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“Large anchor tenants, for example,
may be responsible for the lighting outside of their storefront. But as businesses
change over the years, the responsibility
for ownership and maintenance can get
lost,” Teichman says. “Building owners
may be inadvertently maintaining certain
poles and shouldering those costs when in
fact they don’t own all of the fixtures.”
4) Read the Fine Print
While energy and maintenance are key
considerations, keep an eye out for variations in housing, installation, and listings
“When comparing two products, key
differences can be buried in the speci-
fications,” Snyder emphasizes. “Don’t
overlook details such as surge protection,
vibration ratings, lumen maintenance, and
No matter how long your warranty pe-
riod is, make sure to inspect fixtures after
installation to verify that their perfor-
mance is on track.
“Most LED failures tend to happen
within the first month of installation so
make sure that you go back to confirm
everything is still working,” Teichman
5) Try It Before You Buy It
There’s no reason you can’t retrofit a
portion of your lamps before committing
to a fixture for the entire installation, says
“If you have a large project, you could
be buying dozens, if not hundreds, of re-
placement fixtures. Buy a couple first and
see how they look once they’re in place,”
Teichman recommends. “Try out a hand-
ful of the new lights to confirm there’s an
improvement in illumination, uniformity,
This wait-and-see approach allows you
to tweak the design if necessary and iron
out any other performance problems. You
might, for example, find compatibility
issues between older components and the
replacement parts or run into communi-
cation challenges between controls, says
Don’t be shy about asking your manufacturer about installations you can visit
in person either, notes Snyder. It’s helpful
to see real applications before partnering with a vendor, particularly for large
Jennie Morton jennie.morton@buildings.
com is senior editor of BUILDINGS.
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