Remote lighting control for car dealerships

Manage Your Car Dealership in a Whole New Light

Regulating expenses is a priority for most businesses. For car dealerships, lighting can be a burdensome energy expense, but it is necessary for security, safety and merchandise display. 

Car dealerships need a lot of light to function effectively. Unlike most retail stores or shopping malls, car dealerships store and showcase the majority of their valuable merchandise outdoors. Plus, most of the shopping is done by customers meandering around expansive parking lots at dusk. Consequently, car dealerships require proper lighting to secure and protect their inventory while maintaining customer safety. Providing lighting that adequately displays the available inventory after the sun goes down is also paramount. 

Because lighting is an expensive but required expense, efficiency is key. AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink offers an energy-saving, remote lighting control solution.  

Remotely Control Exterior Lighting

The appearance of your car lot has a big impact on potential customers. Using AccessLink will enhance the appearance of your lot and ensure that your inventory looks its best. AccessLink centralizes all of your properties into one easy-to-use system, which allows you to control up to a hundred properties simultaneously. Likewise, users can customize lot illumination through multiple-zone scheduling, which means you can turn on and off different areas at different times based on your preference. 

Most importantly, AccessLink enables you to remotely control your exterior lighting at the click of a button using the AccessLink app. This feature eliminates the need for inconvenient site visits to turn lights on or off or to update illumination schedules. Likewise, with AccessLink, you will no longer dread daylight savings time and the time spent addressing it. 

Improve Security

The safety of your customers and the security of your merchandise is your priority. Using AccessLink enables you to use efficient and strategic lighting to ensure proper illumination in your car lot. Until now, keeping parking lots lit has been a laborious and untrustworthy process. AccessLink will enhance your customer experience and provide you peace of mind with reliability, dependability and 24/7 in-house support. Say goodbye to late-night or early-morning trips to deal with pesky photocells and manual timers.

Save on Energy Expenses

With a remote lighting control solution, like AccessLink, you can immensely save on energy expenses. In fact, an AccessLink user said, “Since December our dealership has saved between $1,500-$1,900 per month on our utility bills resulting in an average savings of 18% and an ROI of less than 1 year. We are impressed by this high tech system that no longer requires unreliable timers or photocells. The ability to turn lights on gradually and to shut off certain zones late at night has afforded big savings without sacrificing security.”

The automated lighting changes provided by AccessLink enables you to save big on utility costs by reducing unnecessary burn time. Could your car dealership benefit from a remote lighting solution like AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink? Learn more about the many ways remote control lighting can enhance your dealership and contact us with any questions. 

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink lets you remotely control your exterior lighting on your cell phone or computer. Visit our website or call us at (256) 885-9768 to learn more.

Community park walking path lit up at night by street lamps

From Remote Lighting Controllers to Community Gardens: Learn How to Improve Your Local Park

Community parks serve everyone regardless of their age, gender, race, or beliefs. They’re an integral part of a community and can even turn a broken neighborhood around. When Parks and Recreation departments improve local parks, they enhance the community as a whole.

Parks that are safe and accessible to all residents bring the community together. Strong communities raise strong families and look after each other when times get tough. In this article, we’ll look at the top five things that Parks and Rec departments can do to improve their local parks and communities.

1.  Offer Group and Individual Fitness Activities

The adult obesity rate in the United States is a staggering 39.8%, according to the CDC. Heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes caused by obesity are the leading causes of preventable, premature deaths in American adults.

Local parks can do a lot to encourage physical fitness by creating and maintaining walking and biking paths, soccer fields, pools, circuit training stations, and more.

Many parks across the country offer group fitness classes. People who exercise with others benefit from group accountability and are less likely to skip workouts. Exercising with others may also encourage people to push themselves a little harder during each workout. Some corporations are even stepping up to sponsor outdoor exercise classes like yoga or dance exercise, offsetting the expense in exchange for a branding opportunity. 

2.  Provide a Safe Place for Kids to Play

Community parks that have fallen into disrepair should revamp their playground equipment. Childhood obesity rates are in the United States are high, about 18.5%, according to the CDC. The best way to combat childhood obesity is to provide safe opportunities for physical play.

Friendships are essential to children’s emotional and social development. Playing with peers teaches kids to compromise, navigate relationship challenges, and understand how other people feel.

Kids with friends have higher self-esteem and are better able to cope with stress and life changes. They also have lower rates of depression and anxiety and are less likely to misbehave. Kids need to feel like they belong. Public places to gather and meet peers make it easier for kids to find friends with similar interests.

3.  Hold Group Events to Foster a Close Community

In an analysis of 148 studies involving over 300,000 participants, psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad, Ph.D., found that social connections with others reduce a person’s chances of premature death by 50%. Conversely, loneliness and isolation increase a person’s chances of premature death at least as much as being obese.

Close communities provide support during good and bad times. Successes are sweeter when you have people to join in the celebration, and challenges are survivable when you have people to help carry you.

Regular face-to-face interactions and conversations are good for our mental health. When Parks and Rec departments provide spaces for community cookouts, movies in the park, and holiday celebrations, they make it easier for locals to find a place to belong.

4.  Create Community Gardens

Community gardens give residents a place to learn about and try different types of produce that they may not have been exposed to otherwise. According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 American adults get the recommended 2 cups of vegetables and 1½ cups of fruit a day. However, gardening encourages people to consume what they grow.

Gardening also improves community health by providing another opportunity for physical activity. Light gardening can burn about 330 calories in an hour. Gardening can even reduce stress and anxiety, which improves your overall health.

Communal gardens also foster relationships because anyone, aged 2 to 92, can pitch in. Gardens present a great opportunity for young people to develop relationships with older adults who may be more prone to loneliness than other age groups.

5.  Upgrade Park Lighting

Parks provide a safe place for kids and adults to gather, especially when they have adequate lighting at night. When Parks and Rec departments use remote lighting controllers from AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink, they’ll benefit from convenient automation features. Instead of spending time to repair and reprogram lights, they’ll have more time to devote to other community improvement initiatives.

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink keeps residents safe as the sun goes down. Each light has a GPS that turns it on and off automatically as the sun sets and rises. Kids will never find themselves playing basketball in the dark if parks use an AccessLink™ remote lighting controller.

Automated outdoor lighting can reduce energy costs because lights will only be on when they’re needed, and never when the sun is shining. The money that Parks and Rec departments save on lighting can go toward other community-improvement programs instead.

Well-lit parks also deter vandalism and illegal activity that would discourage community use of the park.

Could your local park could benefit from a remote lighting solution like AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink? Reach out to learn more about the many ways that automated lights can improve your park, which in turn strengthens your community.

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink lets you remotely control your exterior lighting on your cell phone or computer. Visit our website or call us at (256) 885-9768 to learn more.

parking lot light poles against a dusk sky controlled by automation

Can Automation Really Save Your Business Money?

When you hear the word “automation,” what comes to mind? For many people, it’s a picture of robots working in a factory. However, modern automation has the potential to revolutionize businesses in ways that have nothing to do with robots.

Automation can reduce the time that you and all of your employees spend on routine, repetitive tasks. Eventually, that can add up to significant time and money savings. In this article, you’ll see why automation is essential to your business.

What is Automation?

Automation means using technology to complete repetitive, easy tasks instead of using human labor. It can completely take the place of a human, or it can enhance the jobs that workers do.

Marketing emails are a great example of how automation can enhance the work that people do by eliminating repetitive, time-consuming tasks. When someone signs up for ABC Co.’s mailing list, they receive a welcome email. If a company automates that process, then an employee only has to work on the welcome email once. After creating the text for the email, the ABC Co. employee can automate the rest of the process. Imagine how much time the employee would waste if he had to manually send an email each time that someone new signed up for the email list.

Automation makes tasks more efficient, which boosts productivity and lets you and your employees focus on other work. When you’re free from rote work, you can better utilize your creativity and problem-solving abilities to improve your customer service or product.

How Can Automation Save Money?

There are several tangible ways that the right types of automation can reduce your costs.

Labor

According to WorkMarket’s 2020 In(Sight) Report, 53% of employees report that they could save up to 2 hours each day through automation. That’s 240 hours each year. Imagine the impact that automation could have on your company if just a fraction of that time savings were true for your employees.

Productivity

How will you use your employee’s time savings? You could spend that extra time on professional enrichment so that your employees can do their duties more efficiently and effectively. Investing in your employee’s professional growth makes them feel valued, which increases job satisfaction and productivity.

BONUS: Happy employees do better work. Better work means a stronger business, and that’s always good for your bottom line.

Energy Savings

You know that turning a light off saves energy. What if you could automate your exterior lighting on a grand scale? Remote lighting controllers offer businesses of all kinds a way to save money on their monthly energy bills.

Many businesses use exterior lights with photocells because the upfront cost is low. The photocell is the portion of the exterior light that detects whether the sun is shining. When it gets dark, the photocell signals the light to turn on.

The main issue with photocells is that they have a short life, usually around one year. When a photocell malfunctions, it leaves the light on until the company has it repaired. For large properties, the wasted energy can be astronomical.

When you choose AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink, you don’t have to worry about your lights being on when the sun is shining. Each light is equipped with an individual GPS so that it turns off and on precisely when the sun rises and sets each day.

GPS positioning also eliminates drift, which is the gradual change in day length throughout the year. You won’t have to remember to periodically reset the on and off time because it is automated. The precision of a remote lighting controller will save your business money each month.

AccessLink powered by OutdoorLink will alert you to any malfunctions with your lights so that you know which light needs attention. Instead of wasting money on maintenance crews checking lights periodically, you can send maintenance to a specific light only when it needs service.

Bonus Benefit

Automating your exterior lighting keeps your employees and customers safe. You won’t have to worry about people walking through a dark parking lot as they travel to and from your business.

It’s Time to Automate

Automation is more affordable for businesses than it ever has been before. With so many ways to save your business time and money, what are you waiting for? Contact OutdoorLink today to learn how a remote lighting controller can give you more time to spend on the things that really matter to you.

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink is the standard in commercial remote lighting control. Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. Remotely control your exterior lighting by simply touching your phone screen or with a couple of clicks on your tablet or laptop. Experience the convenience of AccessLink today. Contact us here, or give us a call at (256) 885-9768.

Ballpark lit up at night controlled by remote lighting timer

Slide into Savings with a Remote Lighting Timer for Your Ballpark

Imagine this: You have energy-efficient LED lights in your baseball stadium, and you can control them with a remote lighting timer. However, you keep forgetting to reset the lights to turn on earlier as the days shorten.

Just a few minutes of inadequate lighting is all that it takes for an outfielder to miss the game-ending catch. It could also mean player injuries if, for example, the second base player misjudges the distance of the runner, who then slides into him.

Few things are better than kicking back to watch a baseball game on a warm summer evening. Whether it’s a professional league or a little league game, watching baseball is one of the greatest American pastimes. However, as the sun sinks low on the horizon, the players and the spectators rely on the stadium lights to keep the action going. 

Technology has revolutionized nearly every industry, ballpark complexes included. Are there new trends in ballpark remote lighting timers that can help solve issues like scheduling?

Trend 1: Energy-Efficiency

Metal halide lights have been an industry standard in ballpark lighting, but many ballparks are switching to LED lights. Metal halide lights take 15 – 20 minutes to warm up, so they have to run longer than LEDs. Their warm-up period also makes it impractical to turn the metal halides off between games. 

LEDs use significantly less energy than metal halide lights, which is better for the environment and lowers the stadium’s energy bill. Also, the LEDs and metal halide bulbs are comparable in price initially, but LEDs have a much longer life. Over the entire life of the LED bulbs, a ballpark can see significant savings.

Trend 2: Better Lighting for Players

LED lights are brighter than older lights, but brighter alone isn’t always better. Sometimes bright lights make it more difficult for players to track the ball. However, LED lights are more focused on the field and produce less glare. The result is that players can track the ball better, and less light spills out into the surrounding neighborhood. 

Trend 3: Remote Lighting Timer

The rise of automation in the past few years has made our lives easier. Now, baseball field owners can set their lights to a schedule so that they turn on and off automatically. The combination of switching to LEDs and ensuring that your lights are off each night can slash a ballpark’s energy bill.

However, property owners have to remember to reset the lights periodically to keep up with “drift,” or the natural variations in the day’s length throughout the year. 

Trend 4: Leaving Photocells in the Past

Photocells and outdoor lighting are ubiquitous, but the failings of photocells have driven many ballpark owners to leave them behind. A photocell is the light-sensitive component of the light that signals it to turn on when the sun sets and off when the sun rises. 

The primary issue with photocells is that they have a short life. After one or two years, they’ll malfunction, which makes the light stay on all day and night until the property owner replaces it. 

For ballparks, it’s especially important that their lights go out at night. Even with minimal spillover, ballpark lights are still very tall. Property owners have to carefully monitor their photocells because malfunctioning lights can glare into nearby neighbor’s windows all night.

Expect More Out of Your Ballpark’s Remote Lighting Timer

What if your ballpark lights turned on automatically with the sunset, and you never had to adjust the start time manually? With AccessLinkpowered by OutdoorLink, players won’t have to struggle to track the ball at dusk. Each light pole has its own GPS unit to control “drift,” which is more reliable and has a longer life than photocells.

Most ballpark remote lighting timers have basic convenience features like the ability to set schedules and to control them from anywhere. However, AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink is packed with convenient features that knock it out of the park. If your lights turn on or stay on when they shouldn’t, you’ll get an alert. Instead of bothering the neighborhood with the lights, you’ll be able to turn the lights off remotely.

AccessLink powered by OutdoorLink can also control the lighting in your parking lot. In addition to GPS that will keep the parking lot lit all night, each pole is equipped with a SmartWeather feature to turn lights on and off based on nearby Doppler radar. No matter the time of day or weather conditions, baseball fans will be able to make their way to their vehicles safely. 

If you want your lights to practically control themselves and you want to save on your monthly energy bill, choose AccessLinkpowered by OutdoorLink. 

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink is the standard in commercial remote lighting control. Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. Remotely control your exterior lighting by simply touching your phone screen or with a couple of clicks on your tablet or laptop. Experience the convenience of AccessLink today. Contact us here, or give us a call at (256) 885-9768.

Outdoor restaurant with patrons and decorative exterior lighting

Why You Should Be Unhappy with Your Photocell Exterior Lighting and Manual Timer

Are you tired of it being all or nothing when it comes to the commercial photocell lighting of your business? Fortunately, with the lighting technology made available through AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can be the one in control of when and what lights go off and on throughout your business.

If you’re ready to take control of your outdoor lighting, Scott Steigerwald, OutdoorLink commercial sales, is ready to hand it to you!

Why Should Businesses Be Unhappy with Photocell Exterior Lighting?

A photocell is a sensor that detects light. Therefore, when the sun goes down and the sky becomes dark, the light will kick on. However, photocells only have a life expectancy of one to two years. Then, when a photocell goes bad, it will stay on during both the day and night.

“If you have ever walked through a parking lot during the day and saw a light still on, then there is a good chance that it is a photocell that has gone bad,” explains Steigerwald. “In addition to the light staying on the entire day, it costs more to replace because it usually has to be outsourced to another company. But, this is not the case when it comes to AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink. Our lighting system was set-up to be cost efficient and budget friendly to any business through lower maintenance costs and operating costs.”

Commercial Photocell and Remote Lighting Control

 

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink allows you to control and schedule your exterior lights from a website or smartphone app. You have up to four zones you can use to control your business, setting each set of exterior lights to its own schedule.

For instance, if you run a fast-food restaurant, you may want to schedule one set of exterior lights to turn on at 5 a.m. when employees begin to arrive for safety, even though your restaurant doesn’t open until 6 a.m. Through our AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink, you can turn one zone of exterior lights on at 5 a.m. and schedule another zone to turn the restaurant sign on at 6 a.m. so your customers will know that you’re open.

“One of the best things about our lighting system is that we work off a cellular network. A WiFi network is not needed,” says Steigerwald. “Our SIMM card is more reliable and secure than any WiFi network. Therefore, you can feel safe as a business owner knowing your lighting system is able to be better controlled and cost-efficient all at the same time.”

Are you ready to step into control of your lighting system? Give our team a call today! 

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink is the standard in commercial remote lighting control. Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. Remotely control your exterior lighting by simply touching your phone screen or with a couple of clicks on your tablet or laptop. Experience the convenience of AccessLink today. Contact us here, or give us a call at (256) 885-9768.

parking lot at night controlled by EMS system

Restaurant EMS Systems: Is There a Better Way to Control Exterior Lighting?

Compared to other businesses, building and maintaining a successful restaurant is notoriously difficult. Restaurant owners have a lot of moving pieces to manage and not a penny to waste. Restaurant EMS systems have revolutionized restaurant management. Why? Because they have the potential to cut energy costs considerably.

While your restaurant’s EMS has robust functionality to manage various areas of the interior premises, it lacks some essential controls of your exterior lighting. Automating your restaurant lighting with AccessLink™ by OutdoorLink will give you more time to devote to fundamental aspects of your business like your menu and customer experience.

What is an Energy Management System?

An Energy Management System, or EMS, is an installed hardware and software system that automates several restaurant appliances. EMS systems can control including interior and exterior lighting, vented hoods, refrigeration units, cooktops, HVAC systems, and more.

There are two primary benefits of an EMS system. First, it reduces a restaurant manager’s workload. Second, it has the potential to reduce a building’s energy usage by 5% – 25% compared to restaurants with uncontrolled energy consumption. 

How Do EMS Systems Reduce Workload and Energy Consumption?

An EMS system can save restaurant managers considerable time and energy by:

  • Automating the thermostat – You can significantly reduce energy usage by adjusting the thermostat when the restaurant is closed. Raising the temperature in the summer and lowering it in the winter will save you money. Instead of trying to remember to change the thermostat each evening and morning, an EMS lets you set it to an automated schedule. 
  • Monitoring energy use and sending alerts – Vented hoods consume a lot of energy. If an employee forgets to turn it off at the end of the day, some EMS systems send you an alert. You can turn the vent off remotely instead of wasting energy all night.
  • Alerting you when the walk-in fridge or freezer is left open – If an employee is taking inventory inside the walk-in with the door open, or if someone doesn’t get it closed properly, the EMS will send you an alert. You’ll save money on your cooling costs and also reduce the risk of spoiling and wasting refrigerated foods.
  • Identifying appliances that need repair – EMS’s track and monitor energy usage by various appliances such as the oven and HVAC system. If one of the ovens suddenly starts using more energy than usual, you’ll get an alert. Rather than having your employees prop open the oven door because it’s cooking too hot, you’ll know that you need to schedule an immediate repair. 
    • BONUS: You can also use the data to identify appliances that are candidates for replacement. If your EMS has alerted you to a recurring problem with an oven, you would have data to justify replacing it.
  • Controlling your interior and exterior restaurant lighting – You can save a lot of energy and money by automating your lighting. A simple program will ensure that the lights are off each night. You can also keep your employees safe by scheduling the interior and exterior lights to turn on before they arrive for work each morning.
  • Standardizing settings among multiple restaurant locations – Do you own a chain of restaurants? If so, you can use the same settings for all of them and save a considerable amount of time. 

Your EMS May Not Be Enough for Your Restaurant’s Parking Lot

Your EMS can do a lot, so there’s great value in using an EMS for your business. However, the EMS system’s lighting control lacks several vital functions, especially for outdoor lights.

EMS systems integrate with your existing outdoor lights, which often have a photocell. The photocell is a light-sensitive component that causes your parking lot lights to turn on when it gets dark. The primary issue with photocells is that they have a short lifespan, only one to two years, and replacing them is costly. Also, when they go out, they cause the light to be on all day and night until you fix it.

AccessLink™ by OutdoorLink does not use photocell lights. Instead, each unit has its own GPS unit, which controls “drift”, or the natural variation in each day’s length. Your maintenance crew won’t have to adjust the timers periodically, and you’ll save money because your lights will turn off when the sun rises rather than at a preset time. Also, AccessLink™ by OutdoorLink has a SmartWeather feature to turn lights on and off based on Doppler radar.

Many EMS systems connect to your lights through Wi-Fi. If the internet services are interrupted, you’ll lose control of your lights. AccessLink™ by OutdoorLink connects to your restaurant lighting on the cellular network. Your connection is more secure and you can access your lights anytime, from anywhere.

AccessLink by OutdoorLink Complements Your EMS System

Pick up where your EMS lighting controls leave off with AccessLink by OutdoorLink. You should expect more out of your restaurant lighting controller, and with AccessLink by OutdoorLink, you can get all that you expect and more.

Learn More About AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink:

AccessLink™ powered by OutdoorLink is the standard in commercial remote lighting control. Stop wasting time and money with outdated photocells and unreliable timers. Remotely control your exterior lighting by simply touching your phone screen or with a couple of clicks on your tablet or laptop. Experience the convenience of AccessLink today. Contact us here, or give us a call at (256) 885-9768.