If you own a commercial parking lot in Pinellas County, then you should consider upgrading to an LED lighting system. LED stands for light-emitting diode and is a different form of a bulb. The most common bulbs traditionally used in a commercial parking lot are metal halide lightbulbs. Before we get into the pros of installing LED as your preferred lighting system, let’s look quickly at metal halide lights.
Metal Halide Lights
Metal halide lights are compounds formed when metal and halogen elements combine. The most common metal halide compound used is sodium iodide. How the lights work is that an electric current is passed through a combination of mercury vapor and metal halide gas-producing light. They have a high quality of light because they have a high color temperature, so they are ideal for large areas as opposed to previous types of lightbulbs. That was before LED came to the market.
Cons to Metal Halide Lights
Metal halide lights have a few red flags going against them as well.
Switching on a metal halide light does not result in instant light, unfortunately. They can take up to 30 minutes to reach their required operational temperature. During this period, you are still using up the same amount of energy. You also need to plan ahead when optimum light is required. If the area is large; like a commercial parking lot, then adding 30 minutes of energy consumption every day does build up a hefty energy bill.
Lifespan of Lightbulbs
Metal halide lightbulbs have a maximum lifespan of 15,000 operational hours. Comparing them to ILB’s (Incandescent Light Bulb) which have a lifespan of only 1,000 hours, would put MH in a positive light. Metal halide lightbulbs also flicker when they hit the 12,000-hour mark, producing less light and becoming less efficient. However, if you consider that a new LED will last 50,000 operating hours at the minimum, you can see why they are the superior option.
Metal halide lights are omnidirectional which means that they produce light in 360 degrees. For parking lot lighting where your bulbs are predominantly meant to be illuminating an area directly below them, 50% of the light will be facing the wrong way. Through reflective lamps, most of this can be redirected but you are still wasting this energy in the first place as reflecting the same light, which doesn’t improve efficiency.
LED Parking Lot Light Fixtures
As an experienced electrician in Pinellas county, we have installed countless LED fixtures for industrial-sized projects. Commercial parking lots are a common project we come across and we always advise going down the LED route. Here is why:
1. More Energy Efficient (Use Less Wattage)
LEDs require less wattage to be fully powered when compared to their light counterparts. We can see in the chart here how many watts are required to produce a certain level of brightness (lumens – a measurement of brightness).
2. LED Bulbs Need to be Replaced Less Frequently
As we have stated above LEDs have a much longer lifespan than ILBs and metal halide lightbulbs combined. Installing them on your commercial property will result in less maintenance and they will need replacing at a slower rate.
3. Improve the Quality of Light in Your Parking Lot
LEDs produce the best quality of light compared to any bulb on the market.
4. Improve Security of Your Property
A well-illuminated area will result in less crime and vandalism. If you pair an LED lighting system with an outdoor security surveillance system you will see any criminal activity dropping tenfold. Decreasing vandalism will save you time and money by not having to clean up the mess left behind.
5. Reduce Insurance Premiums
When taking an insurance policy out on your property a number of factors come into play. Showing that you take security seriously will result in your premiums being decreased, saving you money along the way.
6. Increase the Safety of Your Staff
If you have staff that works after hours, or a security team that patrols your property, having a highly illuminated area will reduce the chance of them being attacked or mugged. If you own an industrial park that operates heavy machinery then inefficient lighting is a safety hazard and can result in injury or death. Don’t take that chance, call an experienced Clearwater electrician now.
7. Reduce Energy Consumption
We have already shown that LEDs require less wattage to produce optimum light. By using less power they are saving you money on your energy bill.
8. Environmentally Friendly
LEDs are better for the environment for two reasons:
LEDs can be recycled as they do not contain any hazardous materials like mercury (like the metal halide bulbs).
LEDs use less energy, so their carbon footprint is less than that of their counterparts.
9. Increase Property Value
Fitting your property with the best equipment will naturally increase your property’s value.
10. Integrating with Solar Power
An LED parking lot lighting system can be fully integrated with a solar-powered generator. If you want to drastically reduce your energy bill by taking full advantage of Florida’s abundance of sunshine you should have a solar-powered system installed coupled with a generator. That way you can use the energy stored up during the day to power your parking lot lights at night!
Cons of Installing LED Parking Lot Light Fixtures
It is More Expensive to Initially Install
LEDs are generally more expensive than their counterparts initially, but we have seen a profitable Return-On-Interest at a maximum of 24 months with clients with similar commercial projects. You will definitely see the benefit of the investment in the long run.
Installing LED Parking Lot Lighting in Clearwater, FL
If you own or manage a commercial facility that has a parking lot you should seriously consider installing an LED light system. The positives to LED systems heavily out weight their more-traditional counterparts. Call an experienced Clearwater commercial electrician today at (727) 771-9403. You can also submit our interactive commercial lighting calculator form. We will come out and inspect your commercial property for free.