The phrase “powered by First Light Technologies” is often used to describe Reliance Foundry’s solar-powered lighting bollards. The phrase may be easily passed over, but readers should take note that it describes one of the most durable and efficient solar lighting fixtures on the market. Designed to deliver unsurpassed endurance, it features solar panels composed of a highly durable, UV resistant polycarbonate—it won’t fade from elemental exposure. Its electronic components are sturdy and well-protected, housed within a robust outer casting secured by tamper-resistant bolts. The durability that this light offers is a big part of the reason why it was selected for Reliance Foundry’s solar-powered lighting bollards.
In many North American climates, cold air, heat and moisture can pose a threat to the electronic components of a lighting system. Vandalism and has also become a primary concern on modern streetscapes. The engineers at First Light knew that a solar light, used in a lighting bollard, would have to be tough so they designed one with durability in mind. They developed a design and subjected it to rigorous testing to ensure that it would withstand all the challenges of a modern streetscape. The result of their efforts is a tough-as-nails solar lighting fixture.
From lit cigarettes to baseball bats and hammers, the solar light survived all attacks in the lab but no test could have simulated the challenge that it was made to face in Australia in the spring of 2012.
The solar bollard lights were the perfect solution for an area that did not have a readily available electric source, so Jetty specialists installed them on a pontoon located on the Barron River and maintained by Australia’s Department of Transport and Roads. The installation took place at the end of February—but just a few weeks later, the solar lights faced their toughest test yet.
On March 25th, 2012, extreme flooding began on the Barron River. It lasted for three days, and for much of that time, the bollards and lighting fixtures were completely submerged. The floodwaters also brought floating debris, which repeatedly struck the submerged bollard lights.
Full submersion and battery would have destroyed the electric components of most lighting fixtures, but when the waters subsided and workers checked the bollards’ lighting systems, they were shocked by what they discovered.
“All four LED bollard lights were found to be in full working order”, said Duncan Muirson, Planning Coordinator at Australia’s Department of Transport and Main Roads: “This is remarkable considering what they went through and that some were submerged for quite a while”.
Theses solar lights were designed to be tough, but what makes the story even more amazing is that they were only designed to be water-resistant, not water-proof. In fact, during the design stage, the engineers at First Light Technologies had placed a greater priority on breathability to prevent the build-up of moisture and appropriate battery venting.
“The solar light was NOT designed for immersion” said Sean Bourquin, Managing Director at First Light Technologies. “Having said this, we now more fully seal the head of the light while maintaining pressure equalization and battery venting”.
Although the solar lighting fixtures did demonstrate an intense level of resiliency by surviving this ordeal, Bourquin explains that the lights are designed to survive the rigors of wet coastal environments—not full submersion.
The engineers at First light have created a light that is highly durable, and that same solar light is available in a sleek modern design through Reliance Foundry. The resiliency that it displayed through its testing and stories of its endurance in the field are why it was selected and why designers and architects can be confident that it will stand up to the rigors of modern streetscapes. For more information on these highly-durable and intelligent, solar powered lighting bollards, please view Reliance Foundry’s catalogue of solar lighting bollards.