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Out door lighting

Post in 'The Green Room' started by wg_bent, Nov 30, 2006.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I have a need to put up a bright out door light. I'm looking at the High Pressure Sodium or Mercury Vapor lights.

    Looks like HPS lights are more energy efficient, but slight drops in voltage like when someone flips on another appliance like washing machine, dishwasher or well pump are said to cause the light to switch off. True or not? Mercury Vapor lights seem like energy hogs, but are nice and bright/white. The goal here is to illuminate one side of the house that is completely dark right now...Garbage can, basket ball hoop and nosey neighbors over there (she likes to turn off all her lights and hang out on her deck and watch us to see what we're up to and I want to illuminate the hell out of the property over there including her)

    What is best, most energy efficient option?

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  2. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    It sounds like you are less interested in illumination for your own use, and more in illumination to obscure her use. Based on that, do neither of what you are thinking of. First, is she observing you inside you home through windows, or outside puttering around? Let's get those answers and go from there.

    -- Mike
  3. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    The Watt rating on the light will give you the cost to operate. Higher Watts more $$$ The lumen rating will give you the amount of light produced. Compare those and you should be able to make a selection. Some lights are rated in Candlepower (candela i think) not the same as Lumens i think its a factor of like 12.5. so dont compare apples to oranges.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Actually, I am interested in illumination for my use...ie not running into a critter when putting out the garbage, or removing snow from the driveway at night or basketball in the evening with the kids. I've been thinking of putting somethign out there for a while, but just never bubbled to the top of the list. Lately, though she's been irritating (long story I won't get into) and I've discovered her out there (on her side of the chicken wire fence) looking to see if I'm out there because her dogs barked at a mouse in the leaves. Just irritating knowing that if I go out to toss a bag of garbage in the can she might be hanging out there in the dark. Solution...remove the dark. I'm thinking that a nice HPS light will illuminate my driveway plus her entire yard on that side of the two houses...a much more comfortable situation when I can see what or who is out there. I could care less if she's out there...I just want to know it.
  5. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Warren...

    Ah, okay. In that case any old lighting will do. Just shoot for energy efficiency, as you mentioned. Obviously, make sure as much light as possible spills over onto her side. I was thinking less in terms of "light" and more in terms of "dazzle" ie blind her. In that case I was going to suggest compact fluorescent spots. They work very well, throw off a lot of light for cheap, and they are blinding to look towards. (I know, I have 6 of them on my annoying neighbor's side!) Just aim the spots a leeeetle toooo high :lol: Oh, and you can put a motion sensor on them so that every time she goes outside at night the lights click on... think Pavlov's Neighbor!

    -- Mike
  6. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I think if you look at pure "lumens per watt", high pressure sodium is the king. However, you get that goofy yellow light which human eyes aren't terribly sensitive. Mercury vapor is kind of old school, you may want to check out metal halide lights. That will give you a bright, crisp, white light. The lumens/watt looks a little lower than sodium, but the human eye is more sensitive to the white light so it seems brighter. If you are just out to annoy the neighbor, maybe a flood light focused on her favorite setting spot would do the trick. My neighbors used to love to leave their obnoxiously bright back light on...until I focused a 500W halogen spot light at their house. They leave theirs on, i put mine on...theirs usually goes out within 10 minutes.

    As far as the light going out when the voltage drops. It will just depend on your situation and how long/far the voltage drops. You may also find that a well designed electronic ballast is more immune to the voltage drops than an old magnetic ballast.

    Corey
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I do have a couple CF bulbs in some outdoor fixtures, and they work o.k. in enclosed fixtures since they retain some heat, but in a standard open fixture, I wonder how the CF bulbs do in the really cold weather...although if it's that cold, I guess no one would be hanging out for long.
  8. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I've got 12 exposed CF bulbs, completely exposed. So long as you get the heavy glass ones they are fine. Don't get the cheapie thin ones with the air holes in them... air holes might as well be water holes, and water freezes... bulbs break, etc. They take a minute to warm up when its freezing outside.

    -- Mike
  9. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    I'm so glad not to have any neighbors!

    I'd simply put out the sensor flood lights, bulbs your choice. I love them, have them all over the house so as I walk around my path is always illuminated. Occasionally a coyote or strong winds blowing in the trees will set them off. I did have to adjust the lights away from any windows on the house because of that.

    As for the pesky neighbor. Bake her some exlax brownies for christmas.

    Just kidding.
  10. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Two words "METAL HALIDE" HPS and MV are slowly being phased out... Try to get one that has the multi tap ballast, and wire it for 220volts rather than 120.
    The light is so bright you wont even need 500 Watts.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I ended up with a 65 w flourescent. Sweet light, cheap at the BORG, and it lights up the entire yard and side of my house and the neighbors.

    He he he.
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