Union Pacific Railroad – Des Moines, IA

Location: Des Moines, Iowa, USA

Client: Union Pacific Railroad


The largest freight hauling network in the United States, the Union Pacific Railroad covers 23 states west of Chicago, Illinois, and New Orleans, Louisiana. It operates 8,500 locomotives, which run on over 32,100 route-miles of track. Safety on its railyards is paramount to operations, and robust equipment is vital for withstanding the tough conditions.

Blue flag with blue Carmanah safety light on top

Since 2008, it has been a requirement to pair a light with the blue flag that has been used for decades to alert trains of workers on or near the track. For one Union Pacific railyard in Des Moines, Iowa, its selected compliant lights constantly required bulb and battery replacements, time-consuming maintenance that proved costly. Railyard staff recognized that the railyard required something more robust, and looked to solar lighting as a solution that would recharge via the sun, helping minimize costly battery replacements.

Our Solution: OL2A Solar LED Safety light

Requirements: To provide an efficient, low-maintenance blue safety light to complement blue flags used in the railyard.

“I have been a Class 1 railroad employee for almost 39 years and for the last 30 years worked in the train yard and locomotive service track area. I have seen and used a lot of blue lights, and Carmanah’s are top of the line. Their lights work flawlessly through heat, rain, and freezing cold weather. They also take a beating, being lifted, lowered, and sometimes dropped—but they never quit working. We use Carmanah’s lights at both ends of our service track protecting our derails, and they have been in service for over five years, trouble-free. They are my first choice in blue lights; one less item to worry about.”

– Brian Sinram, Union Pacific


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United Crane and Rigging – Baltimore, MD

Location: Across the northeast USA

Client: United Crane & Rigging

Overview: Established in Maryland in the 1970s, United Crane and Rigging rents and sells crane and rigging equipment to clients across the northeast United States. The company sought new solutions for obstruction lighting, a key aspect of the business that ensures their equipment is safely and properly marked for aircraft. Joe Mirabile, lead tower crane technician for United Crane and Rigging, explains the frustrations of using AC or battery-powered lights on their equipment. “Frequent battery changes get expensive, and hard-wired lights take up valuable time to set up,” he says. “I needed something easier for our team to install that would work for any application.”

Requirements: Joe Mirabile, lead tower crane technician for United Crane and Rigging, explains the frustrations of using AC or battery-powered lights on their equipment. “One bulb change can cost several hundred dollars by the time a technician travels to the site, climbs the crane, and changes the bulb. Hard-wired lights take up valuable time to set up,” he says. “I needed something easier for our team to install that would work for any application.”

It was also important to find lights that would work on a job where the crane is running on a generator. “On these jobs the generator can only run during the day,” Mirabile says. “We found ourselves in a situation where we had to run power to the base of the crane and plug in the hardwired lights at night, or else we were not in compliance.”

In addition, the lights would need to meet FAA compliance, with at least 32.5 candela output. Mirabile also wanted lights that steady-burn—but also have the option to be synchronized to flash simultaneously.

Our Solution: OL800 compact solar LED obstruction light

Carmanah’s OL800 offered the FAA compliance Mirabile and his team required, as well as the GPS synchronization he needed for simultaneous flashing. These lights also offer optional remote monitoring, a new feature Carmanah provides for secure data transmission via GSM and Globalstar satellite networks. Although Mirabile had tried another solar lighting company previously, he chose Carmanah because of the rugged design and out-of-the-box setup. “I provided the geographic location and application and the lights came programmed, ready to install,” he explains. “And as a bonus, the lights offered a much longer battery autonomy than I expected.”

“These lights have solved all my issues. This is the last obstruction light you’ll ever need—for an affordable price, at that.” – Joe Mirabile, Lead Tower Crane Technician, United Crane and Rigging

Outcome: “No external wiring is a game changer,” Mirabile says. “This saves approximately 2 hours on installation. It is also safer to install because the lights can be installed on the ground prior to crane assembly.”

Mirabile also says the service he received from Carmanah was superior. “As United Crane and Rigging is a company that also feels strongly about providing great service, I especially appreciated this,” he says. The company has ordered five sets of four lights for its fleet. With a single type of light that meets all applications they need, there’s no more worry about whether the right light has been used. “I’ve already recommended the OL800 to other crane companies,” Mirabile says.

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How United Crane and Rigging saved with solar


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Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy – Costa Rica

Location: Costa Rica

Client: Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy

Close up of a solar powered tower light high above the groundOverview: As Central America’s leading wind energy company, Globeleq Mesoamerica Energy (GME) develops, constructs, and operates wind energy projects across Costa Rica, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Since 2004, the company has closed on financing for five wind generation projects that provide 220 megawatts of electricity, with several hundred more megawatts at various project stages. They sought lighting for five meteorological masts, installed in May 2016 in Costa Rica.

Our Solution: Carmanah OL800 solar obstruction light and OL4 solar warning light

Choosing Carmanah: For project engineer Sebastián Zeledón Castro, choosing Carmanah’s solar lights was an easy decision. Before working for GME, he had worked for a company that installed and maintained meteorological masts for wind resource assessment purposes; since this company was also a regional dealer of Carmanah products, he became familiar with Carmanah’s obstruction lights. “Certainly, I had to work with obstruction lights from other manufacturers,” he said. “This situation allowed me to verify the superior quality of Carmanah equipment.”

Outcome: Since GME required meteorological masts that are compliant with national civil aviation regulations, Carmanah’s OL800 and OL4 were an obvious fit. Both lights were installed on permanent meteorological masts at each of GME’s newest wind farms in Costa Rica.

“Carmanah products have proven to be the optimal obstruction light device throughout almost six years now that I’ve been using them. The self-contained feature and easy setup are, in my opinion, two of the most important characteristics of this equipment.”

– Sebastián Zeledón Castro, Globeleq project engineer


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