Construction Corner is a Q&A column committed to answering reader-submitted questions regarding construction and development. Inquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Q: The back drive at our facility is dark, and the camera posted there shows only a black picture at night. Installing lights would be expensive. Are there any other solutions?
—Jack in Springfield, Mo.
A: Aside from the cost of installing them, lights can also be expensive to operate. There are good day/night cameras on the market that may work for your situation. Some have an auto iris that adjusts to varying brightness. These are good if there is some available light. Another option is night-vision cameras that switch to black-and-white operation at night. These have infrared LED illuminators that emit low-level light invisible to the human eye. In the daytime, they operate as regular color cameras. Make sure any cameras used outside are weatherproof.
Q: What are the basic requirements for installing a keypad at a facility gate?
—Stacy from Little Rock, Ark.
A: Keypads generally require wiring, which is best protected inside conduit. If possible, conduit should be installed from the keypad location to the gate motor and back to the office gate controller. Some keypads can store codes locally, eliminating the need to run conduit back to the office. This may be an option if the keypad is for a gate used by few people, such as at a rear facility entry. In this instance, the keypad would still need to tie into the gate motor. Keypads also need something on which to sit. A gooseneck or bollard could work. Keep in mind the wire must pass through the gooseneck to the keypad.
Rod Davis is the installation manager for QuikStor, a provider of self-storage security and software since 1987. For more information, visit www.quikstor.com.