Lights, action! IRN puts new lighting towers under the spotlight

15 October 2009

The Luminator from Birchwood and Wolfe Designs.

The Luminator from Birchwood and Wolfe Designs.

IRN takes a look at some of the more recent lighting tower launches, including models from Light Engineering, Tower Light, Birchwood, SMC, Doosan Portable Power, Terex AWP, SDMO and JCB.

Get smart with

US generator and motor specialist Light Engineering (LE) has developed two mobile lighting towers that use the company's patented GenSmart technology and which LE says makes the towers 30% more fuel efficient than conventional towers.

The Indianapolis, Indiana-based company, founded in 1998, is a specialist producer of ‘amorphous iron rotating electric machines'. LE says using the amorphous iron materials improves the power density and operating efficiencies of electric motors and generators and reduces their size.

The company is already selling the technology to a wide range of industries - including use in electric/hybrid electric vehicles, power generation and defense markets - and is now launching it into construction markets with the PureLight 20 and PureLight 30 towers.

Both units use LE's GenSmart generators allied to Yanmar (on the PureLight30) and Honda (PureLight20) engines - diesel in the case of the Yanmar unit and petrol for the Honda. The towers have 7 m (20 ft) and 9 m (30 ft) towers and four 1000 W metal halide lamps. The smaller unit weighs 360 kg and the larger model has a 660 kg dry weight.

The towers are being built in the US and also in LE's Chinese facility in Guangdong province, and have already attracted interest from other equipment manufacturers. Atlas Copco Airpower, for example, is using LE's technology in lighting towers sold outside of Europe and another European lighting tower specialist is also understood to be interested in the technology.

Rob McIntyre, PureLight's European sales manager, tells IRN that the company is currently seeking CE marking for its lighting towers as well as selling them through licensing arrangements with other manufacturers.

JCB adds tower to
Power Products range

JCB has added a portable lighting tower to the range of generator sets sold by its Power Products division, boosting its range of rental-friendly compact products.

The LT9, which was first shown at the Intermat show in April, is a 9 m model with a hydraulic telescoping mast and with four 1000 W spotlights, giving a total output of 360000 lumens.

The tower, which will be sold by JCB worldwide, is being built for JCB by another European manufacture whose identity was not being released. IRN understands it may be produced by Genelec of France, a subsidiary of Spanish manufacturer Himoinsa, although this has not been confirmed.

Richard Butler, director and general manager of JCB Power Products, said the tower was a natural addition to the Power Products range: "Lighting towers and generators are clearly complementary, both in terms of their typical applications and their popularity with rental customers.

"JCB has built strong links and an excellent reputation within the hire sector and has established unrivalled distribution and service networks to serve its customers. With the addition of the LT9 to our range we are now able to provide them with another core rental product which they regularly require."

Powered by a water cooled Yanmar engine, the tower has a 100 l fuel tank that will give 68 hours running time. The mast is activated via a button on the side of the model and will fully erect in 13 seconds.

Tower Light's powercube
attracts Belgium's Racor

TowerLight, the Italian lighting tower specialist, has sold a fleet of its latest lighting product, the compact Hydropowercube, to the Belgium event rental company Racor.

The tower has been designed for the outside event market, offering specific advantages to an industry where sometimes many truckloads of towers are required for a single event. For example, around 160 Tower Light VT1s were rented to the recent Glastonbury festival by Speedy Hire.

With compact closed dimensions of just 1330 x 1225 x 2330 mm and weighing just 1180 kg, an operator can deliver up to twenty Hydropowercubes on one single truck. The extra large 200 l fuel tank means that the site will stay correctly illuminated for up to 32 hours without the need for refueling.

Racor provides a range of equipment and rental services to the European outside event markets from its base in Meerhout, Belgium. The Hydropowercube will complement its current range of lighting sets.

"Transport costs, stability on site, extra-long run fuel systems, with a simple and quick operation, have been pointed out to us as the principal requirements for the outside events industry," says Tower Light's international sales manager, Paul Hay. "Therefore we equipped the Hydropowercube with a series of features and benefits that address these individual demands."

The Hydropowercube has a vertical telescopic mast reaching a maximum height of 8.5 m and the complete unit is secured via four, adjustable, stabilisers. The mast is hydraulically raised by a single lever and can be rotated through 340° ensuring that the light is targeted correctly.

Illumination is provided from four 1000 W metal halide lamps and the power is generated by a super-silent, water-cooled diesel engine. There is a useful 9.0 kVA of auxiliary power and the Hydropowercube has been safely wind tested up 80 Km/h. Four corner-lifting eyes have been included for swift dispatch and unloading.

Meanwhile, Tower Light has been finding success in other export markets. In Bulgaria, Sofia-based rental company Rentam has been supplying around 20 Superlight VT1 units for a new power station construction project in Galabovo. Meanwhile, Tower Light's Israeli distributor, Israele Engine & Trailer, supplied 12 towers during the recent visit to the country of the Pope.

Allmand tower

Allmand Bros Inc in the US has extended upwards its Maxi-Lite range of light towers with the new 30 kW rated ML 30EX.

The additional 10 kW of power over the previous largest ML unit (the ML 20) allows users to power additional equipment such as pumps, additional lighting or other auxiliary tools. Allmand says the "dual-purpose unit brings extra versatility to construction, mining and oil and gas worksites."

Greater fuel capacity is another important feature of the ML 30 EX. The 510 l (135 gallon) fuel capacity provides up to 135 hours of run time without refueling, resulting in extended operation with less service expense. The trailer-integrated fuel containment system allows the unit to be more environmentally friendly than other standard light towers.

The tower uses Allmand's SHO-HD 1250 W parallel lamp fixtures, providing up to 150,000 lumens per lamp. An optional Saf-T-Visor attachment directs previously wasted light onto the worksite.

Standard features include a modular engine/genset, which allows for simple engine/generator removal or change out. Service is simplified with a hinged ballast panel, which only requires two bolts to be removed for full access.

Luminator offers
something different

A different lighting option from the other units on these pages, the Defender Luminator is a joint development by Wolfe Designs and Birchwood Price Tools, based on a much larger unit originally developed by Wolfe for HSS Hire over five years ago.

Mains or generator operated, the Luminator has a single 1000 W metal halide lamp providing 100000 lumens at a height of up to 4 m. The polyethylene body protects a corrosion resistant aluminium frame, and the lamp fully retracts into the body for protection during travel.

The unit, which was shown by Birchwood at the Rental Show earlier this year, weighs just 87 kg and its stowed dimensions are 1.5 m long by 0.38 m in diameter. The body has a power take-off socket to power other tools or equipment up to a maximum of 16 A.

Terex tower is
‘rental friendly'

Terex AWP's Genie TML-4000 light tower - launched earlier this year at the US Rental Show in Atlanta - is designed to be a rental friendly package, with features such as a durable Kubota engine, galvanized mast and standard 120 V and 240 V outlets.

In addition, quick disconnect fittings on the lights and ballasts help make routine maintenance quick, preserving uptime. Numbered and interchangeable ballasts, galvanized for corrosion resistance, also make troubleshooting straightforward and repair simple.

"The new TML-4000 maintains many of the popular features of its predecessor, but delivers even more features and benefits at a more competitive price," said David Spears, product manager, Terex AWP. "This is a great all-around light tower. It will stand up to the rigours of the rental industry and other tough applications."

With a 9 m height, the TML-4000 provides illumination at long distances and 360 degree tower rotation delivers precise light positioning. The TML-4000 also features a 30 gallon fuel tank, providing up to 60 hours of run time per tank of fuel.

SMC offers ‘Autorun'
on its TL-90 tower

UK lighting tower manufacturer SMC has added an ‘AutoRun' option to its well established TL-90 tower, allowing the light to be switched on and off automatically at pre-set times.

"Autorun will solve many operational problems and save plant companies a great deal of money in the process," says SMC's UK and Export sales manager, Iain Curran. "Up until now in situations where site access is difficult, or remote, the choice has been either to travel to and from the site each day or leave a tower running 24 hours a day, which could be everyday over the weekend. Either way this is costly.

"Because Autorun can be pre-set to automatically fire up the TL-90 between dusk and dawn, savings are considerable. The obvious direct cost saving is in TL-90 diesel consumption but there is also travelling and diesel costs to consider for the operator visiting the site each day. But it doesn't end there. You've also got to think about the bigger picture, for example lamps and other components lasting longer, service intervals extended, labour costs reduced. And we even predict that as a consequence of lower running times, unit resale prices will be higher".

In addition to Autorun, SMC has introduced a new, hinged engine compartment which provides improved access for inspection and maintenance of the engine, alternator, air filter and fan belt.

Features to lower
operating costs

The new V9 LightSource lighting tower from Doosan Infracore Portable Power, sold under the Ingersoll Rand brand, has features that the manufacturer says improve its reliability, reduce fuel consumption and lower operating costs.

Among the innovative features, says Doosan, is an electrical system that has been designed so that components are electrically self protected when the tower is switched off by the 'emergency stop' button rather than powered down as normal using the key switch. As an option, the V9 features an energy-saving Auto Start system with photocell and timer. In addition, the V9 offers an optional connection to mains electricity, enabling the unit to illuminate work indoors.

The mast is raised hydraulically to the maximum height of 9 m in just 10 seconds. The mast features automatic safety locking, offering resistance to wind speeds in excess of 100 km/h. Four 1000 W metal halide lamps rotatable through 350o provide a lighting power of 360000 lumens.

With a length of 3.1 m (reduced to just 2.2 m with the optional foldable tow bar), a width of 1.3 m and a height of 2.2 m (mast retracted), the V9 offers compact proportions, allowing a rental company to transport up to nine of the light towers on a standard delivery vehicle.

Equipped with a 6 kVA Mecc Alte LT3/130 alternator and two 16 A auxiliary sockets, the V9 is powered by the Kubota D1105 diesel engine, giving 8.4 kW of power at 1500 rpm. The fuel tank capacity on the V9 is 130 l, and the fuel consumption provides for a run time of 73 hours without refueling.

SDMO adds new
tower to range

French genset specialist SDMO already has a range of three lighting towers for the European market (the RL6, RL12 and RL16 units) but the company has now developed a model, the RL6-1b, to better meet the requirements of non-European Union areas such as the Middle East and Africa.

The RL6-1b uses a Lombardini LDW 1003 engine, rather than the Mitsubishi used on the standard RL6, and a Mecc Alte LT3 E alternator, and is equipped with four 1000 W metal iodide bulbs that provide 300000 lumens of light power.

The fuel tank capacity of 115 l guarantees 67 hours of operation, and the mast is 9 m high. SDMO says the tower will be on sale by the end of July 2009.


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Ollie Hodges Publisher Tel: +44 (0)1892 786253 E-mail: [email protected]
Lewis Tyler
Lewis Tyler Editor Tel: 44 (0)1892 786285 E-mail: [email protected]