New Mexico Landscapes

I drove to Alamogordo this morning to deliver a proposal. It was a three-hour drive straight through with one short stop along the way. On the way to Alamogordo, I made mental notes at places I needed to stop and take photos on the way back. Needless, to say It took me six hours to drive back after all the stops. Here are a few photos of the landscapes I got on the drive back.

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.