I, Karli Barich, Ektos Director of Marketing, will be one of the millions of migrators into the path of totality this weekend. We hit the road on Saturday, with our ISO-approved solar glasses, extra gas, and even our own portable toilet. I got to thinking about all our fabulous Ektos customers in the path of totality and thought I’d spread some of my nerd knowledge on the event.
Is your restaurant near the path of totality for the upcoming solar eclipse on Monday?
If so, here are some things you should know:
Your restaurant’s visibility will decrease if your lights are off!
From 9AM Pacific to 3PM Eastern, through 14 states across the U.S., it will feel like a short night in the middle of the day.
Watch this video to get a glimpse of Monday’s eclipse, and how it will impact your lights. For Ektos customers, this automated lighting scenario applies to all of our serviced energy management systems. **Note here: Your eclipse times will be different from the video depending on your location.
The eclipse will have a gradual effect on daylight over about two and a half (2.5) hours. Take a look at this map to see the eclipse’s impact on your restaurant’s location.
The country is expecting a migration of around 7 million people into the path of totality during the eclipse, so prepare for a swarm of customers! Let your outside lights help you to attract them to your restaurant!
Part of the excitement of a total solar eclipse is the darkness in mid-day. If your parking lot lights are on during 100% total eclipse, you may get a few complaints. For Ektos customers, we can help your parking lot stay in darkness and keep your building lights on. Be sure to contact our customer service (1-800-783-0383) if this is something you want to do.
Which applies to you?
My lights are halogen (i.e. old-school).
As you know, halogen lights take much more energy to turn on and keep on than LEDs, so depending on your restaurant’s location you may want to keep outside lights off. If you have halogen outside lights and your restaurant is outside of the path of totality (85% and lower), we recommend you do nothing and go about your eclipse day as normal.
Halogens on Light Meters
IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, you’re covered! If you have halogen outside lights running on a light meter, and your restaurant is located within the path of totality, it is likely your outside lights will come on automatically. If your restaurant is outside the path of totality (85% and lower), it may not be dark enough to trip your light meter and your lights will stay off.
Halogens on Timers
If you have halogen outside lights on a timer, you have a decision to make. Is your restaurant close to the path of totality? If so, you may want to consider spending the energy to turn your lights on. If not, you may decide to save that energy (and money) for more burger buns or taco shells or whatever your customers eat from your fabulous kitchen. IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, your lights are on a light meter, so again you’re already covered!
Halogens on Manual Control
If your location is within the path of totality and you control your lights manually, you can probably hire this cat to help you.
My lights are LEDs (i.e. efficient & awesome).
LEDs on Light Meters
IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, you’re covered! If your lights are on a light meter, pay attention over the next couple days to see when your lights come on and turn off according to the daylight. If you need to adjust your lumen setpoint, now is the time to do it. With proper lumen setpoints, your lights should come on automatically during the time of eclipse.
LEDs on Timers
If your lights are on a timer, make sure you adjust that timer so that your lights come ON one hour before and turn OFF one hour after your scheduled eclipse time on August 21st. Here’s a list of major cities in the path of totality and their scheduled eclipse time. IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, your lights are on a light meter, so again you’re already covered!
LEDs on Manual Control
If you control your lights manually, have fun flipping those switches! Don’t forget to set a reminder to flip it. Again, IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, you’re already covered with your light meter.
When 100% Totality hits Major Cities
10:17 am Corvallis, Albany and Lebanon, Oregon
11:34 am Idaho Falls, Idaho
11:44 am Casper, Wyoming
1:00 pm Grand Island, Lincoln Nebraska
1:08 pm St Joseph, Missouri
1:09 pm Kansas City, Missouri
1:14 pm Columbia, Jefferson City, Missouri
1:18 pm St Louis, Missouri
1:28 pm Bowling Green, Kentucky
1:28 pm Nashville, Tennessee
2:39 pm Greenville, South Carolina
2:43 pm Columbia, South Carolina
Use that cooler outside air!
Studies show that the outside temperature in the path of totality may drop by 12 to 18 degrees for a couple minutes during 100% coverage. Since outside temperatures will most likely not drop below 70 degrees, that means your HVAC units will probably still be running A/C like a normal day.
IF YOU ARE AN EKTOS CUSTOMER, your energy management system will automatically take into account the outside temperature and the room temperature and decide whether or not your restaurant can be cooled by just using outside air and use far less energy than running regular A/C. You need to do… nothing!
Will you have energy?
The energy grids may be able to handle this extra influx of people, and they may not. If you have a generator to help you out in the case of a black-out, it may be a good idea to give it an extra look before eclipse day.
Make sure you’re ready for the madness!
Total solar eclipses are rare. The last one in Washington was in 1979. I wasn’t born yet, but one woman’s recount of the event is getting me super pumped (see this blog’s resources below). The last path of totality that banded across the U.S. (like the one coming up on August 21) happened on June 8, 1918.
I picture this experience to be somewhat like the RV parade in Independence Day. Traffic is already starting to pile up as of yesterday.
Be sure to like or follow us for more eclipse information, and for more current events and industry news affecting energy management and restaurants.
Wishing you an exciting eclipse day!
Karli & the Ektos Team