Upgrading to LED? Why You Should Inspect Your Poles First.

The rise in environmental consciousness has caused rampant changes in energy infrastructure across the country. Utility companies and commercial property owners are continuously seeking new ways to produce affordable and clean energy. Our drive toward eco-friendly energy consumption has caused a significant upswing in the use of solar and wind-based technology. However, using a renewable energy generation strategy isn’t the only way to reduce our carbon footprint.  Both municipalities and private business owners alike have recognized the many environmental benefits offered by leveraging LED commercial lighting throughout communities and facilities. 

Why You Should Inspect Light Poles

Existing Light Poles Can Often Be Converted to LED

LED lighting significantly reduces energy consumption in both niche and large energy applications. The growing momentum of LED utilization has government and commercial agencies systematically working through their existing lighting assets. Many asset owners assume that the only way to leverage this type of energy infrastructure is to completely replace existing poles and fixtures. 

However, a full pole replacement is often not necessary when making the switch to a more eco-friendly solution. Often, commercial exterior lighting fixtures can be retrofitted into a more energy-efficient asset. 

Given the advantages of converting to LED lighting, it is imperative to look at the structure of the existing pole before installation, because these improvements will be wasted if the pole cannot support them. Any subsequent structural failures would likely result in the damage or loss of your new investment which would be an expensive (and extremely wasteful) situation.  And that doesn’t even account for the safety risks and financial liabilities of light pole failures. 

Therefore, before moving forward with any LED lighting rollout, you should always consult with a structural lighting specialist first.  They will conduct a battery of non-destructive tests to determine if your existing infrastructure can support it, or whether modifications or repairs may be necessary to first restore the structural health of the pole. 

Benefits of Steel Pole Inspection Before Moving Forward With an LED Retrofit

Working with structural lighting professionals to inspect your assets before moving forward with upgrades can yield several significant benefits. First and foremost, like most energy upgrade initiatives, modifying existing assets typically proves far more cost-effective than replacing an asset completely. Having the ability to enhance your current energy infrastructure can deliver potentially significant savings. 

Additionally, certified specialists have the resources, personnel, and equipment needed to perform the required NDT inspection that can diagnose hidden deficiencies and assess the current health rating of your poles. Your chosen vendor will provide invaluable insight into the ongoing structural integrity of every asset, pinpointing potential existing compromises and threats, such as corrosion, cracks, and mechanical damage, and general deterioration. 

Also, many street light pole and commercial exterior lighting owners assume that as long as they have poles that are strong and uncompromised, they will have no issues converting to LED usage. Yes, structurally sound assets serve as the foundation of the conversion. However, to ensure a safe, successful switch to an LED solution, there are several other factors to consider. It is important to make sure that the existing pole structures are designed to properly handle loads of the new fixtures (which may not always be the case)

Additionally, your vendor will also consider total wind resistance (included any banners or signage that may have been added to the pole but not necessarily designed for), recalculating what the pole can withstand once the LED components have been added. A structural lighting professional will ensure your upgraded assets are configured properly without being overburdened, helping the asset to perform at maximum capacity throughout its lifespan. 

Exo Specializes in Non-Destructive Testing

As a leading structural lighting specialist, Exo partners with business owners to develop comprehensive \ inspections that help owners avoid costly pole replacements if possible. Want to hear more? Contact our team of utility pole contractors today.

Get Started with Exo

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Our team would love to talk to you, so we can learn about your lighting company’s goals and primary areas of concern. Contact us today, and we’ll help you take the first step in creating a comprehensive lighting asset management program. Give us a call at 281-259-7000.
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