Monday, October 23, 2017

ERJ is a fly on the wall

Cobwebs on the roof of a barn
I am sometimes fortunate to be able to listen to successful people talk through their thought processes.  Today was one of those days.

The person doing the thinking is a very successful, local livestock producer.  He was buying some high efficiency lights from John Hulinek (517-230-1600) for a couple of his barns.  Mr Hulinek had loaned him a couple of working models which the farmer had taken out to each of his barns and tried in various positions and was ready to place his order.  He was buying several that looked like this:

This is the top of the unit.  Retail price is somewhere between $100-and-$200 depending on Wattage and whether it is residential or industrial grade.
And several that looked like this:

Price is somewhere between $250-and $325 depending on Wattage.
As the farmer was shopping the cords, brackets and other mounting hardware, you could see the wheels turning in his brain.

He asked the merchant about mounting options for the top unit that would discourage birds from building nests on top of the unit.  His concern was that bird nests would cover up the slots that allowed cooling air to convect through the unit and cool the LED drivers.  Hot LEDs are not happy LEDs.

The merchant suggested various mountings, including mounting it at a 45 degree angle so there are no horizontal surfaces.

The farmer was initially good with that solution but a brain in motion tends to remain in motion.

He started thinking about other "biologicals", specifically bugs.

We have Asian Ladybugs which over-winter in warm, dark spaces like the top of that lamp.  Barns tend to be rich in flies.  Where you have flies you have spiders.  Where you have spiders you have spider webs.

The top unit is vulnerable to clogging up with Ladybugs and cobwebs.  The bottom unit will happily churn out high efficiency Lumens even when it is 3/4 full of seagull poop due to the aggressive, heat rejecting fins.

When he whipped out his pen, he bought all of the deeply finned, more expensive lights similar to the one shown in the lower image.

This guy did not become successful by making stupid decisions.


  1. Some times it really IS the little things... And cobwebs can block vents!

  2. There's a park in Australia that has a canal in it with light fixtures around the perimeter. The bollards all have the lights recessed within them and decent sized square opening. Each and every one has a spider web covering the opening. Seems a very good natural bug trap as the light attracts the bugs, spider east the bugs and the park if free of night flying mosquitoes. Always wondered if the landscape architect was smart enough to think of that. My experience with them would indicate the answer is no.


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