November 28, 2014

Commercial Street Lighting Considerations

Over the past several years new technologies in lighting systems have emerged which promise to greatly reduce their operational costs for city managers and commercial property owners alike. Despite these many technological advances a large majority of companies using such lighting systems are opting to retrofit their existing lighting systems rather than replacing them completely. Those who have generally replaced higher power consuming fixtures such as Metal Halides with lower consumption types like the Low Pressure Sodium fixtures. However, even fixtures such as Low Sodium  which operate at a fraction of the cost of their mega-power HID cousins are dwarfed in savings when compared to some of the newer technologies such as that found with Solar Powered Induction Street Lighting systems offering up to 60% overall savings and which are made in the USA.

Having numerous lighting as well as power configurations for both GridSmart and GridFree systems as well as a great many head fixture types, charge controller options, batteries, solar panel and powder coat colors these systems can be quickly installed in virtually any outdoor environment in approximately 1 1/2 hours per installation with basic hand and power tools. The primary concern for anyone considering these systems however should be quality components whether you are interested in LED or Inductive lighting bulbs. Opting to purchase a system simply because the price is low is a great way to ensure that you will have issues later because you will get what you pay for and unfortunately by the time you figure out why the system failed it will be too late and you will be stuck with a system you can neither return or exchange because they were imported to begin with.

There are a great many systems available that have been constructed with poorly engineered lighting fixture heads and/or bulb power boards which inevitably fail in the field. Compounding the problems these systems experience many of them are manufactured in China which makes returning them an even larger problem. So how do you avoid these problems? Buying ONLY systems with proven track records of high performance and durability in all weather conditions is a great place to start. Making sure that no matter what system you are going to purchase you will have a solid manufactures warranty of at least 10 years as well as a distributor and technical support that is local to you or at the very least in the same country.

Finally, you may want a system that can be powered independently of any grid power but do you have the location these systems require in order to fully function from dusk to dawn without additional power? When it comes to your usage of any solar powered systems nothing is more important than location, location, location. Making sure that these lighting systems solar panels are placed in the sun from 8am – 4pm without any shadowing during those hours is absolutely critical. Even the slightest amount of shading across a single panel can shutdown that panel leaving you short on stored energy in their battery systems which will result in no lighting during the dusk to dawn periods when you need it most. If you do not have this location then it is strongly recommended that you consider using a SmartGrid system which will only use grid power when it is absolutely necessary to keep your lights illuminated.

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