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.