Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado Finds Local LED Lighting Solution for Problematic Step Lights

TerraLUX LIne Voltage Linear LED Engine

TerraLUX LIne Voltage Linear LED Engine

Sometimes when you are looking for a particular lighting solution, you need not look any further than your own back yard. We had met some homeowners at a recent show who said that they had problems with their line voltage step lights (21 total) that had been installed throughout their brick outdoor living area (steps, patios, and retaining walls). The Progress step lights used 20W bulbs that are typically used in exit signs, and the way the lights were designed made it virtually impossible to keep water and moisture from entering the lights. That’s not a good thing when water comes into contact with a line voltage incandescent bulb – and the homeowner practically had a full-time job replacing bulbs.

After doing a quick Google search, I was pleased to learn about TerraLUX – a leading edge manufacturer of retrofit LED products that is located a few miles up the road from us in Longmont, Colorado. TerraLUX has developed a line of linear line voltage LED engines that can be used for retrofitting recessed step and wall lights, and for other lighting applications as well. The linear light engines are available in 4-, 6-, and 8-inch lengths and they are fully-integrated, self-contained and plug and play. Best of all they are IP-65 rated which means they can tolerate water sprays in somewhat leaky step lights. We chose the 3000K LEDs and they have an L70 of 60,000 hours, and a five-year warranty.  By the way, L70 = 60,000 hours is a shorthand way of saying in lighting nomenclature that at an operational elapsed time of 60,000 hours, the LEDs will still be generating 70-percent of their maximum lumen output.

In the photos below, you can see what the step lights looked like (with the louvered faceplates removed) when we started the work.

Pre-Retrofit Step Light in Bad Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light in Bad Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light In Good Condition

Pre-Retrofit Step Light In Good Condition

 

 

 

 

 

 

The linear LED engine mounts to the same reflector that the original incandescent bulb socket was mounted to, and this assists with heat dissipation away from the LED module itself. TerraLUX has patented the LEDSense® thermal management circuitry that optimizes the lumen output in conjunction with the LED’s operating temperature. In the photo below, you can see the results of the completed LED retrofit:

Step Light Retrofitted with TerraLUX Linear LED Engine in Denver Country Club

Step Light Retrofitted with TerraLUX Linear LED Engine in Denver Country Club

These linear LED engines are dimmable and can be used to retrofit a wide variety of lighting applications including wall sconces, ceiling fixtures, and recessed step and wall lighting fixtures in both residential and commercial settings.

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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado Installs New Energy-Efficient LEDs at Arrowhead Shores Community Entrances

 

New LED Lighting at Arrowhead Shores Community Entrance

New LED Lighting at Arrowhead Shores Community Entrance, Douglas County – Colorado

 

Last week, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP) of Colorado installed its first commercial LED fixtures at three community entrances in Arrowhead Shores (located in the Roxborough Village area of Douglas County).

The new 24W LED fixtures with a rated life of 50,000 hours, manufactured by OLP’s factory in Nashville,  replaced the old 70W metal halide fixtures with a rated bulb life of around 7,000- to 10,000- hours. The new fixtures will save the community roughly $66 annually in their electric bill, as well as savings with on-going maintenance costs to replace the metal halide bulbs and ballast.

Newly Installed LED Lighting Fixture at Arrowhead Shores

Newly Installed LED Lighting Fixture at Arrowhead Shores

Close-up of OLP Commercial LED Lighting Fixture

Close-up of OLP Commercial LED Lighting Fixture

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other advantage that LED fixtures have over metal halide fixtures is that LED’s do not experience any color shift. If you’ve ever been to a sporting event where some of the lights appear to be white, pink, green, or blue, etc., you’re actually seeing metal halide bulbs in different points in their life cycle.

Since the original lighting fixtures were powered by line voltage, we used line voltage for the new fixtures as well. However, each fixture had a small, self-contained low voltage transformer to power the four, 6W LEDs in each unit. As you can see in the photo above, these very green, energy-efficient fixtures do a great job lighting a community entrance – and we look forward to installing more of these at entrance monuments and other commercial applications as well.

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Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Launches New Commercial Lighting Program

Induction Fluorescent Retrofits

Two weeks ago I had the privilege of attending a new and exciting commercial lighting training class at our company headquarters in Richmond, Virginia. The class focussed on new “green” lighting technologies (LED and induction fluorescent) for commercial applications such as area lighting (street, park, walkway, etc.), parking garage lighting, and wall and warehouse lighting. Almost all of these lighting applications can be found at apartment/townhome communities, business parks, parking garages, auto dealerships, warehouses, restaurants, etc.

Our company will be offering Free Energy Savings Assessments (Lighting Energy Audit/Payback Period) – and show how replacing outdated outdoor lamps (especially High-Intensity Discharge (HID) (high pressure sodium, metal halide) lamps) with our new LED and induction fluorescent retrofits can save a client up to 50% in their electrical bills.

Induction flourescent lighting has an extremely long performance life of up to 100,000 hours (over 22 years!) – that’s 5 to 8 times longer than the typical HID lamps. This technology offers a very high system efficiency with dramatically lower electrical bills and operational maintenance costs, and much better nighttime visibility. Additionally, federal government tax deductions provided through EPAct  (Energy Policy Act of 2005) for reducing building energy usage are in effect through the end of 2013 for interior applications such as parking garages, warehouses, and other commercial buildings. Additionally, many electric utilities such as XCEL Colorado  offer rebates for new green lighting installations or retrofits. OLP of Colorado will assist you in identifying all of the rebates, tax deductions and/or credits for which your particular project may be eligible.

 

Induction Fluorescent Lighting Compared to HPS

The photo above clearly demonstrates the excellent Color-Rendering Index for induction fluorescent lighting as well as its overall efficiency. Whether it’s for a completely new lighting installation or a retrofit opportunity, induction fluorescents are becoming more widely used. 

 
While LEDs are part of everyone’s current vocabulary, induction fluorescents are less well-known. However, that is about to quickly change because …
 
Induction Fluorescents     =     Twice the Life & Half the Price of LEDs!
 
You can learn more at SwitchYourLights.com.
 
 

 

 

 

Park Lighting Project Completed for Piney Creek

LC40 Lamp Post at Entrance to Piney Creek Picnic Area

Our company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado, just completed its latest lighting project at a community park – the Piney Creek Park near the intersection of East Orchard Road and South Joplin Way in the City of Centennial.

The picnic area next to the beautiful lake and water feature in the Piney Creek Park had been without functioning lighting for several years. The six four-foot tall bollard lighting fixtures  that had been installed there previously were vandalized and damaged beyond repair. The home owners’ association (HOA) realized that they needed a different lighting solution that would not only deter vandalism but also enchance the beauty and usability of the park throughout the year.

What we specified and installed are the 14-foot tall, LC-40 pole lamp posts (150W Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH)) manufactured by our national company in Nashville, Tennessee. The lamp posts are made of cast and extruded aluminum – and for this installation they were powder-coated black for an elegant and traditional look.

What really sets these lamp posts apart from any other installation you’ll see in Colorado today is the use of the Ceramic Metal Halide (CMH) bulb technology. These CMH bulbs with a life of 18,000 hours generate 12,000 lumens while producing a Color Rendering Index (CRI) ABOVE 90! What that means is that the flowers, trees, and rocks, etc. look the same way illuminated at night as they would appear during the daytime. What a concept! And unlike regular metal halide bulbs, CMH bulbs never experience any sort of color shift; i.e., the CMH bulb will always provide a pure white light from the first day it is turned on until the day it burns out.

As a comparison, the current LED technology can generate at best only 50 lumens per watt while the current CMH technology can generate 80 lumens per watt. LED technology is rapidly improving but it still has a way to go to compete with CMH technology where you need to have a lot of light (lumens) at the ground level.

All of the lamp posts were mounted on four-foot deep, two-foot diameter concrete caissons with engineered rebar cages to withstand the higher wind loads that we encounter along the Colorado front range. I’ve attached some additional photos of the construction phase as well as some additional nighttime photos taken after the installation.

LC-40 Lamp Post Closeup at Piney Creek Park

 

Raising the First of Three Lamp Posts in Piney Creek Park

Piney Creek Park Lighting

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives LC40 Lamp Post - Piney Creek Park at Sunset

Celebrate Earth Day Today!

Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day today – April 22, 2010. I’m actually old enough to remember the first Earth Day when I was a sophomore at Penn State. Earth Day has certainly come a long way since then. Fortunately more and more people worldwide are beginning to live their lives and run their businesses as though Earth Day were every day of the year!

At Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP) of Colorado, we certainly emphasize the use of energy efficient lighting products such as low voltage quartz halogen, low voltage LED, line voltage Ceramic Metal Halide, line voltage induction fluorescent, and Lighting Control Automation™ for our residential and/or commercial customers. For interior lighting, Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) and LEDs are helping to greatly reduce homeowners’ energy usage as well.

Sometimes, even the little things add up. In OLP’s business operations we recycle copper wiring and the copper cores of low voltage transformers, stainless steel transformers, office papercardboard, and aluminum cans. For service calls and installations, we route and schedule our crews/vans to minimize travel time and mileage.  To improve fuel economy, we off-load unnecessary inventory/tools and ladders on roof racks before heading off to that day’s job tickets.

To take part in Earth Day festivities being held this week in Colorado, please take a look and participate in the events shown below:

EARTH DAY 40TH ANNIVERSARY NREL Visitors Center, Golden; April 19 – 23; free events during the week; www.nrel.gov

EARTH DAY ON EAST MOUNTAIN – 240 – 262 E. Mountain Avenue, Old Town Fort Collins; April 22. Block Party – celebrate Earth Day with live music/food, demos and presentations about growth and sustainability. www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/event.php?eid=105316966166440&ref=ts

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS – 1007 York St., Denver; April 22; FREE DAY for Colorado residents; www.botanicgardens.org

EARTH DAY AT RED ROCKS – Saturday, April 24; Red Rocks Amphitheater; Morrison. Eco-friendly events – musical performance by Aspen Meadow, wolves from W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, clean up event at the park and environmental displays. www.windstarcoloradoconnection.org

PIKES PEAK EARTH DAY – Saturday April 24; Cornerstone Arts Center – Colorado College, Colorado Springs. Theme – 40 Years of Earth Day – ReVision, RePurpose, ReNew. www.Pikespeakearthday.org

EARTH FEST 2010 – Sunday, April 25; downtown Boulder – Central Park, Bandshell and Farmers Market. Eco activities/events – renewable energy demos, 5th Annual Dirt Day Advanced Challenge/EXPO, live music and organice food. www.earthfestboulder.net

So whether you celebrate at one of these events or by doing something for Mother Earth at home, have a good time and remember that Earth Day should be every day of the year!

Sleeves Make Landscape Lighting a Lot Easier

Examples of 1.5-, 2.0-, 4-inch diameter sleeves

Many homeowners this time of year are contemplating or even starting home improvement and landscaping projects, including new walkways, patios or driveways. With any type of hardscaping project, please make sure that sleeves are installed beneath any new concrete or brick pavers so that irrigation pipes/control wiring, lighting wiring, and speaker/sound system wiring can be installed at any time after the new hardscaping surfaces have been completed. Above you can see examples of the typical sleeve diameters used for most residential installations.

So what are sleeves exactly? They are heavy-duty polyvinyl chloride (PVC) conduits through which sprinkler irrigation and other wiring can be easily run whenever that phase of the project is ready to begin. Typically, hardscaping contractors will indicate the positioning of the sleeve(s) by a “vee”-shaped notch in the edge of a sidewalk or driveway for example. This saves a lot of work searching for sleeves as well as a lot of unnecessary disruption to the surrounding landscaping.

Since sleeves are relatively inexpensive compared to the increased time and labor cost of boring under a wide driveway, for example, my recommendation is to always install more sleeves than you think you’ll ever need. The other rule of thumb is not to use the same sleeve for both electrical wiring and irrigation pipes, for obvious reasons.

In fact today our crew was doing a lighting installation at a community entrance where the sleeve under the street has become a major headache. The original landscaper installed only one 4-inch diameter sleeve under the street – and then proceeded to run both the 2.5-inch irrigation pipe and all of the irrigation control wires through that same sleeve. Of course, the water and the electrical wiring should have been in separate sleeves. If that had been the case, our low voltage wiring could have easily been pulled through the wiring sleeve. As it is now, we’ll have to investigate other options including directional boring at $18 to $20/foot.

Community developers should also plan on providing line voltage power either behind entrance monuments or nearby to facilitate the installation of irrigation controllers, outdoor landscape lighting systems, and holiday lighting.

So the next time you’re planning an outdoor project, please do not forget the sleeves!

Celebrate Earth Hour Today!

Tonight from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm in each local time zone around the world, supporters of the World Wildlife Federation’s annual EARTH HOUR campaign will turn off their lights to take a stand against global climate change. While the energy savings for this one-hour effort may be minimal, more important will be the global show of support by making a visual statement for the sustainability movement.

Started in Australia in 2007, EARTH HOUR’S support has grown worldwide and some of the most famous buildings will go dark for one hour during their local 8:30 to 9:30 pm time period including Toronto’s CN Tower, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Rome’s Colisseum, and Paris’ Eiffel Tower.

In Colorado, both the Governor’s Mansion and the State Capitol building will go dark for one hour. Governor Bill Ritter said that Colorado has become a great example of how a state can implement aggressive energy reduction goals while growing a New Energy Economy. I am proud that Colorado can be a part of this worldwide effort to bring attention to the dire consequences of global climate change.

Please join Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado in supporting this worldwide effort. We of course are trying to do our part by reducing the energy/carbon footprints of both our residential and commercial lighting installations. By introducing and installing energy efficient LED lighting systems for residential applications as well as Lighting Control Automation™ we are greatly reducing our customer’s usage of electricity. On the commercial side, we are installing energy efficient Ceramic Metal Halide fixtures.