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What You Need To Know About Light Distribution Patterns

Posted by SEPCO

4/1/14 9:30 AM

Light-Distribution-PatternsThere are many different distribution patterns available with different lighting fixtures. Each distribution pattern provides a different lighting footprint on the ground to provide a light pattern for specific area light needs. The larger the distribution pattern, the larger area of light that is produced. Here is a quick overview of different lighting distributions.

Type II Distribution

Type II distributions provides a wide, round pattern  and is more suited for small streets and wide pathways. The fixture is placed in the center of where the light is required and the light is distributed in an oval type shape around the entire fixture area. The width of the light pattern on the ground is about 1.5 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture.

 

Type III Distribution

Type III distributions provides a wide, round pattern like that of Type II distribution; however the amount of light it provides is much larger and meant for roadways, parking lots and larger areas. The width of the light pattern on the ground is about 2.75 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture.

Type IV Distribution

Type IV distributions are a round pattern that is pushed out away from the fixture with little light falling behind the fixture. This is ideal for perimeters, security and walls or buildings. The width of the light pattern on the ground is still quite large, about 2.75 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture.

Type V Distribution

Type V distributions provide the largest, most even pattern of light. The light is pushed in all directions from the light fixture and is used for large parking areas or anywhere a large even pattern of light is required.

There you have it. When you decide what are you need lit, make sure you are asking for the correct distribution pattern for your application.
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Topics: Solar Lighting, General Lighting, LED Lighting, Solar Lighting Design

Now You Can Have Great Light with LEDs

Posted by SEPCO

3/6/14 9:30 AM

SunshineNatural sunlight will always be the best light possible; however, LED lights can come very close to the natural sunlight. When LEDs started, the bluish light was very harsh on the eyes, but the technology has come a long way and there are many benefits to using LED lights today.

Most LEDs are running at about 5000 Kelvin for color temperature while the sun runs at about 6500 Kelvin. There are still the standard warm light and soft white colors available if you are not looking for too bright of a light; however, for nighttime outdoor use, as close to daylight will allow you to see the best.

LEDs also provide a much longer light as the LEDs last years, 15 years or more. On top of that, they use a fraction of the power than standard lamp options; granted incandescent lamps are being phased out at this point. The long life and lower power usage provides huge savings over the life of the lamp.

When using solar, LEDs will stay the go to option as they run directly from DC power and do not require any additional equipment to convert the energy produced by the solar panel to operate the fixture. This lowers the usage of the lamp as there is no loss in power for converters or inverters. In the end, this lower the size of the solar power system required to run the light and again saves money.

Replacing all lights with LEDs immediately may not be feasible as LEDs are more expensive for initial purchase, but as lights go out, either inside or outside, household or commercial, changing over to LEDs over time may be easier on the budget. And as the savings to your power usage adds up, you will easily be able to put the newly freed up funds into changing over more and more to LED. Then just sit back and let the light shine on.
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Topics: LED Lighting

6 Ways LED Technology is Changing the Signage Industry

Posted by SEPCO

12/5/13 9:30 AM

LED-Lighting-With-CE-RoHSSigns have long been a popular way of marketing, posting warnings or communicating information. Traditional printed or lit signs offer limited flexibility and visibility. Fluorescent signs offer improved visibility but are prone to damage and less energy efficient. These are six ways that LED technology is changing the signage industry.

1. Going Green with LED Signage

With the emphasis on sustainable and eco-friendly products, LED signage offers increased green benefits over nearly any other form of signage. From reprogramming existing signs to recycling old signage, disposing of old signage is easier and more affordable than traditional signage as well.

2. Interactive and Moving Signage

LED technologies make it possible to do more than simply convey a message. From flashing text and high-contrast colors to full images and animations, LED signs allow businesses to increase engagement and promote their message, product or service with greater results. In many cases, LED signage is also brighter than other forms of signage for increased visibility and easier reading from a distance.

3. Less Upkeep and Maintenance Costs

Due to reduced energy costs and increased bulb lifetime, LED signage is more affordable to implement and maintain that other forms of signage. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that the average LED can have a useful life of 25,000 hours of longer. They also produce light using a fraction of the electricity of traditional bulbs. The Department of Energy predicts that their plan to switch to LED lighting could save $250-billion in energy costs and replacement costs.

4. Larger Signage is Possible Due to Reduced Weight

Due to their compact size and lightweight design, LEDs allow for increased flexibility in sign placement and larger overall dimensions without risking damage to signage or structures. They also offer a greater variety of options for focusing light. This allows larger signage without worry of light pollution or interference with the visibility of other signage nearby. Many LEDs are designed for long-lasting outdoor use, making LEDs an excellent option for signage.

5. Improved Safety through LED Signage

Unlike incandescent, fluorescent or neon signage, LED signage releases very little heat. This allows for safer long-term usage. LED signage also uses a fraction of the electricity, with some requiring as little as 10-watts, to reduce the risk of electrical hazards or stress to wiring systems. This also makes it possible to utilize solar panels or other alternative solutions to easily light LED signage without the need to modify existing wiring.

6. Signage is Adaptable and Easy to Change without Costly Redesigns

Most LED signage uses a matrix of red, blue and green LEDs to create a wide spectrum of colors. This means that if you need to change the content of your signage, it is often as simple as reprogramming the board that powers the display. Instead of replacing bulbs or entire signs, reconfiguring an existing LED sign is as simple as connecting to the controller and implementing changes.

LED signage is changing the way that businesses think about advertising and signage placement. From reduced energy costs and longer service life to improved visibility and the ability to animate signage, there are plenty of reasons to consider upgrading your existing signage to LED-based solutions.

About the Author: Willie Pena is a freelance writer, video producer, visual artist, and music producer. He prefers the Oxford comma. In addition to writing for firms such as Icon Identity Solutions, IBM, Colgate, Transunion, Webroot and a multitude of private clients and websites, he also shoots, directs, and edits the hit celebrity web series “Teens Wanna Know”. Catch his rare blog posts on williepena.com, and connect with him on Google+, LinkedIn.

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Topics: LED Lighting, Sign Lighting

LED Lighting: A Natural Choice For Your Next Renovation

Posted by SEPCO

11/12/13 9:30 AM

When renovating a property, or part of your home, lighting is often an aspect which is left until the end. Planning ahead can give you the opportunity to update and even integrate your lighting, providing light where it is needed, and potentially reducing your bills in the process.

LED_Lighting_A_Natural_Choice_For_Your_Next_Renovation

What Is LED Lighting?

While you may have heard about LED lighting, you would be forgiven for not knowing much more about it than the name. People of a certain age will be immediately reminded of the little red lights used in electronics classes in school and may be possibly wondering how that is going to light your kitchen or bathroom successfully, but the technology has come on in leaps and bounds.

LED (again as you may remember) stands for light emitting diode, wherein the electrical current which passes through produces light by energizing the chips in the diode. Unlike conventional filament lights, more energy is produced in the form of light than heat thus making LED lights far more efficient. This LED lighting resource will take you through some of the reasons why this form of lighting is certainly worth consideration as part of your next renovation.

Lighting As A Design Feature

Whereas lighting was once a purely functional part of the design of buildings, it now takes on a far more aesthetic role, making an impact on the mood of a room, and affecting greatly how a space may be viewed or even used. Whilst lighting becomes more important in the design, it can also help to almost elevate certain buildings into the realms of artworks. Lighting can help to bring out other architectural or design features in a room, drawing the eyes to certain places. The versatility of LED lights can help to achieve this.

LED Lights Have An Extended Life Span

According to the manufacturers' guidelines surrounding LED lights, they can last for an incredibly long time. When used in the manner specified by the manufacturer, a light can last for up to 50,000 hours (which equates to over five and a half years of continuous use), which makes them ideal for use within the home. Whilst the initial installation of fixtures may cost more than conventional lighting, the extended life of the lights will balance this initial outlay.

Vastly More Energy Efficient

It almost seems like a weekly occurrence that one of the energy companies announces a price hike. As all of us look to conserve energy, whether for ecological or economic reasons, LED lighting can have a profound effect on the energy used to light your home. A vast amount of light is produced in return for a relatively small amount of energy used with an LED light, which is in stark contrast to filament lights which use only around 10% of the energy they need to supply light, with the other 90% actually producing heat.

Lighting In Specific Areas

Lighting produced by LED lights is very controllable and directional. This makes it vastly different to light produced by traditional bulbs, which is seen as omnidirectional. Light from an LED bulb can be focused and placed on a specific spot providing accent to a space. Contacting an LED lighting manufacturer can help you answer any questions not covered in this LED lighting resource. Whether changing your lighting for aesthetic or energy saving reasons, the versatility and efficiency of LED lighting makes it possibly the only serious choice when renovating your home or commercial building.

About the Author: James Holden is the digital content manager of Visible Lighting and has many years’ experience in the LED Lighting industry. To find out more information on James Holden, you can follow him on Google Plus.

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Topics: LED Lighting

Some LED Math For Commercial Buildings

Posted by SEPCO

10/24/13 9:30 AM

OfficeFor me, the best way to convey the benefits of LED lighting is with numbers. Imagine your favorite department store, which is probably open from early morning to late at night. Or maybe it’s even open 24 hours a day. Now look up. Yes, that’s a lot of lights. 

Commercial spaces—like large department stores—can be energy suckers, with a considerable amount of energy being used to light indoor and outdoor spaces. With some being open nearly all day/every day, energy usage can accumulate quickly. Parking lot lights, ceiling lights, freezer and display lights. You need to see it, they need to illuminate it. 

Using a Cost Per Watt Chart we can do some quick math and get an accurate estimate of the savings that LEDs offer.

Cost-Per-Watt-Chart

A large department store uses 300 250w metal-halide high bay fixtures to light the interior of the store. For only one hour, the store uses 75,000 watts exclusively on these fixtures. By replacing the existing fixtures with 400 24w LED high bays, the store would only use 10,000 watts. If the store has the lights on every day for 14 hours, this is a difference of nearly $50,000 a year in energy costs (at $0.15/watt)—only on these lights!

How do these LED bulbs do it? An LED circuit achieves an incredible 80% efficiency. Which means that 80% of the energy is transferred into light, while only 20% of the energy is lost to heat. By comparison, incandescent bulbs operate at about 20% efficiency, so the savings are considerable.

A miscellaneous benefit of LED lighting for commercial use is that they do not attract insects. Bugs are attracted to ultraviolet light and most LED bulbs do not emit this type of light. I am sure we all have sat outside at night and watched hundreds of bugs fly around a streetlight. What if a business had some late night outdoor dining in the summer, without LED lighting there would be bugs buzzing around everyone’s food. But enter LED lighting, no bugs and a great outdoor meal in the summer night.

                *This lack of UV rays also keeps meat fresher and does less harm to paintings on the wall.

With decreasing prices and incentives from energy companies, LED lighting has become the ideal energy-efficient solution for commercial lighting. Unlike outdated lighting technology, LEDs use a higher percentage of electricity for generating light instead of waste heat. And unlike CFLS, they don’t contain mercury or toxic substances. Most LEDs can last over 60,000 hours, and the newest LED modules have a life of over 90,000 hours. To put it simply, LEDs last a lot longer while using only a fraction of watts that other types of lighting use. And the cherry on top? They have superior lighting quality and result in a huge return on investment.

If you want to see an instant drop in your company’s electricity bill, do some quick math and figure out home much it will cost you to make the transition to LED lights. Then figure out how many months your payback period will take. Probably after six months to a year you will be experiencing some serious return on investment.  For environmentally-friendly companies, and those interested in reducing costs, investing in energy-efficient LED lighting has become the obvious answer.

Dr_Edison_BulbDr. Edison Bulb has worked in the lighting industry for over 30 years. His areas of expertise include commercial and sports lighting. He was an early adopter of LED lighting technology and has been an advocate for the transition to green energy solutions. Dr. Bulb has worked hard to become empolyed as a blogger on the topics of LED questions and exciting LED applications at Access Fixtures. He finds balance in his life by researching sear engine optimization and being an avid fan of the NBA and professional tennis.

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Topics: Guest Post, LED Lighting

Turtle Friendly Decorative LED Solar Street Lights for Bradenton Beach

Posted by SEPCO

10/15/13 10:29 AM

Bradenton-Beach-4Back in 2009, the City of Bradenton Beach decided to utilize renewable energy to lower their city’s electric bill and become more environmentally friendly. As they are a coastal city, there were certain aspects, such as being turtle friendly that needed to be taken into consideration. They also wanted to stay with the architectural nature of their area. With the partnership of Beacon Products, we were able to meet all their requirements and deliver turtle friendly decorative LED solar street lights.

The installation was completed in January 2010. The decorative LED solar lighting systems replaced 100 Watt high pressure sodium lamps with 17 Watt LED fixtures. The fixtures are decorative Urban style fixtures and provide turtle friendly lighting from dusk to dawn, every night, year round. The solar power assembly, mounting bracket, battery box, fixture and pole were all powder coated white to match the surrounding architecture.

Bradenton-Beach-3The solar provides the energy during the day and is stored in the battery assembly. The lights turn on at night and back off at dawn. The fixtures uses site specific optics, full cutoff luminaires and provide amber light that is undetectable to sea turtles. This ensures turtle safety during their breeding periods when they come to shore to lay their eggs as well as when the eggs hatch and the baby sea turtles use stars and the moon to navigate to the ocean.

The lights in Bradenton Beach are a beautiful example of how solar and decorative fixtures work well together to provide the needed lighting for the area while not compromising the architectural looks of an area. These lights will keep looking beautiful year after year while protecting the natural ecosystem of nearby nesting turtles. Definitely a project that is a blast from the past!

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Topics: Solar Lighting, LED Lighting, Street Lighting, Decorative Lighting

How LED Lights Proved to be Energy Efficient

Posted by SEPCO

10/8/13 9:30 AM

LED-LampWhen it comes to decorating a new house, most of us think about adorning it with colorful bulbs and lights. In the process of beautifying our home, we generally forget about our environment and cost of electricity. Despite of the repeated TV commercials underlining the benefits of LED lights, most of us still opt for traditional decorative bulbs.

If you judge incandescent bulbs with LEDs on the basis of price, then traditional bulbs become a clear choice. But if you think of future savings and profits, nothing but LEDs are a right choice to make. Let us see why.

Why are LED Lights Better?

LED lights are rapidly transforming lighting technology. LED bulbs are more durable, reduce environmental damage, slash costs and offer exceptional quality lighting as compared to traditional or incandescent bulbs. So it is best to replace those superannuated 60-watt incandescent bulbs in your house with the energy efficient alternative of LEDs.

Due to advancement in technology, LED bulbs began illuminating larger areas, which was previously restricted to laboratory and smaller electronic devices. There are various uses of LED lights which are beneficial for individuals, business owners and the environment. Listed below are a few advantages.

Energy Efficiency of LED Lights

LED lights virtually produce no heat (limited to 80%) in the illuminating process, therefore they are relatively cool. Approximately 20% electric energy gets transformed to light energy in these bulbs.

While in traditional bulbs, about 80% electric energy is lost as heat energy resulting on only 20% efficiency, that is, conversion to light energy. This is exactly the reason why traditional bulbs blow out soon and LEDs have a better longevity.

  • LED lights encourage lower energy usage and guarantee higher safety due to production of less heat.
  • LED lights can reduce your electricity bills and carbon emissions.
  • LED lighting solutions are quite affordable due to lower maintenance cost and longer lifespan. 
  • LED bulbs are both energy efficient and environmental friendly.

It is due to its lower energy consumption, LEDs are becoming more popular in remote areas. Despite these advantages, many people still buy traditional bulbs. The major reason why people are still choosing incandescent bulbs over LEDs is the price. Although LEDs are an expensive investment, the cost is quickly reimbursed over time in lower electricity bills. It is worth your investment for long term benefits.

Other Benefits

Energy efficiency and cost savings are not the only benefits of LED lights, there are many others.

  • LEDs also have a longer lifespan of about 60,000 hours as compared to incandescent bulbs that last only up to 1,500 hours.
  • Environment-friendly and multiple usage are some of the other notable merits of LED lights.

If every household across the globe  replaces just one traditional bulb with an energy efficient LEDs, the world would save twice on their annual electricity cost and energy. Replacing your incandescent bulbs with LED lights may make a lot of monetary gains in the long run.

Author Bio: Derek Langley is a guest blogger interested in writing energy saving related article. He mostly prefers to write LED and other energy saving electronic products.

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Topics: Guest Post, LED Lighting

Stand Alone Solar Lighting Systems for St. Augustine Beach Pier Park

Posted by SEPCO

10/1/13 8:44 AM

St-Augustine-1St. Johns County was looking to complete improvements into the parking areas at the beach parking and wanted to integrate a renewable aspect. The project was designed to integrate standard AC utility electrial lights while also integrating stand-alone solar lighting systems

The lighting design and engineering firm working on this project needed to be able to have the entire light poles and fixtures match and be both aesthetically pleasing and high performing. We were able to assist with this request by using our partnership with Kim Lighting which allowed us to work together in order to offer our solar power systems to integrate the decorative Curvilinear high Performance LED light fixture into both the solar lighting and utility power design.

The production of the fixture in both AC input and DC input take a lot of background engineering. What is different about AC utility power lights and DC solar stand-alone lights is that the solar system is only as reliable as its design. If the fixture draws 1 watt more it could drain the battery and make the system unreliable and require early battery replacement. This 1 watt will operate for about 14 hours in the winter drawing 14 more watts out of the battery and draining the battery closer to the total depth of discharge.

The solar battery has a life expectancy which is based on the cycling capacity. The more the battery cycles through to its DOD - depth of discharge, the sooner the battery will need to be replaced. With LED lights and electronics lasting much longer, the batteries are the weakest components in the system and need to be properly designed in order to have them have long life cycle.

The project was a success and looks beautifully designed. Direct burial round concrete white poles with solar on the top and the curvilinear fixtures below match in with the pier and parking areas and met the needs that St. Johns County was hoping for.

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Topics: Solar Lighting, LED Lighting, Parking Lot Lighting

Make your Landscape Green with Solar Power

Posted by SEPCO

7/25/13 9:30 AM

Solar YardI came across this great article last week Greening Your Landscape with Solar Power and wanted to share it with you as it was full of great information. It provided information on all types of solar equipment you can use for your landscaping needs.

Solar Lawn Care Equipment

A gas powered lawnmower emits the same amount of pollutants as 11 late model cars in just one hour. That is a lot of pollutants. And on top of that, it is estimated that American homeowners spill a total of 17 million gallons of fuel when filling the yard equipment according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Talk about a lot of waste.

Solar-powered electric lawn equipment can change the way a homeowner cuts grass, trim hedges and blow leaves. They can save on gas and are completely emissions free. These tools are completely cordless and are also much quieter than standard gas powered equipment. They also provide less breakdowns since there are less moving parts. “The electric equipment is five times less noisy than gas-powered trimmers and blowers, breaks down less and requires less maintenance,” says Bob Blundon of Connecticut, who founded the eco-friendly landscape company Mother Earth Care. Blundon has also noticed the solar-powered design makes the yard equipment lighter and easier to maneuver.

Solar Lights

Once your lawn and landscaping is manicured to perfection, solar lights can help showcase all your hard work. From pathways, decks and tiered lamp posts, you can create and inviting glow and utilize the space after dark without increasing your electric bill. Plus there is no need to trench all that beautiful landscaping.

Today, solar lights use LEDs which have a much longer life span (up to 100,000 hours) than former incandescent light bulbs and provide a much better light. “If you used solar lights a few years ago, you probably remember them as providing very little light, being unreliable and on top of that, not staying lit very long,” says home improvement expert Murray Anderson. “Solar lights have changed a lot over the years.”

Solar Fountains

Do you have a pond or other water structure in your yard? If so, utilizing solar power to run the pumps and fountains is a great option. Water structures create a warm, serene atmosphere and tranquil environment. The systems include a battery backup so you can choose when your water fountain will operate, even on cloudy days or when you are entertaining guests. “A fountain with the solar panel built-in is useful for those water features with a spray. Pumps with a separate solar panel are best for waterfalls, man-made creeks and other water features of this type,” advises the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.

Solar Gardening Innovations

Vineyard owners and farmers with small or mid-sized fields can benefit from a solar-powered gardening robot, controlled by a smartphone. Created in France, the Vitirover uses GPS coordinates to determine exactly where to cut grass and weeds, with sensors to keep the blades away from vines and crops. It can even roll up and down hills with a 15 percent grade or below.

For those tired of back-breaking gardening or tending crops, the Wunda Weeder allows users to lie face down on a four-wheeled frame to weed flowers or harvest vegetables. Designed by Australians, the self-propelled electric machine is powered by a solar panel that offers shade from the sun or rain.

What other ways can you think of using solar power in your landscape?

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Topics: Solar Lighting, Green Ideas, LED Lighting, Landscape Lighting

Economic Benefits of High Quality Solar Outdoor Lighting

Posted by SEPCO

7/25/13 9:30 AM

High Quality Solar Outdoor LightingIn addition to the economic benefits from elimination of grid-connected electricity there are additional benefits of high quality solar outdoor lighting, including:

  1. No line voltage, trenching, or metering:
    Since there is no need for trenching, wiring between lights or metering required, the cost savings on installation can be huge. Since most of the cost for traditional lighting is through trenching and brining in the grid power, solar is the go to choice.
  2. No impact from grid power outages: 
    Each system is stand alone and self-contained with its own power source any grid power outage will not cause an outage of the entire solar system.
  3. Able to employ battery backup for cloudy or rainy days:  
    In most cases, the battery system is sized for 3 to 5 days autonomy, the solar lights will continue operating even when sun radiation is not available
  4. Distributed light and power - no single point of failure for enhanced security:  
    Since  each solar light is powered by itself and not connected to the rest of the lights, there is no risk of a complete system failures, as in a grid connected system
  5. Easy to install with quick connect plugs:  
    The solar system components are modular and designed for easy installation within a few hours.
  6. No scheduled maintenance for up to 5-7 years: 
    Most of the materials and components of the solar system are maintenance free.  For example, the life expectancy of PV panels is 10 years maintenance free.
  7. No cost of replacing concrete, asphalt or landscaping from trenching:  
    Time and money is saved when installing the solar lighting systems since there is no need to remove concrete or dig trenches for cables.  The civil work is mostly limited to installing a pole.
  8. No cost of transformers or meters to be added for electric service:
    There are significant savings due to the fact that transformers or meters are not required for the installation of solar lights.
  9. If applicable, possible qualification for savings from various state/federal taxes:  
    Several tax incentives are available for the deploying solar systems, which make this alternative even more e attractive economically.
  10. Controlled charging to prolong battery service life: The controllers installed in the solar system provide features such as low/high voltage disconnect, to protect the system and improve its performance. 
  11. Reduced emissions of criteria air pollutants from utility electricity production:  
    Solar power does not pollute unlike the power normally produced by the utility companies.
  12. Self-contained-light on/off controlled by automatic daylight sensing or preset number of hours:
    The controllers installed in the solar systems allow for the programing of the lights to respond to the specific needs of the application, such as, having illumination from dusk to dawn, or any other combination.
  13. Safe 12 volt / 24 volt circuit with little to no risk of electric shock: 
    The fact that the solar lights operate with DC 12- 24 V, eliminates the risk of electric shock that at higher voltage could be fatal.
What other benefits should we add to the list?
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Topics: Solar Lighting, LED Lighting

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