The Right Light at the Right Time

AreaMax at Pend Oreille Courthouse, Newport, WA

When you pick up an Evluma light, you feel the quality in it

“We are always looking at ways to serve our customers efficiently and to use the best products that we can,” stated Amy Sawyer, Project Coordinator, Engineering & Operations at Pend Oreille County PUD, when asked about her recent experience converting the county’s legacy street and area lighting to LED. While she describes Pend Oreille as a ‘small utility,’ serving the entire county means they serve four small towns plus the city of Newport, WA. “Most people live outside of the city. So if we have to travel an hour to fix a light, that’s real money and time,” she said.

Pend Oreille initially considered converting HPS to LED a few years ago. They even had a few test units installed. When BPA (Bonneville Power Authority) announced the availability of funding to help with the conversion process, interest was truly piqued. “HPS is very maintenance-heavy. HPS also uses somewhere between 4 to 5 kWh with a demand of 0.25. LED used between 1 to 2 kWh with 0 demand.” Engineering and Operations Director Chris Jones saw the Evluma AreaMax at the 2015 NWPPA E&O Expo renewing interest in a program. “Per the guidelines set forth for public utilities we went out to a sealed bid process. We thoroughly investigated all the brands submitted. Evluma came out on top,” stated Sawyer.

“The quality of the product stood out immediately. When you pick up an Evluma light, you feel the quality in it.” In fact, several key features drew the attention of Amy and her team. “The linemen love that the fixture is sealed. No bees can get into it. It seems like a silly problem, but when you’re approaching a light and there is a beehive inside of it, and you can’t see it until you’re touching it? It’s a big deal.” Equally as important was the Photocontrol Failsafe™ feature built-in to every AreaMax. “That’s a huge maintenance saver for us. Photocells on HPS don’t last very long. For us photocontrols were sometimes lasting as little as three and six years. We were hoping for them to last ten plus years.” With Failsafe Pend Oreille could transfer and reuse all their old photocontrols…

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