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Exterior Lighting: Maintenance Matters


This is Chris Matt, Associate Editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is exterior lighting maintenance.

Outdoor lighting often is neglected, but with increasing concerns for safety and security, maintenance managers need to keep their outdoor lighting systems well maintained. Controls, especially photocells, can be ignored.

The least expensive type of photocell uses cadmium-sulfide cells that can fail and keep exterior lighting on during the day. They also can degrade from exposure to sunlight and lose sensitivity after a few years of service. This loss of sensitivity cuts into savings by keeping exterior lighting on longer than necessary.

Managers should pay particular attention to the direction in which they aim the photocells. Managers should aim photocells north so they can detect the reflected light of the north sky and so they’re not affected by the east-west exposure or degraded by intense southern exposure.

Workers can replace inexpensive, cadmium-sulfide photocells when replacing the high-intensity discharge lamps they control. This tactic prevents operation of outdoor lighting during the day, as well as the loss of savings that result from degraded cells.

When outdoor lighting controlled by photocells is on during daylight hours, the photocell usually has failed, resulting in higher-than-normal electricity bills.

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