Montano De El Dorado Parking Lot

Grid-free SMART solar lights improve pedestrian safety, appeal, and extend hours at popular California shopping plaza


Perkins Commercial Group

Project Overview

A popular hub in the affluent Northern California town of El Dorado Hills, the Montano De El Dorado Shopping Plaza, offers a Mediterranean-inspired shopping experience
with great dining options. Due to the plaza’s popularity, suburban location, and close proximity to major roads in the Greater Sacramento area, the plaza’s parking lots are vital assets for both patrons and employees.

Night-time safety calls for additional lighting

The previously unlit overflow parking lot created safety concerns amongst diners, shoppers and plaza employees. Consequently, the overflow parking lot wasn’t fully utilized at night and as a result, the dining and entertainment outlets were not being fully patronized.

Traditional grid lighting was considered, however due to continually increasing energy prices and the work required for installation, this was going to be an expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming prospect. Another challenge that needed to be considered was the potential impact of obtrusive lighting disturbing nearby residents and the neighbouring Homeowner’s Association (HOA).

To keep operating costs low, the plaza owners sought out a sustainable solar lighting solution for the Montano De El Dorado Plaza overflow parking lot. Leadsun provided a compliant design with a photometric lighting design showing foot candle levels for the overflow parking lot, and at the nearest property line. This was required for both obtaining city approval and addressing the HOA’s obtrusive lighting concerns.

All-year-round dependable lights with flexible operation

California experienced an uncharacteristically harsh winter in early 2023, with weather conditions threatening solar energy collection. Despite this,
the quality, performance, and leading battery technology from Leadsun’s SMART solar lighting systems ensured the lights kept shining every night, much to the delight of patrons and employees of the Montano De El Dorado Plaza.

To further reduce night-time light pollution and conserve battery, the systems remain dimmed with illumination increasing only when activity is detected. The lights also include EDGE wireless monitoring and control, which allows plaza management to check the battery health of each system and remotely turn on/off or dim any lights as required or if requested by the HOA.

Shopping on a safe mountain of gold

Ten Leadsun AE3 All-In-One SMART solar lights are now installed in the overflow parking lot at Montano De El Dorado Shopping Plaza, providing much greater visibility, safety and a more inviting environment for pedestrians and drivers alike. Vinal, the Plaza owner/manager, believes that Leadsun’s SMART solar lighting installation is the way to go. Not only has Leadsun’s SMART solar lighting solution saved the plaza from costly utility bills, Leadsun’s environmentally sustainable and economical solution also meets the lighting and safety needs of the plaza’s patrons and employees, much to the delight of the local community.

Leadsun Products Used

  • Number of lights – 10
  • Solar module series –AE3 
  • Solar size –80W
  • LED output programming –100% dusk – midnight, 0% after midnight
  • Pole footing type –Concrete footing
  • Pole type – 80mm Steel Pole
  • Additional solutions –EDGE

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