Three Common Problems with HID Parking Lot Lighting
Parking lot lighting done by an electrical contractor describes the exterior lighting that’s typically mounted on poles and situated in driveways, pathways, and parking lots. This kind of outdoor lighting is usually used to offer illumination for pedestrians and vehicles to use. Here, we’ll be looking into 3 common problems which surround regular HID parking lot lights.
1. Energy Expenses
As all facility managers know, energy expenses are a main driver in the month-to-month operational budget. If we look into common (HID) lamp wattages utilized for parking area and lot light fixtures, we’ll see that the normal range falls from 100-watts to 1000-watts. In general, the greater the watts, the greater the light output upon the intended surface.
The HID watts used is based upon the area that’s being illuminated, as well as the spacing and mounting height of the fixtures and poles. To obtain a sense of how the watts correlate to cost, let us look into a tangible case. A 1000-watt or 400-watt HID fixture may cost as much as $209 and $525 to run per lamp, a year, in electricity expenses alone. Now, depending upon the parking lots size that you’re running, these expenses really can add up over time.
2.Maintenance Expenses by Electrical Contractors
Besides unnecessarily high utility bills, maintenance costs also can become a “less visible” price that plagues operational budgets. Area and parking lights oftentimes require using a bucket truck or lift in order to change a Ballast or a lamp out. As aforementioned, such lighting is almost always on poles that are in excess of 15-feet high.
Many facilities and buildings don’t have a bucket truck or lift, and in turn, must employ outside electrical contractors to upkeep the fixtures. The maintenance costs really can add up over time. For instance, it may cost as much as $1,200 in materials and labor to upkeep one area or parking light fixture over the timespan of three years.
3. Light Performance
The most crucial element of parking lot lighting is its performance. Depending upon the kind of HID lamp your business uses, the performance traits of your area and parking lighting may vary substantially.
For instance, if you’re utilizing metal halide lamps you might see light that’s “whiter”, yet these kinds of lamps usually have accelerated lumen degradation, which means the lighting output of the lamps quickly decreases after initial installation, and in turn, the overall lifespan of the lamp is reduced. If you’re utilizing high pressured sodium you might see lengthier “useful” life as the lamps will see less lumen degradation than metal halide; however, their fuel structure generates a highly “orange” light that has an extremely low color rendering index. You’ll basically trade a longer life for poorer quality lighting, as far as visual perspective is concerned.
Having high-performing parking lot lights are crucial for both facility managers and business owners. But, as we can see, regular HID lamps such as metal halide, as well as high-pressure sodium lamps have high energy costs, maintenance issues, and overall less-than-optimal lighting output. All of this is in addition to the possible lamp lifespan concerns.