Thursday, January 20, 2011

Question for you...

I am sure that ours is not the only nave and chancel with lightbulbs some 30 feet or more in the air -- that need to be changed from time to time...  What do others of you do when it is necessary to traverse the boundaries of space and change a bulb?

A couple of years ago we combined several projects and rented scaffolding to replace the spots at the very peak of the roof (37-40 feet in the air).  The cost was about $1,000 for all the materials, delivery, pick up, and it required us to tear down and set up three different times (with a half dozen men) to get it all done.  Now we have some other lights out.  These are hanging fixtures over the altar with a single down spot and the bulbs have lasted over ten years of very rigorous usage. 

We are thinking about getting a lift of some sort...  Sams has a vertical lift with a working use of 31 feet without having all the weight of a scissors lift... cost is high ($7K) but it could be used for many things around our parish... Just thinking... does someone reading have a better idea?

We would rent but our local rental agency does not keep something like this in stock and we would have to pay to have it shipped in -- on top of the rental charges -- and would have to fit our schedule around its availability...

8 comments:

Unknown said...

Sorry, We have relatively low ceilings. We have a high window washing problem that also needs some time of lift so I will be curious to see what others suggest.

Sue said...

For many years we had a member who would climb a VERY long ladder to change the bulbs. The ladder would have a huge bow in the center (don't know what to call it - it curved considerably). That member died unexpectedly. And now we hire a lighting company to change the bulbs. as no one else had the nerve to climb that ladder. I don't know what these folks use.

Jesse Penny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jesse Penny said...

I don't know what kind of bulbs you have but they do sell telescoping lightbulb changers at places like Home Depot. We used once at one of my old jobs to change out the sodium-vapor lamps when they would go out. However, if the lightbulbs are inside some sort of decorative housing, that route might not be viable.

If you are talking about buying a $7k lift, it might be cheaper to just contract the job out, especially if it's a once or twice a year deal.

Rev. Allen Bergstrazer said...

Most of the bulbs in the fixtures we can reach with a ladder, but the floodlights over the chancel are very very high. We usually borrow or rent a lift, that way we don't have to maintain it, and we don't have to store it. However, I would say that if you go through a lot of bulbs, you might want to have an electrician check your fixtures and wiring out, you may have a situation that needs to be corrected. We have fixtures in our hallway that require a specific (incandescent) wattage of bulb, any higher or lower and they'll only last a month or so.

It is a bit of a puzzlement with church lighting though. It is universally poor in most naves, and notoriously placed out of reach of mere mortals. Not sure why, but it seems that most architects who design church buildings know litte to nothing about accoustics, and don't seem to give much thought to how the facility will be maintained.

Fallhiker said...

The Home Depot sells LED lighting that is a bit more expensive than traditional incandestant lights or CFC (Compact Fluorescent Candle) bulbs. These bulbs have an extreme long life and low usage rate meaning it will be quite a while before you have to change them and the added benefit of lower electrical bills. Even with the cost of renting a lift, you should see a greater savings of buying a lift.

Anonymous said...

A local commercial electrician will probably have a scissor lift that can be used in the sanctuary. Call them before you rent something. They may be able to do it cheaper than you renting scaffolding or a scissor lift. Plus, none of you have to go through the danger of being up on a ladder.

Anonymous said...

Change your flood light fixtures to metal halide and the bulbs will last 20,000 hours, providing a bright, clean light that will enhance the colors and make for excellent reading. Our poor light was vastly improved by changing from incandescent/halogen bulbs to metal halide fixtures. Have an electrician install a test fixture and you can see the difference in light output and they should not need changing for about 15 years, under typical use.