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Added Parshields on my new floodlights: Worth it!

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#1 magic612

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 08:54 AM

I had one of those "bad" spray-light-everywhere fixtures right outside out back breezeway door. We didn't use the fixture really at all, partly because it didn't light up anything all that well, and partly because it wasn't hooked up to a switch! To turn it on, you had to take a cord with a plug out of a nearby cabinet and physically plug it into a socket.

A little weird, to say the least.

Because where that light is located is convenient for lighting up the stairs to our basement door, which is an area that occasionally floods when it rains really hard, my wife and I decided a floodlight fixture, properly shielded and with an actual switch (!), were in order for that location. I had a floodlight fixture laying around, so my dad and I installed it over Thanksgiving.

I thought I had them aimed "down" enough when I set them up in the daytime, but when I checked them at night again a few days later, I realized that they caused serious light trespass into our neighbor's yard. So I aimed them down some more. What I found really interesting was that even though the light's "hot-spot" (brightest portion of the light output) really appears to be facing very much down towards the ground and not out into the yard anymore, there is a lot of light that still escapes outward.

For example, the second light is aimed at our patio/garage area (also downward). Yet the light reflecting off the Parshield and/or bouncing off the patio flagstone still "bounces" up and easily lights up the side of our garage, casting faint shadows higher than I can reach. Given that the fixture itself is only about 78" to 80" high (it was set low in the first place, and is restricted by an overhang), there is clearly some light still going "up" (unfortunately).

A couple things:

1) It is certainly better than it was. The original bulb was a regular incandescent that created both glare and direct uplighting
2) The majority of the light really does go down, and there is zero glare now
3) I've got a lot more wattage on it now than it had before, perhaps explaining some of this; it was 60W, now it has two 90W bulbs (which I will be swapping out for 45W ones!)
4) We almost never use this fixture anyway
5) The light that escapes up is still insignificant compared to what is going down, and there is plenty of light to see out in the yard without creating light trespass

I guess what I'm saying is, even if you aim a light almost all the way down like this, the Parshields deflect enough light you can still easily see in a wide area outside of that "hot spot" of light. This light easily lets me see to the back of my garage to take out trash - and it is a tandem-length garage.

Parshields work. They're only $25. Plus they look nice!

I'll post some pictures in a few days when I get a chance to take it at various angles, as well as with lower wattage floodlamps, and I'll need to buy some 45W ones.

#2 Noisykids

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:18 PM

i read this last week and decided to print out some of the stuff from the parshield website and bring to the owners of the house right behind me, who do not live there but rent one side of it out to a sister in law. the lights on the back of this house have driven me nuts for thirty years. when the widow biggs lived there and vacationed in shediac beach in the summer the motion detector would set the lights on and they would stay on for weeks. i once went over and unscrewed them. the people who live there now act like they own the electric company..every light in the house seems to be on all the time. a couple of weeks ago i went over and nicely pointed out that the back lights illuminated the entire back of my house, including the bedroom and kitchen. the kid pointed it towards the ground, but it still would stay on for days. so i went to the owners, whose kids were classmates of my kids, showed them the info for parshields, offered to help defray the cost, yada yada yada. the parshields went up yesterday and boy do they make a difference. i can take my scopes out onto the back deck, they can have their lights on, and i won't get it right in the eyes. now if i can just figure out what to do about the light across the street, and the light the guy in the other side of this duplex insists on burning all night.....

#3 magic612

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 11:27 AM

That is great news. I have a neighbor across the ally from me who uses floodlights occasionally. I am considering getting some more for him to add to his, though they rarely bother me, but when they are on, it's impossible to do any deep sky observing.

Like you, I have other ones around me needing shielding / changing, but one step at a time, right? :)

#4 derangedhermit

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:11 AM

It seems to me that $25/lamp is out of line with the prices of alternatives. You can buy at a big box store a complete new two-lamp motion sensing fixture with at least some shielding for $40, instead of the $50 a retrofit of Parshields would cost. Without the motion sensing, the fixture is $20, or $10 for a single lamp fixture.

#5 magic612

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Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

They are $25 for 2 shields, not $25 each. My apologies if I did not make that clear in my original post. So the cost is still less, and they work quite well. Here's a video:

http://youtu.be/aE5AXFO8uv4?t=3m38s

#6 Daniel Guzas

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 11:27 PM

Yes I added these to my floodlights and even though my neighbors aren't up at their vacation home very much it seemed like the right thing to de being an astronomer. I agree they look nice and actually help with the glare. I have to say the lighting is much improved walking the dogs back to the house at night as I can see where I am going after than being blasted by stray light into my eyes.

They work very well and are reasonable in price. In my opinion they should be the LAW when anyone installs floodlights.






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