LEDs Emerge as Popular Outdoor Lighting Option

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: LEDs: Lighting the way to Outdoor SavingsPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: LED Retrofit Kits, Traditional Outdoor Lighting Options Remain

Discussions of exterior lighting retrofits inevitably include talk about LEDs, which have become popular options with maintenance and engineering managers as costs have come down and their reliability and flexibility has increased.

"I would say that it is the single-largest change (in lighting) since the fluorescent lamps were introduced in the 1940s," Gibson says of LED technology.

LEDs have emerged as a desired option for outdoor projects at institutional and commercial facilities for many reasons:

Focus. "LEDs are a very compact source and produce a very directed light," Gibson says. "In an outdoor situation where you're working essentially from a point source, meaning a luminaire from the top of a pole, that's going to spread the light out, and you need very precise angles and aiming."

Compatibility. "LED is extremely control-friendly, so if there's any source available right now, it's LED that's completely in tune with any control system that's out there," Gibson says.

Performance. "LED luminaires should reduce the maintenance cycle tremendously," Freitag says. "In other words, put it up and not have to worry about it again. Your initial investment will be a little higher, but you'll see savings in energy and maintenance over the life of the system."

Managers will need to do their research carefully regarding LEDs in order to make smart long-term decisions for their facilities.

"I would be very wary of lifetime claims," Sallee says. "There are a lot (of manufacturers) who claim a 15-year-life or 30-year-life or 10,000 hours, but there's usually some fine print associated with the claim. Ask questions if the claim is being made for the same run time, 12 hours a day or 24 hours a day, that you're going to be putting the LED in for. Also, look at the temperature. If the tests are performed at a beach temperature (70 degrees), and if the LED is installed in Phoenix, that would affect the life claim."

Continue Reading: Lighting

LEDs: Lighting the way to Outdoor Savings

LEDs Emerge as Popular Outdoor Lighting Option

LED Retrofit Kits, Traditional Outdoor Lighting Options Remain

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  posted on 9/22/2013   Article Use Policy

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