The Night-Lite PRO Series also features an Arctic Special Package and CSA-Approved Package, as well as an International Package tailored to meet the needs of countries using 220-volt power.
Terex has been developing standard features on its AL4000 and RL4000 models. The machines now incorporate the same control panel, ballast box assemblies, engine and generator, light fixtures, jacks, winches and tower curly cord.
"These features allow the customer to stock fewer service parts, as both machines now carry the same parts," says Gibbons.
The crystal ball
When manufacturers looked into their crystal balls, they saw several options that could be incorporated into portable lighting options.
Marc James, product manager with Ingersoll Rand, said the light bulb itself might evolve. "There are many different ways to illuminate an area," he says. "Some manufacturers are looking at using LEDs (light-emitting diodes), such as car manufacturers use in taillights. LEDs are inexpensive and they last quite a while."
James also said that news from the recent BAUMA show held in Europe included light towers with cable-over-hydraulic actuated towers; these towers collapse in on themselves and are stored in the units. "While these light towers might be a bit more expensive, you'll be able to fit more units on a truck for transportation."
Some units will become more compact. Balloon lights, for example, will have decreased package sizes for increased mobility, says James, and standard light towers will also start to become smaller.
Some standard light towers are already becoming more compact. Magnum offers its Compact 3000 series that helps save space in storage and transport. "Transport costs - including fuel and labor - are reduced every time these light towers are moved to and from the jobsite," says Mathison.
On the other hand, some manufacturers see portable lighting becoming bigger and better. John Wessels with Airstar America Inc., makers of Sirocco balloon lights, says the future of lighting balloon technology is going to be larger, brighter units. "Typically balloon lights are 1,000 metal halide, our new 3000W unit is three times more powerful than the standard balloon light, lighting 72,000 square feet with 300,000 lumens."
Any changes to portable lighting will only refine these quiet sentinels. The bottom line, however, is that customers want reliable lighting at the lowest possible cost. Manufacturers will continue to strive to get you the brightest, quietest portable lighting option they can.
Rental helps increase balloon light awareness
These self-inflating illumination units are easy to use, quiet and extremely portable. But the greatest advantage of balloon lights versus their cousin, the light tower, is the glare-free lighting. "With a balloon unit, the light is diffused," says Marc James with Ingersoll Rand. "It's softer and has no shadows. More DOTs are spec'ing glare-free lighting into contracts, so this is really important for roadbuilding and repair."
In fact, the growth of the industry is largely due to state, local and federal agency acceptance, says John Wessels with Airstar America Inc., makers of the Sirocco lighting balloon, which was introduced in 1994. "More and more states are either strongly recommending these products or making it mandatory to use them in certain areas of the work zone. Another reason for growth is that many paver manufacturers are offering this type of lighting as an accessory."
Because of this acceptance with government agencies and roadbuilding companies, rental businesses are giving balloon lights serious consideration.
"There's attention from both mom-and-pops and national rental companies," says James. "For many rental businesses, there's a dual approach for balloon lights - they can be used on both the party side and the construction side."
James says we're just scratching the surface with the types of applications balloon lights can be used for. "They're still relatively new, so as more people become aware of them, you'll start seeing them used in many different ways."