Area lighting, most commonly used in parking lots for facilities and buildings, are a necessity to the lots safety, security, and even curb appeal. Finding a lighting technology that suits all of these needs and fulfills them is crucial to keeping visitors, staff, and property safe.
So… What exactly is the best area lighting that we can install or replace with our existing parking lot lights? We are going to compare LED vs metal halide technology, and show how LED is the clear winner when it comes to parking lights.
From energy efficiency to higher light quality, we are going to cover all the important aspects of LED and why exactly they are far superior to metal halide and other similar lighting technologies that are clearly outdated and no longer a “good” lighting choice for really any application.
Let’s start off with the first point on this list that is most often the most important point that makes people want to convert to LED from metal halide, HPS, and other luminaires.
Energy reduction through energy efficiency. Since LED technology outputs at more lumens per watt, this means LED can produce the same amount of light as a comparable metal halide fixture can measured in lumens, all with less watts. This is the single most important factor when measuring how efficient a lighting product is comparative to another. Whenever a fixture outputs at more lumens per watt, it is more efficient. And since LED technology is so efficient, it can actually reduce energy costs associated with your lighting system by 50% all the way up to 75% depending on which technology and products you convert away from.
With all of this efficiency that LED products will bring to your lighting system, you will be able to produce an ROI that is positive and pays back itself.
No flickering or buzzing. This annoyance that metal halide lights are susceptible can cause two issues: increased annoyance from visitors and employees and decreased security.
To address the first point, if you’ve ever been around a light that flickers or buzzes you know it can start to be frustrating, annoying, and even distracting after just a few minutes. This can reduce curb appeal and put people off in even the slightest way, which is never good for any business.
In regards to the security aspects, when a light flickers it is hard to detect human movement; especially when someone doesn’t want to be seen. This allows for greater risk of crime and a lessened ability to identify people when the area lights flicker.
A solution to this can be found through a replacement of metal halide with LED luminaires. How exactly? Simple, LED technology was just made in a way that it will never flicker or buzz, not even near the end of their lifespan; to say in simplest terms.
Rebates increase ROI. Imagine if next time you bought lighting to replace your shoe box lights (area lights), you could decrease your costs by achieving rebates? Well, with LED products that is completely possible as long as you buy the right products.
To be eligible for rebates through your utility company, you need to buy your commercial LED area lights that are DesignLights Consortium qualified. The DLC is an organization that qualifies commercial lights based on efficiency and quality, and only these types of lighting fixtures are eligible for rebates. So when you are on the lookout for new area lights for your lot, be sure to buy DLC qualified products!
Dimming capabilities. Sometimes we don’t want our parking lot lights to output at full capacity, for whatever reason that may be. With metal halide it can be both inefficient to do so, and in worse cases it can reduce the lifespan of the light source. LEDs are easily dimmable, are more efficient when you do dim them (they consume less energy because they output less light), and dimming an LED just doesn’t reduce its lifespan whatsoever. So if you have a need to install dimmer for your area lights, you can see many more benefits of doing it with LED luminaires installed over metal halide.
Convinced yet on the benefits of LED area lights over metal halide and really any other lighting technology? Hopefully, because these benefits of LED far surpass the non-existent benefits that metal halide bring to your lot.
To recap, making the switch and converting to LED from metal halide in your parking lot will allow you to realize lower energy costs associated with your area lights, no more buzzing or flickering which decrease both focus, curb appeal and security, eligibility for rebates more often than not, and dimming capabilities that prove to be effective.
Consider making the switch to LED from metal halide (or any other technology you may have in place currently) and gain all of these benefits and more by converting.