Solar Bollards for Commercial Spaces. A Quick Guide

Solar bollards are a great option for commercial spaces. It is always advisable to purchase a good quality solar bollard because lower cost ones are not going to last as long as their better-quality counterparts. Even though higher quality solar bollards may be expensive, their longer life is worth the money and will save you money over time. What should you look for in a solar bollard and what are the most common uses?

What to Look for in a Solar Bollard for a Commercial Space


  1. What is location for the installation? If you are going to install solar bollards in an area that is prone to flooding, then you want to ensure that the solar bollards that you choose are suitable for exposure to water and can be submersed.
  2. What is the bollard made from? Most bollards are constructed from glass, plastic or polycarbonate. Some are constructed from windscreen grade polycarbonate. The materials that the bollard is constructed from should be sturdy and will last around 10 years.
  3. Review the history of the product, i.e.., how long has that solar bollard been on the market? If it is a new product you want to ensure it has been used or reviewed for around two years prior to you purchasing it. Find out who has that product, where it is installed, and view it at night to see how it works.
  4. How solid is the bollard? Many solar bollards that are installed in public areas can be the target of vandalism by people who have nothing better to do with their time.
  5. Is the supplier and manufacturer available to obtain spare parts from if the product requires them? How long has that supplier been in business?
  6. Do the solar bollards that you are considering offer the correct lighting for what you require them for?Driveways and pathways require 180-degree lighting output while asymmetric optics do not offer any lighting output behind the bollard which prevents lighting from being directed into an area such as a bedroom window where it is not wanted. Symmetrical (360-degree output) is best suited for pool areas and general area lighting.
  7. Solar lighting should be the right size or having the power in/power out correct. Solar lighting systems require a battery back up for at least four full nights so that they are ideal for those long winter nights.

Planning Your Solar Bollard Installation

Solar lighting needs a certain amount of planning over that of main powered lighting. If solar lighting is correctly installed, then you should be able to have the reliable solution for lighting that you are looking for with a low cost over the lifecycle of the lighting system.

  1. Consider shaded areas. When you install solar lighting bollards, they need to be at least a meter high because they will be affected by shade. Most solar bollards are designed for situations where no shade is available, and this means that they are not likely to operate correctly in situations where there is not much sunlight available. You need to install bollards in areas that are not shaded, or you will not be able to achieve the standard of lighting you expected because the bollards will experience fast failure and battery discharge in a fast period. If shade is in an area for half of a day, then the power model that is selected needs to provide half the power for the all-day sun power model. Any solar lighting provider should be able to discuss your needs with you and provide you with the correct equipment.
  2. Make certain that the footing is strong, and the bollard is in place so that your bollards will not be stolen. Bolts may not be enough as the higher bollards can create the appropriate leverage for a bollard to be removed.

Bollards are used to create a certain visual perimeter around many different landmarks and these decorative posts can be used in different applications. Bollards are available in cast iron or shiny stainless steel, or powder coated which adds a colour pop.

Bollards can be resistant to impact, and some are even strong enough to withstand a hit by a vehicle. Some are non-abrasive and will bend upon impact, functioning only as a visual barrier. Some solar lighting bollards are designed to control the flow of traffic while protecting pedestrians. You will need to decide the type of bollard you would like and then determine how and where you want the bollards to be installed.

How are Solar Bollards Installed?

Bollards can be removable or fixed which makes them extremely versatile. Some bollards are installed in commercial and industrial settings and can also be changed to deal with changing access control. Fixed bollards need to have a certain crash rating if they are struck by a vehicle. Many bollards are installed into concrete substrate so that they are sturdy and fixed. Covers are often placed over them to provide a type of aesthetic enhancement; however, these covers do not add impact resistance to solar bollards. Permanently installed bollards include mounted hardware and castings or the bollards can be directly embedded into fresh concrete that has not yet hardened.

Some bollard installations are designed so that they are removable and can be removed temporarily to allow for access into certain areas by vehicles. Lock pins and padlocks can also be used to secure bollards to mounts. When bollards are designed to be removable, they can prevent vehicles from accessing certain roads or to increase security during times when certain buildings or stores are closed.

It is recommended that bollards be spaced 1.5 feet away from a curb where cars park which allows space for car doors to open and passengers can safely exit the car. There should be between 3 and 5 feet between bollards to allow for wheelchair access and pedestrian traffic

Common Uses for Solar Bollards

Architectural and landscape lighting: Solar bollards provide suitable architectural accents and are perfect for the definition of perimeters which are visual. They can be used to mark off certain areas where you do not want people to walk while enhancing the infrastructure. Bollards can relate to chains which can reinforce your installed barrier and providing an accent to landscaping and architectural features.

Protection of Cyclists and Lane Delineating: Solar bollards are a great option for delineating lines and protecting cyclists. The reasons are that they can prevent motorists from crossing into a bike lane or using the area as a place to park. These devices force vehicle drivers to be very aware that they are sharing the roadway with cyclists and must stay in their own lane. Flexible solar bollards are best because they have a taller profile and can be wrapped with reflective tape making their visibility clear to drivers during any type of weather and darkness.

Solar bollards are a great addition to any commercial space. They can help to set out borders, highlight landscaping, keep pedestrian and cyclists safe or just provide extra lighting that helps people to see where they are going. The best solar bollards are the ones that work for your specific needs, whether they are flexible or more solid, and are permanent or can be removed.


Images courtesy Orca Solar Lighting

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