Solar lighting for common gardens in apartment blocks

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
My daughter has bought a small apartment in a block of 10.
The block has very large common gardens in the centre and is open at the back to a park.
The carparking is accessed by a laneway which also opens onto this park.
The wimmins in the block want more lighting . The older male residents are worried about the power cost of additional lights.

Does anyone know if outdoor solar panels to power garden and assess path lights are backed up by mains power? or if they need to be?

They will need at least 5 lights.

Example
1661997972430.png


A panal on each light would look fugly, Can you run multiple lights off one larger panel?

1661996991163.png
 
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dfw_sailor

Super Anarchist
1,473
608
DFW
My daughter has bought a small apartment in a block of 10.
The block has very large common gardens in the centre and is open at the back to a park.
The carparking is accessed by a laneway which also opens onto this park.
The wimmins in the block want more lighting . The older male residents are worried about the power cost of additional lights.

Does anyone know if outdoor solar panels to power garden and assess path lights are backed up by mains power? or if they need to be?

They will need at least 5 lights.

Example
View attachment 538136
Most reasonably priced pure solar lights give claimed 8 hours continuous light with a 6 hours full sun charge. Over the years the 8 hours will shorten.

So could go with mains powered as backup but mains will be expensive.

Or larger battery / panel, which gets expensive. And who will pay for the power?

The lights wouldn't be required by an authority, so they should have no say about mains other than the installation may require a permit, and of course an electrician to put power in ground.

Have you considered low voltage lighting? That can be put in ground by anyone, and if wanting to be green, then have a correctly sized single battery and panel, with automatic switch over to mains on failure.
 

dfw_sailor

Super Anarchist
1,473
608
DFW
To clarify, mains installation would be expensive, but these days the amount of power required with various forms of led lighting is relatively small.

It's the installation cost not the running cost that is the issue. Unless lights are powered by individual units, in which case you start having body corporate issues / cost sharing etc.
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
Most reasonably priced pure solar lights give claimed 8 hours continuous light with a 6 hours full sun charge. Over the years the 8 hours will shorten.
This is Melbourne remember? Not going to get 6 hours full sun in winter.
So could go with mains powered as backup but mains will be expensive.
Do you mean the hook up will be expensive? There is already a main switchboard that powers exiting outdoor lighting. This is a 60's block. There are existing lights on the entry and one in the carpark one in the breezway . Non on the path through the gardensthat backs onto the park. old, dim and inadequate
Or larger battery / panel, which gets expensive. And who will pay for the power?

Body corp pay the power
The lights wouldn't be required by an authority, so they should have no say about mains other than the installation may require a permit, and of course an electrician to put power in ground.

Have you considered low voltage lighting? That can be put in ground by anyone, and if wanting to be green, then have a correctly sized single battery and panel, with automatic switch over to mains on failure.

Low voltage lighting wont be adequate. The paths are covered by huge Citrus trees and overhanging camelias. pretty in daytime, spooky at night.
 

Coastal_Fox

Member
247
102
New England
There are motion detecting solar flood lights that come on bright, but only when they detect motion to save power. If the current set up is consuming an agreeable amount of power, but some people want more when they are out, you could possibly just augment the current system with those.
That is my "i have no idea what your budget is" suggestion.
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
To clarify, mains installation would be expensive, but these days the amount of power required with various forms of led lighting is relatively small.

It's the installation cost not the running cost that is the issue. Unless lights are powered by individual units, in which case you start having body corporate issues / cost sharing etc.
Yeah, that's my thoughts too. It's a Stratum title so the Owners corp is the flat owners. 70% owner occupied. The new generation of owners want to spend a little to fix the block up a bit. The older 70+ owners worry about their fees going up which is fair enough for pensioners on small income.
So it's a balancing act between fit for purpose and attractive and cost.
So that's why i was wondering if you can run a single mains lead to recharge a solar panel that then has leads to 5 lights.
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
There are motion detecting solar flood lights that come on bright, but only when they detect motion to save power. If the current set up is consuming an agreeable amount of power, but some people want more when they are out, you could possibly just augment the current system with those.
That is my "i have no idea what your budget is" suggestion.
That's what one of the old guys suggested but A motion detector wont detect lurkers if they are hiding in wait.
Budget is not huge, there's about 20,000 in the kitty for the year. They really need to increase their annual fees. the oldies have let the block go a lot over the years (4 apartments were owned by older people that have sold up and gone to retirement homes or died in the last two years) and the management are now playing catchup with the maintenance. Young new owners of course want to freshen the block up.
Respect, the old guys do all the gardening and gutter cleaning for the block and small jobs around the block.
 
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Coastal_Fox

Member
247
102
New England
A motion detector wont detect lurkers if they are hiding in wait.
True, i don't have much experience thwarting lurkers.
But i imagine the current system is fairly adequate for that, and people are just looking for a boost.
Also, whilst the lurkers are lurking to their spot to lurk, it would likely turn on and spook them.
I don't know how dangerous this neighborhood is though. If that's the case I'd say skip the lights and try to move.
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
True, i don't have much experience thwarting lurkers.
But i imagine the current system is fairly adequate for that, and people are just looking for a boost.
Also, whilst the lurkers are lurking to their spot to lurk, it would likely turn on and spook them.
I don't know how dangerous this neighborhood is though. If that's the case I'd say skip the lights and try to move.
No it really isn't an unsafe area..not many places in melbourne are. It's the lanes and parks that are the worry. If theres any lurkers to lurk, these are their favourite Lurkations.
Times change. young women work and go out late these days. It really is very dark and spooky. almost gas lamp and fog and Ripper territory with the big park at the back and a tangle of unlit laneways.
You probably are not aware of the "Dunny" or nightcart lanes in older Australian suburbs. :D
 
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Coastal_Fox

Member
247
102
New England
No it really isn't. Times change. young women work and go out late these days. It really is very dark and spooky. almost gas lamp and fog and Ripper territory with the big park at the back and a tangle of unlit laneways.
You probably are not aware of the "Dunny" or nightcart lanes in older Australian suburbs. :D
Haha true, im not familiar with that. Doesn't dunny mean toilet?
I can see how it could be spooky, I've been spooked in spooky places too so fair enough. Have you run the idea by her though? Maybe it would be enough. Certainly the least expensive and most diplomatic approach it sounds like.
Who owns the land?
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
Haha true, im not familiar with that. Doesn't dunny mean toilet?
I can see how it could be spooky, I've been spooked in spooky places too so fair enough. Have you run the idea by her though? Maybe it would be enough. Certainly the least expensive and most diplomatic approach it sounds like.
Who owns the land?
it's common land. It's not her thats complaining, there's 5 young single women have flats here now. They are too nervous to use the carspaces provided and park on the street. It has been discussed at the AGM and agreed it needs to be augmented ..so the service company have thrown the resolution of the problem on them.. (Two of them suggested fairy lights FFS, that's how inexperienced these kids are :D )
Good point about the motion sensors at least in the car park. a bit of a compromise. some new post lights in the gardens and paths and motion sensors in the out the back in the car parks and breezeway.
 
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Coastal_Fox

Member
247
102
New England
it's common land. It's not her thats complaining, there's 5 young single women have flats here now. They are too nervous to use the carspaces provided and park on the street. It has been discussed at the AGM and agreed it needs to be augmented ..so the service company have thrown the resolution of the problem on them.. (Two of them suggested fairy lights FFS, that's how inexperienced these kids are :D )
Well perhaps fairy lights are the amount of light she is talking about. Maybe that would be enough to make them comfortable.
A solar set of fairy lights is pretty cheap, like 10 bucks, 20 if you want really nice ones.
I have to imagine shes experienced fairly lights before and understands the amount of light they give, so maybe just grant the request and see how it goes. You're saving a lot more on the assumption she knows what she wants. If it turns out wrong, you're out 10 - 20 bucks, but if it turns out correct, you're saving hundreds haha.
 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
34,890
2,777
Melbourne
it's common land. It's not her thats complaining, there's 5 young single women have flats here now. They are too nervous to use the carspaces provided and park on the street. It has been discussed at the AGM and agreed it needs to be augmented ..so the service company have thrown the resolution of the problem on them.. (Two of them suggested fairy lights FFS, that's how inexperienced these kids are :D )
Good point about the motion sensors at least in the car park. a bit of a compromise. some new post lights in the gardens and paths and motion sensors in the out the back in the car parks and breezeway.
Yeah.. the old blokes would just love that :D strings of fairy lights dripping through all their trees and 60 year old camelias :D
It's delicate, the new guard want things changed, the old guard resist....but..they are the ones that do all the work.
If you put fairy lights to a genuinely democratic vote, the fairy lights would win hands down. there's about 5 under 8's live here too
 

Coastal_Fox

Member
247
102
New England
Yeah.. the old blokes would just love that :D strings of fairy lights dripping through all their trees and 60 year old camelias :D
It's delicate, the new guard want things changed, the old guard resist....but..they are the ones that do all the work.
If you put fairy lights to a genuinely democratic vote, the fairy lights would win hands down. there's about 5 under 8's live here too
Who doesn't like fairy lights though? Haha. They are nice.
 

longy

Overlord of Anarchy
6,753
1,124
San Diego
1) identify just what level of lighting is wanted to achieve needed security
2) identify where this lighting will be paced. Evaluate sunshine exposure at these locations year round
3) identify what type of light fixtures will be used
4) identify costs to run mains wiring to all locations

Massive lighting & camera's will suppress unwanted nocturnal activity. Can be motion activated if areas covered by multiple sensors & lights (no shadow areas of sensors & illumination)
Walkways can have path lights if 'danger spots' have floods
Parking area should really be a priority as cars are a target all night
 

Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
26,531
3,712
Suwanee River
Motion sensor solar lighting works very well. They have rechargeable AA batteries for those days when the sun isn't enough.
I'd also suggest NEBO flashlight with a strobe option.
 

Marcjsmith

Super Anarchist
3,881
1,044
Washington DC
looks like crap, but it might do the job Ive got a few neighbors who have them and they are very bright...

 
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