Lighting technology has changed significantly over the last 10 years due to new technologies that have been developed and the need to cut energy usage.
The first mobile lighting towers used Metal Halide light fixtures as they were more efficient than any other technology in white light. Slowly LED lamps were catching up and as we know today, they are more efficient than Metal Halide lamps as of about 4 years ago for mobile lighting tower applications. Also, they are less prone to vibration and have a longer life expectancy.
Deciding on what type of lighting technology you need is dependent on a number of factors including application, colour temperature, colour rendering, glare, light spill, energy efficiency, IP rating and any regulations you may need to abide by.
At PowerLink Australia, we have been designing & manufacturing mobile lighting towers since 2008. During this time, we have seen the technology change and have incorporated these changes as we improve our products.
Based on our experience, here are our 5 top things to consider when choosing the lighting product for your next project.
The type of application you need the lighting for
It is important to consider what environment you will be using the lighting for. Is it an urban environment like inner city roadworks, or will you be working on a remote mine site?
Some features to consider when choosing a mobile lighting tower that is suitable for your application include size, noise levels and light spill e.g. you would not use a large lighting tower when completing roadworks as the light spill and noise would annoy the neighbours and cause complaints.
Comparing performance of mobile lighting towers
When comparing the performance of mobile lighting tower models, make sure the Wattage total of the complete unit is the same. Don’t just look at how many light heads there.
Models can differ widely from 50-Watt heads to 500 Watts plus, making the number of heads on a unit irrelevant. Instead look at a light plot sourced from IES files & the materials the fixture is made from.
Correctly measure the light output
To correctly measure the light output of a mobile lighting tower, you need to refer to the photometric data using IES files. Do not rely on other types of data. If it is not from the IES file it is probably incorrect.
The ambient temperature of your project will also be a determining factor on what type of lighting technology you will use. For example, for high temperature environments like ovens, you need to use halogen lamps that can withstand the hot environments instead of LED bulbs that would fail.
The IP rating of the lighting tower you choose must be suitable for the environment it will be operating in. In general, high end outdoor light fixtures have an IP rating of IP65 or higher making them highly resistant to external elements, like dust and water.
In summary, choosing a lighting tower for your next project is a bit more complicated than just buying any unit. However, if you take into consideration the points listed above, then you will purchase a lighting tower that will meet the needs of the job.
In the meantime, have you considered a PowerLink mobile lighting tower?
Our metro range of towers and heavy duty, off road MDG15/41 Minespec towers all use high quality, high output LED light fixtures coupled with the reliable 2 cylinder Kubota engine which only use 0.76 litres of fuel per hour.
Our LED light fixtures are 500 Watts per unit, IP65 rated, have separate control gear and a large heat sink which all help to keep the LED at optimum performance.