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LED Shoebox Lights

Need a Free Shoebox Lighting Plan?

LED Shoebox Lights

Need a Free Shoebox Lighting Plan?

LED Shoebox Light fixtures provide an effective way to light up a large area with ease. They are pole mount light fixtures found in parking lots and large outdoor areas. Shoebox lights come in a myriad of power options which range from 50 watts to 500 watts and can produce up to 70,000 lumens. You can expect your lighting bill to reduced by 50% to 80% after you convert to LED.

LED Watts
Metal Halide Equivalent
Color Temperature
LED Wattage
Metal Halide Equivalent
Color Temperature

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Frequently Asked Questions

We asked first time buyers and repeat customers what their most common questions are about buying shoebox lights. We’ve curated the list below to help you. If you’re unable to find an answer to a question you have, please call us on (888) 423-3191 and we’ll support you as best we can.

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Before you buy

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Fixtures and Fittings

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What Are LED Shoebox Lights?

LED shoebox lights are outdoor pole mounted fixtures designed to light up parking lots and other large areas. They focus all their lights downwards, and are equipped with optics to distribute the light away from the pole.

Some shoebox lights can be equipped with a photocell for true dusk to dawn operations. Others can be equipped with a motion sensor to allow the fixture to dim when no movement is detected,which can be a great cost savings addition.

What Are the Differences Between Shoebox Lights and Flood Lights?

The main difference is that shoebox lights are designed to be mounted at the top of a pole and all its light is directed downwards, using optics to distribute the light. Flood lights are also mounted high, on poles or on buildings, but their light is angled to specific locations in a parking lot.

Flood lights usually have wide or narrow beam patterns, whereas shoebox lights are equipped with street light optics (Types 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5).

Where Are Shoebox Lights Used?

Shoebox lights are used exclusively outdoors, and primarily in parking lots mounted on poles from 15 to 40 feet high. It’s typical to see 1, 2 and 4 shoebox lights mounted on a single pole in a parking lot.

What Are the Benefits of LED Shoebox Lights?

LED shoebox lights are the replacement of choice for metal halide. You should see an instant deduction in your lighting bill between 50 -80% over metal halide. The light source is of a higher quality than most metal halide fixtures. Plus, their lifespan is much longer than that of metal halides, so maintenance costs should go down substantially once you convert to using LEDs.

What’s the Difference Between Shoebox Lights and Parking Lot Lights?

The difference is subtle. Shoebox lights are typically installed in a parking lot, but you can also install them on sport courts, tennis courts, or outdoor areas that need light.

Parking lots' primary source of light is a shoebox light, but not exclusively so. There are times when a flood light is a good option to light up a parking lot, or wall packs mounted on exterior walls of buildings adjacent to the parking lot.


I Want to Replace My Shoebox Lights. Is it Best to Replace Some or All of Them?

There are many ways to answer this question:

Are your fixtures in good condition and waterproof? You may want to consider retrofitting them as an option (this is a good choice for an expensive fixture where you want to keep the existing aesthetics the fixture provides).


If the fixtures are old, then replacing them is the best option. LED shoebox fixtures are much smaller than their metal halide counterparts, and are less ‘boxy’. They are typically bronze in color (other color options are available), so they should blend in nicely with existing poles.
The main reason to replace existing lights with LEDs is cost savings. So if some of the lights are old and failing, it may make sense to replace them all at the same time. ROI’s are short with LED, so you can expect the expense of replacing the lights to be quickly recovered with the lower lighting bills.

300 Watt Shoebox in Parking Lot

What Control Options Do You Have?

The two main control options are photocells and motion sensors. Many sites do however have pre-installed timers and can continue to use these with their new LED fixtures.
Photocells turn the light on at dusk and off at dawn. Or many sites have timers already installed that control all the fixtures. The fixture must be installed with a 3-pin nema socket if you want to use a photocell. We have fixtures that come reinstalled with the Photocell.

Motion sensors detect motion. They will turn the light to full power when motion is detected or dim / turn off when no motion is detected. To dim, the fixture needs to have a dimmable driver. A motion sensor also provides the dusk and off at dawn control. A photocell is not needed when using a motion sensor.

How Many Shoebox Lights Do I Need?

In most cases when you replace older show boxes it is a 1 for 1 replacement. You usually replace a 400 Watt Metal Halide with a 150W LED and a 1000W MH with a 300W LED. If you want more light or the site is new or changing, then we recommend you request a lighting plan to select the proper fixture option.

What Light Patterns Are Available with LED Shoebox Fixtures?

Shoebox fixtures are available with standardized “Type” Light patterns, Types 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
The two most common are Types 3 and 5. Type 3 is the best option when installed on the boundaries of a parking lot. It is a forward throw light pattern that throws the light forward and left and right.

Type 5 is a great choice for the center of the parking lot.

light distributon

What Mounting Options Do You Have?

The main mounting options are:

Slip fitter
Trunnion or Yoke
Straight arm for round or square poles or wall mount.

How Many Lumens Do I Need When Replacing My Old Shoebox Lights?

To replace 400 Watt Metal Halide, consider fixtures between 15,000 and 25,000 (LED) lumens. To replace 1000 Watt Metal Halide, look for LED fixtures producing 40,000 to 55,000 (LED) lumens.

Ultimately, the real answer lies in performing a shoebox lighting plan for your parking lot or large area - which we provide for free.

The following outlines the lumens you will require to replace your old shoebox. The actual amount will depend on the mounting height and amount of light you require.

250 Watt Metal Halide 9,000 - 12,000 LED lumens
400 Watt Metal Halide 15,000 - 25,000 LED lumens
1000 Watt Metal Halide 39,000 - 50,000 LED lumens

Shoe Box Lights in Parking Lot

How Quickly Can You Ship To My Location?

We have lots of shoebox inventory in our Nashua NH warehouse, as well in other warehouses located strategically across the United States. We can typically have lights arriving within 6 business days or less after the order is processed.

Does It Come With a Photocell?

Yes, it is an option on most fixtures.


What Are the Best Applications of Shoebox Lights?

The best and most common applications we commonly see of shoebox lights are: 

Parking lots

Tennis courts

Pickleball courts

Basketball courts

Sport courts

How Do You Update Shoebox Fixtures to Led Lights?

Our shoebox lights are all designed to replace 150 Watt to 1500 Watt metal halide shoebox lights – 1 for 1. The process consists of removing and replacing the lights. Or, in case you have a fixture you want to keep, you can retrofit it with one of our retrofit kits designed to replace all the lighting components of 250 Watt, 400 Watt and 1000 Watt metal halide inside the fixture.


How Do You Install Shoebox Lights?

There is no difference between installing led shoebox lights and metal halide shoebox lights. Typically a qualified electrician that has access to a boom truck or lift is hired, and they go through the process of removing and replacing the lights. Because of the heights involved, it is best to use a qualified electrician for this process.

How Do You Layout Shoebox Lights?

We do this for free.

Supply us with a site plan, or give us the Google map coordinates, and we can model your space inside our lighting software and provide you with a shoebox lighting layout for your area.


Why Are Shoebox Lighting Plans Important?

Shoebox Lighting Plans allow you to see your parking lot modeled inside software. The resulting Light Plan shows you how bright the area is and how well distributed the light is. Using the software, different types of lights, wattages, optics and mounting angles can be adjusted to find the optimal lighting for your parking light.

A shoebox lighting plan will show you light levels (in foot candles or lux) and provide you with an indication of how even the lighting is. We can optimize the plan without you spending $1 on lights. This ensures success when you decide to move forward with you lighting conversion project.

Parking Lot Lighting Plan
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