Breezeway Lights Part 2

November 30, 2013

When discussing the new mini twist fluorescent bulbs, it’s important to note that these fluorescent styles cast different colors of light based upon temperature instead of wattage.  On the Kelvin scale, the lower the temperature, the warmer or softer the light.

BulbColorTempChart

 

To determine which light is appropriate for your condominium, it may take some experimenting with different temperatures.  A suggestion would be to test your lights on an entire floor or a specific segment of the property to get a good idea of what the light looks like.  Your test should include what your lights look like from the street and what your lights look like when standing underneath them.

For ocean front condominiums, consider using an even lower temperature for turtle safety.   The brighter lights tend to attract the sea turtle hatchlings away from the water.

As with any condominium decision, there will be disagreements and several opinions.  Things to consider would be to narrow down the selection to two or three available choices.  Also take into consideration what will be available over the long term.  If a lighting company is having a sale on an oddball type of bulb, resist the urge to capitalize on the savings as it is possible the lights are being discontinued and you’ll no longer be able to purchase this particular light bulb in the future.

Once the Board of Directors has decided on a light color it will be up to the Board to determine the pace at which  replace the bulbs.  To spread the cost out you can replace the bulbs a floor at a time, a building at a time or all at once. In our next installment, we’ll tell you about our not-so-scientific experiment with fluorescent lights and e persistent bugs that take up residence in the globes.


Breezeway Lights

November 30, 2013

Most high rise condominiums in Florida, and some not so high condominiums have common areas that are lit at night. Its one of those common elements that receives very little attention but can make a community look fantastic.  But as incandescent lights begin phasing out, maintenance workers have to start making light bulb purchases, not by wattage but by temperatures.

Most condominiums have compact fluorescent bulbs, either the stick tubes with pin fixtures or twist fluorescent bulbs. The tubes lights with the pin fixtures are expensive, let’s just say $3.50 per light, with most fixtures have two lights each to cast a bright enough light. These tubes lights, while not only pricey, are fragile and finicky about their position. Some maintenance companies have noted that stick lights last a while upside down (pin at the top) and not so long on their side.

Some condominiums, to save money in the long run, have gotten away from the stick bulbs and converted their fixtures to conventional receptacles allowing the association to use the mini twist fluorescent lights widely available today.  Light expenditures are cut in half by only having to use one light (at $3.50 each) compared to two lights (2 @ $3.50=$7.00).  While the cost associated with getting rid of the internal ballasts and converting to a conventional receptacle is costly at first, an association can soon see the savings with longer lasting bulbs and less bulbs.

If your condominium was lucky enough to have incandescent bulbs at one time, the jump to the mini twist fluorescent light is not a difficult one.  However, the Board of Directors will have to experiment.  Not with wattage per se but with temperature. The mini fluorescent lights cast a light based on their temperature, not the wattage. Listed on the box or the side of the ballast (base) is a Kelvin temperature.  The lower the number the warmer/softer the light.

In our next article we’ll talk more about softer lights versus brighter lights.


The Annual Meeting-Don’t Be That Guy

November 30, 2013

Annual Meetings for homeowners associations and condominium associations can sometimes be contentious affairs.  If you read our previous article about the guidelines associated with annual meetings you know that unless enough owners are present in person or by proxy, no meeting may be held. At that point the meeting turns into a gathering of neighbors.  But usually there is one person that wants to kick and scream over things that are being dealt with in the appropriate manner-don’t be that guy!

If you are attending the annual meeting there’s a pretty good chance you received the meeting notice packet.  In that meeting notice packet was an agenda outlining what would be discussed. For starters, if there is no quorum (the number of homes needed for a duly called meeting) then the annual meeting turns into a board meeting.  Secondly, follow the agenda.  If the meeting does not have a quorum, some Board members will continue through the agenda, presenting the association’s financial information, the budget for the coming year and any other pertinent information.

But most importantly, be courteous and respectful. The members of the Board of Directors have volunteered to serve in this capacity.  Imagine volunteering for a position where you have to enforce rules against your neighbor and constantly be the bad guy.  It’s a thankless job.  If you have a complaint or concern you would like to address at an annual meeting, ask a Board member or the person designated as the meeting moderator when you may be able to address the board.  There is usually time when the official business is concluded to take questions from residents.  But don’t continue to belabor a point.  The Board of Directors most likely already knows about the 5, 10, 15 homes that have unkempt lawns, needs painting or any other problems. If you are wondering nothing has been done yet, check out our other article  on violations.  Above all, be polite.  You’ll get further by being nice.