biologist. 50. 163-168.

If you need any information on finding an environmentally responsible solution for illuminating coastal areas, jetties or marinas, simply
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council-government-portfolio

Can I Retrofit Solar Lighting to an Existing Pole?

By | Blog, Latest News

Whether you can retrofit solar lighting to one of your existing poles is determined by asking two questions:

  • Will the existing pole withstand the extra weight of the solar system?
  • Is the existing pole in a shadow-free area where direct sunlight is available?

Will the existing pole withstand the extra weight of the solar system?

Because of the additional weight and sail area (wind loading) when installing a solar lighting system, your pole will need to be manufactured and rated to withstand this. If your current pole is suitable for the increased weight and sail area, then yes you can consider retrofitting solar lighting to an existing pole. If the existing pole has not been built to withstand the extra weight, it will need to be replaced with a stronger pole.

Is the existing pole in a shadow-free area where direct sunlight is available?

As solar lighting relies on sunlight to operate, the solar panel will need to be installed in a shadow-free area under direct sunlight, where there are no trees obscuring the panel. If your existing pole is not located in such an area, then the solar lighting system will be inefficient or in some cases not operate. However, if the existing pole is in a shadow-free area with direct sunlight then yes you can consider retrofitting solar lighting to an existing pole.

So can I retrofit solar lighting to my existing pole?

If you answered yes to both questions, then it is possible for you to retrofit solar lighting to an existing pole. Green Frog Systems’ GFS-200-KT and GFS-400-KT are solar lighting kit-based solutions designed to mount on an existing pole, replacing mains powered street lighting and offering an environmentally friendly, off-grid solution.

If you answered no to one of the above questions, then you will need to reconsider using your existing pole. Our GFS-200 & GFS-400 Kits also offer the option to include poles that have been engineered and rated for the weight and sail area of the solar systems.

Is there someone who could help me determine if a solar lighting retrofit is suitable for my project?

You can contact our experienced lighting specialists who will assist you in finding the best solution for your project. If your existing pole is not feasible, our specialists can also help you to find an alternative solar lighting solution that is economical and efficient over the long term.

Solar Lighting Benefits for Your Community

How Solar Lighting Benefits Your Community

By | Blog, Latest News
Solar Benefits for Your Community Infographic

How does Solar Lighting Benefit Councils, Communities and Parks & Recreational Areas?

Renewable energy solutions such as solar lighting can create future-proof sustainable systems for your community, allowing councils to provide public lighting assets that; make their community feel safer, avoid the costs of trenching, underground cabling or an electrician, and can save both on long-term energy costs and protect our environment.

 

1. Positive Social Impact

Public lighting assets have a significant social impact on your community. The installation of more illumination increases the public’s feelings of safety and security, which in turn drives an increase in the use of public assets such as leisure areas, parks, gardens and pathways.

By ultimately extending the number of light hours in a day, members of the community can spend more time in your public spaces; creating opportunities for more outdoor activities such as fitness groups, after work visits to dog parks, or for those commuting via bike or foot during the night hours.

While grid-tied public lighting can have similar social benefits, solar lighting goes even further in meeting the needs of your community through its significant cost benefits and positive environmental impact.

2. Significant Cost Benefits

There are significant cost benefits gained when installing solar lighting systems, particularly in areas where the infrastructure costs of traditional lighting are more significant. By using solar lighting systems, you can now bring the benefits of lighting to your community where previously it was far too costly. Some economic benefits of solar lighting include:

  • No Trenching Costs – There are significant costs involved in trenching and wiring for traditional lighting systems, which can get even higher when you add in a remote location, landscape issues or the costs of disruption to public areas. Solar lighting systems remove all this worry, with the ability to be installed anywhere, anytime with no need for trenching.

  • No Energy Costs/Utility Fees – By implementing solar as a renewable energy, solar lighting creates a stand-alone, grid free system which removes the ongoing costs of grid energy. This is especially economical in today’s energy industry, with the cost of grid supplied power only increasing.

  • Easy to Install – Green Frog Systems solar lighting solutions were engineered to be easy to install, with systems being delivered to clients in an easy to assemble kit form along with plug and play wiring that can be installed without needing an electrician. By making the systems easier to install, there are significant cost savings in the number of works crew members required for installation.

3. Positive Environmental Impact

As a renewable energy, solar lighting uses the infinite power of the sun to create energy instead of fossil fuels – reducing your communities carbon footprint. It is important that both councils and their communities work towards a more sustainable, green and environmentally friendly future for the generations to come.

Without reliance on the grid, solar lighting systems can be put in place anywhere and any time that you need it. This means that you can install our solar lighting systems without disrupting the environment as you would with standard trenching for installation.

 

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