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How to choose a light tower…(six factors to consider)

For many sectors, such as construction, mining, and outdoor events, light towers are an essential piece of equipment. They supply illumination for tasks that need to be carried out during hours of darkness or in poor visibility, ensuring that projects can be completed safely and efficiently. With this in mind, renting or buying a light tower is an important decision, as the equipment can have a significant impact on the productivity of projects.

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There are six factors that should be considered to choose the best light tower. 

1. Maintenance

field service

Light towers maintenance

Light towers are often required to operate 24/7 to help operators deliver jobs on time, so preventing downtime is crucial. Choosing a light tower with extensive maintenance intervals, for example, after 600 hours of operation, will help minimize downtime. Having easy access to the light tower’s maintenance points can also help speed up troubleshooting and the overall maintenance process, reducing downtime. Some light towers from leading manufacturers, like the HiLight H6+ light tower from Atlas Copco, feature a single pop-up canopy that is easy to fit and remove, providing 360º access to the unit for internal maintenance. This makes them quick and straightforward to service in only 40 minutes.


2. Canopy

US market

HiLight E3+ light tower with HardHat® canopy

As many light towers are used in very harsh weather conditions, the design of the canopy can be a game-changer when it comes to optimizing performance and usability. It is vital that the body of the light tower is made of material that is corrosion and crack resistant, environmentally friendly, and able to meet the demands of the working environment. For example, Atlas Copco’s HardHat® canopy is made of medium-density polyethylene, rather than metal, to protect the tower from the elements. What is more, in a model like the Highlight H6+ from Atlas Copco, HardHat® is also used for the body of the light tower, ensuring the performance and appearance lasts throughout years of service. The innovative design and tough material help ensure that the tower continues to perform throughout years of service, helping retain a high resale value and providing an outstanding total cost of ownership (TCO).


3. Transportability

H6+ on the road

HiLight H6+ light tower on the road

Although light towers can spend long periods of time placed in one location, it is useful to choose a model designed with portability and transportation-efficiency in mind. This will ensure great deployment efficiency throughout its working life.

A compact design helps reduce the light tower’s footprint while enabling easy operation. This can be further enhanced by selecting a ‘plug and play’ model: these models are ready for use as soon as they are placed at the job site.

Another key feature to look for is the tow bar. Choosing a unit with an adjustable tow bar will improve flexibility and safety and enable easy handling of the units when they are towed with vans, trucks, and pick-ups.

4. Safety

Light tower HiLight B5+

HiLight B5+ light tower with SmartMast

While a light tower is used to create a safe environment for workers and the public, it is also a piece of equipment with safety risks of its own. It can topple over due to uneven ground or high winds or strike an object above it when raising the mast. Therefore, to minimize risks, it is important to select a light tower with an advanced safety system – ideally one that goes beyond the mandatory requirements. 


Atlas Copco’s SmartMast safety system detects a range of potential risks, including high winds and obstacles that are between 300 and 500 mm (11.8 and 19.7 in) above the light tower. It also identifies if the surface is not stable enough to support the tower and retracts the mast to a safe height if it receives an impact. This feature prevents the light tower from becoming unstable, reducing the risk of it blowing over.


5. Noise

dispelling myths episodes

HiLight Z3+ battery light tower

As excessive sound generated by portable equipment is becoming increasingly unacceptable in urban environments, industrial work areas, and events, selecting a light tower with a low noise level is crucial. Light towers emitting below 60dBA not only comply with regulations but also help protect workers’ hearing, contributing to a safer and more comfortable working environment.

Today, several low-noise options are available on the market, with some light towers achieving operating noise levels as low as 55dBA.

6. Connectivity

When selecting a light tower, it is essential to consider connectivity, as it can play a key role in fleet optimization. Light towers leveraging connectivity to enable remote monitoring systems, for example, give operators improved visibility over the location of the units as well as their servicing requirements, helping reduce downtime and maintenance costs. 

Conclusion

A light tower can play an important role when it comes to the project’s productivity and efficiency, that is why it is vital to know what to pay attention to during the selection process. Keeping the above factors in mind, and working with a reputable equipment supplier who understands lighting solutions, will help ensure that the chosen light tower is the right match for the application and continues to contribute to successful operation throughout its working life.  

Do you know how to choose the right light tower?

Check the new Light The Power App. This application is a power and light calculator to help you to choose the best solution for your needs.