Since their release, the PLB Series LED bollards have helped build better, safer communities around the globe with their unrivaled performance, durability, and cost-effectiveness.
At First Light Technologies we stay well ahead of our competition through our continued investment in our products. Recently, our product development team completed a continuous improvement project for our PLB Solar and PLB-AC Series of bollards. Included in this project were performance improvements to all models, including better lighting efficiency and an increase in how much ground is illuminated by the PLB Solar Series. Additionally, significant improvements to the PLB-AC resulted in unmatched overall performance and value when compared to other products on the market. We are pleased with the results of this work as no family of illuminated bollards compares to the performance and reliability of the PLB Series.
PLB Series Solar Powered Bollards: A High Performing Solar LED Bollard Gets Even More Performance
Our PLB Series Solar bollards use a holistic design approach to maximize performance while minimizing cost and maintaining our best-in-class reliability. With no need for remediation, running wires, or connecting to the power grid, the PLB Solar Series is an ideal option to add to areas that need lighting.
Best in class lighting efficiency
Like all our solar products, the PLB Solar Series is built with a focus on all the details that make a high-performing illuminated bollard. To optimize lighting performance elements such as the choice of LEDs, LED driver design, and a mechanical design that optimizes both light output and thermal efficiency.
System efficacy is a measure of how efficiently energy is turned into light. Independent lab testing of the PLB Solar bollards proved the outstanding system efficacy. PLB Solar performed at an outstanding 100-140 lm/W, unmatched by any other solar bollard available.
This best-in-class system efficacy means the PLB Solar Series minimizes energy waste by utilizing efficient LEDs, high-efficiency LED drivers, with advanced thermal and mechanical design. As a result the PLB Series Solar bollards excels in producing amazing uniformity, excellent light spacing, and efficient energy management. This attention to detail results in cost-effective, high-quality lighting not typically found in other solar lighting products.
More light on the ground
Building on its already outstanding performance, lighting efficiency improvements to the PLB symmetrical (SYM) light distribution resulted in nearly four times the illuminated area. This means that there is four times more light on the ground improving visibility and safety of its users.
Full Cut-Off Dark-Sky Compliance
Our work also included ensuring that every model in the PLB Solar Series LED bollard is now full cut-off with Dark-Sky friendly configurations available. Mechanical changes to the PLB Solar symmetrical distribution model allow it to join the rest of the PLB family with full cut-off lighting — meaning light produced is sent downward, illuminating only what is required.
The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is the recognized authority on light pollution and is the leading organization combating light pollution worldwide. As more industries and municipalities look to implement Dark-Sky compliant lighting practices, the PLB Series family of bollards is the perfect fit where a Dark-Sky ordinance is required or a project is near a sensitive wildlife area.
PLB-AC Series: What makes a great performing wired bollard?
When launched back in 2016, the PLB-AC Series LED bollard set a new bar for lighting efficiency and was recognized with a Next Generation Luminaires (NGL) Award at Lightfair International. Sponsored by LightFair International (LFI), the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), the Next Generation Luminaires award honors commercial LED indoor and outdoor lighting products.
Those that are familiar with our work know we continue making our products better, even after they are released. We continuously look at what more we could do to improve an already great performing LED bollard.
To design the ultimate wired bollard, we went back and evaluated the lighting industry, talked to customers, and identified three key performance areas of focus – Energy Efficiency, Quality of Light, and Cost-Effectiveness. Analysis of common bollards showed that if they excelled in one performance area – they would often compromise in the others.
It is no easy task to design and build a wired bollard that’s unmatched in performance and efficacy while keeping it at a competitive price point. This is the type of challenge that gets us excited. This challenge is evidenced by the number of competing products in the market that struggle to do all things well. We made the PLB-AC Series wired bollard by leveraging our unmatched knowledge of energy efficiency developed through our specialized expertise and experience designing and building solar lighting products.
An ideal solution for retrofit projects or pathways where wiring is already being installed, the PLB-AC has the highest all-around performance and is the most cost-effective compared to any other LED bollard available today.
Decades of solar lighting experience have made us experts in designing and building energy-efficient lighting products. When we compared the power consumption of the PLB-AC against the next closest competitive bollard, the PLB-AC consumed over 30% less energy. Less energy used results in fewer ongoing costs for our customers.
With an outstanding, independently tested system efficacy of 124 lm/W, the system efficacy of the PLB-AC and its unmatched total performance shows how efficiently it turns energy into light. Our expertise and experience give us the ability to focus on all design details that lead to high-performing lighting products that include LEDs, thermal design, LED driver design, mechanical and optical design.
To test the real-world performance of both the PLB-AC and competing LED bollards we use a metric called Application Efficiency. This is a measure of light that illuminates the area needing lighting, such as a pathway instead of considering the amount of light illuminating behind the light or up into the sky.
The PLB-AC boasts an incredible two to three times more effective lighted area than other commonly available bollards. Strong application efficiency means light isn’t being wasted hitting the bollard body, lighting beyond the path, lighting behind the bollard, or lighting up the sky. As a result, less light is required to provide the illumination our customers need. They are not wasting money on less efficient products or energy bills.
As a common measure of the quality of light produced, uniformity measures how evenly light illuminates an application. Directly tied to safety, proper uniformity assists a pathway users’ ability to identify obstacles in front of them. Additionally, uniform light distribution is tied to visual comfort so that you aren’t moving from bright to dark areas resulting in less eye strain and physical discomfort. Many competing products focus too much attention on brightness at the expense of the uniformity of the overall project. This is often to the detriment of the users of the illuminated project.
Dark Sky Compliance
The proper application of light produced by the PLB-AC minimizes its impact on light pollution. Because lighting is placed on the path and not wasted behind the light or worse, upwards to the sky, the PLB-AC illuminates only what is needed.
Proper spacing between lights is crucial to ensure there are no un-lit sections of a project. Shorter spacing of lights results in the need to purchase more lights which adds to project costs and greater power consumption. The PLB-AC boasts a typical spacing between bollards that is 50%-100% greater than that of our competitors, offering the lowest project cost along with excellent lighting performance.
Cost per Unit
When you combine the high performance, spacing requirements, reliability, and unit costs of the PLB-AC LED bollard you will not find a more cost-effective lighting solution.
Whether it’s flooding, bat-wielding vandals, or hurricanes, the PLB-AC, like all of our lights, is engineered to withstand the toughest conditions. Watch us test some of our bollard light’s durability against that of our competitors’ products.
With aging lighting infrastructures, many bollards do not use LEDs, the PLB-AC is the perfect retro-fit choice – offering top performance, flexibility, and energy efficiency.
PLB-AC will be a true upgrade from your current installation while maintaining your existing placement, or even reducing the number of current lights needed.