This weekend, I received an “Ask Dr. Bulb” question from someone who was looking to replace their old high pressure sodium bollard lights with new LED bollard lights. The person in question, a property manager for a municipal building, has 10 old high pressure sodium bollard lights that are about 20 years old lining a particular walkway. Some of the light fixtures had already burnt out and many were cracked, rusted, or otherwise unusable. Obviously, considering the age of these bollard lights, this is understandable. Lighting technology has improved by leaps and bounds since the turn of the century and aging technology eventually needs to be replaced. The property manager sent us a photo of what one of the old bollard light bases looked like, which you can view to the right. The base has a four bolt pattern which is typical of many older bollard lights, but some of the bolts were broken, rusted, or otherwise unusable. However, all of the appropriate wiring was still effectively in place and functional. This property manager specified that he was looking to upgrade to something that would outlast the previous technology. What type of solution would this property manager need?
Choosing to Replace with LED
The first question I would have for this property manager is the following: “Are you planning to replace your old HPS bollard lights with more HPS lighting or upgrade to LED?” There are many valid reasons why someone would choose high pressure sodium but there are many more reasons to choose LED instead. One of these reasons is simply cost-effectiveness. The average high pressure sodium bollard light lasts for about 24,000 hours, after which it is necessary to replace the bulb completely. LED lights usually last at least twice as long, with some LED fixtures being L70 rated for over 200,000 hours. From a strict standard of convenience, medium-socket LED bollard lights are probably the best bet and the most efficient for the price. Access Fixtures sells several models of medium-socket LED bollard lights that will accept many different kinds of LED bulb. These are also simple to replace when the time comes. Modern LED bollard lights are not only more efficient but the fixtures themselves tend to be more durable than older-style bollard lights. To prevent corrosion and moisture, many modern bollard lights are IP rated and sealed, with a tough polycarbonate lens that is hard to break or crack. High-quality bollard lights are available in so many styles, finishes, colors, wattages, and designs that there is truly something for everyone.
Easy Replacement Kits
Once you have decided on how to replace your bollard lights, you need to then decide how to do it. Many people who are looking to replace old bollard lights feel that they might need to replace or re-pour the concrete as well. Thanks to modern technology, this is no longer necessary! A bollard light replacement kit might be what you’re looking for, like this one from Access Fixtures. This is an excellent kit that comes with all necessary hardware to replace old bollard bases with shiny new LED bollards. How it works is simple: each kit contains an 11″ die-cast aluminum bollard replacement base with internal levels and hardware. Using the old bollard light base and bolts, most new bollard lights can simply be placed on top. The base plate is meant to accommodate bollard lights with a 7″ diameter and a four-bolt pattern. In our property manager’s case, replacing their 10 bollard lights with new 7″ ones will be very simple. There is also a product called the Redhead which can be used to anchor a base to concrete in the case of broken, rusted, or otherwise absent bolts. 8″ bollards or those with a greater diameter can also be accommodated by the SIRU bollard light replacement kit as it is designed for use with multiple bolt patterns. As long as two original bolts are present, the bollard light replacement kit can be used. As mentioned previously, this particular kit includes internal levels for making the new bollard lights level with the ground. I recommend that all bollard light replacement be completed by a licensed electrician.
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