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Group relamping. Maintaining a lighting system becomes exponential, based on lamp life.

Even though there are


sophisticated technologies available, you're more often faced with light sources that have a lamp life of 4,000 hours;
10,000 hours; 12,000 hours; etc.
For the majority of installations, the most sensible procedure is to replace all the lamps at planned intervals, known as
"group replacement" or "relamping." Group relamping is one of the most significant aspects of a lighting-maintenance
program. Why? Because group relamping has visual, electrical, and financial advantages over "spot replacement"
(i.e. replacing individual lamps as they fail). If you only maintain as burnouts or problems occur, you will never
establish a manageable, predictable cycle.

Visually, group relamping ensures that the installation maintains a uniform appearance. Electrically, group relamping
reduces the risk of damage to the control gear caused by the faulty operation of lamps nearing the end of life.
Financially, by arranging the lamp replacement so that it's associated with luminaire cleaning - and doing it at a time
when it will cause the minimum disturbance to the activities - the cost of maintenance can be minimized. Group
replacement is an appropriate procedure for routine maintenance, and its frequency has a direct bearing on the
installed electrical load. However, in any large installation, a few lamps can be expected to fail prematurely. These
lamps should be replaced promptly on an individual basis.

Knowing lamp life and the number of hours per day that the lights are on can help establish an ideal cycle for group
relamping. Determine the total number of hours per year that the lighting operates and compare that number with the
lamp life of the light source. (Lamp life is based on the particular type of lamp and can typically be found on the
packaging, in lamp catalogs, or via the manufacturer or distributor.) For example, there are approximately 2,080 work
hours per year. A lamp life of 4,000 hours would last approximately 2 years during normal business hours.

Lighting maintenance should not only be a "reactive" task - it is important to plan ahead. Limited resources, budgets,
and/or manpower make this even more important. Hiring a temporary crew to conduct your group relamping can save
the expense of having a large, regular staff on hand at all times.

Planning ahead can allow for allocation of resources.


Planning can allow relamping to be "scheduled" to allow time for other projects, or to simply avoid having a problem
when you do not want one.
Planning ahead allows enough time to organize any special equipment (scaffolding, cherry pickers, etc.).
Group relamping means that you're buying in bulk, which results in volume discounts.
Buying a large volume of light sources at one time ensures that all lamps have the same properties (wattage, color
temperature, etc.).
Group relamping in hard-to-access areas (such as over stairwells, triple-height spaces, and atriums) means that
replacement only has to be done once every so often - not for each and every burnout.

[2] Know your equipment. To optimize your installation, be sure you have a copy of the lighting fixture schedule that
is part of the building maintenance manual, if available. Otherwise, create your own survey and inventory of lighting
equipment. Include manufacturer, fixture type/model number, and lamp/wattage information. This inventory can be
done during relamping and maintenance, and will make it easier to deal with any problems that arise.
A checklist of maintenance contacts, such as manufacturekr representatives, is also helpful. Representatives may be
able to help with recommendations on how to optimize or improve existing lighting hardware (especially if it's their
own). Some manufacturers also offer training sessions to make their products easier to use and understand. These
sessions can be done on-site or at the manufacturer's facility, depending on the type of advice and training required.

[3] Focusing and adjustment. Are the downlights actually adjustable? Properly aimed and focused lighting has a
significant impact on light level and appearance of the space. Light cannot be perceived until it hits something, so
make sure that fitures are focused on merchandise, wall surfaces, or whatever is being "featured." If high-quality
materials are used, they should be shown to their best advantage. The right lighting can enhance a space without
physically changing it.
Make sure all settings are tightened. Some fixtures have internal, lockable adjustments that allow fixtures to be
maintained and relamped without upsetting the focus/adjustment. This is particularly helpful for special feature areas
or in high ceilings. Once the fixture has been aimed properly, it doesn't need to be moved.

[4] Verify lamp types and wattage. Verify that all equipment is lamped with the correct lamp type, wattage, and beam
spread. Watch for wattage and lamp "improvements." Often, designs are done by professional lighting designers to
achieve a certain effect. When lamps are swapped out and "alternatives" are used (e.g. lamps with the wrong color
temperature, different beam spreads, etc.), the lighting result will also be changed.
Just because a lamp has more lumen output doesn't mean that it's superior. Some installations become overly bright
due to unexpected lamp improvements over time. If you have any complaints of glare or brightness, consider looking
into this.

[5] Verify color temperature. Standard color temperatures typically range from approximately 2,800K (warm color)
halogen-type sources to actual daylight/blue sky, which is commonly associated with 8,000K to 10,000K (cool color).
"Daylight fluorescent" lamps with 5,000K to 6,000K are not ideal when used indoors. A warm or neutral 3,000K is
better for office environments.
Look at areas with multiple lamps: If you see variations in color, it could be that the correct lamp was used, but that it
has the wrong color temperature. It could also mean that the ballasts need to be checked. If voltage is not being
properly regulated to the lamp, it will have an effect on the output. Lamp flickering indicates a problem with the power
being regulated to the lamp and typically requires inspection of the ballast.

[6] Confirm that everything is in working order. In addition to making sure the fixtures work, be sure that accessories
are not forgotten. If fixtures are intended to have accessories such as diffuser lenses, louvers, spread lenses, color
filters, or glare-control devices, make sure that you have (and use) them.
An up-to-date equipment inventory makes it much easier to obtain appropriate replacement parts, if this should ever
become necessary. Typically, you will need the manufacturer and model number of the fixture in question. From
there, a distributor or local manufacturer's representative will be able to assist and determine product numbers for
replacement parts and/or related equipment. Lighting professionals may be able to help as well.

When evaluating new fixtures, captive screws/hardware can avoid the problem of missing parts. Minimal tools
needed to relamp and durable finishes are some desirable features to consider.

[7] Watch for compatibility issues. All fluorescent, compact-fluorescent, and HID light sources require ballasts, and
all low-voltage light sources require transformers in addition to the lamp itself. These devices regulate power to the
light source and should be one of the first items to inspect when experiencing any problems with a light fixture.
Replacing current equipment with "special" ballasts (such as energy-saving types, etc.) may also require use of
"special" lamps. Additionally, manufacturers typically only warrant a product if the proper lamp/ballast combination is
used.

[8] Get rid of dirt. Installations accumulate dirt over time, reducing the output of a lighting fixture. In the case of
most office lighting (2x2 or linear pendant fluorescent), light is typically reflected off of the inner surface, which is
usually painted white. If this surface accumulates dirt, it won't perform as well and there will be reduced output of the
fixture over time. Dusting the lamps and cleaning these surfaces, as well as any lenses or perforated baskets or
louvers, enhance lighting performance and allow the fixture to perform optimally. The frequency of cleaning the
fixtures depends on the amount of debris and dust in the environment - cleaning even once a year will help. The ideal
time to do this is during your group relamping cycle.

[9] Don't forget exterior lighting. Overgrown surrounding plant materials can burn and obstruct the lighting. Make
sure that foliage is pruned and trimmed on a regular basis to avoid these problems.
In-grade fixtures can present problems if not maintained properly. Salt and chemicals used in the winter months can
corrode fixtures and gaskets, causing condensation and fixture failures. Fixtures made specifically with Teflon (and/or
fixtures designed to operate in a marine environment) can be helpful, low-maintenance alternatives.