Chatting About Off-Grid Lights With Daisy Energy



Daisy Energy is a fascinating Ontario-based company that creates ways to self-generate power for street lights and other applications. Together with Clear Blue Technologies, a Toronto based power control technology company, they’ve developed a sophisticated sustainable outdoor lighting system they call Illumient, which uses wind and solar power to provide energy for the light.

Illumient eco-lighting removes the need for connection to the power grid and is perfect for remote locations, or where existing infrastructure makes connection to the grid cost prohibitive. By eliminating the need for underground cabling, trenching and transformers the Illumient is a cost effective alternative to traditional street or parking lot lighting.

As Toronto electricians, we deal with the city’s power grid on a daily basis and are excited about innovative companies like Daisy Energy, who are taking sustainable energy into consideration and creating amazing products like the Illumient.

Daisy Energy has been providing renewable energy system design and supplies since 2009 and we recently had the absolute pleasure of talking with Daisy Energy’s President, Brian Kennelly, to learn a bit more about what they do and how they do it.

Signature Electric: How did Daisy Energy get started?
Brian Kennelly: In 2009, I started Daisy Energy and really wanted to do something in the green energy market. It was important to me to do something that I felt passionate about and that also would be a benefit to others. Sustainable energy is evolving and growing more and more mainstream and we feel it has huge potential.

SE: Who does Daisy Energy consider to be their target market?
Brian: Our customers for the Illumient are municipalities, corporations and school boards (education via green energy). Our other off-grid power systems are sold to cottage owners, home owners and resource based companies requiring power in remote locations as an alternative to gas or diesel generators.

SE: What are some of the advantages to using The Illumient street light as opposed to a standard street lamp?Signature-Electric-toronto-electrician-daisy-energy-illumient-install
Brian: Aside from the obvious advantage of not generating any greenhouse gas emissions and reducing the demand on our aging power grid, our lights have the unique advantage of being remotely monitored and controlled from any computer or smartphone, allowing our customers the peace of mind knowing that their lights and system are operating properly. This is a huge cost savings for municipalities looking to reduce labour and maintenance costs. The other main advantage is eliminating the high cost of connecting standard street lights to the power grid.

SE: Why doesn’t The Illumient require underground wiring or infrastructure?
Brian: The Illumient is an autonomous lighting fixture that runs on its own energy powered by nature herself (sun and wind).

SE: What products/services do Daisy Energy offer?
Brian: We design and install off-grid power systems, like lights on highway signage to illuminate at night or battery backups, each one solar and/or wind powered. We also sell solar PV systems suitable for the Feed-in Tariff program offered by the Ontario Power Authority.

Signature-Electric-toronto-electrician-daisy-energy-cottage-lightingSE: What are some popular places for Daisy Energy installations?
Brian: Traditionally, anywhere with no access to the grid is a common place to install off-grid power (eg. cottages, fields, rural areas). With the introduction of the Illumient street light product, we are now seeing municipalities install them in urban areas as an alternative to traditional lighting. We expect this market to exceed our remote markets in the near future.

SE: How much does off-grid power cost?
Brian: It depends on the application, but we have complete turn key cottage packages starting at $15,000. With something like a wind/solar power package, we take care of all of the electronics, the electric panel, and the full installation.

SE: How has the GTA responded to off-grid power?
Brian: Some municipalities have already started the transition towards renewable energy by installing Illumients in new streets and parks.

Toronto has several. Here are just a few locations of where the eco-friendly outdoor lighting Illumients have been installed: Earl Rowe Park, King City, Perennial Corporation and Centennial College.

The Hamilton Wentworth Separate School Board also has several Illumients installed at some schools. They have a great educational aspect as students can go online learn about the power of nature and how energy is produced by the sun and wind.

Some companies have shown a keen interest in reducing their carbon footprint by installing the illumients instead of traditional street lamps for corporate parking lots.

SE: Do Illumients only provide light?
Brian: Along with light, we also have the ability to install cameras on the poles for additional monitoring. These cameras are especially useful in places like mines or remote train switching sites.

SE: What if the light goes out?
Brian: We monitor and notify the owner if the battery is low or if there is any other potential of the light going out. We notify the owner before the light goes out.

If the battery is running low, the system automatically dims the lights. Even with the battery at low, and if there’s no sun or wind, the batteries can last 3 -7 days.

SE: As one quick final question, who would you suggest should take a closer look at Daisy Energy?
Brian: Anyone wanting to save money and do their part for the environment. Remember, together we can make a difference!

Interested in finding more information on how the Illumient works?

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The Illumient Eco-Friendly Light