Is It Worth the Cost of Upgrading to LEDs for Parking Lot Lights?

Whatever your motivation for upgrading to LEDs, there’s an upfront cost to the actual retrofit. For a business owner, the decision to proceed or not boils down to ROI — will the savings over time make the initial costs worth spending? It’s an important question. And when it comes to upgrading to LEDs for parking lot lights, the answer is usually yes.

parking lot lights

Energy Savings & More

HID lamps are the standard in most parking lots, and it’s a fact that these high-powered lights are inefficient. Around 30% of the energy from a HID lamp is infrared, which amounts to wasted energy. As a business owner with HID lamps in the parking lot, you spend on a lot on energy costs for a basic, low-quality light. LEDs, on the other hand, consume close to 80% less power than an HID lamp and last about three times as long. While that’s a huge annual electrical savings, the benefits aren’t just limited to cost.

The quality of the light from LED is significantly better than from the omnidirectional HIDs, which produce light in a full 360 degrees. That means in addition to requiring reflection and redirection, the end result is a spotlight directly beneath the fixture. The farther away from the light pole you move, the less light. The goal with any lighting, parking lot and elsewhere, is to sufficiently illuminate a space, which necessitates more light poles. The even light distribution of LEDs means fewer lights can effectively light the same area, reducing costs and ensuring superior visibility and safety for your staff and customers.

LEDs neatly bypass another big drawback of HID fixtures — their delayed warm-up period and required cool-down after they’ve been shut off. It can take a full ten minutes for HID lamps to fully power up, and they can’t be immediately turned on again after being powered off.

Fewer Maintenance Calls

While it’s untrue that LEDs last forever and eventual maintenance costs should be factored into any budgeting plans from the start, they do last much longer than standard HID lamps. HID lighting consumes a fuel source to produce light, necessitating that longer start-up window, and translating to major maintenance costs. HID parking lot fixtures specifically are intended to last somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 hours before replacement, which will include electrical labor costs. Replacement every two to three years, depending on how often and for how long your parking lot lights are on, will start to add up quickly.

The Takeaway

Weighing the pros and cons of upgrading LEDs in the parking lot is relatively straightforward, and Have Lights Will Travel is happy to answer any questions and offer recommendations. As Nevada’s leading electrical contractor, we have extensive experience with LED retrofits. Contact us today, and let’s make a plan for your parking lot lighting.