Gas Station Lights
Gas stations of old had a dull, poor lit look, a look that has been passed by time. Today's gas station lights are efficient and high-quality. Lights that give them a sleek, modern look drawing in customers. Before LED gas station lights, the most popular lighting was high-pressure sodium lamps.
HPS bulbs bathed every object with an orange-yellowish glow, dulling objects. HPS bulbs are often associated with low security. The dull low CRI light makes an area more susceptible to crime, especially at night.
Other gas stations used metal halide bulbs which had better light quality but a short lamp life. Additionally, these lamps have long warm up and restrike times. Meaning that they do not produce light on demand. And as they age, their light undergoes a color shift. Metal halide bulbs can also get very hot, because they produce 90% of the energy they pull as heat.
This makes them very inefficient. Especially when considering the extra energy used to power the ballasts. Gas stations are very energy intensive. They need all night to encourage more customer visits.
There are gas stations that have tried fluorescent lights. These lights operate very poor in gas stations because extreme temperature fluctuations. Gas stations with fluorescent bulbs had to buy warm and cold weather canopy lights.
Changing out bulbs twice a year is not only a huge expense, it also causes downtimes. The station may stop operating when the lights are being changed. Storage may also be needed for new delicate light fixtures.
High-quality light in a gas station contributes to the facility's bottom line. This is the reason gas stations are replacing old lights with LEDs and retrofit units. They not only help save energy, they also upgrade the station's aesthetics.
Gas stations have integrated other profit-making outlets to drive up profits. Some, for instance, have mini-marts where drivers or pedestrians can buy essentials. If these outlets do not have good lighting, it doesn't have a welcoming atmosphere. Few customers will approach them.
To stay competitive, gas stations must be bright and welcoming. Gas station lights go beyond providing adequate lighting. They offer customer comfort and help with customer retention.
Major Gas Station Lighting Problems
Poor lighting efficiency because of using traditional bulbs that have low luminous efficacies.
Increased glare from overhead fluorescent or intense metal halide bulbs. Eye discomfort can also drive away customers.
Poor light quality and frequent lamp replacements, issues common with conventional HID light sources.
Benefits of LED Gas Station Lights
1. LED Lights allow you to Outshine The Competition
The bright, high-CRI light of LED gas station lights makes your station stand out from the rest. It also makes it more inviting to customers. The chances are high a motorist would drive into a well-lit gas station than a dull, flickering lights one.
Since the competition between gas stations has heated up – there’s one on every block. Customers have a lot of choices. Good first impressions are everything, and LED lights makes that statement.
2. High Quality LED Increases Safety
Besides attracting customers, LED lighting makes them feel safe driving into your station. Proper lighting reduce the chances of crime as customers fuel up or use other facilities.
High-quality light helps the safety of your customers but that of your attendants as well. It will also ensure that your property is not vandalized or broken into. A controlled study done in New York City proved that indeed, good lighting can lower night time crime by up to 39%.
3. Improves Customer Experience
If getting your customers to stay longer in the facilities is part of your marketing strategy, then use quality lighting . As of 2014, there were 152,995 gas stations in the U.S. and over 82.2% of them had convenience stores. So the competition is very stiff.
High-quality LED lights can make your customers want to visit your station's facilities. If you have a well-lit car wash, garage, and convenient store, the atmosphere will be alluring to your customers. All these efforts will pay off in the end through increases in profit.
4. Energy Efficient LEDs
LED gas station lights only produce small amounts of infrared energy. Meaning they don't waste the electricity they consume on unwanted by-products like heat. LED lights are also not multi-directional lights like HID lamps.
Traditional HID canopy lights send the light they produce in all directions. Meaning half the light emitted is lost to the environment. Reflectors can reflect the light back to the areas that need it. But, this does not solve the light wastage issue, because a big part of it diffuses to the surroundings. LED lights can save up to 75% of the energy that traditional bulbs consume.
5. Decreased Light Maintenance
LED lights have a very long lifespan compared to conventional lighting technology. A metal halide lamp can last 6,000 to 15,000 hours before it requires replacement. High-pressure sodium lamps can last up to 24,000 hours. But, LEDs surpass all other lights as they last up to 100,000 hours!
LED gas station lights can last up to a decade. They offer bright light, translating to almost zero costs for lighting maintenance. This is a huge saving for gas station owners who hire electricians and bucket trucks to replace bulbs on 17’ high canopies.
These high expenses cause owners to wait until many bulbs need replacement. To cut down maintenance costs and the hassle of the process as well. Others replace traditional bulbs before they are dead based on scheduled maintenance.
The other noteworthy advantage that LEDs have is that they never burn out like HID bulbs. They will produce 70% less light as they grow old, until it is time to replace them. This means that your gas station will never have shadows or dark spots.
6. Better Light Distribution with LED
With LED canopy lights in place, you can say goodbye to dark spots and shadows in your gas station. LED lights have optics that gathers the light and amplifies it towards the target areas. Because of this, they disperse uniform light to all the areas.
LED lights will offer high-quality light in every area of your gas station. With a color rendering index of above 80, they display colors as well as the sun's midday light. This feature, coupled with LED's high color temperatures, make LED canopy lights capable of lighting a gas station at night. Especially in areas that don’t get light.
7. Instant Lighting
Most HID lights do not have instant-on capability. And they need prolonged warm-up and restrike times. LED lights, on the contrary, work instantly and can be put on and off on demand. This feature makes the lights very well suited to dimming. They also have a wide dimming range, unlike fluorescent lamps.
Best Practices for LED Gas Station Lights
The BS EN 12464-2 code outlines how to illuminate the outdoors. It is the best guide there is on how to position light fixtures in your gas station's forecourt. Some of the tips this guide gives for LED gas station lights includes:
Ensure that your gas station’s illuminance at floor level is between 300 to 350 lux.
In the gas pump area, a minimum of 100 lux is best to ensure quality lighting, especially on the pump's forward-facing side.
Your gas station will have a lot of movement in and out of it. Light should be enough to eliminate dark spots and shadows that could cause an accident. If you have a low canopy, ensure that large vehicles are not going to block each light, causing large dark spots.
For canopies with a height of 4.5m, a 4-5 meters spacing between luminaries is ideal.
Use high-quality LED lights to maximize energy savings without compromising light quality and safety.
Use light control features for added energy savings.
LED canopy light retrofit kits have a wide dimming range. It increases the lifespan as it saves energy. Traditional bulbs don't work with light control features. They take a long time to warm up and restrike. It's also not possible to dim them beyond 50% of the power level without damaging light mechanism.
|Zone of Lighting||Best Lighting||Energy Saving Level|
Main exit and entrance
|30% output||The light should be switched off at dawn. At night, the light levels should be maintained at 30%|
The facility's convenience store exit and entrance
|This zone should have its lights turned off at dawn and turned back on at dusk. The light should be fully lit in terms of output.||The light in this zone should be switched off at dawn. It can be programmed to dim to 30% of its capable lighting level five minutes after motion is detected|
The main area – the fueling area
|The light here should be switched off at dawn. At nighttime, it should be dimmed to 30% of its capable lighting levels, five minutes after motion has been detected.||The light should be switched off at dawn. It should also be dimmed to 30% of its capable output five minutes after a movement has been detected. The light can be switched off after ten minutes if no further motion is detected.|
Water/ air pumps
|The light in this zone should be switched off at dawn. At nighttime, the light output should be dimmed to 30% five minutes after motion has been detected.||The light in this zone should be switched off at dawn. To save energy at nighttime, the light should be dimmed to 30% five minutes after motion has been detected. If there is no further movement, light can be switched off ten minutes later.|