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Feb. 18, 2019
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Lanier’s solar light program explores monitoring options

By Pamela A. Keene 
 
With nearly 300 solar-powered lights on Lake Lanier installed by the Lake Lanier Association, the group is examining ways to beef up its monitoring program.
 
One of the latest methods, now being tested on 20 lights, is a technology that will allow checks of the lights’ operations during daytime. “To check the lights at night can be extremely time-consuming,” said Bill Tannahill, member of the board of the association who has worked on the program. “With this new product, we hope to be able to check the lights during the day. The new device attaches to the solar light mechanism and produces a small yellow light to show that the lights are working. If the yellow light isn’t on, we know that the solar light needs service.”
 
The association is also working with two student groups at Georgia Institute of Technology to develop alternative monitoring technology-based options. 
 
“Our light monitoring now typically takes two people eight hours each to check,” said Joanna Cloud, executive director of the association. “And we’re finding that most of our findings are the result of bulb failure or damage to the lights. We are actively looking at ways to make the process more effective and efficient.” 
 
Cloud said that the association applied to the Inventure Lab at Georgia Tech for assistance. “They’re like the American Idol for Nerds and they have a great deal of talent,” she said. “We were fortunate enough to be chosen by two different student groups. Each will be working on our project separately, so we hope to have not one, but two workable choices by sometime in the late spring or early summer.”
 
The solar-light monitoring is currently being handled by Scott and Jennifer Smith of Lanier Dock Pros. They were awarded the monitoring following an RFP from the association and began their work this month.
 
“The solar light program has been extremely well received,” Cloud said. “It has certainly helped with safety issues on the lake. Now we are committed to ensuring that the solar lights are in good working order.” 
 
The solar light program is one of more than a half-dozen initiatives of the association. For more information, visit lakelanier.org.

Posted online 2/1/19
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