Only 4 More Days to See the Colorado Garden and Home Show

Woolly Mammoth in Entrance Garden

There are only FOUR days remaining in the beautiful Colorado Garden and Home Show. You can begin your day at the show in the entrance garden where ice age creatures such as the woolly mammoth and ancient tigers come to life. Stroll the magnificent gardens and see the sights and aromas of spring as you take in the 400,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Colorado Convention Center.

Please be sure to save some time to visit the 9News Hot Products Zone which is located at the top of the escalators near the show entrance. There you will see the nine latest and greatest gardening and home improvement products – including the LED landscape lighting line by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado.

Our exhibit is located in booth #1442 – and there you can see the LED lighting fixtures up close as well as the latest in low voltage quartz halogen fixtures, line voltage Ceramic Metal Halide fixtures, and Lighting Control Automation™.

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado Exhibit - Booth #1442

We certainly look forward to seeing you at the show!

ProGreen Expo Wrap Up

ProGreen Expo Exhibit

We finished the ProGreen Expo last week and it was a very rewarding show. Not only did we renew friendships with old acquaintances and trade alliances, we also had the pleasure of starting new relationships as well. The major hits of the show were our expanded product offerings of line voltage commercial fixtures (with Ceramic Metal Halide Bulbs) that have applications ranging from commercial buildings, community entrances, and parks.

After completing this 3-day show, we’re off and running to the 9-day marathon also known as the Colorado Garden and Home Show.

See Us at the ProGreen Expo

Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado will be exhibiting at the upcoming ProGreen Expo to be held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver – on Wednesday, February 10th (9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.), February 11th (9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) and Friday (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.) in Booth #2227.

The ProGreen Expo is one of the largest product/trade shows in the country for the GREEN and landscaping markets with over 600 exhibitors. OLP of Colorado will be launching its new Product Sales Division that will be able to distribute our high quality products/services directly to landscaping contractors. OLP of Colorado will be showcasing its low voltage quartz halogen and LED lighting fixtures/transformers, as well as its line voltage commercial grade Ceramic Metal Halide fixtures.

LEDs Selected by 9News as Hot Product of 2010

For the second year in a row, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado is proud to have one of its newest product lines selected by 9News for the 2010 Hot Products Zone at the upcoming Colorado Garden and Home Show. The product line selected is our new and innovative LED line of  landscape and architectural lighting products.

LED Landscape Lighting - 9News Hot Product

Out of over 600 exhibitors at the show, we’re proud to be one of the nine companies showcased in the Hot Products Zone in the lobby of the Colorado Convention Center.

On display will be several of our innovative and next generation LEDs for illuminating both landscape and architectural applications.

After viewing the Hot Products Zone, please visit our main exhibit on the show floor – Booth #1442. We look forward to seeing you at the show.

Colorado Garden and Home Show

Come visit us at the upcoming Colorado Garden and Home Show February 13th through the 21st at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver in Booth #1442. The show’s hours on Saturdays are (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.), Sundays (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and from Monday through Friday (Noon – 8 p.m.).

The show features over 600 companies dedicated to the home and garden marketplace. Not to be missed by kids of all ages is the Mammoths, Tigers and Flowers – Creatures of the Ice Age Entry Garden.

Special Spring discounts are available for current customers – so watch your email for all the details.

Spring is right around the corner and we look forward to seeing you at the show so that you can see all of the latest products (LEDs etc.).

New Commercial Website Is Live

In the early ’90s, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives (OLP) revolutionized the design, delivery/installation, and maintenance of residential landscape/architectural lighting. Almost all landscape lighting prior to that time was installed by electricians or by do-it-yourselfers with basic lighting kits – and the fixtures and low voltage transformers were purchased through local electrical/lighting supply houses/distributors. It was not uncommon under this scenario to have to wait 2 to 5 weeks for the distributor to order and obtain the products from the lighting manufacturer. OLP’s vertical integration with its local franchisees and factory decreased this turnaround time to a couple of days.

OLP is doing the same thing with its Commercial Lighting Division with the launch of its new commercial lighting website. Standard products can literally take only days to obtain (slightly longer for custom powder-coated versions). Just as is the case with all of our lighting designs and installations on the residential side, the emphasis on commercial lighting is also with quality design and lighting effect. OLP offers a complete turnkey operation – from design, installation, and on-going service.

OLP’s commercial lighting division emphasizes the latest in green-energy technology from low voltage quartz halogen/LED to line voltage Ceramic Metal Halide and Induction Fluorescents. In other words, we use just the right wattage bulb to do the job – but not one watt more than we need to!

To read the full press release from PR Web click here.

Our Annual Meeting

Last week Cathy and I had the privilege of attending Outdoor Lighting Perspectives’ (OLP) Annual Conference that was held at the beautiful Amelia Island Plantation located near Jacksonville, Florida. I was asked to speak about our involvement with the Community Association’s Institute as well as some of our more interesting lighting projects for various HOAs in Colorado.

One of the best benefits of being part of a large national/international franchise system is the opportunity to discuss best business practices with other local franchise owners. In addition, two of OLP’s manufacturers were there to introduce new products and other technological advances.

Shown at left is a new 6W LED replacement for a quartz halogen MR16 bulb-fixture. In addition to a complete new line of LED products, also unveiled was a line of commercial induction fluorescent fixtures, and an expansion of the ceramic metal halide commercial line.

It was a great break and it’s always fun to see the ocean – especially being from water-challenged Colorado. The important thing is that we learned a lot and are ready to move forward in 2010 to provide better service and products to our customers.

Holiday Lighting with LEDs Looks Great and Saves Energy Too!

I know, I know – the holiday season and Christmas have long since passed – but I’m continuing the highlights of 2009. As you can see in the following photo, Christmas/holiday lighting with LEDs looks great and we’ll be using it for all new Christmas/holiday lighting installations we do in the future.

Christmas Lighting with LEDs

LEDs use only 10-percent of the energy as compared to standard incandescent mini light bulbs. Other important features are that they are very durable with 10,000-plus hours of continuous bulb life and very safe with very cool operational temperatures.

In addition, the epoxy lenses are virtually indestructible and parallel wiring means that if one LED bulb burns out, the other bulbs will stay lit.

Mead’s Article – Outdoor Lighting Makes a Statement for a Community – Published

Hi – it’s Cathy here. I just wanted to let you know that Mead’s article – Outdoor Lighting Makes a Statement for a Community was published in the December 2009 issue of Common Interests – a publication by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. Mead’s article in its entirety follows.

 

 

 

Outdoor Lighting Makes a Statement for a Community

Mead L. Noss, P.E.

Owner, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Colorado

 

Communities take great pride in the aesthetics of their public spaces and landscaped areas during the daytime, and in the evening a community’s outdoor lighting should also set the appropriate tone. Does the community seem warm and inviting (safe and secure)? Or does the lighting detract from the overall experience of the neighborhood? Are the residents enjoying the public spaces after dark with well-illuminated path and bikeways?

More often than not, outdoor lighting in communities can be improved greatly with modern bulb technology, fixtures, and more effective lighting design. How many times have you driven by a community entrance with beautifully landscaped flower beds in the daytime only to be aghast at the same location in the evening as the once-beautiful landscaping is now bathed in the harsh yellow light from high-pressure sodium floods? In the current economic times with increasing energy costs and reduced operating budgets, communities now have the option of enhancing their outdoor lighting without sacrificing safety, security, aesthetics, usability, or energy efficiency.

Safety and Security

With any outdoor lighting system, safety and security are paramount. A good community lighting plan begins at all of the entrances to the community. You certainly want homeowners and their guests to find the community easily after dark but more importantly you want emergency fire, police and medical crews to find their way there even more quickly.

Well-placed and directed lighting will enhance the view of security cameras at an entrance gate or community center. Additionally, the security and accessibility of community mailboxes will be enhanced with overhead lighting.

Clubhouses, parks and other public areas must be properly illuminated to prevent falls and injuries after dark, as well as to deter vandalism and other crimes. Street lighting especially at intersections throughout the community enables motorists to find street signs after dark and to allow pedestrians to safely enjoy their evening walks.

The security of individual homeowners’ houses is also improved by architectural and landscape lighting that illuminates both the home and the perimeter of the property. Any police department in the state or country will tell you that burglars will almost always target the homes without lighting rather than taking risks with homes that are well-illuminated.

One of the myths about security and outdoor lighting is that if a little lighting is good, adding much more lighting is better – right? Well, that’s not actually the case. If the lighting fixtures produce lots of glare, adding additional fixtures of the same type or increasing the wattage of the bulbs will actually produce more glare thereby reducing visibility and security. A truism of good lighting design is that the quality of light is always better than the quantity of light.

Aesthetics and Usability

The aesthetics and usability of the overall lighting found in a community is of the utmost importance. The impression of the community after dark should be warm and inviting without harsh lights or glare. How often have you driven into a community only to be blinded by unshielded carriage lights at the entrance or by unshielded carriage lights along the street on driveway columns?

There are two types of glare – nuisance glare and disabling glare – and carriage lights along the street really do approach the level of disabling glare, especially for older drivers. As we age, our eyes become more susceptible to the effects of glare and it takes us longer to recover our full vision.  

Misdirected flood lights from one neighbor’s house into the adjacent neighbor’s yard (called light trespass) is unpleasant and can be categorized as nuisance glare – and it certainly affects the usability and enjoyment of the affected neighbor’s yard or his/her night’s sleep if the lighting is visible from their bedroom.

Any time that a bulb source is visible to anyone living in or driving through a community, it means that the lighting and resulting energy costs are wasted because the lighting is not directed to only where it’s needed.

Energy Efficiency and Cost

One of the first rules of lighting design is to not specify more light than you need; i.e., do not use line voltage metal halide lighting fixtures where low-voltage quartz halogen or LED (light-emitting diode) fixtures might do. It all depends on the ambient lighting conditions, what needs to be illuminated, and how the space is to be used in the evening. Evening lighting demonstrations with different lighting and cost options can provide communities with meaningful and visual comparisons from which to base their future capital improvement decisions.

Recent technology has improved to the extent that lighting designers and contractors can now provide energy efficient lighting that is effective from both a lumen output and Color Rendering Index (CRI) standpoint. What exactly is CRI? CRI is the comparison of how well a particular light source emits a color approximating a noon time sun (See the following table).

COLOR RENDERING INDEX TABLE

LIGHT SOURCE CRI
Noon Day Sun 100
Great Color (color matching above 97)   95+
Good Color   80 – 94
Poor Color (where colors do not show)   79
Fluorescent and Induction Fluorescent   50 – 98
LED   70 – 80 (getting better)
High Pressure Sodium   50
Quartz Halogen   80 – 92
Metal Halide   80+
Ceramic Metal Halide   90 – 96

 

Ceramic Metal Halide bulbs (39W or 70W) with a 15,000-hour life powered by low-voltage or line-voltage systems provide the true color (90-96 CRI) that is desired for lighting entrances, parks, and clubhouses in the evening.

Quality low-voltage LED (light emitting diode) fixtures with 50,000-hour rated life bulbs have recently become available and with an acceptable and improving CRI. The tradeoff investment-wise is a higher initial cost with lower residual operating costs.

When comparing bulb sources and efficiency, another helpful term is the lumen. A lumen is the measurement of reflectant light off of a surface. This is how all light sources are rated as you can see in the following table:

LUMEN COMPARISON BY LIGHT SOURCE

LIGHT SOURCE LUMENS/WATT
Incandescent   8
Quartz Halogen  15 – 19
Mercury  30 – 40
LED  30 – 80
Fluorescent  40 – 80
Metal Halide  80 – 110
Induction Fluorescent  80
Ceramic Metal Halide  80 – 110
High Pressure Sodium 120

 

As you can see from the table, incandescent bulbs are very inefficient and high pressure sodium bulbs are very efficient, as long as you like everything looking yellow in the evening. With respect to energy efficiency and light quality, line voltage or low voltage ceramic metal halide and low voltage quartz halogen lighting systems are the best solution, with low-voltage LED lighting systems becoming more and more acceptable for certain applications. In fact, LED lighting installations powered by off-the-grid solar photovoltaic systems are the optimum solution for community areas requiring lighting but having no readily available source of power.

Maintenance

Warranties and maintenance costs become very important over the long term with respect to lighting systems – and communities and their respective homeowners should try to obtain the best warranties available. In addition, the best maintenance for any lighting system is usually provided by the original company that installed it since they are most familiar with the product and installation. However, not all companies that install lighting systems also provide maintenance so that is an important consideration when evaluating a contractor.

As with any other asset in the community, lighting systems need to be maintained on a regular basis to provide optimum performance and to serve the needs of the community. In closing, the appearance of any outdoor lighting system (daytime or evening) really does set an appropriate tone for the community.

Sources:

  1. Go Green, Save Green presentation, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives Commercial Lighting Division, 2008.
  2. Illuminating Engineering Society

Solar Photovoltaic/LED Dark-Sky Compliant Entrance Lighting

Continuing our theme of highlights for 2009, the most interesting project was our solar photovoltaic lighting installation for the Village of Genesee. We had received a request from the Villages’s property management firm to provide lighting at two entrances – one with power and one without power. The site without power therefore would require the installation of an off-grid solar photovoltaic lighting system.

Site without Power

Both sites required that the fixtures be dark-sky compliant; i.e., the fixtures must point downward so as to not discharge any light into the night sky. In addition, both installations had to withstand the extra wear and tear of heavy snowstorms, the excessive mountain winds, and last but not least, the large herd of elk.

What made this installation feasible was the introduction of the next generation LED (light emitting diode) fixture that draws only 3.7 watts. Our manufacturing partner is now providing us with very high-quality LED lighting fixtures with excellent color and lighting effect. By changing the lens optics, we could vary the lighting effect to create just the right lighting for the monument signage. A photo taken during the actual evening demonstration is shown below.

Evening LED Demo

On the solar photovoltaic (PV) side, the technology in terms of cost and quality has also improved significantly over the last few years. Coupled with the advances of the LED lighting technology, a high quality, long lasting solar PV/LED installation was now a reality.

A 20W solar PV panel was installed along with a solar gel battery that would provide at least five days of stored power for the system – enough to outlast long periods of clouds and snow during the winter months.

The battery, the controller (the brains of the system), and the lighting surge suppression system were installed in the aluminum equipment bay which was itself installed at the top of a structural aluminum pole. A photo of the completed installation is shown below.

Completed Installation with Solar PV Mast in Background

Interestingly, the solar PV panel has been blocked by snow only once this season. Prior to last Halloween, the foothills received 37-inches of snow and the HOA president had to brush off the panel with a broom with an extension handle.

In addition, the LED lighting installation at the second site that already had power was completed – and that installation is shown below. For this installation, two box floods each having 35-watt high pressure sodium bulbs were replaced by the two 3.7-watt LED lighting fixtures. The monthly electric bill for the HOA at this entrance dropped from $80.00 to $11.00!

LED Lighting Installation with Power