Whether you own a holiday park, caravan or camping site, you will know full well the importance of having adequate lighting on your premises. From the safety of your holiday guests to the ambience you create, lighting is key.
But with such a plethora of possibilities on the market, where do you start and how do you choose?
Let’s have a look at what’s out there and what to consider as you make this all-important investment in your site.
Tips for Caravan and Campsite Lighting
Solar and Renewable Options
If you are looking to install a system that is green and renewable, solar lights are naturally a complete no-brainer. Of course, we’re talking bigger scale than the strings of lights you can pick up in most hardware stores or supermarkets these days, bought to adorn many people’s back gardens. These are, by design and price, limited in terms of battery, charge capacity, light emissions and life span. For the purposes of illuminating your site, you are going to need something of much higher calibre. Research well and you are guaranteed to find what you are looking for, provided you are prepared to make that initial financial outlay.
Solar lights need daylight to charge, with optimum charging occurring on sunny days. The positioning of the solar panels is vital to ensuring maximum exposure to the sun and to the battery fully charging. When looking for good and reliable solar lighting for your park or site, check the size of the battery and the storage capacity: the larger the storage, the greater the performance, even during the short days and long winter nights or during a period of prolonged poor weather. The SolarEye®80, for example, has the capacity to run for a steady 200+ hours, on the basis of a full charge. That equates easily to 8 constant days or 2 weeks’ worth of January nights during the darkest time of the year. And with the SolarEye®80 having a battery life of at least 8 years, it is certainly one to consider.
An additional advantage of solar lights is that they are completely off-grid. Perhaps your park or site is in a remote location somewhere, where power outages can be a frustrating, frequent occurrence not just for you but also for your guests. With the benefits of solar lighting, your site will always be lit, reducing the risks of accidents and falls as your holidaymakers make their way around your site.
Lighting Important Areas
Whilst it is important to have well-lit premises – particularly for campers trying to locate the amenities in the middle of the night – ambience is also important for your guests: no-one wants to sit outside attempting to enjoy nature at its best with floodlights blazing down on them. So, give some thought too to the effect you wish to create when researching your lighting.
It is not only important to consider your guests; it is also crucial to think about any resident wildlife you may have. If you are fortunate enough to run a site off-grid, you can rest assured that the majority of your guests will be looking for a unique “return to nature” experience when they opt to holiday with you. Bright, glaring lights will therefore be completely out of the equation, not least because they will scare off resident badgers, owls or bats: for many, the very reason they booked your site in the first place.
Traditional lighting emits omni-directional beams aiming to provide maximum illumination within the capacity of the lighting product itself. That’s great for us, but not as good for bats because the upwards light spillage seriously confuses and disturbs them, both in their roosting and feeding habits. The team here at SolarEye, however, have devised a solution not only friendly to bats but also significant in reducing light pollution. How is it done? Well, in short, we devised the “Bat Hat”! We’ve re-engineered our standard product by adding a little hat to it, reducing upwards light spillage by 98% and being 100% bat friendly. Regardless of whether you’re into bats or not, the Bat Hat’s environmental and lighting credentials make it seriously worth considering when you are looking for alternative means of lighting your premises.
Ambience and Atmosphere
Whether you decide to opt for solar lighting or not, you will need to pay particular attention to the areas you wish to highlight and the type of light that will achieve your objectives. Lights come in any number of varieties: overhead cable lighting, lamp posts, lanterns to name a few. These obviously provide light at head height and above, but think too about your pathways, particularly through woodland. Here it is easy to miss a fallen branch or other trip hazards in dimly lit areas, especially as the nights draw in and your holiday makers are still out and about revelling in the great outdoors.
Think too about the signage on your site: late arrivals, be it by car, bike or on foot won’t have a clue where they’re heading – unless they’ve been before – so, be sure to opt for lights which clearly illuminate any signage you may have, be it to specific areas, blocks or amenities or services.
Durable and Weatherproof
Make sure too that whatever you opt for, it is both robust and weatherproof. So, check the fine print for the product’s Ingress Protection rating. If you are looking to install pathway lights, you will need a product with a high IP score: IP 68 is currently the highest available for dust and water immersion so aim for something scoring very close to that.
Learn More with SolarEye
We hope the above has given you some insight and guidance as to what to look out for when considering new or replacement lighting for your holiday premises. At SolarEye we are your specialists in solar path and floor lighting with our products not only powered by renewable, free, green energy but low cost, robust, fully waterproof and requiring minimal maintenance too.
To discuss your lighting requirements with us, please get in touch today.