New Solar Powered Light Works Without Sun
COLUMBIA - The sun didn't make much of an appearance Thursday in Columbia. For Columbia Water and Light's new solar powered light that didn't matter. The twain technology lighting system uses not only solar, but wind power to run its lights.
Toney Lowery, senior parks planner, said, "It's got LED, it's solar, and it's also got this wind power."
Columbia Water and Light engineer Dan Clark thinks the lights are pretty cool. Clark said, "Well I think the coolest part about it, you've got a very bright light source with no electricity."
There are solar lights around the city already, but they don't have a dual power source. The solar powered lights in Columbia use a compact fluorescent light bulb. The twain technology lighting system uses a LED light bulb. Those LEDs last 100,000 hours. Compact fluorescent bulbs last between 6,000 and 15,000 hours. That gives the LED bulbs a huge advantage in efficiency.
Clark said, "They produce a tremendous amount of light, and they're aimed in different directions to create a certain light pattern in the area. So it's a very different light source than a bulb."
Each system costs $6,500. Connie Kacprowicz of Columbia Water and Light spoke about the price, "It's a little bit more expensive than a regular street light, but it's a great learning opportunity to see how we can use renewable energy to light parks and streets."
Right now there is only one light in Columbia, but Clark hopes one day the units will be cheap enough to use all over the city.