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 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.

Making your campus safer

How Colleges and Universities Are Making Their Campuses Safer

College-bound youth, along with their parents, evaluate academic programs, sports teams, and the general feel of the campus before selecting a school. One additional factor that weighs heavily on the minds of parents is campus safety. Colleges and universities that really want to attract the best and brightest prioritize campus safety initiatives.

Campus Safety

There are numerous ways that colleges and universities secure their campuses, but is there more that they could be doing? Let’s take a look at what modern institutions are doing to protect students and faculty.

Campus Security Offices

Nearly every institution of higher learning has a campus security office. The offices are staffed by trained men and women whose purpose is maintaining the safety of the school’s campus. The officers are available 24/7 to respond to calls for help. Often, there are emergency call boxes located around campus that students, staff, and faculty can use to call for help if they need it.

Security officers also patrol the campus and interact with students and staff. The mere presence of security can be a deterrent to crime. It can also increase the general feeling of safety among people on campus.

Technology

One of the newest ways that schools are improving campus safety is by using technology to communicate with students and their families. Many schools have alert systems they can use to send texts to students and staff in the event of an emergency. Whether there is a dangerous person on campus or classes are canceled because of weather, alert systems allow schools to pass along important information in real time.

Many universities have created social media accounts that they use in addition to emergency alert systems. This is a great resource for parents who may not have access to text alerts.

Nighttime Safety

Safety on a college campus is particularly important at night. If a student feels unsafe walking alone at night, he or she may be able to contact a campus escort service. Many colleges have trained student volunteers or uniformed community service officers who will walk students back to their dorm, car, or a nearby home at night.

Many colleges have begun offering safe ride services. Depending on the college, the service may be for taking students home after a late-night study session. Other colleges use safe ride services to discourage drunk driving by giving students a free ride home.

Some schools restrict access to dorms and classroom buildings to those who have authorized ID cards. This is an upgrade from traditional metal keys because it allows all campus buildings to be automatically locked after a certain hour, denying access to unauthorized persons.

Campus Lighting

Often, well-lit areas are a deterrent to crime. Whether at a store, a bank, or a college campus, effective lighting can take the bravery right out of a person with ill intentions.

Most people are unaware that technology makes it easier than ever to make sure lights are ON when they are supposed to be to effectively keep areas well lit.  Colleges and Universities choose AccessLink to ensure areas of their campus(es) are safely lit for their students and staff members. Each AccessLink™ Unit uses exact GPS Coordinates to assure lights can be scheduled to come ON at sunset, or before, and OFF at sunrise, or later to ensure that the lights are ON when they need to be to keep the students and staff safe.  

Before AccessLink, Colleges and Universities – and other industries – relied on a mix of Photocells and Timers to control when the lights came ON and went OFF.  Photocells and Timers are extremely inefficient and outdated. Photocells were cutting edge technology circa the age of the pager and Timers were the ‘latest and greatest’ when people were using rotary phones.  We hadn’t even landed on the moon yet! And yet, some campuses still use these antiquated, unreliable devices to still attempt to control the campus lighting.

When thinking of keeping areas safely lit, choosing a campus lighting controller like AccessLink is a seamless integration and an affordable one to make.  If you’re a parent, ask your child’s College or University what they use to ensure your child’s safety.

Campus Safety Made Easy

AccessLink™ is a simple, reliable way for colleges and universities to ensure that their campuses are properly lit.  By utilizing AccessLink, Colleges & Universities now have time to spend on other campus safety initiatives by not worrying about the exterior lighting around campus.

Learn More About AccessLink™:

AccessLink™ 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.