Solar ground lights illuminate walking routes along Wolverhampton canals

The challenge

The Canal & River Trust and City of Wolverhampton Council wanted to give residents and visitors to the city the confidence to safely navigate their network of canal towpaths in the winter months when it gets dark early. The solution to this challenge needed to be low maintenance, long lasting and economic to install, as well as suitable for off-grid areas.

In addition, Canal & River Trust and City of Wolverhampton Council wanted to find a lighting solution that minimised the negative impacts of artificial lighting at night on nocturnal animals, in particular bats.

The solution

Working in partnership, Canal & River Trust and the City of Wolverhampton Council, chose Solareye80 solar ground lights to be installed along six miles of canal in Wolverhampton to improve walking and cycling routes along the city’s towpaths. The project was part funded by Priority 4 of the European Regional Development Fund which supports the shift towards low carbon economies.

Solar ground lights along canal towpath

Powered by solar energy the lights illuminate at dusk and remain on until sunrise. Each of the 1,300 lights were fitted with a ‘bat hat’ which reduces upward light spillage by 98% without compromising the night time visibility for pedestrians.

By decreasing upwards light spillage, light trespass is reduced and the negative impact of the lighting on nocturnal animals that use the towpath as they hunt for food and navigate along the canal, is minimised.

Solar light on towpath next to canal in day light

The benefits

Tested in UK weather conditions with ongoing rigorous quality control, Solareye80s are proven to work all year round. They offer a practical, economical and sustainable lighting solution in off-grid areas or that do not warrant full lighting schemes. Other benefits include:

  • – Quick and cost effective to install (without the need for path closures)
  • – Practically maintenance free
  • – LED lifespan of 100,000+ hours and long-life batteries (8 years+ anticipated)
  • – CE accredited, IP68 and IK10 certified
  • – Environmentally friendly and low carbon in line with the City of Wolverhampton Council’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2028.

Solareye team clearing canal towpath with leaf blower

A word from the customer

“Our canals are great places to visit throughout the year, and now people don’t have to limit their use of these important routes to just daylight hours. The lights will mean our towpaths can be used as green walking and cycling routes year-round, allowing the local community to experience the health benefits of being next to water.

James Dennison, Enterprise manager at Canal & River Trust

“We’re really pleased to have worked on this project in partnership with the Canal & River Trust to make such a difference to our fantastic canals and towpaths. We’re very lucky to have a wonderful canal network in our city and it’s important we do all we can to help residents and visitors enjoy it.

“The new solar lights will make sure our canals and towpaths remain a safe and attractive option all year round. They are a valuable addition to our network of cycling and walking routes across the city, which we are continuing to extend and improve.”

Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council’s cabinet member for city environment and climate change

To download this case study as a PDF click here. If you would like to find out whether Solareyes are right for your project please get in touch with our specialists by calling 0845 293 8062 or completing our online form here.