null

Posted by Doug Root on 2nd Mar 2017

Converting Your Parking Lot Lights to LED

LED Light Fixtures-Parking lots - Parking Garages

One of the best things a company can do to save money on their electricity bill is to convert their commercial parking lot lights to LEDs. In some cases, we at Atlanta LIght Bulbs have helped our clients save over 70% on their facilitiy’s energy costs simply by providing them with outdoor LED fixtures. This doesn’t even include the added benefit of creating a brighter and safer environment for customers and employees!

LED Options for Parking Lots

You have a few options when you start converting commercial parking lot lights to LEDs. Many people choose to retrofit the bulb in the fixture, which has its pros and cons. In most of the 400W and above wattage applications, it is best to install new outdoor  LED fixtures designed to manage the thermal dynamics of an LED system.

Dangers of Retrofitting Old Fixtures

Most parking lot lights are old. The rubber gaskets are worn and allow moisture into the fixture, they tend to be faded/rusted, and simply were not designed for the LED board/retrofit and drivers you would need. The heat generated by a high-powered LED module and driver must be managed properly with a heat sink built into the fixture.

Old metal halide and high-pressure sodium fixtures were not designed to address thermal management and therefore were not designed to dissipate heat away from the LED module. In an enclosed environment like a parking lot fixture, you can have the life shortened on the system and outright failure due to heat build-up.

Benefits of New LED Fixtures

The coolest thing about going LED with your commercial parking lot lights is that it is very attractive for facility managers and building owners. Switching out the old high-pressure sodium or metal halide fixture to a smart LED fixture is the way to go for most. LED prices have dropped significantly, lumen outputs have risen, DLC-approved outdoor LED fixtures have high rebates attached from the power companies, and warranties on many of these fixtures are as long as 5 to 10 years!

LED fixtures come with the following features and benefits:

  • Designed around the LED module and driver system.
  • High lumen per watt output—some are up to 145 lumen/watt, giving you more light with less energy
  • 3000K, 4000K & 5000K - nice white light that stays constant for the life of the product
  • Universal driver that supports 100-277VAC auto-switching
  • 0-10V dimming and 480VAC options
  • Comes with many mounting configurations
  • High quality and reliable Nichia, CREE LEDs and Meanwell Drivers
  • UL, ETL Listed and DLC Premium Listed - meets all the high-performance standards
  • 5 to 10-year warranty
  • IP65 rated

Replacing 250W Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium

It is important to choose the right  LED area light fixture based on the height of the light and the area you need to illuminate. For 80% of all cases, when your LED fixture is below 20 feet in height, a 60-70W LED Fixture will be more than enough to replace a 250W Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium fixture. These fixtures produce well over 5,000 lumens. Our customers love the results and usually benefit from 79% energy savings.

The other option, if your area is under-lit or the fixture is over 20 feet in height, is to consider upgrading to a 75-80W LED Fixture. These outdoor LED fixtures produce around 9,000 lumens and most will experience savings of 74%. Some vendors believe 9,000 lumens is enough to replace a 400W Metal Halide. So converting to this fixture is definitely an upgrade over the light level that you currently have.

Here are some examples of the energy savings:

60 LED Watts replacing 250 Watts for 12 hrs/day 365 days/yr saving 996 kw/year *

Cost per kw/h

Savings per year
.06 $60
.08 $80
.10 $100
.12 $120
.14 $140
.16 $159
.18 $179
.20 $199

* includes ballast draw

75 LED Watts replacing 250 Watts for 12 hrs/day 365 days/yr saving 931 kw/year *

Cost per kw/h

Savings per year

.06 $56
.08 $74
.10 $93
.12 $112
.14 $130
.16 $149
.18 $168
.20 $186

* includes ballast draw

Replacing 400W Metal Halide and High-Pressure Sodium

You can also replace your 400W Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium commercial parking lot lights with LEDs. If your fixture is below 30 feet in height, our  high wattage 120 watt + will be more than enough to replace a 400W Metal Halide or High-Pressure Sodium light source. These fixtures produce upwards of 16,000 lumens. They represent as much as a 78% energy savings.

105 LED Watts replacing 400 Watts for 12 hrs/day 365 days/yr saving 1555 kw/year *

Cost per kw/h

Savings per year

.06 $93
.08 $124
.10 $155
.12 $187
.14 $218
.16 $249
.18 $280
.20 $311


* includes ballast draw

120 LED Watts replacing 400 Watts for 12 hrs/day 365 days/yr saving 1489 kw/year *

Cost per kw/h

Savings per year

.06 $89
.08 $119
.10 $149
.12 $179
.14 $208
.16 $238
.18 $268
.20 $298


* includes ballast draw

Standard vs. Premium DLC Rebates

Rebates are available throughout the United States and vary by utility, but with the new DLC program, there is now a difference between DLC Standard and DLC Premium. There are two big differences between the standards, the efficiency and the rebate amounts.

When a fixture or a product receives the DLC Premium rate, it means that it has a higher efficiency standard than DLC Standard. That means your outdoor LED fixture will produce more light and consume less energy. This gives you savings and a guaranteed return on your lighting investment. Since the whole idea of converting over to LED is to save money, efficiency matters.

Benefits to Your Facility

By converting your commercial parking lot lights to LED, your facility will gain in these ways:

  • Create a safer and better-lit environment, aiding in retail sales, customer wellbeing, and safety.
  • Save over 70% of electricity costs by converting to LEDs.
  • Less maintenance cost—LED Retrofit/Fixtures last twice as long as HID fixtures.
  • The option to have more control over your lighting

Upgrade Your Lights with ALB

We are ready and able to layout your new parking lot, as a matter of fact with all the new technologies out there we can do it from our desktop computers in Atlanta. We can get a graphic in-depth view of your property from Google maps and use our software to layout the lights and give you accurate lumen outputs and light levels!

We would be glad to help you out with your lighting project! Click on the link below to request a quote for converting your commercial parking lot lights to LEDs.

Request an LED Parking lot quote