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Today’s Light Tower Trends — and How They Affect Your Bottom Line

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Light tower technology is always evolving — reflecting both the rate of change in the industry itself and the desire of manufacturers to better serve their users. As with anything that changes frequently, it’s worth considering what a given innovation will add to your business before renting one yourself. Often, what seems like a great improvement over the previous generation will end up failing to deliver on its promises.

With that in mind, here’s a look at some of the current trends in light tower design and technology — and the ways they could potentially impact your bottom line.

LED Bulbs

The rise of the LED bulb is easily the most significant trend in light tower design right now. LED technology is becoming more affordable, which is permitting more compact and more efficient light tower designs. LED bulbs offer a range of benefits for construction crews, including:

  • Longer cycle times — up to 50,000 hours per bulb compared to an average 15,000 for metal-halide
  • Lower maintenance costs — longer life means fewer bulbs are required throughout a project
  • Less power draw — LED bulbs cost less to run and are better for the environment, too
  • Faster setup — Unlike metal-halide bulbs, LED bulbs don’t require a warmup period, so you can start working sooner

For these reasons and more, LED bulbs are very likely to play a significant role in the future of light tower design. If you’re still using metal-halide bulbs to light your job site, it may be worth looking into a rental upgrade sooner rather than later.

Electric Power

With the increasing prevalence of LED bulbs, the popularity of light towers has experienced similar growth. Both technologies support one another — the lower-power draw of LED bulbs makes electric power a viable alternative to gas or diesel, while electric’s efficiency and portability add to the benefits of LED.

Using electric light towers at your job site is an investment, although the long-term savings make it a forward-thinking choice. However, electric light towers do require an external power source, which limits their usefulness in remote locations. Keep this fact in mind when you’re choosing your rental lighting.

Composite Materials

Composite materials are an alternative to steel — one that’s been gaining in popularity in recent years. Composites offer several advantages when used for light tower enclosures, including lower weight and increased durability. Composite materials don’t dent or rust, which can alleviate any concerns you might have about renting a light tower.

Is choosing a composite light tower worth it? It depends on how you use your towers and how long you plan on keeping them. While there are benefits, they may not be enough to justify a switch, unless you have a more specific need to replace your existing rental equipment.

What’s Next for Light Towers?

Expect the next generation of light towers to be more integrated electronically — sophisticated controls and remote programming options will become commonplace, while systems themselves are increasingly engineered for efficiency.

If you’re on the fence about upgraded light towers, consider renting one to try it out in real-world conditions. NMC Cat has a wide range of options available by leading manufacturers like Magnum. Visit our lighting page to learn more.