FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How does a solar luminaire work?

Solar modules convert solar energy into electrical energy. The latter is stored in the battery. At dawn solar modules stop producing energy (no current), the controller realises that it is dark and turns the light on. The light is turned off as soon as solar modules start producing energy in the morning. 

How long is a solar luminaire working without daylight?

All photinus luminaires operate for 3 to 9 days with full batteries.

If required, the intelligent photinus control can be switched to smart mode, which doubles the autonomy time.The controller constantly measures the voltage of the battery and continuously reduces the light output from a defined voltage below. The smart mode can be switched on by the user himself via a remote control. The autonomy times on the data sheets refer to "mode V5".

If the capacity of the battery drops below 10%, the controller shuts the power from the LED off to protect the battery from over-discharge. This means that a solar light in winter and bad weather lights at least 5 to 7 days without further energy (in smart mode also up to 18 days). The light output is adjusted by the manufacturer to the respective location.

A rule of thumb: The more southern the location of a solar lamp is, the higher the radiation and the higher the light output.

What is the maintainance interval for a solar luminaire?

We suggest to clean the solar module and the LED module once a year.

Battery has to be replaced every ten years.

LEDs have a life span of 15 years.


How long does it take to install a solar luminiaire?

Average installation time is 20-30 minutes per luminaire.

What is the life span of the battery and who can replace it?

The battery has to be replaced every ten years. The reason therefore is, that the remaining capacity is too low to guarantee a satisfying operation (expecially in winter).

Every technican is able to change the battery.

How is battery recycling organised?

You can return your battery directly to photinus.

The German foundation "Gemeinsames Rücknahmesystem Batterien" provides container to trader, townships and all public entities for the returning of batteries. This is free of charge.

ERA-ELektroRecyclingAustria provides this service in Austria.

95% of all lead-acid batteries are recycled.

What is the life span of a solar luminaire?
Battery: up to 10 years (depending on battery modell)
LED: after 100 000 hours
PV-Modul: 25 years
Pole & casing: 30 years
Is it possible to replace the solar panel and/or controller?

All components are Plug & Play and can be exchanged independently.

Which streets can be luminated?

According to official norms solar luminaires can illuminate minor and residential roads at less than 30 km/h.

These are especially the S-classes according to DIN EN13201.

In addition, all walk- and bicyle ways can be illuminated according to official norms.

What light performance can be expected?

After more than 10 years of expercience with solar lighting tought us, that we need a relation of 10:1 between the PV performance and the LED performance. One can ensure operation in Middle Europe during winter only under these circumstances. This means:

300W PV performance equals 30W lighting performance

Photinus solutions range between 3-30 W lighting performance and between some 300 - 3000 lm luminous flux.

Attention: Be aware, that some competitor use values of summer operation in their data sheets.

Does photinus use motion sensors and radar detection?

If needed, motion sensors can be applied to all photinus luminaires in order to turn the luminaires on and off.

Please consider that the range of available motion sensors is limited to 7 meters.

Using the new radar technology, the first solar light senses moving objects more quickly than conventional motion detectors by using the integrated radar. The subsequent solar lights are brought up to maximum output via radio signals. As a result the lighting of entire streets can be controlled uniformly. After a predefined period of time, all the lights are dimmed back down to the original default setting.

How does this technology perform with a lot of snow?

Photinus energy towers are designed vertically, hence it is not possible that snow remains on the solar modules. Due to the increased total radiation through reflection the radiation to the solar luminaire is even higher at snowy conditions.

Does solar streetlighting work above the 48. latitude (Bregenz)?


photinus solar lights work with correct construction at any latitude. Also in Moscow (55. latitude) and Sweden (60. latitude) we have successfully used photinus solar lights.

How are luminaires fixed?

Luminaires are either fixed by using a screw fundament (Krinner) or by using a traditional concrete pipe.

What material does have the light pole?

The light poles of the photinus solar lights are made of galvanized steel and are additionaly powder-coated. This gives the light poles a double protection against salt corrosion.