Lighting with GFRC: Part 1
Have you ever been in a room that was so poorly lighted you cannot see where you are going? Or brightly lit, but the lights shone right in your eyes as you tried to look around? What about a path when it grows dark and you can no longer see the path markers? Lighting is important to our lives whether we are using a candle or a state of the art lamp.
Functions of Light
The type of light selected for a particular area varies by the function of the light. This is generally one of four functions:
- Task Performance. This is perhaps the type of lighting that first comes to mind. Illuminating an area so a task can be done is one of the primary reasons lights are installed. Student desk lamps are a prime example of this kind of lighting.
- Enhancement of Space and Structure. Without light, the true scope of a building or room cannot be appreciated. One must only watch the lighting of a ghostly underwater shipwreck on television to see an example of this function.
- Focusing Attention. The way a room is lit can profoundly affect which features of that room are noticed and which are not. Light can be used to accentuate desirable features while leaving the less desirable ones in relative darkness.
- Safety and Security. Criminals are less likely to strike in well-lit areas. They are also less likely to strike buildings that are well-lit. Paths that are lit help keep people from wandering away and becoming lost. Stromberg GFRC makes a number of bollards with lights cast into them so that paths can be illuminated, whether they are urban or through a park.
Choosing the Correct Light For the Job
There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a light for a particular site or task. The most important are:
- Color. Color refers to more than whether a bulb is red or white. Different bulbs give off different types of light. An incandescent bulb may be full spectrum, or may only give off a narrow spectrum of light. Fluorescent lights give off a different white light than incandescent bulbs. The needs of the end user must be considered when choosing the color of the bulb. For example, lights in a greenhouse should be full spectrum lights to allow the plants to grow.
- Size. Size refers not to how big the fixture is, although that is a consideration, but to how big the area it illuminates. The customer needs to choose between point illumination, line illumination, and area illumination. Point illumination is a very focused illumination. A light on a painting in an art gallery is a good example. Line illumination is generally from a fluorescent tube, and is more defuse than an incandescent bulb. The long, narrow lights in a hospital corridor are an example of line illumination. Area illumination is even more defused than line illumination. It can be a grid of fluorescent bulbs, as in a factory warehouse, or a large opening, such as a large window.
- Efficiency. This is the ratio of light produced versus energy consumed. Incandescent bulbs provide a very attractive light but are relatively inefficient, and thus costly to maintain. Fluorescent bulbs are very efficient, but are not as pleasing to the eye.
- Life. Lamp life varies from source to source. Short lived incandescent bulbs should be avoided due to maintenance costs. Longer lived bulbs should be employed whenever possible, especially in hard to reach or critical areas. Generally, longer lived bulbs are more expensive.
- Maintenance. The illumination provided by a bulb degrades over time. Most incandescent bulbs maintain their output to within a few percent of normal right up until they fail. Metal halide and mercury vapor lights may lose 50% of their light prior to failing. Accounting for this is necessary to ensure enough light reaches the areas being illuminated even when the bulbs start to fail.
Benefits of Stromberg Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete Illuminated Bollards
- Illuminated bollards can be cast in most shapes, from typical uprights to amazing animals
- GFRC illuminated bollards are durable
- GFRC illuminated bollards are low maintenance
- GFRC illuminated bollards can light paths, signal that roads are closed, or light up the garden
Specific Applications of GFRC Illuminated Bollards
- Mark jogging paths
- Block motor vehicle traffic while allowing pedestrian and bicycle traffic in
- Act as store icons
For More Information
To order your Stromberg GFRC Illuminated Bollards, or for answers to any questions you might have, please give us a call at (903) 454-0904. The Stromberg Architectural Products website has more information about all our Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) products. Contact us today, the initial consultation is free.