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Fixing the Dam Lights

Dam Noise

This is a story about upgrading the lights at a federal dam. I will try my best not too include too many dam jokes. (oops) The John Day Dam is one of 3 Hydro electric dams on the lower Columbia River which are owned and operated by the US Army Corp of Engineers. Their existing lighting consisted of 230 old technology 400w High Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures mounted at about 75ft. So, other than a constant loud humming noise from the old magnetic ballasts and the classic yellow-orange murky looking light from HPS, the system was great!

To address these issues our North Coast team partnered with Metrolight and Duraguard to propose a full fixture retrofit solution using 480V Ecopod electronic HID ballast housings. The corp used the large powerhouse bridge crane to install the Metrolight fixtures and the results were beyond expectations!

“The improvement in light quality was outstanding, the new fixtures have eliminated the ballast noise and significantly improved the work environment in the powerhouse.” ~ Kelly Steward – Electrical Planner, John Day Dam

You can read more of the dam details (you can’t resist the dam jokes so why try?) in the case study here. If you’d like to know more about North Coast Energy Solutions just e-mail me at