January 10, 2014
If you’ve tuned in for the last segment I guess you’re here to find out what the #9 advantage to LED lights is. So without further delay, the #9 advantage to converting to LED lights for your common area breezeways is….little to no bugs. Now this may seem inconsequential to some but to those who maintain common area lighting and for those owners that have a pet peeve about bugs in light fixtures, this could be a dream come true.
Outside of plumbing, cleaning out the plastic fixture enclosures of breezeway lights is disgusting, nauseatingly disgusting. Bugs of all shapes, sizes and smells collect around the lights because of the warmth and die, leaving a pile of dead bugs in the bottom of a light fixture. While the experiment is still in its early stages, it began in September, the light fixtures with the LED bulbs are attracting very few bugs. This is due to the lack of ultraviolet light produced by LED bulbs-no heat means no bugs. Maintenance guys all over Florida have tried all manners to seal up these fixtures but to no avail. Those gnats that are less than a millimeter in size still find their way into the fixtures and die.
So there you have it. LED bulbs (so far) do not attract bugs and therefore you have eliminated a maintenance issue and possibly saving your association some money in the process.
LED LIGHT EXPERIMENT
2700 degree Kelvin LED bulbs
Insecticide applied one time around fixture (for lights changed in September, there are still little to no bugs)
January 8, 2014
Now that the holidays are beyond us and the New Year has begun, let’s finish talking about the breezeway lights. We’ve discussed the different temperatures and styles, advantages and disadvantages. Some of our readers would probably dispute the idea that different temperature lights will cast a different color. The picture at the right shows the breezeway lights between different floors. The light in the center is actually a 2700 degree K LED light. This is an ongoing experiment that I will divulge in the next installment so make sure you keep reading.
LED lights are the newest lights available for commercial/residential use. Here are some advantages of LED lighting over incandescent and fluorescent lighting:
- Energy Efficiency-LED bulbs have been shown to be up to 80% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
- Long Life-Some LED lights can lasts as long as 100,000 hours
- Able to withstand temperature extremes-As I write this, it is 3o degrees outside. In seven months it will be 100 degrees. That’s a pretty wide temperature swing.
- Zero UV emissions-why this matters I’m not real sure.
- Design Flexibility-If you have a specific or difficult lighting project, LED lights can be customized for different applications.
- Instant Lighting-No waiting for the fluorescents to warm up enough to cast enough light.
- Low Voltage-Because LED lights can be operated at low voltage, they’re ideal for landscape lighting.
- Environmentally Friendly-You probably didn’t know there were special procedures for the disposal of fluorescent bulbs. Why? Because fluorescent bulbs contain trace amounts of mercury.
The number 9 advantage will be in the next article so make sure you check back. But, if you have been unsatisfied with your lighting and the constant maintenance and replacement that’s been going on for the past years, you might want to start putting pencil to paper and plot out the conversion of your condominiums common area lights. When you see the experiment we’ve been doing, however unscientific it was, you’ll want to start moving forward.
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.
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.
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.