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Alpo

Hey electricians - updated April 15

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I was just outside, and all the streetlights are orange.

 

It's not my eyes. Porch lights are still yellow or white. Headlights are still white.

 

But the streetlights are much dimmer than normal, and are orange. Howcome?

 

Thoughts?

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Noticed it before? Sodium vapors have kind of an orange color to them. The tall lights in the front of the park here are leased from AEP and glow a sort of orange color. They're sodium vapors:blush:

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LED, maybe.

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Power to the street lights may be reduced.

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42 minutes ago, Four-Eyed Buck,SASS #14795 said:

Noticed it before? Sodium vapors have kind of an orange color to them. The tall lights in the front of the park here are leased from AEP and glow a sort of orange color. They're sodium vapors:blush:

+100

 

I am an Electrical Engineer. Worked for a power company my entire career. Sodium Vapor lights give off orange light. I never worked in accounting or billing so I don’t know the costs, so they may be cheaper to run. Street lights are on a contract with the local government, so they may take the lowest cost option. Also some of the brighter lights (Mercury Vapor and others may shine into the neighbors houses and be annoying.

 

CJ

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1 hour ago, Four-Eyed Buck,SASS #14795 said:

Noticed it before? 

Always been pale yellow before.

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45 minutes ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

Power to the street lights may be reduced.

 

40 minutes ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Current is not up to spec.

OLG

That's what I was thinking - that the current was low. Running 390 through a 440 system, or something like that.

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18 hours ago, Alpo said:

I was just outside, and all the streetlights are orange.

 

It's not my eyes. Porch lights are still yellow or white. Headlights are still white.

 

But the streetlights are much dimmer than normal, and are orange. Howcome?

 

Thoughts?

Power Company upgraded to sodium vapor to reduce electrical  consumption.

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17 hours ago, Cold Lake Kid, SASS # 51474 said:

Power to the street lights may be reduced.

 

17 hours ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Current is not up to spec.

OLG

Typically high pressure sodium lights will shine yellow. Reducing power should not make them orange but they do appear more orange sometimes when they are first turned on.

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3 minutes ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

 

Typically high pressure sodium lights will shine yellow. Reducing power should not make them orange but they do appear more orange sometimes when they are first turned on.

Agree on start up in cold weather.

If they stay orange for more that a couple of minutes-Then it a current supply issue.

I have seen both.....

OLG

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Unless the light source is incandescent, voltage or current will not change the color of the emitted light.  Gas discharge, mercury, sodium, neon etc. emit light when electrons in the plasma move from one quantum state to another.  The wavelength (color) doesn't change.  All fluorescent light is a gas discharge light with dust made up of inorganic chemicals that fluoresce so the light is white.  LED light used for illumination also use fluorescing chemicals to emit white light.  The HID street lighting is being replaced by LED lights because of utility regulators & government regulation.  They save a lot of electrical power with an added benefit of instant on, higher power factor & 0.0% total current harmonic distortion.  This improves the efficiency of the electric power distribution & transmission system.  LED illumination lights require electronic power supplies (drivers) that regulate the DC voltage applied to the p-n diode arrays that makeup the light source.  As the AC input voltage decreases the input current increases.

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Alpo  Add more champagne to your Mimosas.

 

Imis

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On 1/5/2019 at 10:25 PM, Cactus Jack Calder said:

+100

 

I am an Electrical Engineer. Worked for a power company my entire career. Sodium Vapor lights give off orange light. I never worked in accounting or billing so I don’t know the costs, so they may be cheaper to run. Street lights are on a contract with the local government, so they may take the lowest cost option. Also some of the brighter lights (Mercury Vapor and others may shine into the neighbors houses and be annoying.

 

CJ

Yep, we had new street lights installed in our neighborhood about 10 years ago and they've always had an orange hue to them. They're still bright enough to light the streets though!

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They've been installing new streetlights, but I thought it was just replacing the ones Michael took out.

 

Maybe they've been orange for a while, but I never noticed. Now with all the trees down, you look around at night and see orange spots everywhere.

 

I went last night and stood underneath one. It was awful dim.

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The color change is also beneficial to insects and animals that are out during the night.

 

A side benefit is that LED lights can be made so that they still emit white light but at a color temperature that doesn't attract bugs like incandescent or mercury vapor lights do.

 

They also create a lot less light pollution. Light pollution is becoming a big deal for people wanting to study the night sky.

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I knew I wasn't losing it.

 

They put up another light yesterday, snd it's white, like I thought they were.

 

The new white light, and behind it the orange ones.

IMG_20190113_035759.jpg

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Looks like they are going to LED from HPS. I’m an electrical contractor. Over 50% of my work is in lighting.

 

HPS was popular because the lumen output per watt is greater than metal halide. Maintenance is typically less and lamp life longer. Metal halide always gave cleaner light, cheaper lamps and cheaper ballast.

 

HPS are also more efficient cycling on, so the concept of using a capacitor and igniter (in metal halide, as used in HPS) led to the development of pulse-start metal halide, but I have never liked them. They are problematic.

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1 hour ago, Dirty Dan Dawkins said:

Looks like they are going to LED from HPS. I’m an electrical contractor. Over 50% of my work is in lighting.

 

HPS was popular because the lumen output per watt is greater than metal halide. Maintenance is typically less and lamp life longer. Metal halide always gave cleaner light, cheaper lamps and cheaper ballast.

 

HPS are also more efficient cycling on, so the concept of using a capacitor and igniter led to the development of pulse-start metal halide, but I have never liked them. They are problematic.

I've retrofitted many parking lot lights and wall packs. Led is good stuff and simple to install. HPS lighting was great 40 years back, it's now obsolete. I don't know if there is an application where LED cannot replace HPS. LED is instant start, brighter, and is not affected by temperature. I use 120-277 volt units and they work for most applications. Most people don't know the different between the soft white and bright white bulbs, you can really see it when they are mixed up in a corridor. 

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Agreed. We replaced a few sodiums on the barn/clubhouse a few years ago illuminating the parking area. replacement sodiums weren't functioning correctly so we put up LED's. they've been up for about two years now with no hiccups:blush:

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5 hours ago, Assassin said:

I've retrofitted many parking lot lights and wall packs. Led is good stuff and simple to install. HPS lighting was great 40 years back, it's now obsolete. I don't know if there is an application where LED cannot replace HPS. LED is instant start, brighter, and is not affected by temperature. I use 120-277 volt units and they work for most applications. Most people don't know the different between the soft white and bright white bulbs, you can really see it when they are mixed up in a corridor. 

 

 

Yes, I have found that in foundries and other excessively hot environments, at least in my experience in foundries, LED and metal halide fixtures cannot take the heat. HPS will still work. We’re talking 160 degree F plus environments. The various flourescent lighting options ( T5 HO, corkscrew retrofits for 400 watt and induction lighting) do not last in high heat environments either.

 

Used to be trucking terminals used primarily HPS to keep glare down for yard jockeys. 

 

I generally insist on installing surge protection to any LED fixture I install ( if not already installed by the manufacturer) AND at the lighting panels. My only problems have been with storms or power issues zapping LED drivers in commercial/industrial applications. Satco makes a  surge device for about $6 each that will take up to a 5k surge, but really only limits 1.1 k of protection. Cheap insurance. You can easily fit two of these into a deep 1900 box. LED is great but you’re installing electronic devices when you wire them in. They should be protected as such.

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3 hours ago, Dirty Dan Dawkins said:

 

 

Yes, I have found that in foundries and other excessively hot environments, at least in my experience in foundries, LED and metal halide fixtures cannot take the heat. HPS will still work. We’re talking 160 degree F plus environments. The various flourescent lighting options ( T5 HO, corkscrew retrofits for 400 watt and induction lighting) do not last in high heat environments either.

 

Used to be trucking terminals used primarily HPS to keep glare down for yard jockeys. 

 

I generally insist on installing surge protection to any LED fixture I install ( if not already installed by the manufacturer) AND at the lighting panels. My only problems have been with storms or power issues zapping LED drivers in commercial/industrial applications. Satco makes a  surge device for about $6 each that will take up to a 5k surge, but really only limits 1.1 k of protection. Cheap insurance. You can easily fit two of these into a deep 1900 box. LED is great but you’re installing electronic devices when you wire them in. They should be protected as such.

Good info, I typically  deal with cold weather issues. We recently changed out around 150 fluorescent trouffers in an office building to LED units. The tenants are much happier, no bugs to clean out of sealed units, especially in stair towers, I'm waiting for our annual power consumption report so I can compare power usage. The fixtures look like skylights.

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4 hours ago, Dirty Dan Dawkins said:

 

 

Yes, I have found that in foundries and other excessively hot environments, at least in my experience in foundries, LED and metal halide fixtures cannot take the heat. HPS will still work. We’re talking 160 degree F plus environments. The various flourescent lighting options ( T5 HO, corkscrew retrofits for 400 watt and induction lighting) do not last in high heat environments either.

 

Used to be trucking terminals used primarily HPS to keep glare down for yard jockeys. 

 

I generally insist on installing surge protection to any LED fixture I install ( if not already installed by the manufacturer) AND at the lighting panels. My only problems have been with storms or power issues zapping LED drivers in commercial/industrial applications. Satco makes a  surge device for about $6 each that will take up to a 5k surge, but really only limits 1.1 k of protection. Cheap insurance. You can easily fit two of these into a deep 1900 box. LED is great but you’re installing electronic devices when you wire them in. They should be protected as such.

Because, LED lights are made up of p-n junctions they have the lowest maximum allowable operating temperature.  However, current codes limit the maximum harmonic current distortion & minimum efficiency; which, effectively ban the traditional inductive ballasts used by HID, fluorescent ballasts that can handle high temperatures.  The electronic ballasts that have replaced them have a relatively low temperature limit.  "Electronic" means they include devices with p-n junctions.

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Back on the 13 of January I posted a picture. All the lights were orange, except one that was white. That was the next block down the street. My block was still dark.

 

Wellsir, they FINALLY got some in my block. Put one on every pole. Before the storm there was one light on the short block I live on. Now there are four.

 

The white light down the street was put up on the pole in the yard of a guy that works for the electric company. Guess he had a little pull. When they put the lights up on my block - all orange - they took his white light down and put an orange one up. :lol:

 

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4 minutes ago, Alpo said:

they took his white light down and put an orange one up.

 

Any bets on how long before a white one replaces it?

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He and his wife moved, and they're going to use that house as rental property, so I don't know whether they'll do that or not.

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