Why is LED lighting for your Parking lot important?
- Safety is a key reason for increasing your light levels with LED fixtures. Safety of employees is a main concern for employers. Dark or underlit parking lots can lead to unforeseen hazards to become dangerous. Trips and falls may become a bigger concern.
- Security is similar to Safety but involves the sense of security of employees and customers from vandals and criminals. Underlit parking lots are havens for unwanted crime and other dangers.
- Increased traffic from customers – customers are drawn to bright, well lit areas. If two businesses are next to each and are competitors, a customer will choose the business that they feel more safe and more secure. Fast food and eating establishments are very entune to light levels on their parking lot.
Advantages of LED Parking Lot Lights vs. Traditional Lighting
LED parking lot lights are over 60%-70% more efficient than traditional Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium lighting.
Some of the common wattages of parking lot lighting and their recommended LED equivalent are:
1000 watt HID (High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide) to 300 Watt LED Fixture
400 watt HID (High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide) to 150 Watt LED Fixture
250 watt HID (High-Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide) to 70 Watt LED Fixture
All of these will reduce wattage and energy consumption over 60% and still increase light levels on the ground substantially.
If you own or manage a parking lot with exterior pole lights, you are aware of the high cost of maintenance. You have to rent or hire a company with a lift or bucket truck and pay for their time and material. This ongoing expense will never end. With LED lighting, your maintenance expenses will essentially go to ZERO with a new fixtures for a period of at least 5 years. Most fixtures have 5 years, but many exterior fixtures we sell come with a 10 year warranty. So, your maintenance expense goes away for at least 10 years. After that, the maintenance mainly will consist of replacing LED Drivers.
Light Level increases
The average foot candle requirements for a general parking lot light is around 1 foot candle to 2 foot candles. We have seen average footcandles increase by 2 or 3 times the existing levels by switching to LED parking lot lighting.
With a traditional metal halide or high pressure sodium bulb will last an average of 10,000 to 15,000 hours. This is greatly reduced by weather, amount of on/off cycles and other factors. Meaning that lamps will need to be replaced on the average of every 3 years if you are running 12 hours per day , 365 days a year.
Conversely, an LED fixture has a lifetime of at least 50,000 hours to often times 100,000 hours. You will commonly see LEDs lasting over 20 years!
How is Parking Lot Lighting Measured?
Parking lot lighting levels are measured in terms of Foot Candles. A foot candle is defined as: A foot-candle is a non-SI unit of illuminance or light intensity. One foot-candle represents “the illuminance cast on a surface by a one-candela source one foot away.” This unit is commonly used in lighting layouts in parts of the world where United States customary units are used
Foot candles are often confused with Lumens. A foot candle is a reading on the surface or ground level or working plane. Lumens are a term that measures the amount of light a fixture or bulb emits.
You can compare fixtures by looking at their lumens per watt. So a 150w LED fixture that produces 21,000 lumens is more efficient ( or has a higher efficacy) than a 150w LED fixture with 19,000 lumens.
It could also be derived that the fixture with 21,000 lumens would have a higher foot candle (fc) level on the ground than the fixture with 19,000 lumens.
How Much Do Parking Lot Lights Cost?
The average cost of parking lot lighting can depend on many factors. How high quality is the LED fixture? What efficacy is the fixture? What features does the fixture have?
The average cost we see for a 150w or similar LED fixture is $250 – $400 dollars or more. There are often utility rebates that will help pay for a portion of that figure. Also the energy savings will make your investment pay off in 2-3 years.
The average labor rate to install a new LED fixture is around $100 per fixture.
Another option that is commonly used when changing parking lot lights to LED technology is a screw in “corn lamp” product which utilizes the existing fixture. While this option might be cheaper initially, it is common to see LEDs burn out prematurely and lose much of their initial brightness due to heat build up in the fixture. Costs are less when using this option.
Other expenses customers may occur in LED parking lot lighting retrofits are mounting options and hardware to make the Installation project go smoothly. We offer fixture with 3 mounting options: Slip Fitter, Trunnion/yoke mount, or direct to a pole mount. Likewise, we also stock and carry many side pole tenons, 4” and 5” slip fitter tenon tops, dual and triple bullhorns, and even aluminum poles.