Types of Lighting Towers explained

lighting tower

Whether you’re in the civil trade or supply to it as a hire company, lighting towers are an indispensable tool for improving safety, efficiency and security on the worksite after-hours. Let’s go over the different types of lighting tower, how they operate, fuel consumption and run time, and what to consider about each.

Diesel powered lighting towers

These types of lighting towers run on a diesel motor which offers consistent and reliable performance.
Diesel powered lighting towers might have a lower upfront cost compared to hybrid or solar powered options, but their dependence on fuel means they have ongoing running costs. Diesel motors require ongoing maintenance and servicing too.
This is the least environmentally friendly option. And the loudest.

How much fuel does it use?
This will depend on the size of the tank, output of the light, and length of run-time. But as an example, Trime's X-Eco lighting tower has a max run-time of 200 hours from a 110L tank. This model will light an area up to 4000m².

Hybrid lighting towers

Hybrid light towers can be powered by diesel fuel, battery and plug-in mains electricity. Just like modern cars, hybrid lighting towers have an inbuilt generator that charges the battery when it’s running. This means a hybrid lighting tower makes its diesel fuel last longer.
Another benefit of hybrid towers is they often have a built-in sensor that automatically turns the light on or off depending on the time of day and natural light level; ideal in situations where it’s doubling as
street lighting or is in an un-manned location.

How much fuel does it use?
As an example, Trime’s X-Hybrid lighting tower (which will light an area up to 3000m²) uses both diesel fuel and battery power to give you - all up - a max run time of 1180 hours on one tank!

Solar lighting towers

As you might have guessed, a solar powered lighting tower uses energy gained from sun exposure (captured via photovoltaic panels). This goes through an in-built inverter to be stored in batteries and used to power the lights in darkness.
They use zero fuel and emit no carbon so they are by far the most environmentally friendly options. They need little to no maintenance (compared to diesel and hybrid) and cost almost nothing to run as the sun’s energy is free. And because they’re not running on a motor, they’re they quietest option too.

How long will it run?
Using the Trime X-Solar 4x100w lighting tower as an example – this model light an area of 2400m² and on a fully charge battery will run for at least 10 hours. Although it will need to be recharged daily, this will recharge even on cloudy, overcast days so you can use it all year round. This model has a full
remote monitoring system with GPS and telemetry, which is particularly helpful for both hire/rental tracking, monitoring the tower, and useful operation and performance data.
To ensure you get the full charge it’s important that you position the lighting tower facing north (this is southern hemisphere specific) and tilt them at the most efficient angle. The manufacturer’s guide should supply this info, or you can ask our team at OMC.

What is the brightest lighting tower?

Light is generally measured in lumens, with 1 lumen about as much light as you get from a birthday candle. The more lumens, the larger the area you will be able to light. The brightest lighting tower in the world is rated at 1.2 MILLION lumens and can light an area up to 50,000m²! That’s much more than most projects in New Zealand require. For comparison, Trime’s X-Hybrid lighting tower has 150W LED lights - around 81,000 lumens - which is plenty to light up an area of 3000m² (not quite half a footy field).
Older models also used halogen bulbs which have much lower lumens than modern LEDs; they also had a yellowish glow whereas LEDs tend to offer a cooler white light that appears brighter so that’s something to ensure your new lighting tower has.


Looking online? Be sure to check if it has an external power output that is rated for use in New Zealand. Get more tips in our blog about how to find the best lighting tower.

New Call-to-action

Get your FREE guide to choosing the right light for your site.

Keep your job moving.

Large or small, indoor or outdoor—there’s a lighting tower to suit any kind of job. Our free guide covers the differences between different towers and will help you determine which one is right for you. So when the sun goes down, you can keep things moving.

Cart (0)

Your cart is empty