Lots of Lights

Clouds blowing about over the mountains behind Resa’s tree.

I was going to photograph Mars this morning, but low clouds covered the sky, and the wind blew the dribbles of spit from the clouds in my face when I stepped outside. Ominous foretelling of the possibility of another Freaking Friday.

Back in September, I asked the question of our lighting lady if I could get parts for the light fixtures in the ceiling of our new, 15-year-old, office building. The answer was no. Those light fixtures are not made anymore. However, she had retrofit LED fixtures by Litetronics that cost the same as ballasts that replace the fluorescents in the fixtures. She brought two sample lights. One with a sensor and one without a sensor. The retro fixtures are much nicer looking than the fluorescent fixtures, but even when they are set at 25 watts, they are super bright.

The LED lights are fairly easy to install. I gut the fluorescent fixture boxes, slide a hinge rail on one long side between the drop ceiling rails and the gutted fixture box, and a latch rail on the other side. I hang the retro fixture on the hinge rail, plug it into the power, and latch it in place.

I installed the first demo light with a sensor in Ailene’s office because one of her lights had a bad ballast. The sensor lights can be controlled with an app on my phone and a physical controller. After I got the light installed and the controller configured, I showed Ailene how to adjust the light. Later that afternoon I got a text from Ailene asking me to quit messing with her light. I texted back I wasn’t messing with it. We had left the sensor set on auto-sense that adjusts the light according to how much light is coming into the room through the windows. As the sun was setting, the light was changing light levels to compensate for the outside light coming into her office. I’ve installed six of the LED lights with sensors. I’m not getting any more lights with sensors. Managing six of them is a pain.

One of the fluorescent fixtures in the conference room was making a really loud, annoying buzzing sound. The conference room has a 13-foot ceiling and a big conference table under the lights. The issue was how to reach the lights to install the LEDs. The gate I ordered back in August came in on Monday, so I purchased a giant Little Giant ladder that extends to 11.5 feet as a step ladder and 26 feet as an extension ladder. The Little Giant worked out perfectly for replacing the lights in the conference room because it straddled the conference table nicely and was still tall enough for me to reach the lights.

As part of the tenant improvements on the other side of the building, we are replacing all 54 fluorescent fixtures with LED fixtures. Two pallets of fixtures were delivered this afternoon, and I had a fun time moving 27 30 pound boxes from a parking spot into one of our offices. There was a cold wind blowing outside.

Little Giant ladder over the conference table under a gutted light fixture.

Three new LED lights in the conference room.

Two pallets of LED fixtures ready to be moved inside.

All the boxes stacked in our communal office.

Beaker Eyeing me in the light of the setting sun before I covered his cage for the night.

47 thoughts on “Lots of Lights

  1. Seems like, if memory serves me correctly, that large deliveries are both gladly received and dreaded at the same time. Glad you got your new lights. We still are intrigued by the curved walls in your conference room.

  2. Each photo, from top to bottom, plays with color, light and/or geometry. I especially like the triangle the ladder makes over the conference table, the late afternoon sun illuminating bright Beaker and his cage with their shadows on the wall.

    • Thanks, Mary Jo. I have a new Macbook Pro M1 Max. So far the only software I have on it that’s not optmized for the M1 chipset is Adobe Camera Raw and Photoshop (still Intel. Ugh!). I used On1 Photo Raw and some of the effects it has on this set of photos. I got some decent results as you were astute enough to notice.

  3. Wow, they are starting to replace streetlights with LED’s here, and, while I’m all for LED, for the reasons we all know, they are way too bright. Glad you will not get any more sensor lights. That would drive me crazy.

    • Hi Jeff. Most of the LEDS are very bright. I figured out we’ll pay for the lights in energy saving in about a year and a half. I’m going to put dimmer switches on the lights in the conference room.

      I replaced the halogen bulbs over our counter in the kitchen with LEDs. The first set I tried were 10W, but they were not bright enough. I need 20w LEDs, but they are not available in 110v. I got 15w bulbs from China, but they are still not as bright as I would like.

      • Interesting. At the college they will probably switch to LED’s eventually. Your post and this conversation aids me in advocating for dimmers. I’m not a fan of too much brightness, unless, of course, it’s the sun.

  4. Have that exact same ladder and love it – although a tad on the heavy side when hauling it around. Not sure what your weather looked like, but we spent the night under Tornado Watches. Missed us, but surrounding areas have power losses and north of St. Louis got hit hard – Amazon building in Edwardsville got hit with a large number of people trapped and likely high casualties. tomorrow expecting 50 mile gusts, but hopefully nothing twisting.

  5. New, 15 year old building lol 😝 I love oxymorons. That’s nearly my age!
    So so love the gradients in all the pics from beginning to end. How the colours seems to kinda “smudge” into one another is truly magical.
    And good for you on getting new lights!

    • I get a little oxymoronic from time to time. I was trying to make otherwise ordinary photos more interesting. I’m happy you liked them. Thanks, Sam. BTW I got up to 3rd place in Duolingo tonight. I could easily get into first place, but I’m not going to go for it right now.

      • Wow! 🤩 I’m so happy for you.
        Staying in top 3 is hard. At the very last moment, someone beats you to it 😬 (with experience)
        My night comes much earlier than the West and elsewhere, so people who go to bed later than me beat my feat.
        Hope it doesn’t happen to you.

      • I don’t worry about it these days. I usually end up around 17th place it seems. Last year I would fight hard for 1st place. But I don’t have time to be getting several thousand XP for high positions. I’ll end up in first place when I have a long wait for a doctor appointment or other appointment. I do Duo while I’m waiting. I can rack up a lot of XP waiting for a doctor.

      • Sooo true! I’ve long buried my “competitiveness” with regards to a podium finished. It’s after all, a reflection of the time we spend rather than how well we spend it.
        And wow, regarding the doctor appointments. A good way to spend some of the waiting time! Playing while waiting ensures we don’t get bored.

  6. Fluorescent light fixtures are yesterday’s technology, though a gazillion are still in service to some degree and a gazillion tubes are still manufactured and sold. Heaven forbid if your fluorescent fixture dies, specifically the ballast does. You need to replace it with an LED fixture. Two pallets should keep you busy.

    • I’ve never liked fluorecent lights. The flutter and color drive me crazy. I don’t turn on the lights in my office. I have my twisted LED light and the light from the monitors before the sun comes up. Thanks, David.

      • The flutter is why fluorescents were not fully embraced. The tubes, however, are much better in offering a more even light these days than they were 5 years, 10 years ago, etc. A bit of a dollar too late.

  7. The prices of electricity are skyrocketing, also here in Europe, the choice for LED lighting is certainly a very good choice! Good luck with the installation of the new lamps 😉

  8. Okay… that is too many lights and even my back hurts just looking at the prospect of installing them!
    Ominous but beautiful sky. Funny enough, we’re having very very strong winds too. The kind that lifts furniture and huge plant pots!!!!
    Take care of your back and enjoy a great weekend!

  9. I have a few fixtures in the garage needing replacing, too and will go with the LED lights.

    It was good to see Beaker again. You still have Soren, too? I miss seeing Blue. How is the snake doing?

    • Blue is doing well. I’ll feed her close to Christmas. Beaker is a happy old bird. Thanks, Lavinia.

  10. That sounds like a lot of detailed management, Tim. I don’t envy you there.
    It was lovely to see Beaker again. He looks happy.
    That first image of the tree… it’s one of your very best. Beautiful color and lighting, and a stunning composition. Well done! Hugs on the wing.

    • Thanks, Teagan. Beaker is happy. He has his own private heaters and humidifiers. It as 8ºF this morning.

  11. Geez, what a pain the lights sound like.
    I hate it when I buy into something, then it’s discontinued. I see it as a plot to make us buy more new things.
    I know, some things are improved, but some things are not. It seems no matter what they/therefore we do lots of garbage is created.

    I also know, my tree is the most stunning of all the beautiful trees. The opening shot is as sweet as honey, so I took it for my files. It’s got that look of magic.

    Hello Beaker!!!!

    • Thanks, Resa. I’m running across a lot of things in the building that aren’t made anymore. I got a message over a week ago that the trap in the men’s room was leaking. When I got the skirt off the front of the lavatory, it was the overflow connection on the drain that was leaking. The skirt I had removed had been pressing on the hose from the overflow to where it connects to the drain. It finally cracked and broke. It’s a Corian Sink,so there were no parts available locally. I finally found a replacement overflow assembly that was $75, which was ridiculous. I looked on eBay and found a new one for $35. Better, but still ridiculous for a plastic fitting with a rubber hose on it. I got the sink repaired on Thursday and I was able to reatach the skirt a 1/2 lower so it isn’t pressing on the overflow hose.

  12. I love the colors in your outdoor photo. We had the electrician out on Friday, and he was telling me that everything is going LED and so everything else will be obsolete. If anything goes wrong, it will have to be replaced. I personally do not like LED light bulbs and buy the halogen.

    • Thanks, Dawn. I prefer the good old incandescent light bulbs, but I will take LED over fluorescent. There are still some of those old screw-in type fluorescent bulbs in the 13 foot ceiling in the reception area at the office. Those are light bulb abominations.

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