The future of solar-powered light is dark in Halton Hills after a trial study was done at Kinsmen Parkette in the past year. The Town of Halton Hills Recreation and Parks Department installed a solar-powered light standard to light a walkway at the parkette on Edwards St. in Georgetown in January 2006. But readings taken in
February, July and September showed that illumination was only 20 per cent of the optimum recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the standard adopted by GTA municipalities and CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design). The 13-watt compact fluorescent lamp used is restricted by the capacity and efficiency of the energy storage batteries mounted inside the light cabinet. Cold temperatures also further reduce the light output and the efficiency of the storage batteries. In comparison, walkways at the Gellert Community Park are illuminated with a 70-watt high-pressure sodium lamp that meets the IESNA standard. Other low wattage light sources, such as
LED, also do not meet the IESNA standard. Although there are benefits to solar power (such as savings), staff recommended the Town should keep its current conventional hard-wired electrical supply system. But Halton Hills council members were not ready to give up on solar power and urged staff to keep updated on advances in technology for future use. "This is something we should keep watching to see if it does develop to a point that is viable," said Wards 1 and 2 Regional Councillor Clark Somerville. "It would be great to get part of the Town's electrical needs off the hydro grid and to be provided through reliable solar power." `This is something we should keep watching to see if it does develop to as point that is viable.' said Wards 1 and 2 Regional Councillor Clark Somerville. "It would be great to get part of the town's electrical needs off the hydro grid and to be provided through reliable solar power."
" Although we don't meet the standards that are set out maybe there is still a role for these solar-power lights where they are not needed to illuninate aresa where there is high activity, but are sufficient to deter vandalism," added Wards 3 and 4 Regional Councillor Jane Fogal. Recreation and Parks Department Director Terry Alyman noted technology is increasing in this area, but pointed out that other countries using solar power benefit from much warmer and sunnier climates. But, he agreed that it was "absolutely" worth watching future technological advances. The solar-power light at Kinsmen Parkette will remain and will be monitored by Town staff.