FAQs

What does LightManufacturing do?

We make unique, low-cost sunlight capturing heliostats:  the H1 Heliostat. We also make turn-key manufacturing systems that use heat from the sun to build useful products, without the use of fossil fuels.Our debut solution is Solar Rotational Molding (SRM).  SRM uses concentrated solar energy from the sun to make plastic parts – with strikingly low purchase and operating costs.   We make sustainable manufacturing a competitive, cleantech reality.

Learn more about our Heliostats  – click topic to expand.

What’s a Heliostat?

A heliostat is an apparatus containing a movable or driven mirror, used to reflect sunlight in a fixed direction. As the sun moves across the sky, a heliostat makes small adjustments to the position of a mirror in order to keep reflected light on a target. The larger the mirror mounted on the heliostat, the more energy and light is delivered to the target.

Can heliostats generate LEED points for my green building project?

Yes.  In fact, heliostats like the LightManufacturing H1 are one of the simplest ways to add sustainable, low-cost solar heat and light to a new green building project, infill project, or retrofit.  Heliostats are low cost, and supply heat and light through existing building windows.

» Read more about heliostats for LEED / green building applications.

Can I heat and light a home or office with heliostats?

Yes.  Heliostats are a low cost way to capture light and heat and direct it into a building through windows.  In many buildings, some rooms never get direct sunlight at all – they face the wrong way.    Heliostats placed outside these cold /dark rooms can direct warmth and light into the rooms, transforming them into enjoyable, comfortable spaces.  Each H1 Heliostat can deliver over 1000 watts to a room, or over 115,000 lumens of light.

Multiple H1s can be combined to warm a single room faster, or you can use several H1 heliostats to warm different spaces simultaneously.

Applications include schools, office buildings, homes, industrial workspaces, farm buildings, and many other architectural uses.

Do you make solar furnace / solar oven systems?

LightManufacturing H1 Heliostats are ideal for solar furnace, solar oven, and similar applications.  Each H1 heliostat captures up to 2000 watts of solar heat, and directs it to a cooker, water heater, roasting enclosure, or other solar oven/furnace design.  Multiple H1 heliostats can target the same enclosure to deliver very large amounts of heat.

Depending on your application, LightManufacturing  can supply ISO shipping container based sun furnace target enclosures, or you may construct your own target from locally available materials.

Similar terms:  sun furnace, solar furnace, solar oven, sun oven.

Are your heliostats for Sale? What’s the availability?

Yes, the H1 Heliostat is available for sale at our heliostat order page ( click here ). The H1 heliostat is available for sale to the general public in several configurations, and we also offer sales programs for commercial customers with volume purchasing needs.

Do you make solar furnace / solar oven systems?

LightManufacturing H1 Heliostats are ideal for solar furnace, solar oven, and similar applications.  Each H1 heliostat captures up to 2000 watts of solar heat, and directs it to a cooker, water heater, roasting enclosure, or other solar oven/furnace design.  Multiple H1 heliostats can target the same enclosure to deliver very large amounts of heat.

Depending on your application, LightManufacturing  can supply ISO shipping container based sun furnace target enclosures, or you may construct your own target from locally available materials.

Similar terms:  sun furnace, solar furnace, solar oven, sun oven.

Are your heliostats for Sale? What’s the availability?

Yes, the H1 Heliostat is available for sale at our heliostat order page ( click here ). The H1 heliostat is available for sale to the general public in several configurations, and we also offer sales programs for commercial customers with volume purchasing needs.

Can heliostats enhance flat plate thermal collectors?

Yes – if you have a flat plate thermal collector (for example, for making hot water or hot air) the LightManufacturing H1 heliostats can help.  Fixed position flat plate collectors typically do not work well in the morning or later afternoon, because they are installed in a ‘best average’ position to maximize mid-day solar absorption.    This means less hot water or hot air at non-peak times.

Solution:  Use h1 heliostats to direct solar energy to your flat plate collector at off-peak times.

What are the Key Advantages of the H1 Heliostat?
  • lowest price per watt in the industry
  • up to 2.3 M2 mirror area, delivers up to 2050 watts to target per heliostat, or over 230,000 lumens
  • autonomous operation – no computer connection required except for one-time setup.
  • 90%+ efficient reflector
  • NEMA-enclosed microprocessor in each heliostat, providing autonomous operation (configuring / programming one heliostat leaves rest of array operational.
  • Fast switching between user-defined targets – no ‘single-target’ limitation
  • 12V DC power
  • Fast heliostat startup cycle
  • flat-pack form factor for efficient shipping
  • easy field repair / adjustment
  • available wireless configuration and control from your laptop – intuitive & simple
  • scalable:   systems from 1 to 1000+ heliostats.  Unlimited heat / light.
  • robust, rugged design, tolerates 60+ mph wind gusts in any position, 90+ in ‘safe’ position
  • ideal tool for applying Concentrated Solar Power ( CSP ) to industrial processes
  • ideal heliostat for home / office daylighting and heating.
  • reduce or eliminate use of fossil fuels / carbon emissions / carbon taxes
  • generate LEED points or carbon credits for Green Building applications
  • commercial grade construction – all metal, no plastic frame elements.
What are the Wind Ratings of the H1 heliostat?
  • steady wind / normal operation OK to 25 MPH / 11 meters-second
  • gust rating any position OK to 60 MPH / 27 meters-second
  • gust rating ‘safe position’ OK to 95 MPH / 43 meters-second
Do the heliostats require a computer to operate?

No.  The H1 heliostat has an internal microprocessor, and no external computer is needed for regular heliostat operation.

A computer IS used for initial setup – eg entering heliostat location (lat/long) time of day, time zone, etc – and for defining the heliostat ‘targets’ – where you want the light and heat from the heliostat to go.   After this initial setup, which is done via USB connection or wirelessly (optional), the heliostat operates totally autonomously.  All it needs is 12V DC power – which can be provided by our optional P1 or P2 solar power supplies if you’re installing the heliostat somewhere without available local power.

Autonomous heliostat operation is very important if you’re managing multiple units – you don’t want your entire heliostat array taken offline because of a central computer failure, or because of a wiring problem.  LightManufacturing H1 heliostats are robust and failure-resistant in part because each one operates autonomously.   This is important both for heliostat architectural / green building applications and for heliostat solar thermal manufacturing.

What can I do with a Heliostat?

Heliostats are the most efficient and low-cost way to harness solar energy.  Heliostats can:

  • heat homes, offices, and other buildings – one H1 heliostat can deliver over 2000 watts of heat, with no energy bill.
  • provide sunlight to shaded spaces – ‘daylighting’.  Rooms in some buildings always face away from the sun.  One H1 heliostat delivers over 230,000 lumens of beautiful natural light, free
  • replace fossil fuel heat in industrial processes – for example, in our solar rotational molding systems, LightManufacturing replaces expensive, polluting gas-fired ovens with an array of silent, clean heliostats.   Ask us how free solar thermal energy can transform your industry.
  • make steam / ‘process heat’ for industrial applications
  • enhance oil extraction
  • reduce the moisture content of crops – eg drying nuts prior to roasting, drying seafood
  • industrial-scale cooking
  • sterilize medical equipment
  • melt snow and ice
  • generate electricity in ‘power-tower’ applications
  • build solar furnaces / solar ovens

…and much more.

What’s a Heliostat?

A heliostat is an apparatus containing a movable or driven mirror, used to reflect sunlight in a fixed direction. As the sun moves across the sky, a heliostat makes small adjustments to the position of a mirror in order to keep reflected light on a target. The larger the mirror mounted on the heliostat, the more energy and light is delivered to the target.

Can heliostats generate LEED points for my green building project?

Yes.  In fact, heliostats like the LightManufacturing H1 are one of the simplest ways to add sustainable, low-cost solar heat and light to a new green building project, infill project, or retrofit.  Heliostats are low cost, and supply heat and light through existing building windows.

» Read more about heliostats for LEED / green building applications.

Can I heat and light a home or office with heliostats?

Yes.  Heliostats are a low cost way to capture light and heat and direct it into a building through windows.  In many buildings, some rooms never get direct sunlight at all – they face the wrong way.    Heliostats placed outside these cold /dark rooms can direct warmth and light into the rooms, transforming them into enjoyable, comfortable spaces.  Each H1 Heliostat can deliver over 1000 watts to a room, or over 115,000 lumens of light.

Multiple H1s can be combined to warm a single room faster, or you can use several H1 heliostats to warm different spaces simultaneously.

Applications include schools, office buildings, homes, industrial workspaces, farm buildings, and many other architectural uses.

Do you make solar furnace / solar oven systems?

LightManufacturing H1 Heliostats are ideal for solar furnace, solar oven, and similar applications.  Each H1 heliostat captures up to 2000 watts of solar heat, and directs it to a cooker, water heater, roasting enclosure, or other solar oven/furnace design.  Multiple H1 heliostats can target the same enclosure to deliver very large amounts of heat.

Depending on your application, LightManufacturing  can supply ISO shipping container based sun furnace target enclosures, or you may construct your own target from locally available materials.

Similar terms:  sun furnace, solar furnace, solar oven, sun oven.

Are your heliostats for Sale? What’s the availability?

Yes, the H1 Heliostat is available for sale at our heliostat order page ( click here ). The H1 heliostat is available for sale to the general public in several configurations, and we also offer sales programs for commercial customers with volume purchasing needs.

Can heliostats enhance flat plate thermal collectors?

Yes – if you have a flat plate thermal collector (for example, for making hot water or hot air) the LightManufacturing H1 heliostats can help.  Fixed position flat plate collectors typically do not work well in the morning or later afternoon, because they are installed in a ‘best average’ position to maximize mid-day solar absorption.    This means less hot water or hot air at non-peak times.

Solution:  Use h1 heliostats to direct solar energy to your flat plate collector at off-peak times.

What are the Key Advantages of the H1 Heliostat?
  • lowest price per watt in the industry
  • up to 2.3 M2 mirror area, delivers up to 2050 watts to target per heliostat, or over 230,000 lumens
  • autonomous operation – no computer connection required except for one-time setup.
  • 90%+ efficient reflector
  • NEMA-enclosed microprocessor in each heliostat, providing autonomous operation (configuring / programming one heliostat leaves rest of array operational.
  • Fast switching between user-defined targets – no ‘single-target’ limitation
  • 12V DC power
  • Fast heliostat startup cycle
  • flat-pack form factor for efficient shipping
  • easy field repair / adjustment
  • available wireless configuration and control from your laptop – intuitive & simple
  • scalable:   systems from 1 to 1000+ heliostats.  Unlimited heat / light.
  • robust, rugged design, tolerates 60+ mph wind gusts in any position, 90+ in ‘safe’ position
  • ideal tool for applying Concentrated Solar Power ( CSP ) to industrial processes
  • ideal heliostat for home / office daylighting and heating.
  • reduce or eliminate use of fossil fuels / carbon emissions / carbon taxes
  • generate LEED points or carbon credits for Green Building applications
  • commercial grade construction – all metal, no plastic frame elements.
What are the Wind Ratings of the H1 heliostat?
  • steady wind / normal operation OK to 25 MPH / 11 meters-second
  • gust rating any position OK to 60 MPH / 27 meters-second
  • gust rating ‘safe position’ OK to 95 MPH / 43 meters-second
Do the heliostats require a computer to operate?

No.  The H1 heliostat has an internal microprocessor, and no external computer is needed for regular heliostat operation.

A computer IS used for initial setup – eg entering heliostat location (lat/long) time of day, time zone, etc – and for defining the heliostat ‘targets’ – where you want the light and heat from the heliostat to go.   After this initial setup, which is done via USB connection or wirelessly (optional), the heliostat operates totally autonomously.  All it needs is 12V DC power – which can be provided by our optional P1 or P2 solar power supplies if you’re installing the heliostat somewhere without available local power.

Autonomous heliostat operation is very important if you’re managing multiple units – you don’t want your entire heliostat array taken offline because of a central computer failure, or because of a wiring problem.  LightManufacturing H1 heliostats are robust and failure-resistant in part because each one operates autonomously.   This is important both for heliostat architectural / green building applications and for heliostat solar thermal manufacturing.

What can I do with a Heliostat?

Heliostats are the most efficient and low-cost way to harness solar energy.  Heliostats can:

  • heat homes, offices, and other buildings – one H1 heliostat can deliver over 2000 watts of heat, with no energy bill.
  • provide sunlight to shaded spaces – ‘daylighting’.  Rooms in some buildings always face away from the sun.  One H1 heliostat delivers over 230,000 lumens of beautiful natural light, free
  • replace fossil fuel heat in industrial processes – for example, in our solar rotational molding systems, LightManufacturing replaces expensive, polluting gas-fired ovens with an array of silent, clean heliostats.   Ask us how free solar thermal energy can transform your industry.
  • make steam / ‘process heat’ for industrial applications
  • enhance oil extraction
  • reduce the moisture content of crops – eg drying nuts prior to roasting, drying seafood
  • industrial-scale cooking
  • sterilize medical equipment
  • melt snow and ice
  • generate electricity in ‘power-tower’ applications
  • build solar furnaces / solar ovens

…and much more.