11/16/2015 | A Better Solution for Light Towers: A Selection Guide
Historically, equipment operators and the rental companies that serve them have had two options for portable lighting towers—expensive metal halide lamps or cheap, easily breakable halogen lamps. Neither is optimal as a lighting source for several reasons, not the least of which is their energy consumption. Today, a third option has become available—LED lamps.
Already popular for street lighting and other uses, LED lamps are more expensive than halogen lights, but they also last much longer. They consume less energy than either halogen or metal halide lamps, making it possible for the generators that power them to be used for other purposes. And, since they are more durable than either of their predecessors, they almost never break during transport or setup.
Depending on the manufacturer, LED lamps may also meet the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) standards for glare reduction, bug reduction (attracts 80% fewer insects than traditional lights) and shadow reduction (HIPOWER SYSTEMS upcoming light tower model meets this criteria).
So, the question then becomes, how can an enterprise—or a rental operator—select the best LED lighting towers for the job? Following are some of the primary selection criteria our engineers considered when they designed our newest light tower, the Apollo L-30.
Generator Choice: LED lamps consume so little power that a 20kW generator can easily power both the lamps and a wide range of additional equipment. For the most efficiency and operating flexibility, look for a lighting tower with a generator that incorporates a power panel with a variety of receptacles, from 20A GFCI to 50A twist-lock.
Mast (Tower): The mast should be extendable to at least 30 feet and be able to rotate 90° for street-lamp-style lighting while the mast is raised or to allow ground level lighting while the mast is in stowed position. Preferably, the tower and/or base will have a stabilizer mechanism that ensures the tower will not topple in wind gusts of up to 65.
Trailer: Trailers should be towing, highway and site (or rental) ready, e.g. delivered with a VIN number, chains, DOT lighting and a 2-5/16 inch ball coupler
Fuel Tank: The fuel tank should be of sufficient capacity to provide a week or more of nighttime operation (based on a 12-hour night) without refueling. HIPOWER SYSTEMS Apollo L30 has an 87-gallon metal fuel tank that provides up to 107 hours of continuous operation at 50% load.
Enhanced Servicing Features: The unit should have features that facilitate ease of maintenance and service, such as an external oil drain and mechanical lugs at the generator side.
To learn more about light towers or speak to one of our equipment experts, we invite you to call 913-495-5557. You may also find the Apollo L30 announcement on our site helpful. While you are there, sign up for myHIPOWER to gain access to extended site benefits and ¬more.
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