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.

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.