LED Parking Lot Lighting
How Many Parking Lot Lights do you need? Get your Free Parking Lot Lighting Plan.
Your successful parking lot conversion to LED is a combination of using the right amount of lumens and distribution. Distribution can be achieved with using Type 3, 4 and 5 optics. But did you know that Type 3 and 4 are forward throw optics? Do you know how that can make the difference between you having a successful conversion and one that is full of shadows?
Do you want a free parking lot lighting plan? A free photometric removes your risk of converting to LED lighting for parking facilities. You can use Parking Lot and Area Lights to create safe and bright outdoor areas. Powerful premium led lighting options can improve light quality and reduce your lighting bills.
Do you need High Power Parking Lot Lights? High Voltage? Let us know your needs, we have many options to solve almost all your parking lot lighting applications.
10 Steps to Choosing the Right Parking Lot Lights
1. Is there a need for you to replace your parking lot lights with LEDs?
There are several main advantages to converting over to LED - better light - lower lighting bills - reduced energy costs. Moreover, you may have to replace your existing parking lot lights because the fixtures are failing.
Converting to LED is an investment, but one where energy savings can be applied to pay off the investment. Paybacks are short.
Real savings after payback are real and will last for many years with a light that needs little if any maintenance. You can make a payback assessment by considering several cost factors.
Cost of the Fixture
LEDs will cost you a bit more than other lights initially. However, the energy savings in the long term with their low maintenance demands will quickly offset the initial investment.
Cost of Installation
Installation of LED lights are no higher than the installation of any other traditional light sources. In fact, many new LED Parking lot lights are designed so that one man can safely and easily do the installation.
Cost of Disposal
Metal halides and Fluorescents contain mercury. You cannot just dispose of these in a landfill. The good news, once you convert to LED, your days of paying for hazardous disposals are over.
Many utility companies incentivize the purchase of LED lights in the form of purchase rebates. Its best to check with your utility before you buy - or ask us - we can help with that.
How to make a savings estimate
1. Calculate your current fixture wattage along with the ballast draw.
You can do this calculation pretty easily. Multiply the wattage value of every bulb with 1.15 and you will have the total power consumption of every bulb.
2. Calculate the cost of electricity.
This is measured in kw/h with the common range of 0.045 to 0.30.
3. What is the run time of your lights per day?
Three hours a day? 12 hours? Do they run the whole day? Check these guidelines:
If you see a higher kw/h cost, then you can choose to switch.
If you see a higher run time, then you can choose to switch.
If you see good incentives like great rebate offers from the utility, then you can choose to switch.
If all of the options listed above are occurring at the same time, then you must definitely go for an LED conversion.
2. Do you already have existing lights? How are your light levels?
Assuming you already have poles, how are the light levels? If you like what you have, then converting to LED is easy. If you need more, that's when a lighting plan will help.
You can start by hiring an expert electrical contractor or any general contractor to carry out the process better. At the same time, knowing about the current and the new lighting system will prove useful for you. Here is a list of other things that you need to know before starting the process:
- Know the type of your current fixture. Take a picture if not sure.
- See the mounting type and base of the fixture if it is on a pole, wall, fitted with a trunnion, slip fitter, etc. Take a picture. Show to an expert salesperson for accurate identification.
- See the type of light bulb if it is high-pressure sodium or metal halide.
- Know the wattage if it is 400W or 1000W.
- Know the line voltage and phase if it is 277V, 480V, or belonging to single or three-phase.
- Know the cost of electricity.
- Know your utility company.
- Know the run hours of your current lights.
- See if you use or want to use any controls like timers or photocells to save even more.
- Assess your current lighting requirements and if the current lights meet them. The new solution can fix all the issues.
- Assess the life span of your current lights and if retrofitting can make things better.
3. Know about the various parking fixture mounts
You may not have paid enough attention to this part before but it is equally important to know about the right type of mount you will need. Knowing the type of mount you need will smooth out any installation issues down the road.
Parking Lot Light Mounts
This mount for parking lot lights can be used to set the light fixtures on a bull horn. These mounts can be inserted into the tenons that are commonly 2 to 3/8 inches in diameter.
Another name used for these mounts is Yoke Mount. These mounts are mostly used for the floodlights and can be attached to walls, arms, and poles too. This remarkable flexibility of the mount helps it to be useful for various installation needs and accommodations.
This mount can be attached to the light pole only and along with adapters when being attached to the circular poles. To these mounts on any pole, it is important to pre-drill them to enable them to fit with the bolt pattern.
4. How to decide the right distribution pattern for your parking lot?
We can't overstate picking the right optic for your needs. Choosing the right optic, or distribution pattern, can make the difference between a successful project and one that comes up short.
Optimal lighting in a parking lot only helps in making them safe for employees and customers. Having a bright, evenly lit parking lot is ultimately the end goal you are trying to achieve.
The answer on how to select the right light and pattern lies in developing a lighting plan. A lighting plan uses specialized software to model spaces like parking lots, adding poles, adding shoebox fixtures, and then calculating light levels and light distribution.
For the most part, when we do lighting plans for out customers, we use fixtures with Type 3 and Type 5 optics.
Type III light distribution for parking lots
This distribution layout is meant for the parking spaces and general roadway areas. They are higher than Type II but shorter in width from them. Its the perfect choice for lighting on the edges of the parking lot area.
Type V light distribution for parking lots
This distribution type is circular that makes it generate the same amount of light in all positions. It works great for spaces that need a lot of even lighting. Its ideal for poles mounted in the center of parking lots.
5. Do you need to retrofit or not?
Retrofit kits turn out to be extremely useful when you want to change your bulbs without needing to change the light fixture too.
The new LED lights come with all the types of equipment need to change the current fixture. The set includes a light fixture with a slip fitter, trunnion, or a new arm.
However, you may have a condition where changing the light fixture altogether might not be a suitable option. If you have properly working well-maintained fixtures, then retrofitting is the best decision you must take.
Retrofitting helps you to change the previous bulb/ballast with new LED lights within the same fixture. It makes perfect sense if you have a substantial investment in a light fixture and a new fixture would not work.
Considerations if retrofitting makes sense
Current fixture condition
Cost estimate of the retrofit/fixture
Compare retrofit vs. installation cost
Payback or rebate offer estimate
However, you may need more information to make the right decision. We are going to help you with providing info on all the parking lot lighting types along with tips on light retrofitting and replacements.
6. What LED wattage will be right for you?
A watt is defined as a unit of power. But because LEDs are so much more efficient than other traditional sources of light, they can produce equivalent effective lumens while using less energy.
Therefore, using "watts" is not a good comparison. You should focus on the amount of lumens a fixture produces instead.
Even among LED products, there is a huge variability on power consumed and lumens produced. You will always use less LED Watts than the watts consumed by a traditional light source. Here's a checklist to help you make the decision:
Check the lumen production rate on the cut sheet of the LED. If it’s not stated, divide its lumen production number with the watt consumption number and you will get the result.
If the rate is less than 130 lumens/watt, then the LED you have chosen is of outdated technology.
Around 130 lumens/watt is a good target. Even better are lights in the 170+ lumens per watt range.
Check DLC qualification. If it is DLC Listed or rebate eligible, then the light is probably not a good choice.
How to understand this in terms of watts?
For 110 lumen/watt, you will need:
10,000 lumens can be produced with 90 Watts.
20,000 lumens can be produced with 181 Watts.
50,000 lumens can be produced with 454 Watts.
For 130 lumen/watt, you will need:
10,000 lumens can be produced with 76 Watts.
20,000 lumens can be produced with 153 Watts.
50,000 lumens can be produced with 384 Watts.
For 160 lumen/watt, you will need:
10,000 lumens can be produced with 62 Watts.
20,000 lumens can be produced with 125 Watts.
50,000 lumens can be produced with 312 Watts.
7. What is the best color temperature?
For the most part, LEDs are available commercially between the color temperatures of 2700K to about 6500K. And even though this is the effective range, by far the most popular color choices are:
4000K - a warm white light
5000K - a whiter, but not harsh, light, closely resembling Metal Halide.
8. What does CRI refer to?
The quality of light is represented by CRI or Color Rendering Index. Here, understand that CRI denotes quality and Lumens denote quantity. The higher the quality, the less quantity is required. Objects look better under high quality light.
Objects and items appear yellowish when seen under High-Pressure Sodium (2200K) light as their CRI ranges around 20.
The same objects look more natural and appealing under LED, whose CRI ranges from 70 to 95+.
So, what would be the right CRI for you? The answer lies in your needs.
A CRI of around 70 would be good for parking spaces. For car dealerships where making cars look appealing is part of their business, 80+ CRI would be a good choice.
9. Rebates for LED Lights
Many utility companies give rebates on LED purchases and these rebates differ from company to company. However, why would a company do so you may think? The answer lays in the limited electricity generation capacities of companies.
One thing that can take off that pressure from the companies is lowered energy consumption that comes with savings of money and time of consumers too. Thus, the deal works well for both ends. LED lights have been a major facilitator of such convenience and efficiency-driven deals.
You can save up to 75% on power bills by choosing a 100 Watt LED over a 400 Watt Metal Halide which is a great deal.
However, all companies don’t offer similar rebates. Every company fixes its rebated rates as per its policy. As per the Industrial and Commercial lighting standards, DLC or Design Light Consortium assesses the efficiency of LED lights as per their light testing standards.
The lights have to pass these standard checks to get the DLC certification. The two major standards include DLC and DLC Premium. The highly efficient LEDs get DLC Premium certifications and you can avail yourself of higher rebates on these fixtures usually.
10. Parking fixture controls to save energy
Simply switching to LED lights will bring you great savings on power bills but did you know you can save even more? Well, check out the parking light controls. These automate the power on and off of lights that allow the lights to be on only when needed.
Photocells to turn lights on at dusk and off at dawn
It is commonly noticed that parking lots aren’t required much in the daytime unless the weather outside is dark. While you may be okay with manually operating the lights but that only wastes your time mostly and won’t prove useful in times of sudden situations.
The photocell timer works by turning the lights on when it's day and off when it gets dark. These work year-round and have unique functioning. Photocells automate the light control by sensing the amount of light in the environment.
Dimming and motion sensors
Good lighting ensures a lot of things including safety, security, and appearance but they don’t need to keep functioning at their best all the time. The lights won’t really serve any purpose when the parking space is empty.
To optimize the light usage in such situations, motion sensors are a great option. These sensors don’t turn off the light just like that rather adjust the brightness based on situations. They are also great for safety tasks.
Frequently Asked Questions about Parking Lot Lights
1. What are Parking Lot lights?
Parking Lot lights, are for the most part, pole mounted shoe box lights or pole top lights mounted between 15 feet and 40 feet providing outdoor lighting for large outdoor parking lots. These lights are typically large and powerful. LED Shoebox lights are a great option for parking lots, providing powerful, bright, high quality light.
LED Parking Lot lights are also called: led pole lights, led area light fixtures, led shoebox lights, led shoebox area lights, led post top lights and led area lighting. Some even refer to them as LED Street Lights and even LED Flood Light. While those lights might appear in a parking lot, the Shoe Box is the primary light found in use.
2. What are the best Parking Lot lights?
The Best LED Parking Lot Lights may be different for each parking lot requirement. The "Best LED Parking Lot Light" is the one the right amount of foot candles at the specific pole height and optics selected.
A good way to see the best parking lot light is to create a parking lot lighting plan. LED Lighting Supply offers free Parking Lot Lighting Plans to help you find the Best Shoebox Lights for your outdoor area. A light plan ensures you have the right foot candle light levels, balanced light distribution.
3. How well do LED Lights replace Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium Parking Lot Lights?
They do very well and case easily replace both, whether you are replacing 400 Watt Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium (also referred to as HID Lights) or 1000 Watt Metal Halide. LED Lights can lower power consumption and provide energy savings by 50% or more over HID lighting. A good rule of thumb -
150W LED Parking Lot light easily replaces 400 Watts Metal Halide
300W LED Parking Lot light easily replaces 1000 Watts Metal Halide
4. What are the benefits of LED parking lot lights?
Multiple color temperature options. The two most popular parking lot color temperatures are 4000K and 5000K - Natural White Light
Multiple optic packages. The two most popular popular lighting optics are Type 3 and Type 5.
Multiple Voltage Options. Standard is 100V-277V, optional voltage drivers are 277V-480V and 347V-480V.
Easily replace the two most popular parking lot metal halide fixtures - 400 Watt and 1000 Watts.
Multiple mounting options including slip fit mount, trunnions and pole mount.
Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 70+.
Our lights are photocell ready and can be equipped with motion sensors.
LED parking lot lights can dramatically reduce your lighting bill and maintenance costs. Changing bulbs and ballasts will be a thing of the past.
5. Are your parking lot light fixtures in good shape? Or do you have a large investment in your parking lot fixtures?
These parking lot led retrofit kits can replace 400 watts and 1000 watts Metal Halides bulbs and ballasts inside your parking lot fixture. It's easy to install led retrofit kit - as simple as a bulb and ballast replacement by a qualified electrician.
Our super bright LED Retrofit Parking Lot Kits DLC Premium Listed. This translates into rebates for you from your utility company.