Nationwide Streetlight Upgrades Slash Energy Costs Over 40%

All across the country, old, outdated streetlights are being transformed into high-powered performers thanks to Avista®, the advanced LED light engine. Discover how retrofitting your existing fixtures or complementing new ones can enhance the beauty and safety of your environment.

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Lead Capture

Why University Facility Managers Choose Amerlux

Amerlux AvistaLike academics, the subject of safety is mission critical on college campuses.

From a facility manager’s perspective, the objective is to find ways to mitigate potential incidents of crime and injury. Such unfortunate outcomes can increase a university’s liability, insurance rates and bad media coverage, which could have a negative impact on student enrollment.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, colleges reported the incidence of some 39,000 campus crimes in 2015, involving everything from burglaries/robberies to physical/sexual assault and car theft. In addition, a National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reveals that roughly two-thirds of physical/sexual assaults and nearly three-quarters of all auto thefts occur at night.

A recent survey of 179,000 college students by collegestats.org revealed that “walking on unlit pathways” represented one of students’ top safety concerns on campuses nationwide.  A recent article published in University Business Magazine by author Neal Raisman further reiterated that “nothing generates a sense of fear like dark areas” and that good lighting in parking lots, pathways, halls, and lobbies is among the most immediate actions colleges and universities can take to deter crime and increase students’ and faculty’s sense of safety and security.

Amerlux’s LED Solutions Shine on Higher Education

To help college’s proactively address negative events, Amerlux has recently launched exterior products to better light walkways, steps and dingy parking garages, while dramatically reducing energy expenses.

Previously dominated by more conventional halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and HID light sources in higher education settings, street, step/pathway, and garage lighting have all been revolutionized by the emergence of LED technology over the last five years and are among the fastest-growing segments of the LED market today based on the variety of benefits they deliver:

  • Energy Efficiency – LED technology draws only a fraction of the power of its more conventional lighting counterparts, reducing energy bills by anywhere from a third to as much as 90 percent while enhancing sustainability and helping to position the institution as a leader in green practices.
  • Long Life – While conventional light sources require more frequent change-out and maintenance due to their more limited lifespan, the 50,000-100,000 hours of rated life available on many LED fixtures ensure years – even decades! – of maintenance-free operation, resulting in lower maintenance costs and enhanced maintenance crew productivity.
  • Consistency and Uniformity – While conventional light sources can suffer from considerable lumen depreciation over time, LED technology maintains a significantly higher level of light output for much longer (per the lighting industry’s L70/LM-80 measures) and isn’t subject to performance issues such as color shifting and hot spotting, both of which can cause gaps and shadows along pathways, around corners, and in parking garages that can promote criminal behavior or lead to accidents. Their availability in a variety of color temperatures offers clean, white light that delivers improved visibility and a greater sense of security to students and faculty.
  • Reliability – While conventional light sources may not always be able to withstand certain types of harsh environments, extreme weather conditions, or temperatures below or above specific thresholds, the unique properties of LEDs render them extremely durable and weather-resistant, especially in cold and/or wet conditions.
  • Improved CCTV Resolution – A recent article in Private University Product & News noted that LED technology significantly enhanced the visibility (and subsequent usability) of security footage captured at colleges and universities utilizing closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems or who operated security cameras throughout their facilities.
  • Environmental Friendliness and Appeal – Unlike fluorescent and HID sources, LEDs contain no mercury or other hazardous substances and run much cooler and more efficiently, losing far less energy in the form of heat relative to their predecessors. Their powerful yet flexible and low-profile formats also render them able to easily match and/or complement any exterior design or décor.

A leader in application-driven lighting innovation for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s LED fixtures deliver high-performing, reliable, energy-efficient, comfortable illumination to streets, pathways, building exteriors, and parking garages at colleges and universities nationwide through the company’s Avista, Passo and Chaperone product lines.

Amerlux Products Address Multiple University Applications

Designed to bring an ease and seamlessness to campus and university streetlighting, Amerlux’s Avista LED light engines are simple-to-use yet advanced LED light engines ideal for retrofitting traditional and post-top luminaires or for use in new construction applications.  Featuring a completely-sealed LED optical chamber, the highly-efficient Avista delivers cutting-edge optics and extraordinary output to meet the most demanding streetlighting needs at today’s academic institutions, while their simple-to-install design incorporating adjustable height levels allows maintenance professionals to position the light exactly where it’s needed for optimal application and maximum performance, taking LED streetlighting on the nation’s campuses to the next level.

Amerlux’s Passo step lights are ideal for use in steps, staircases/stairwells, landscaping, and in walls/building exteriors to light walkways and add ambiance to building facades. Passo provides universities with technology that not only enhances outdoor safety and security but adds a touch of beauty as well.  Weather-proof and IP-66 rated, Passo features an independently sealed LED optical chamber that eliminates water infiltration, the No. 1 cause of product failure, and minimizes the risk of outages and subsequent labor costs associated with burn out or other maintenance.  Powerful, easy to install, available in a wide selection of sizes, faceplates, color temperatures, and light output levels, and incorporating a standard 0-10V dimmable driver to ensure greater integration with popular controls, Passo takes step/orientation lighting to the next level to enhance visibility and peace of mind for students and faculty alike.

Regarding parking garages at universities, Amerlux’s Chaperone LED fixtures use an upward-facing LED board and reflector to softly cast light towards the ground while sending a small amount of light upwards to illuminate the ceiling, eliminating the cave effect present in many garage lighting systems and creating an inviting environment that makes campus garages feel safer and more secure.  Delivering crisp, attractive, comfortable, and glare-free lighting in a highly efficient package and in effective Type III and Type V distributions, Chaperone LED fixtures turn desolate, uncomfortable parking environments into pedestrian-friendly venues with exceptional visibility, heightened new levels of safety, and measurable cost savings to boot.  Easy to install, energy-efficient, and engineered to withstand the demanding environments of parking garages, Chaperone fixtures are available in a wide selection of wattages, color temperatures and mounting configurations to meet the needs of most any campus garage lighting application.

For more information on Amerlux’s Avista, Passo, or Chaperone LED Light engines, visit www.amerlux.com.

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Lead Capture

How Contractors Reduce Costly Call-Backs

Not all lights are created equal and contractors understand that the best long-term solution requires quality products from trusted manufacturers. A leader for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s Passo step lights are efficient, high-performing and reliable.

Electrical contractors are extremely busy these days, as more organizations rush to upgrade their lighting to take advantage of tax credits before they expire.

Because the clock is ticking, contractors don’t have time for lighting fixtures that are difficult to install or skimp on quality. Their customers demand high-performing, energy-efficient and reliable illumination that enhances safety, as well as aesthetics.

Getting it right the first time means fewer costly call-backs for contractors, which can tarnish their reputation and dramatically reduce repeat business that generates the bulk of profits.

When contractors want steadfast step lights that work whether it rains or shines, they choose Amerlux’s break-through Passo step lights.

Contractors understand that all lights aren’t created equal.  For the best long-term solution, they opt for quality products from trusted manufacturers.  As a leader in application-driven lighting innovation for more than 30 years, Amerlux’s Passo step lights deliver high-performing, reliable, energy-efficient, as well as comfortable illumination to stairs, pathways and building exteriors.

“We understand the complications of installing step lights and have successfully addressed those with our Passo family of step and wall lights,” said Bill Plageman, Amerlux’s vice president of marketing.

Here’s how Amerlux has specifically addressed several concerns from contractors:

  • Ease of Installation: Constructed with installers in mind, Passo’s retrofit models are specially designed to easily and quickly replace costly, high-maintenance step lights driven by conventional lighting technology. Passo models designed for new construction projects feature an injection-molded PVC housing with integral machined brass anchor blocks that complement the sealed properties of the LED module and driver, ensuring added protection against corrosive environments.  Whether a retrofit or new construction application, Amerlux’s Passo step lights provide contractors with a hassle-free installation experience.
  • Engineering for Reliability: Weather-proof Passo step lights feature game-changing innovation, including an independently sealed LED optical chamber (encompassing an LED array and heatsink enclosed in an IP66-rated sealed glass tube) that eliminates water infiltration, the No. 1 cause of product failure. Such innovation minimizes the risk of outages and the subsequent high labor costs associated with maintenance.  The bottom line?  No dissatisfied customers or costly call-backs for contractors.
  • Flexible Design: Passo is available in a wide selection of sizes, faceplates, color temperatures and light output levels to meet the needs of most any project. Specifically, Passo step lights come in louver, stainless steel louver, and tempered soft glow lens versions and in round, square, and rectangular shapes for new construction projects, as well as 8-inch and 12-inch rectangular shapes for retrofit projects.  A choice of solid color composite, brushed stainless steel, or painted cast aluminum faceplates provides additional flexibility and design versatility that will satisfy even the most discerning customer.
  • Flexible Light Output: Passo luminaires offer added versatility thanks to their availability in a choice of two light output levels, enabling contractors to tailor the desired illuminance to the specific project and ensure the optimal visibility and aesthetic effect.
  • Connectivity and Compatibility: Passo’s standard 0-10V dimmable driver ensures greater integration with the market’s most popular controls, minimizing complexity and product compatibility issues for contractors.
  • Service with a Smile: Amerlux knows that long wait times and delivery issues can cost contractors time and money….and sometimes even the job! Most Passo step lights can ship in 10 days or less from the time they’re ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project; contractors or customers with special requests can also avail themselves of Amerlux’s renowned concierge services.

For more information, sign up for news about Amerlux’s family of Passo step and wall lights.

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How to Make College Campuses Safer

Like academics, the subject of safety is mission critical on college campuses.

From a facility manager’s perspective, the objective is to find ways to mitigate potential incidents of crime and injury. Such unfortunate outcomes can increase a university’s liability, insurance rates and bad media coverage, which could have a negative impact on student enrollment.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, colleges reported the incidence of some 39,000 campus crimes in 2015, involving everything from burglaries/robberies to physical/sexual assault and car theft. In addition, a National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) reveals that roughly two-thirds of physical/sexual assaults and nearly three-quarters of all auto thefts occur at night.

A recent survey of 179,000 college students by CollegeStats.org revealed that “walking on unlit pathways” represented one of students’ top safety concerns on campuses nationwide.  A recent article published in University Business Magazine by author Neal Raisman further reiterated that “nothing generates a sense of fear like dark areas” that decrease the sense of security for students and faculty.

More Light, More Security

There is one quick fix that can dramatically improve safety on campuses across the country, and it’s an idea that is often overlooked. From a security perspective, the best way to proactively improve a college environment is with quality lighting.

Improving pedestrian lighting along walkways, dormitories and academic buildings is the best place to start. University facility managers have their own checklist to determine which streetlighting is the perfect fit for a venue in higher education.

Previously dominated by more conventional halogen, incandescent, fluorescent, and HID light sources in higher education settings, pedestrian lighting have been revolutionized by the emergence of LED technology during the last five years.

Here are several factors that facility managers consider:

  • Improved CCTV Resolution: A recent article in Private University Product & News noted that LED technology significantly enhanced the visibility (and subsequent usability) of security footage captured at colleges and universities utilizing closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems or who operated security cameras throughout their facilities.
  • Reliability: While conventional light sources may not always be able to withstand certain types of harsh environments, the unique properties of LEDs render them extremely durable and weather-resistant, especially in cold and/or wet conditions.
  • Consistency and Uniformity: Since conventional light sources can suffer from considerable lumen depreciation over time, LED technology maintains a significantly higher level of light output for much longer (per the lighting industry’s L70/LM-80 measures) and isn’t subject to performance issues, such as color shifting and hot spotting, both of which can cause gaps and shadows along pathways that can promote criminal behavior or lead to accidents. Their availability in a variety of color temperatures offers clean, white light that delivers improved visibility and a greater sense of security.
  • Long Life: While conventional light sources require more frequent change-out and maintenance due to their more limited lifespan, the 50,000-100,000 hours of rated life available on many LED fixtures ensure years—even decades!—of maintenance-free operation, resulting in lower maintenance costs and enhanced maintenance crew productivity.
  • Environmental Friendliness and Appeal: Unlike fluorescent and HID sources, LEDs contain no mercury or other hazardous substances and run much cooler and more efficiently, losing far less energy in the form of heat relative to their predecessors.

In terms of keeping expenses within a budget, LED technology draws only a fraction of the power of its more conventional lighting counterparts, reducing energy bills by one-third to as much as 90 percent, while enhancing sustainability and helping to position the institution as a leader in green practices. Colleges are now able to cut their utility bills by adding enhanced security features, such as reliable, energy-efficient lighting.

Upgrading your lights on campus will help make your school be seen in the best light.

For more information on how Amerlux can help make your student body, faculty and staff feel safer, visit us at Avista.Amerlux.com.

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Lead Capture

Top Streetlights: An ESCO’s Checklist

top streetlights

Energy service companies (ESCOs) continue to save companies large sums of money by offering a broad range of energy solutions that have tapped into the rapid proliferation of LED lighting during the past five years.

According to an Advanced Energy Economy’s study, “U.S. building efficiency products and services grew by 8 percent, or $5 billion in 2016, led by energy-efficient lighting and commercial building retrofits, both up 7 percent, reaching $26.4 billion and $8.4 billion respectively.”

As noted in a 2015 Electrical Contractor article by author Timothy Johnson, a recent study by energy efficiency and financing firm Noesis confirmed that lighting is the most popular energy-efficient upgrade undertaken in the U.S., proposed four times as much as HVAC upgrades, which ranked second.

Among lighting activity, LED upgrades in particular are expected to have the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the U.S. The widespread use of LEDs during the next decade could save nearly 350 TWh of electricity—the equivalent annual electrical output of 44 large electric power plants or the annual energy consumed by the entire state of Texas—and deliver total energy cost savings of more than $30 billion at current electricity prices, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Among the LED lighting upgrades being conducted, streetlighting upgrades within the estimated 25-44 million streetlights resident in cities, towns, and municipalities nationwide are one of the fastest-growing segments of the LED market for many reasons.

A Checklist for LED Streetlighting Upgrades

Industry studies confirm that the market for LED streetlighting upgrades is robust with an estimated 600+ cities from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between currently reporting that they’ve either upgraded or are in the process of upgrading their streetlights to LEDs thanks to the many benefits LED technology delivers to streetlighting applications.

Here are several factors that ESCOs consider when retrofitting pedestrian lighting for cities:

  • Significant Energy Savings: The majority of today’s streetlights feature outdated technology, which include high-pressure sodium, metal halide, mercury vapor and fluorescent sources. In contrast, LED technology can slash energy consumption and costs by 40 percent or more, reducing a city’s operating costs and the subsequent burden on local taxpayers.
  • Eligibility for Rebates: According to experts from New Jersey-based rebate specialist firm BriteSwitch, nearly 80 percent of the U.S. is covered by an active commercial lighting rebate program as of 2017 and the majority of these programs feature incentives on LEDs (often vetted by the DesignLightsConsortium (DLC), an organization which establishes product quality specifications in an effort to promote high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products). These attractive rebates can offset lighting projects costs by as much as 25 percent, reducing project payback periods, while increasing their ROIs.  LEDs are also popularly supported through utility performance contracts, which studies confirm are the operational model through which more than half of the ESCO community’s current projects are conducted.
  • Quick Installations: Most Avista retrofit installations take less than 15 minutes per fixture.
  • Reduced Maintenance: Thanks to their longer lifespan relative to older technologies, 50,000-100,000-hour LEDs can deliver years of maintenance-free operation, allowing cities to realize significant reductions in maintenance costs. According to the U.S. DOE, maintenance savings from the installation of LED lighting equates to roughly $50 annually per fixture and can deliver users up to twice the financial advantages available through energy savings during the fixtures’ lifetime. 
  • Durability and Reliability: While conventional light sources may not always be able to withstand certain types of harsh environments and extreme weather conditions, the unique properties of LEDs render them extremely durable and weather-resistant, especially in cold and/or wet conditions. Additionally, thanks to their durable components, LED streetlights are less vulnerable to vandalism than other light sources. 

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Avista Receives U.S. Patent Protection for Game-Changing Pedestrian Lights

Avista lights

Amerlux, an award-winning design-and-manufacture lighting company, announced today it has been granted U.S. patent protection for intellectual property incorporated into its game-changing Avista pedestrian light engine.

Avista’s breakthrough IP66 sealed LED optical chamber prevents water intrusion, which is the No. 1 cause of light failure. In addition, Avista was designed for new construction applications and retrofits, which take less than 15 minutes per unit to install.

“Amerlux continues to solve marketplace problems with innovation,” said Amerlux CEO and President Chuck Campagna. “From supermarkets, high-end retail boutiques to exterior lighting, our design teams create new solutions that allow more brands to be seen in the best light.”

Co-developers Itai Leshniak and Tori Poppenheimer designed the technology nearly five years ago. Avista was originally launched in 2014 with a generational update earlier this year.

“We achieved high efficacy by using a driver with advanced power factor correction technology that enables very high power conversion efficiency,” said Leshniak, who worked on the electrical aspects of the technology. “In addition, we also achieved superior surge protection by incorporating the best available components. Avista can handle up to 10,000 amps of surge tested to ANSI C136.2-2015.”

Poppenheimer, who worked on the optics and thermal components, said she was able to distribute the power to a larger area of the LED die, which increased energy efficiency and useful life by allowing all the components to operate at a cooler temperature.

“Instead of putting some butter on a little Ritz cracker, I spread it out over the whole piece of toast,” she said. “We are killing our competitors on efficacy in terms of lumens per watt.”

Amerlux’s upgraded Avista light engine delivers 110 lumens per watt, compared to a marketplace standard of 90 lumens.

Mike Kempf, who is Amerlux’s exterior product manager, said Avista uses the directional nature of LEDs to gain an advantage over competitors who simply used LED to create a different type of 360 degree light source.

“Avista harnesses LED technology like no others,” Kempf said. “It directs 96 percent of the light down to the ground, essentially eliminating the light pollution that was common in so many decorative post top fixtures, while dramatically saving energy.”

The upgraded Avista meets new 4.0 standards of the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), which qualifies the product for rebates to shorten the ROI payback period. The light engine, which is now available for teardrop style luminaires, offers specification options, including wattages up to 68 and a lumen output up to 7500.

Avista’s new LED engine is available in standard CCTs of 2700K, 3000K and 4000K, plus customized color temperatures. The award-winning product offers three horizontal lighting distributions—symmetric, asymmetric and low-glare street optic—so clients can direct the light where it is needed.

In 2014, Avista won a Product Innovation Award in the exterior lighting category from Architectural Products magazine.

Avista Reduces Energy Bill, Preserves Aesthetics

To date, the City of Los Angeles has upgraded more than 600 decorative streetlights with Avista LED light engines. Since the upgrade, the city has realized up to 75 percent reduction in lighting energy consumption and costs in the upgraded area, while visitors are benefiting from enhanced visibility and greater peace of mind.

“The downtown area went from dingy, yellow 250-watt HPS fixtures with a monochromatic 2100K color temperature and ‘glare bomb’ properties to long-life, 60-watt LED technology with a much cooler color temperature and significantly improved color rendering,” said Charles Valdepena, principal of Los Angeles-based manufacturer’s rep agency ACV Lighting Consultants, about the transformation. “The effect is now a brighter, pleasant, soft blanket of light that enhances visual acuity and uniformly distributes the majority of light downward where it’s needed.”

For the City of Portland, the challenge was the shape of the globe and how to adapt LED technology to its exact specifications. Amerlux’s Avista addressed the challenge.

Kenny Hettrich, principal of Hillsboro, Oregon-based manufacturer’s rep agency Hy-Light Group, Inc., said: “Amerlux took great efforts to customize fixtures to the city’s exact needs, deliver pristine product, and provide exceptional customer service”—from fine-tuning the design to ensure Type III street optics with the optimal amount of lighting both in front of and behind each pole to matching the exact floral design of the fixture’s filigree ring, placing bar codes in a specific spot to support the city’s asset management requirements, and securing a manufacturer to create a specialized acrylic version of the original globe based on detailed drawings of the vintage product.

Since completing installation of the bulk of its acorn fixtures in July 2017, the city has been delighted with the results. “We went from 100-watt HPS to 42-watt LEDs, saving the city approximately 60 percent in energy consumption and costs,” said Lisa Elbert, P.E., signals and lighting engineer with the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation, who added that a rebate the city secured on the LEDs from the Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy further boosted the project’s ROI and reduced its payback period.

Standard Avista light engines can ship in 10 days or less from the time they are ordered to quickly advance any new construction or retrofit project.

For more information about the company, visit Amerlux.com.

About Amerlux

Amerlux creates bold lighting solutions that add warmth and brilliance to the world. The design-and-manufacture company builds long-term relationships with architects, facility managers and lighting designers by taking every complex problem personally. Its award-winning portfolio includes innovative interior and exterior lighting products that deliver striking aesthetics and rich performance through advanced engineering. For more information, please visit Amerlux.com or call 201.416.2284.

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Bright Lights, Beautiful City

Amerlux’s Game-Changing Avista Light Engine Helps City of Portland

Decrease Energy Consumption 60%, While Preserving Vintage Streetlamps

Amerlux’s Avista LED light engines helped Portland, Maine preserve its vintage light fixtures, while reducing energy consumption by 60 percent.

As the largest city in Oregon with more than three million residents in its metro area, Portland is home to breathtaking natural beauty, a wealth of microbreweries and coffeehouses, and a historic downtown marked by must-see landmarks. The city is also renowned for its thriving eco-friendly scene and focus on sustainability, so it came as no surprise when The Portland Bureau of Transportation began upgrading the city’s 52,000 streetlamps to energy-efficient LED technology in 2014. The City of Portland wanted to move forward with new energy-efficient lighting technology, but not at the expense of its vintage streetlamps, which had proved to be an obstacle in the past.

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Lead Capture

9 Reasons Why Cities Choose Amerlux for Streetlighting

pedestrian lights

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology has created a great opportunity for city managers to dramatically reduce the energy bill for their municipalities.

But not all lighting solutions are created equally in terms of value and performance.

As a result, more cities are turning to Amerlux to help with pedestrian streetlighting. Designed to bring an ease and seamlessness to city streetlighting, Amerlux’s Avista LED fixture is a simple-to-use yet advanced LED light engine ideal for retrofitting traditional and post-top luminaires, as well as use in new construction applications.

Featuring a completely-sealed LED optical chamber, the highly-efficient Avista delivers cutting-edge optics and extraordinary output to meet the most demanding streetlighting needs within today’s cities and municipalities, while its simple-to-install design incorporating adjustable height levels allows users to position the light exactly where it’s needed for optimal application and maximum performance, taking LED streetlighting to the next level.

Two industry experts—Lisa Elbert, P.E., signals and lighting engineer with the City of Portland at Oregon’s Bureau of Transportation (which recently oversaw the upgrade of Portland’s 6,100 century-old single and twin ornamental decorative fixtures to Amerlux’s Avista LED light engine), and Jason Strano, C.E.M., energy sales manager at leading lighting agency Reflex Lighting in Wethersfield, Connecticut—discuss the many reasons why cities are wise to invest in Amerlux’s Avista fixtures for their streetlighting needs.

  1. Quality – Strano said that the difference between an Amerlux fixture and competitive products is clear. “When you hold an Avista fixture in your hand, you can see that it’s a substantial, well-made piece with strong set screw, durable materials, and great build quality,” he said. “While it’s customizable, it’s well-designed up front.”
  1. Flexibility – “Amerlux created four different styles of the Avista retrofit kit for us—all were the same basic product but incorporated different adaptor plates to mount onto our different streetlighting fixtures,” Elbert said. “The system’s adjustable height levels gave us additional flexibility as well.”
  1. Customized Options – While many manufacturers can be resistant to customization, “the Amerlux team is so open and adaptable to customer requests for changes that users don’t have to jump through hoops to make the changes they require,” Strano said. “Amerlux can do everything from meeting a specific Kelvin temperature standard to providing product in customized colors and more.” Based on her experience in Portland, Elbert agreed. “Amerlux met all of our needs, from fine-tuning the fixture design to ensure Type III street optics with the optimal amount of lighting both in front of and behind each pole to matching the exact floral design of our fixture’s filigree ring, placing bar codes in a specific spot to support our asset management requirements, and securing a manufacturer to create a specialized acrylic version of the original globe, based on detailed drawings of the vintage product,” Elbert said.
  1. Responsiveness – “Customers can always call and get Amerlux team members on the phone,” Strano said. “They’re extremely responsive, accommodating and happy to help.”
  1. Aesthetically-Pleasing – “The appearance of our Avista LEDs is amazing, and I was absolutely stunned the first time I saw the new lighting on our streets,” Elbert said. “I’d gotten used to seeing hot spots and lamps burning inside the globe with our old technology, but Amerlux’s fixture uses a top-down LED system that makes the entire globe appear to glow without seeing the lights. I love the experience and it’s soft on the eyes.”
  1. Dark Sky-Friendly – While Elbert conceded that her team in Portland had worked for years to minimize the uplight component of their streetlights with various designs, other lights always looked like they had a hood over them. “By contrast, Amerlux’s dark sky-friendly fixtures allow us to see the entire silhouette of the acorn globes, while minimizing light pollution,” she said.
  1. DLC-Listed – Amerlux’s Avista LEDs are listed by the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), a renowned organization that establishes product quality specifications, facilitates thought leadership, and provides technical expertise in an effort to promote high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products in collaboration with utilities, energy efficiency program members and government entities. As a result of their efficiency, dark sky-friendly properties, and subsequent DLC listing, Avista fixtures are eligible for rebate by a host of utility companies nationwide, introducing the potential for an attractive financial incentive that can boost a project’s ROI and reduce its payback period.
  1. Ease of Installation – In addition to designing a customized compression screw plate for the fixtures in Portland to further simplify their installation, “Amerlux was willing to provide us with a tool-less installation,” Elbert said. “The mechanism they devised—thumb screws that simply lock onto the casting—was huge for us in terms of the time and money it saved our installers/maintenance crew.”
  1. Vested in Customers’ Success – “The Amerlux reps and team members we worked with were extremely responsive and great on follow-up, getting us samples, drawings, and any other information and support we requested,” Elbert said. “They were passionate about looking out for our interests and sincerely wanted to see our project be successful. Amerlux truly met all of our needs and we couldn’t possibly ask for more.”

 

For more information on Amerlux’s Avista LED Light engine, visit http://avista.amerlux.com/.

 

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Lead Capture

Pedestrian Lighting: City Managers Consider 7 Factors

pedestrian lights

Thanks to the benefits of light-emitting diode (LED) technology, more than 600 cities from New York to Los Angeles are in the process of upgrading less-efficient lighting sources.

LEDs provide a longer useful life, minimal maintenance, appealing color rendering and increasingly attractive price points. In short, LEDs can deliver decades of reliable and attractive illumination to the nation’s estimated 26-44 million streetlamps—the average of which is reportedly older than 25 years old and in need of modernization, according to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid-State Streetlighting Consortium.

However, pedestrian streetlighting upgrade projects in cities and municipalities are complex endeavors that require thoughtful consideration and careful collaboration between city managers and lighting providers to ensure the most successful outcome.

Two industry experts—Lisa Elbert, P.E., signals and lighting engineer with the City of Portland at Oregon’s Bureau of Transportation (which recently oversaw the upgrade of Portland’s 6,100 century-old single and twin ornamental decorative fixtures to Amerlux’s Avista LED light engine), and Jason Strano, C.E.M., energy sales manager at leading lighting agency Reflex Lighting in Wethersfield, Connecticut—recommend several key factors city managers should consider when upgrading the pedestrian streetlighting in municipalities.

  1. Evaluate Performance. When evaluating between different lighting options, “a fixture’s performance is critical – color temperature, brightness, etc.,” Elbert said. “In Portland, we were constantly running numbers, looking at how the lighting performed using AGI, a simulation tool used for designing lighting projects, and assessing the visual effect of that light on our streets and sidewalks, compared to our previous high pressure sodium technology.” Elbert and her team ultimately settled on LEDs with a 3000K color temperature, “which is a very comfortable and palatable color that’s gained increasing acceptance in streetlighting nationwide,” she said.
  1. Ensure Uniformity. As part of a comprehensive assessment of various fixtures, Strano confirms that the lighting needs to be uniform throughout the space and free of any hot-spotting, shadows or gaps that both detract from its aesthetics, as well as enable criminal behavior. If the skills aren’t resident in-house, “it’s important to take advantage of the services of a lighting specialist with expertise in preparing photometric layouts so that you can see exactly how your space will be lit by the fixtures, including light and dark areas,” Strano said. “You also want to ensure that you’re providing equal lighting without over-lighting the space.”
  1. Go LED. With their exceptional performance, high efficiency, long life, and affordability, Strano confirms that there’s no reason not to pursue LEDs for city streetlight upgrades. “You want to emulate a nice, natural moonlit effect when lighting city streets and LEDs are able to do that,” he said. “City managers are lucky to have so many LED options today. Though high-pressure sodium and metal halide have been around for a long time, price points for LEDs are now nearly equivalent to those older technologies, and the tremendous energy and maintenance savings that LEDs deliver over their extended lifespan makes them a no-brainer.”
  1. Pursue Rebates. Whether you’re in a part of the country with a high or low kWh utility rate, “the availability of utility rebates and incentives on specific LED fixtures can make a streetlighting upgrade project more palatable,” said Strano of the subsidies that can help to offset up-front project costs, as well as enhance its economics overall—all of which are critical factors for city managers, especially when projects are funded by taxpayer dollars. (According to the U.S. Department of Energy, streetlighting nationwide accounts for $2-3 billion in annual energy costs alone.) To get access to such utility rebates, Strano recommends opting for an LED fixture that’s listed by the DesignLights Consortium (DLC), a renowned organization that establishes product quality specifications, facilitates thought leadership, and provides information, education, tools, and technical expertise in an effort to promote high-quality, energy-efficient lighting products in collaboration with utilities and energy efficiency program members and government entities. Elbert agreed, noting that a rebate which the City of Portland successfully secured on the purchase of its Avista LEDs from the local Energy Trust of Oregon and the Oregon Department of Energy positively impacted its project’s ROI and reduced the payback period.
  1. Preserve the Dark Sky. Strano recommends choosing a fixture that’s dark sky-compliant, which means it supports the global movement to help reduce the amount of light pollution emitted into the sky by outdoor lighting fixtures. As opposed to older technologies like high-pressure sodium that often distributed light upwards, disturbing the night sky along with local residents and wildlife, “LEDs allow us to put light and energy exactly where it needs to be,” he said. “They enable us to better control the distribution and color temperature of light so that we’re not just throwing light out there and creating all of that light pollution.”
  1. Consider the Impact of Trees. “We love trees and they’re a major part of our streetscape here, but they can also block light,” said Elbert of the leafy, tree-lined streets of Portland. “If obstacles like trees are in the way, you won’t get the performance you need out of your lighting. We’re constantly battling this issue and there’s no easy answer, but we came to the realization that trees can often wreak havoc on lighting systems.” As a result, Elbert recommends that a plan for managing trees should be part of a city’s overall streetlighting strategy. “Developers who reconstruct property frontages need to space trees properly, and we also look carefully at different tree species and do our best to prune our trees so that they rise above the lighting, as a tree canopy over the top of the lighting can add ambiance,” she said.
  1. Go with a Trusted Manufacturer. Strano recommends that city managers avoid making lighting decisions based solely on first cost. “There are a lot of less-expensive fixtures out there made by less-experienced manufacturers, but for cities, towns, and institutions that plan to be there for the long haul, it’s important to make a good investment that will last and go with a manufacturer who’s vested in the industry and will stand by their product,” he said.

 

For more information on Amerlux’s Avista LED Light engine, visit http://avista.amerlux.com/.

 

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Top Pitfalls to Avoid with Pedestrian Lighting

pedestrian lights
The City of Portland, Maine upgraded their lighting to Avista LEDs, resulting in a 60% decrease in energy costs.

City managers face several challenges when selecting pedestrian lighting.

These complex projects require a level of collaboration between the city manager and lighting providers to ensure various benefits, such as reduced energy consumption and expense, less maintenance and enhanced color rendering, are realized.

In fact, there are seven important items that should be considered, according to industry experts Lisa Elbert, P.E., who is a signals and lighting engineer with the City of Portland, and Jason Strano, C.E.M., who is an energy sales manager at leading lighting agency Reflex Lighting in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

  • Don’t Neglect the Specs. Because fixture performance is key, “spec out every detail and everything you want,” advised Elbert, who thoroughly reviewed and verified Illuminating Engineering Society-specified “LM-79” and “LM-80” electrical and photometric measurements of life and performance on the LED products it evaluated, how the lighting performed using AGI, a simulation tool used for designing lighting projects, and how the lighting actually looked to the eye on Portland’s streets and sidewalks, compared to the city’s previous high-pressure sodium technology. According to Elbert, failure to do this can result in regrets or unwelcome surprises later. (Elbert oversaw the upgrade of Portland’s 6,100 century-old single and twin ornamental decorative fixtures to Amerlux’s Avista LED light engine.)
  • Don’t Pass on Due Diligence. Strano agreed that there’s no substitute for a comprehensive due diligence process up-front. “Dismantle a fixture, get the right application or base plate and install it to see how everything works,” he said. “A few hours spent in the beginning taking the proper measurements will make the rest of the job so much easier.  Also, allow others to see the new lighting and encourage their feedback before moving forward.”
  • Don’t Go Too Big Too Soon. Based on her own hard experience in Portland, Elbert recommends that city managers test streetlighting products on a small scale before proceeding to change every streetlight targeted for upgrade. “On an early LED project we did years ago, we installed 400 lights and within a year suffered a 50 percent failure rate,” she said.  “The project had involved a custom fixture incorporating controls that we had made for us and it was untested. When they started failing, there were so many variables involved that we didn’t know whether it was the lighting or controls causing the malfunction.  Because ‘too much too soon’ on an untested fixture can be a scary thing, we stick with known, tested products and test them on a smaller scale first, being sure to elicit some feedback before we proceed to a larger installation area.”
  • Don’t Fail to Communicate. In addition to anticipating as much as you can on a project, Strano confirmed that good communication is key. “Be as clear about your expectations as possible,” he advised.  “If you’re doing a retrofit and you want all of the fixture glass wiped down, for example, be sure to tell the lighting rep, distributor, and/or contractor so that you get exactly what you want.”
  • Don’t Forget About the Trees. While Portland and many cities and towns treasure the trees that line their streets, Elbert learned first-hand that those very trees can become obstacles that block light and impair the performance that’s required and expected from streetlighting fixtures. For that reason, Elbert suggests a close review of trees and their distance from streetlights.  “We recommend 25 feet of space between lights and trees—less than that triggers a closer review of the tree species,” she said.  “Lighting can be as close as 12 feet from a tree if it’s a narrow/columnar tree variety, but a 20+-foot distance between trees and streetlights is advised to ensure that the lighting can operate most effectively and meet its potential.”
  • Don’t Ignore the Maintenance Aspect. As part of a comprehensive evaluation process up-front, don’t forget to consider the voice of the contractor or maintenance crew. “Before you select a streetlighting fixture, be sure to review it with the people who will be maintaining it once it’s installed,” Elbert recommended.  “The maintenance team sees an entirely different product than we do. While we’re focused on a fixture’s performance, they see what’s involved in terms of the tools and trucks they’ll need to install or repair it.  You have to think about what will make a good/easy installation process for the team when selecting a fixture,” she said.  “That’s an important cost in the process that can often be forgotten.”
  • Don’t Fall for a Fly-by-Night. Strano can’t stress enough the importance of working with a trusted lighting manufacturer who’s vested in the industry. “You want to seek out a product made by a company with history and roots in the lighting industry,” he said.  “If you’re going for least cost and you don’t know where the product is manufactured or the company has only been in business for a short time and doesn’t have a known track record, you’re setting yourself up for potential problems.  You want to work with a solid manufacturer and/or lighting rep agency with experienced people and all of the resources in place to stand by the product and help you work through any questions or concerns you may have.”  Strano added that it’s especially important to make a wise investment up-front given the fact that many streetlighting upgrades are public projects that are funded by taxpayer dollars. (According to the U.S. Department of Energy, streetlighting nationwide accounts for $2-3 billion in annual energy costs alone.)

 For more information on Amerlux’s Avista LED light engine, visit http://avista.amerlux.com/.

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