Need a new outdoor light


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Old 04-08-16, 08:48 AM
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Need a new outdoor light

Hi guys

Several years ago I had to replace my outdoor light. The electric company was not replacing bulbs anymore, so they told me to get my own and I had to sign some papers saying they were no longer responsible for the pole. I bought the fixture, ran the wire and rented a lift. Done deal and it has served me well until the last six months or so. It is burning out bulbs. Sometimes in a week, sometimes a couple months.

While at the hardware store last time, buying the 150 high pressure sodium bulb it takes, the guy in the store suggested replacing it with an LED light. He said the ballast was probably bad.

What do you folks think?
I wouldn't mind replacing it with something that has a longer lasting bulb.
Can someone recommend to me a fixture? Hopefully one that can go on the same mount?
Will an LED be as bright and have the same throw? Can I get a brighter one (assuming they use less power like other LED lights)?

Any help is appreciated. I can't remember what make fixture I have currently, but here it is.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 10:26 AM
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You don't necessarily need to replace the fixture. There are two (at least) ways to retrofit HPS fixture. A few companies make retrofit lamps that just screw in place of the HPS lamp without any wiring changes. They work with the existing ballast, which may not be a good choice for you if the ballast is suspect. More common are retrofit lamps that require the ballast be removed and direct line voltage be supplied to the socket. You would have to disconnect power and disassemble the fixture enough to remove the ballast and connect the socket directly to the incoming power.

If you remove the ballast, you have freedom to go to a brighter lamp; they are available at least up to 400 watt HPS equivalent (but get pricey fast). The throw and pattern will likely be a little different, but similar. I don't think I would go up that much as heat buildup is an issue even with LED, but you could go up a notch or two.

If you are open to replacing the fixture then you have all kinds of choices. I'm afraid I can't help you with a specific brand recommendation; perhaps others here have more first hand experience and can recommend a brand.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 11:01 AM
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Thank you for laying all that out, Carbide.

I think I'd like to go the everything brand new route.
I'm not into re-working the fixture. Heck, I don't even like heights, lol.
I'd like to have a suitable fixture already bought and then just find an electrician with a bucket to replace the whole thing.

Do you know if (for instance) a 150W LED is comparative to what I am using now? Or are they like indoor lighting where a lesser wattage gives you just as much light as an incandescent?
 
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Old 04-08-16, 12:28 PM
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Most of the 150 watt HPS replacement LED's seem to be about 45 watts. Best way to compare is to look at the lumens your current lamp supplies (should be on the lamp packaging) and then choose an LED fixture that matches or exceeds that. You'll get a secondary advantage in that HPS lamp brightness drops off as they age; LED brightness stays pretty constant over their life. Good luck with your project!
 
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Old 04-08-16, 12:41 PM
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Lumens! Duh. Should have known that.

Thanks again.

I've got one bulb left, so hopefully I have a little time to get things together for the change.
 
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Old 04-08-16, 06:06 PM
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If you do decide to go the "all new" route, I can recommend this LED fixture:

https://www.rabweb.com/productLine.p...ED_YARDBLASTER

I have installed this quality fixture with much success in various locations. It is well made, and is also made in the USA. You can mount this onto the existing arm on your pole, or mount it directly to the pole. Any electrical distributor should have them, or can get them easily.
Andy
 

Last edited by Andrew; 04-08-16 at 06:09 PM. Reason: more info!
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Old 04-09-16, 03:18 AM
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Thank you for the recommendation, Andrew.
I have some Mercury RAB lighting at my business (on switches) and have been happy with them so far.

I noticed the LED lighting you linked has a recommended mounting height of 15'.
My business lights are 25' up and the light I'll be replacing is 28'. They throw a nice wide projection.
Don't LED lights project lighting as far if they are mounted higher? Is the light too dim to be useful by the time it reaches the ground?
 
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Old 04-09-16, 02:51 PM
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Not sure why they recommend the 15' height. The ones I installed are probably at 20' or so, and they seem plenty bright to me. Their literature suggests they are comparable to your 150W sodium vapor lamps. And, since the LEDs direct the light efficiently, less light is wasted into the sky.
Andy
 
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Old 04-09-16, 03:27 PM
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Thanks, Andy.
I'm going to call them Monday just to see why they say that. I've already got one stuck in my cart at Amazon to pull the trigger on if it's a go. I just want to make sure it throws enough light.

I remember Surefire telling me years ago that an incandescent will project more light than an LED for a flashlight, but LED's have come a long way since then and that's no longer true. Still, I don't want to get this light and lose 30' of coverage. And maybe they'll say I can mount it lower and get the same coverage.

I'll update what I get and how it works.
 
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Old 04-15-16, 02:25 PM
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The new light is up. I ended up buying a Phillips locally at an electrical supply house. It was about 15 bucks cheaper, incl the tax, than the one I had in my cart at Amazon.

I priced out a tow behind lift like I used before (before I didn't pay full price) and they wanted $120 for half a day. A local electrician with a bucket truck wanted 70 bucks... done deal.

The only problem I hope I don't have is they could not get the photocell to turn and point north. The one electrician says he never bothers with them and the lights he has put up work fine, so we shall see.

Looking forward to tonight.
Also looking forward to getting used to seeing this "odd" fixture. It looks so small from a short distance.
 
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Old 04-16-16, 03:39 AM
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So it seems to come on and go off at the right time. Maybe in winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, that "point north" on the photocell will have more bearing.

It throws the light almost as far as the HP sodium did, but at ground level the lighting is a lot more dim, or not as usable. Even directly under the light the ground isn't lit up as well. Maybe that's why they recommend a 15' mounting height, but then I'd have to get a couple more to light up the areas I want to. The price of "going green" I guess.
 
 

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