Lighting gone wrong, again, sign lighting edition.

This is a fine example of how not to illuminate your signs.  The owner of this establishment tried their best to save a little money and use some basic off the shelf “sunnyboys” to light up a previously removed sign.  I doubt it garnered much attention.  Light fixtures such as these are certainly not intended to focus light on the side of a building, nor are they very effective in this sideways position.  Imagine the water collecting in the prismatic lens!



Any time you decide to illuminate signage or lettering on your wall give a gooseneck lighting fixture a chance to do the job.  These fixtures offer an architectural look while also getting the job done.  The shade of the fixture is designed to collect all of the lamp brightness and project it back on to the wall it extends from.  These fixtures offer you high brightness and a glare free view for everyone looking your way.  Have a look at some other examples in our gooseneck lighting catalog.



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Time to upgrade your sign lighting to LED?





Linear lighting for signs has traditionally incorporated a fluorescent light source.  Fluorescent lamps offer the right shape and size to accomplish uniform illumination for signs and walls and also provide for long life at around 18,000 hours.  A major drawback for fluorescents are their poor lumen output in low temperatures.  While most manufacturers of the fixtures include a zero degree start ballast, what they don’t tell you is that fluorescent lamps do not get up to their maximum brightness in cold temperatures, even in the 30-40 degree range fluorescent lamps appear much more dim than they do at higher temperatures.  This factor should make you think twice when considering the best way to light your entrance or business sign as you are trying to attract the most attention to it as possible, and bright light helps to achieve this goal.

led linear - IMGAs LED lighting continues to make strides into nearly all applications we now have linear LED fixtures available to replace fluorescent fixtures.  Available in a 3500K color temperature which is comparable to fluorescent, the color of the light is nearly identical.  A major benefit to upgrading to LED is the life span, most LED units offer up to 50,000 hours, making the fixture nearly maintenance free for its life span.  This is a big plus when using them in hard to reach areas or for users who do not want to pay for electricians to come and service fixtures as often as before.  Have a look at our newest linear LED light.  It has an IP65 rating for water and dust ingress protection, a 3-year warranty, and a 3500K color temperature.  Another advantage is its size, a very compact fixture that can be hidden in virtually any landscape, or easily blended in with many architectural features.


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Floodlighting Disasters

IMG_4855 The Houston Rodeo, an 80 year institution produces some of the finest entertainment during the 3-week long event.   It is held at the prestigious Reliant Park and boasts over 2 million visitors every year, truly a world class event.

See the banner in the image to our left, that is a 70ft tall banner, custom printed as a welcome sign to the stadium, look a little closer…Can you tell what is wrong with the picture?  There are two metal halide flood lights that were specifically mounted under the banner to illuminate it, was it an installation error, maybe, or was it poor equipment quality,   possibly.  The point is, this was never fixed during the run of the rodeo this year and this sort of occurrence happens every night somewhere in your town,  all over the United States, it is called LIGHTING GONE WILD.

Poor lighting design and management amounts to wasted energy and money,  always contract with a lighting professional when possible, and have a trusted contractor install for you, the end results will make you much happier.

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Can You See the Wall Pack?

small wall pack

Doesn’t take a large fixture to light up an area right.   Can you spot the wall pack above?  This is a small 42W CFL wall pack, perfect for this residential property, energy conscious, with a cut-off design putting light where it is needed on the ground, not up in the air.   Keep your property safely illuminated and your neighbors happy.

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Commercial Turnkey Lighting Project By RLLD For Pearl Snaps

When Pearl Snaps, a new western wear business, started up in 2012, the owner wanted to make sure that everything was just right inside the store. Lighting was one of their major concerns and is something that businesses around the country must consider. With poor illumination, colors won’t render properly (which is a problem for a clothing company) and the space won’t feel inviting. For instance, research shows that desirable lighting will keep consumers in the store longer, increasing the chances of a purchase.

RLLD was commissioned to provide the lighting for Pearl Snaps and handled everything from start to finish, including overseeing selection, delivery and installation. RLLD worked with the contractor to ensure that all lighting needs were taken care of on time for the client.

A primary reason for commissioning RLLD is precision. RLLD uses 3D photometric analysis to finely measure the level of luminous flux around the building. In other words, RLLD is able to determine how intense the light is at any one point in the store. This is extremely useful for detecting spots that are too harsh or dim. Photometric analysis also helps maximize efficiency because every fixture is placed right where it will produce the greatest amount of illumination for the least amount of power. RLLD takes several factors into account when placing fixtures, including the lighting technology being used, where it is placed in the store, its color temperature, and the angle it will be placed at. By optimizing these factors, RLLD helped the owner of Pearl Snaps keep lighting bills within a reasonable range while producing optimal effects.

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How Do Commercial Lighting Fixtures Differ From Residential Light Fixtures?

How Do Commercial Lighting Fixtures Differ From Residential Light Fixtures?

Decorative Light Poles For Sale!Commercial lighting projects differ from residential jobs because they require greater amounts of illumination while maintaining efficiency. Incandescent and fluorescent technology may be enough for residential and interior projects, but brightening up the area around a business requires more advanced fixtures. High intensity discharge (or HID) lamps are the perfect answer to this problem, because they combine high luminous efficiency with high durability.

For interior commercial lighting projects, incandescent, fluorescent or LED fixtures are usually enough to provide the illumination, color and decorative touch a business owner looks for. Incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, though, don’t have the power to work with exterior spaces. For these projects, HID lamps like metal halides or sodium vapor lamps are typically necessary. HID bulbs work with a combination of xenon or argon gas and metal vapors. When exposed to an electrical current, the gas becomes excited and smashes its electrons against metal vapor atoms. This change in energy is emitted in the form of photons, producing brilliant illumination that can be customized and controlled readily. HID lamps can produce illumination in a number of colors, including pure white. White illumination is perfect for visibility and color rendering, which is why it is a popular option for sports arenas and other large exterior spaces.

LED technology is also an effective form of exterior illumination and is the most efficient fixture available. Metal halides and sodium lamps can normally perform for about 25, 000 hours before replacement, but LED lamps can produce about 50,000 hours worth of illumination before needing to be replaced. HID and LED technology also produce a lot of illumination per watt of energy, making them cost effective options when volume lighting is needed.

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What do the different lighting fixture optic types actually mean and where are they best used?

Below we will examine each optic type for parking lot lighting fixtures and describe what purpose each serves.  When you contact  RLLD you will be speaking with professional lighting engineers who are able to help you select the appropriate fixture types for every application.  Lets get started.

Type II optics are typically used for narrow roadways, walking paths, and any driving area where a narrow longitudnal throw is required.  Most shoe-box style fixtures are available with Type II distribution along with traditional cobra-head style.  Type II can also be used for sport applications such as batting cage light system.

Type III optics are used in roadway appications where the street is wide.  This distribution also works very well in many parking lot lighting situations where perimeter pole placement is needed.

Type IV optics are designed to maximize the amount of light going forward from the fixture, typically in long narrow patterns.  This optic type is used around the perimeters of parking lots where there is no desire for wasted light behind the pole.  Type IV distribution is also used quite often in sport applications such as tennis, volleyball, and basketball court lighting where poles are situated outside the playing areas while high light levels are required.

Type V distribution is designed to produce an all around pattern of light.  Sometimes circular or square, this optical pattern is mainly used on the interior of parking lots.  Type V fixtures are commonly used in parking lot applications and areas where wide symmetrical pattern of light is required.


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Ideas to prevent tennis court lighting from projecting into your neighbors yard.


My tennis court is very close to my property line, and I am concerned about projecting light into my neighbor’s yard.  What can I do to prevent this from happening?

Depending on the proximity of the court to the property line, this can prove to be a difficult situation to deal with.  The optical system is designed to prevent as much light as possible from going behind the poles, however, in tight installations it may not be completely preventable.   We do offer rear shielding for our fixtures which will help further minimize light from going behind the poles. In addition, we could also provide a photometric analysis showing exactly how much light would project behind the poles.


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Best ideas for using lower wattage lamps for a tennis court lighting system.

I do not want to use 1000w fixtures for my backyard tennis court, but I do want to uniformly light the court area, just not quite as bright.  Is there a solution you could offer?

Yes, our court lighting system is available with 750w metal halide lamp.  This will lower the energy consumption by 25%, but will also drop the light levels by approximately 25%.  There will still be enough light to play by, but we wouldn’t recommend anything lower in wattage.  Just remember that effectively lighting a tennis requires high light levels and excellent uniformity throughout the court.   The ball is moving at high speeds and our eyes need adequate lighting to play the sport at night, or you may as well just save it for the day time.  To maintain proper uniformity you will have to use a minimum of six poles regardless of the fixture wattage.

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How much will it cost to run my tennis court lights?

How much will it cost to operate a six or eight pole tennis court lighting system at my house?

In 2011 the national household average per kilowatt-hour use was $0.12.  To figure the actual cost of running your lighting system you will first have to figure out the amount of watts a system uses and follow this formula:

wattage   x   hours used  ÷  1000  x  price per kWh  =   cost of electricity

A six light 1000w court lighting system will use 6,600W when operating.

6,600w  x  3 hrs of play ÷ 1000 x $0.12 = $2.38, or approximately $0.80 per hour

An eight light 1000w court lighting system will use 8,800W when operating.

8,800w  x  3 hrs of play ÷ 1000 x $0.12 = $3.17, or approximately $1.05 per hour

You can see that it doesn’t cost quite as much as you would think to operate your tennis court lighting.  Metal halide lamps are an extremely efficient light source for tennis applications.  Even with the emergence of LED lighting, which may one day  illuminate sporting applications, metal halide is still king of the court.  When comparing any lighting system choice for your tennis court one should pay particular attention to a photometric analysis that will show exactly how much light any given system can produce on your court.  You will need approximately 40-50 foot candles on average throughout the primary playing area to achieve adequate lighting and enjoy the game at night.

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