Most Existing Outdoor LED Flood Light Applications


Outdoor LED Flood Lighting is a term used to describe t […]

Outdoor LED Flood Lighting is a term used to describe the exterior lighting that is commonly mounted on buildings or poles to provide directional illumination to a variety of space types. This type of lighting is often used to provide light to areas for security, vehicle and pedestrian use, building wall washing, as well as for spaces used for sports activities and other large areas in need of general outdoor illumination.


Most existing outdoor flood light applications utilize High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps such as Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, and if they are very hold, Mercury Vapor Lamps. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) can also be found in non-LED Flood Light fixtures as well.


All HID lamps have some inherent characteristics that can lead to issues for those managing the exterior lighting applications.


Energy Costs

Common (HID) Lamp wattages used for commercial and industrial Flood Light fixtures range from 100 Watts to 1000 Watts. The higher the wattage the higher the light output. The function of the area being illuminated, combined with the quantity, spacing, and mounting height of the poles and fixtures plays a role in the existing wattages that are utilized. A 400w or 1000w HID Fixture (very common wattages for exterior Flood Light fixtures) can cost up to $209 and $525 to operate per lamp, per year, in electricity alone.


Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs are often a big concern for outdoor lighting applications such as HID Flood Light fixtures. In additional to the potential lamp lifetime concerns, Flood Lighting, being commonly mounted at heights above 15ft, often require the use of a bucket truck or lift to change out a lamp or a Ballast (can’t forget out those ballast!). Many buildings and facilities do not own a bucket truck or lift and as a result have to hire an outside contractor to maintain these fixtures, these are expenses that can really add up over the course of a few years. It can easily cost up to $1,200 in labor and material to maintain a single exterior Flood Light fixture over the course of 3 years.


Lighting Performance

Depending on the type of HID Lamp your facility utilizes, the performance characteristics of your Parking and Area Lighting can vary significantly. For example, if you are using Metal Halide lamps you may see light that is “Whiter”, but these types of lamps tend to have accelerated lumen degradation (Link), meaning the light output of the lamps decrease quickly after initial install, and as a result the overall lifetime of the lamp decreases (we have all seen those Flood Light fixtures that have “pink” lamps that are barely providing any illumination on the ground). If you are using High Pressure Sodium you may see longer “useful” life as these lamps see less lumen degradation then Metal Halide, but their fuel structure produces a very “Orange” light with a very low Color Rendering Index (Link). So basically you trade a longer life for a poorer quality light, in regards to visual perspective with HPS.