Cost-effective Evluma EcoSpot chosen to preserve Idaho Observatory’s night sky

Jan. 2, 2013
Date Announced: 02 Jan 2013 Salmon River Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit corporation located in Challis, Idaho and delivers retail electric services to rural customers in south central Idaho, including the cities of Challis and Stanley. These two cities approached Salmon River Electric and expressed an interest in converting the approximately 110 100W HPS security lights currently in use as street and area lighting to dark sky compliant, energy-efficient lights. They hoped it could be done without incurring higher costs. Ken Dizes, General Manager of Salmon River Electric, saw the Clearlight LED 40W EcoSpot at a local trade show and placed an inquiry with General Pacific, Evluma’s distributor for the area. “We required lights that were dark sky compliant, provided appropriate levels of illumination and didn’t cause us to raise rates for city light service,” said Dizes. The city of Challis is located next to the beautiful and remote Salmon River/ Challis National Forest, some of the most pristine wilderness in the continental United States. It is also the home of Big Hill Observatory Boise State. Dark sky compliant lighting produces no uplight and reduces the light pollution, or sky glow, that can obscure the night sky from view. Preservation of the night sky near national forests is a motivating factor for many dark sky enthusiasts, near an observatory, it is a priority. Samples of the EcoSpot were installed for residents and city council members to observe. “We received both negative and positive comments on the installed lights. City residents that didn’t like light pollution loved the Evluma light, but those residents less concerned about light pollution didn’t like the lights because there was no spillover of light into their yards for security. Both councils like the lights.” Certified by the IDA (International Dark Sky Association) the EcoSpot is a dark sky friendly device that delivers a focused footprint of light directly on the ground with 0% uplight.“Having a dark sky compliant product as part of the Clearlight line of LED Retrofits has always been important to Evluma, said Cathleen Shattuck, Evluma Creative Director. “Products like the 50W Beacon, or the newly released 40W AreaMax are alternatives, but even the AreaMax, Evluma’s premier fixture for area and security lighting is offered with a no uplight, flat-lens configuration.” Salmon River took cost, energy savings and maintenance requirements into consideration when making the choice to retrofit the legacy HPS lights. “When we looked at the payback of the Evluma light compared to other light options based on the above priorities, the Evluma light came out on top,” said Dizes. Salmon River was also able to obtain a $120.00 rebate from Bonneville Power Agency for each of the 100W HPS lights replaced with a 40W Evluma light. “Initially, we calculated a 6 year payback. We expensed the lights and labor to install them as the fixtures were left intact except for disconnecting the ballast. Ultimately, we will have to determine the cost of serving these lights which includes recovering our investment. We believe leaving the rate level where it currently stands will accomplish this. How the light performs over time will impact fixture cost of service studies which will feed into future rate setting process.”110 EcoSpots were installed simultaneously and are located on Stanley and Challis side streets. In each instance, Salmon River wired around the ballast for maximum energy savings. Dizes describes the lights as “clear and bright.” That the EcoSpot was Made in America “was a plus, but not a deciding factor.”

Cathleen Shattuck. 206-720-1798

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