Wall pack lights, which also go by the name exterior building lights, are lights that are mounted on the exterior walls of buildings. They are generally used to light up building walls or the ground areas next to buildings that are frequented by pedestrians and vehicles.
The best thing about these lights is that they offer additional security to buildings. Most of the time, multiple fixtures are mounted on a single wall and are evenly spaced (20-40 feet apart) so as to provide uniform light around a building.
Lighting designers usually choose between 3 models of wall pack lights: full cut-off, semi-cut off, and flood. Full cut-off and semi-cut off wall pack lights illuminate the walls but don’t discharge a lot of light outwards while flood wall pack lights light up areas near and far from the building.
Most of the wall pack light fixtures installed in buildings use High Intensity Discharge lamps or other traditional lights. In this post, we’ll discuss why LED lights are much better for wall pack fixtures than any other lights.
Why Are LEDs Better Than Traditional Lighting Systems?
Most wall pack light fixtures use Metal Halide Bulbs, High Pressure Sodium Bulbs, Mercury Vapor Bulbs, or Low Pressure Sodium bulbs. And while these may have been efficient at one time, that was long before LED technology was invented.
The light produced by High Pressure Sodium bulbs is usually very yellow (between 2200K and 2400K) and has a bad Color Rendering Index (meaning it’s impossible to tell the true colors of objects). Low Pressure Sodium lights also have a poor color temperature (1700K) and discharge a very deep yellow light.
Metal Halide may have a better color temperature than these two traditional lights, (between 4000K and 4500K) but their CRI is poor. But for a while, these lights replaced both HPS and LPS lights because of their light that was of higher quality.
However, they need time to warm up in order to attain full brightness and also time to cool down before you can turn them on again (as is the case with all HIDs). They are also expensive to maintain because they don’t have a long lifespan. They get very hot when they run for long hours, buzz and flicker, and consume a lot of watts in order to produce sufficient light.
Sometimes, you will come across wall pack fixtures with fluorescent lamps, which have a better color temperature than metal halide lights (2700K-6500K). But these are not very common.
While every conventional lighting system has its benefits, they are all outperformed by LEDs in more ways than one.
The 3 Major Benefits of LEDs
Without a doubt, LED lights have a myriad of benefits. LED technology advances at a rapid pace and keeps on getting better with time. This is why the new LEDs sold on the market today are much more efficient than those sold a few years ago. Let’s look at three of the best benefits LEDs have to offer.
1. Energy Efficiency
This is unquestionably one of the best benefits of LED technology. LEDs are extremely efficient and can consume up to 90% less electricity than conventional lights. Because of this, you’ll notice a significant reduction in power costs.
LEDs not only emit light differently, they also distribute it much more differently than traditional lighting systems. Most traditional lights are omni-directional, which means they emit light in all directions – even in places where it is not needed. Reflectors are usually added to fixtures to redirect the light to specific locations. However, LEDs are directional and discharge light in a limited range.
Conventional lights waste a lot of the electricity they consume (95%) by discharging it as heat. LEDs, on the other hand, convert 95% of electricity into light.
2. Better Color Rendering Index and Light Quality
LEDs have a higher Color Rendering Index, Correlated Color Temperature, and Foot Candles. Color Rendering Index measures a light’s ability to show the true colors of objects compared to natural light.
Correlated Color Temperature describes the color appearance of a white LED. It is measured in Kelvin and can be further defined as the characteristic of a light (cool, warm, bright, and so on).
Foot candles measure the light intensity of a light source, the amount of light a bulb emits on a specific surface. A foot candle reading can be for one light source or for several that light up a particular area.
3. Lower Maintenance
The lifespan of HID bulbs is 15,000 hours but they have a rapid rate of lumen depreciation. By the time they reach half of their lifespans, they only produce half of the lumens they produced initially (those written on the label). LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours. This means you won’t have to replace bulbs every now and then.
Since wall pack lights are usually mounted higher, changing bulbs can be a time-consuming task that may call for the use of ladders or mechanical lifts. If you get wall pack fixtures with LED bulbs, you won’t have to change them for years. You’ll save money you could have spent on labor and replacement bulbs.
LEDs have overtaken conventional lights for many reasons: long lifespans, decreased energy consumption, better light output, and low maintenance. According to the Department of Energy, by 2030, LED lighting will save 190 terawatt hours of energy annually, which equates to a massive $15 billion!
By embracing LED technology, you can reduce your electric bill significantly. Just by looking at the energy savings (up to 75%, even more with hi-tech features) you can see why it makes sense to bid farewell to fluorescent and HID lights.
Generally, people consider converting to LED for two reasons.
1. To lower their utility bills
If the main reason you’re changing to LED technology is because you want to lower your utility bill, here are three scenarios when it makes sense to make the switch.
1. When the Energy Savings Are Significant
If you operate a facility where lighting is of utmost importance, it’s best to switch to LED. The lights will lower energy consumption even if they run for 24 hours every single day. If HID lights run for long hours, they consume a lot of electricity and also start flickering. Converting indoor High Bay Lights to LED can save you a lot of money, month after month
2. If You Spend A Lot on Electricity
How much you pay for electricity will depend on the area you live in. The rates in some areas are very low (.05 kw/h) while rates in some areas are very high (25 kw/h). Consider the cost of electricity in your area as well as your consumption to see whether you should convert to LED technology immediately or wait for a while. If the electricity cost in your area is 10 kw/h or more, we recommend that you seriously consider switching to LED.
3. If Your Utility Company Gives Good Rebates
While most utility companies give rebates to those who switch to LED technology, some give more generous rebates than others. Since converting to LED is not cost-free, a generous rebate can help you to recoup your investment much quicker than you expected.
The bottom line is, always look at how much you will save by converting to LED.
For example, if you operate a production facility with 1000-watt metal halide lamps that run 12 hours daily every day of the week and the electricity cost in your area is 12 kw/h, you could save a significant amount of money if your utility company gave you a rebate of $60 per fixture when you change to LED. If you choose fixtures that need very few watts to produce many lumens, you may be able to recoup your investment in less than one year. How awesome is that?
However, if your lights only operate for 2 hours a day, your electricity cost is .05 kw/h, and your utility company doesn’t give rebates for converting to LED, you may not be able to get back the money you invested so quickly.
After deciding to make the switch to LED technology, the next step is choosing between retrofitting and a full fixture replacement. Since you’ve landed on this page, we’re sure you have decided that retrofitting is better for your facility than a full redesign.
You’ve made a great choice.
Retrofitting has some benefits over a full fixture replacement that some people tend to overlook. It will help you to save money since you won’t have to replace the existing fixtures – you’ll only replace the metal halide bulbs and ballasts with LED heads and drivers. In addition, it is not time-consuming and won’t disturb your business operations to a great extent.
Here are three important things to consider when buying LED Fixture Retrofit Kits.
1. The Efficiency
When buying conversion kits, you’ll come across many new terms and performance metrics that make the buying decision hard. However, to determine efficiency, look at the lumens per watt (lm/W). While lumens measure the amount of light a LED bulb puts out, lumens per watt measures the lumens produced for each watt of electricity consumed.
Lumens per watt is all about efficiency. The higher the ratio, the more efficient a product is.
As LED technology continues to advance, efficacy ratings keep on improving. If the specifications for the conversion kit you’re looking at don’t include lumens per watt, do the math yourself. Simply divide the lumens the bulb produces with the watts it draws.
Efficient LEDs produce 130 lumens per watt while others produce more than 150 lumens per watt. As a rule of thumb, never buy any LEDs that produce less than 70 lumens per watt. The 75W-120W LED conversion kits sold by The Lighting Center produce 155-165 lumens per watt.
Most old LEDs discharge around 30-50 lumens per watt and some are still sold on the market at very cheap prices. Don’t fall for this gimmick because you will be buying old technology. Buy conversion kits with new LEDs and you will save more money.
2. The Warranty for the Driver
The driver is the electronics used to convert the alternating current (AC) input voltage to the direct current (DC) voltage by the LEDs. When looking at the warranty, don’t just check the warranty for the LED head, be sure to check the warranty for the driver. This is because different manufacturers offer different warranties for the LED head and the driver.
The best drivers on the market today (those made by companies like Philips, Meanwell, and Inventroniks) usually come with a 5 year warranty – which is the industry standard. Some LED manufacturers buy drivers from these big brands while others private label drivers.
The best private labeled drivers are usually as good as those made by popular LED driver manufacturers. However, some aren’t very good. Be wary of LED manufacturers who give their LED drivers a 10-year warranty as this may be a sales gimmick. Most manufacturers who give this lengthy warranty for their drivers usually think the lights will only run for 12 hours a day, which is not always the case.
While there are ways to prolong the life of a LED light, you’ll end up paying more for the higher-quality lights. Take time to research the LED conversion kits you’re interested in buying before making a commitment.
The LED heads in our conversion kits come with a 10-year warranty while the drivers come with a 5-year warranty. We use Meanwell drivers that have a warranty of 5 years. If you only plan to use the fixtures for 12 hours a day (4,380 hours a year), the drivers may last as long as the LED heads.
3. Mogul Adapters
You may be excited when you come across conversion kits with adapters, but don’t be too quick to buy them. While it may seem like you’re saving money and decreasing the amount of time you’ll spend installing the fixtures, you may run into 2 issues if you decide to get conversion kits with mogul adapters.
LED Conversion Kits Are Heavier
First, conversion kits are much heavier than HID bulbs (up to 5 times heavier). This means they can’t be used on the same sockets that held the HID bulbs. In addition, the sockets may be old or fragile and break easily, causing your conversion kits to get damaged in the process. You’ll end up spending more money eventually, money you could have avoided spending from the get-go.
Our conversion kits come with customizable mounting brackets that fit into the same holes that were used for the HID bulb sockets. Simply get rid of the old sockets and install the brackets. You won’t spend a lot of time on installation because this only takes a few minutes.
DLC Only Gives Standard Classification for Conversion Kits with Mogul Adapters
DLC (DesignLights Consortium) has two classifications for luminaries and retrofit kits: standard and premium. DLC premium rating is a higher classification than the standard DLC rating as it calls for higher efficacy, better lumen maintenance standards, integral controls, and a driver ISTMT (In Situ Temperature Measurement Test).
You may not know it, but utility companies give higher rebates for fixtures with a DLC premium rating. The bigger the rebate, the lower the initial cost of the kits will be. By using the proper mounting bracket – instead of a mogul base adapter that is bound to fail – you will save a significant amount of money.
In addition, each utility company has its own rebate program. In the past, utility companies offered rebates for products with a DLC standard rating, but this is no longer the case. These days, some companies only offer rebates for products with DLC premium classification. This is why getting LED conversion kits with screw-in adapters is never a good idea.
While these three aren’t the only things you should consider when buying LED conversion kits, they are the most important. Call us today and talk to one of our lighting experts to help you choose the best conversion kits for your facility or project.
You may not know it, but poor parking lot lighting may be costing you business – lots of it.
Visitors, customers, and prospects may be afraid of coming to your business premises at night for fear of theft, vandalism, or getting injured. Even your employees may fear for their own safety but have no other option because they have to show up for work.
Low security is the main cause of parking lot crime. Security cameras can’t capture all the activity in a dark or dimly lit parking lot. What’s more, accidents can occur simply because people are unable to see clearly.
Parking lot owners and facility managers should do all they can to ensure security incidences and accidents are minimized. The best way to do this is by making sure parking lots are well-lit.
Good parking lot lighting boosts business in three ways.
1. Car Accidents Are Reduced
As a business or building owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your premises in good condition. This means providing good lighting, not just filling in floor cracks or cleaning up spills. Inadequate lighting in a parking lot can be a major hazard. Drivers are unable to see clearly and may collide with other vehicles or crash into objects. If someone has a car accident on your premises, you can be held liable. Anyone driving in your parking lot should be able to see other vehicles, pot holes, and obstructions.
2. Low Crime Rate
It need not be said that darkness and crime go hand in hand. If your employees and customers are unable to detect any movement, they can easily get mugged or assaulted. In addition, their vehicles may be stolen or broken into without the knowledge of the security personnel (who are unable to see security camera footage clearly).
Better parking lot lighting can help decrease your legal exposure and also make the area more safe for your employees and customers. It’s also an excellent way of showing your customers that they are welcome at your premises even when it’s dark outside.
3. Less Personal Injury Incidences
When people walk in an unfamiliar territory, it is very important for them to have proper lighting. Inadequate lighting can lead to slips, falls, and other serious injuries. Hidden hazards like uneven surfaces or holes can be the cause of unexpected injuries. If you are negligent or ignorant about the poor lighting in your parking lot, you can be held accountable if people get hurt.
How to Ensure Your Parking Lot is Well-Lit: Get LED Parking Lot Lights
If you happen to be reading this post and own or manage a parking lot, do all you can to ensure the place is well-lit. If it currently isn’t, here’s how to go about getting the right parking lot light fixtures.
First, consider getting LED parking lot lights as they provide excellent brightness throughout their entire lifespans. LED lights maintain a high lumen output (brightness) throughout their lives, unlike metal halide lights which keep losing their lumens as they get older. We are not saying that LEDs do not lose their lumens, they just do it at a slower rate. Additionally, their lumen output never goes lower than 70%.
LEDs Use Less Electricity
LEDs are the most efficient of all lights and do not consume a lot of electricity. Parking lots need very bright lights, which means a lot of lumens. While HID lights can produce a lot of lumens, they need a lot of watts in order to do this. LEDs use very few watts to produce many lumens and can reduce energy consumption by up to 75%.
They Have A Longer Lifespan
Parking lot lights usually provide illumination from very high points, and changing them out can be quite expensive – especially if you have to keep changing them every now and then. LEDs last between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, which means you don’t have to replace them for years. You will save money you could have spent on replacement lights as well as money you could have spent paying an electrical professional.
Slow Lumen Depreciation
Lumens dictate how bright a parking lot is, because lumens mean brightness. Since LEDs do not lose their lumens as quickly as high pressure sodium or metal halide lights, they can maintain 70% of their lumens up to the end of their lives. The same cannot be said for these HID lights which only emit 50% of their initial lumens by the end of their lifespans. With LED parking lot lights, you’ll never have to worry about some areas of the parking lot being dimly-lit while others are well-lit.
We’ve only mentioned the main benefits of LED parking lot lights, but there are many more. However, these should be enough to help you make up your mind about switching to LED technology.
It is no secret that LEDs are much better for the environment than their HID counterparts. But some companies and manufacturers still haven’t made the switch because of the associated costs. Others are sitting on the fence as they decide whether LED technology is the best option.
Since there are a lot of untruths being peddled about LEDs, we’ve decided to address them all today. Here are the 5 most important things you should know when converting to LED technology.
1. Don’t Look at The Lumens, Look at The Watts
In order to determine the brightness of a LED fixture, most people look at the watts, which is actually the last thing they should be looking at.
Lumens are what determine the brightness of a LED because they accurately measure the amount of light a bulb produces. When changing to LED technology, consider the amount of lumens you need each fixture to produce for your environment to be well-lit. The total lumens each fixture produces will contribute to the foot candle reading of the space. Foot candles measure the intensity of light.
So, where do watts come in?
Watts refer to the energy each LED fixture consumes. A LED driver regulates the power (total watts) to the LED diodes. But LED drivers are not equal, some are more efficient than others. This is why each fixture has an efficiency rating.
The energy efficiency of LEDs is usually measured in lumens per watt (lm/W), referring to the amount of light discharged for each watt consumed. The technical term for this is luminous efficacy. LED fixtures that produce more lumens per watt are of better quality.
The best way to determine how many lumens your space needs is by getting a foot candle reading. After you know the exact amount, get LED fixtures that consume the least amount of watts to emit those lumens.
A photometric analysis can tell you exactly how many foot candles you need. TheLightingCenter offers FREE photometric evaluations for added convenience.
Never buy a LED fixture based on the watts.
2. Don’t Believe Dishonest Claims
When shopping for LED fixtures online, you’ll come across many manufacturers – some reputable, some not. When dealing with some manufacturers, you may be told that only the fixtures they sell will be ideal for your space. This may be nothing more than a sales gimmick.
Another lie you may be told is that new LED fixtures are much better than LED retrofits. Do not believe this lie. The truth is that retrofits are just as good as new fixtures, it all depends on who you buy them from.
The last thing you want is to experience buyer’s remorse after getting LED fixtures for a facility, big-box store, or a warehouse. Our company takes pride in offering extensive knowledge before trying to make a sale.
3. Don’t Be Quick to Buy LED Fixtures, Get to Know the Manufacturer or Brand
As LED lighting increases in popularity, so do its vendors. Try doing a quick search online and you’ll see countless companies selling LED fixtures. Even the largest e-commerce sites in the world sell these fixtures. But the thing is, if you’re not familiar with a manufacturer or a brand, you can never be sure what you’re buying.
To make matters worse, some manufacturers do not offer lengthy warranties, which means if your fixtures malfunction you have no one to turn to. The problem with buying heavily discounted fixtures with short warranties is that the manufacturer could be trying to get rid of old inventory. Since LED fixtures are not cheap, don’t make a decision you will regret down the line.
We always recommend doing a little research before settling on a manufacturer or a brand. This way, you can easily access them when a problem crops up.
4. Know Your Specific Needs
Let us tell you a little secret about the reason why we don’t have a shopping cart on our website. People used to come to our site, buy LED fixtures, and then return after a short while to purchase different fixtures. All this could have been avoided if they had made an informed decision during the first purchase.
We focus on education-based selling. We make sure we understand your needs first before offering you a solution. We determine the lumens your space needs, the best replacement option, and the most ideal fixtures (whether UFO, classic, or linear).
Before you make a purchase, talk to us first. We have more than 10 years’ experience in LED lighting and will recommend the best option.
5. Inquire About the Warranty
A reputable LED company will always honor a warranty as long as the warranty period hasn’t expired. Disreputable companies may do the following things when it comes to warranties.
We’ve only looked at five of the most important things you should do when converting to LED technology, there are many more. The takeaway here is, get to know a manufacturer first before doing any business with them.
Some of our LED products come with a 10-year warranty and we are quick to honor any warranty claim. While we manufacture high-quality products and get very few claims, we are always here if you have a problem – which is why we have thousands of loyal customers. The best way a company can prove its credibility to its clients is by honoring warranties.
In the past, whenever a commercial space or a large indoor space needed to be illuminated, the first lighting option contractors and electrical professionals thought of was metal halides. But these lamps consumed a lot of electricity and did not have long lifespans, that’s why LED lighting was such a welcome change.
Many businesses and building managers are now converting to LED lighting in an effort to lower energy consumption and save money. One question we get asked all the time is, “Which LED light is a perfect replacement for a 1000-watt metal halide lamp?”
We are addressing this question today once and for all in this detailed post so you can always refer to it whenever the need arises.
LED Watts to Replace a 1000-Watt Metal Halide Lamp
The truth of the matter is, it’s never just about watts. LED bulbs usually have 3 important specifications: Watts, Lumens, and Kelvin. Lumens are the most important feature as they allow you to buy the specific amount of light you want. When it comes to LEDs, you should think lumens, not watts. Watts are used to measure the energy consumption of LEDs while Kelvin measures the color temperature.
What Exactly Are Lumens?
Lighting is all about lumens, but what exactly are lumens?
In layman’s terms, a lumen is a measurement of the total amount of visible light discharged by a light source. Lumens mean brightness, not watts. They are the only thing you should look at when replacing HID lighting with LED technology. Watts are important, but they measure energy consumption, not light output.
When replacing metal halide lights with LED lighting, what you should carefully look at are the lumens the LEDs produce. Remember, LEDs are more efficient than metal halide lamps, so you cannot buy 20 1000-watt LED bulbs to replace 20 1000-watt metal halide bulbs. Instead, look at the initial lumens produced by the traditional bulbs then get LEDs that produce the same amount of lumens. Only focus on the lumen output to ensure it matches your needs.
Lumen Depreciation and L70
One of the most unpleasant aspects of metal halide bulbs is lumen depreciation.
Let’s use a 400-watt metal halide bulb as an example. When this bulb is brand new, it may produce 20,000 lumens, which is pretty good. However, this number will quickly decrease because metal halides suffer from serious lumen depreciation. If the bulb has a lifespan of 11,000 hours, it may only produce 10,000 lumens by the time it gets to 5,000 hours. And the worst part is that its energy consumption will remain the same.
This brings us to L70…
L70 is a term used to define the time it takes for the lumen output of a LED module to reach 70% of the initial output.
LEDs must retain 70% of their lumens during their lifespan. For instance, if a LED has a lifespan of 50,000 hours, it must maintain 70% of its lumens during its entire lifespan. This rule doesn’t apply to metal halides. While the specifications on the box may say that a light produces 20,000 lumens, this won’t be the case for long because of rapid lumen depreciation.
Metal Halides Lose Light Because of Reflection
LED lights are directional. This means they discharge light in a specific direction. Metal halides are omnidirectional and discharge light in all directions. To avoid light wastage, reflectors are used to redirect the light and focus it to a specific area.
Since reflectors are never 100% efficient, some lumens bounce off them and back to the fixtures, leading to lumen loss. Research has shown that up to 30% of lumens can be lost because of this. So, in reality, a metal halide bulb that’s supposed to emit 20,000 lumens only emits 14,000 lumens.
There are three things that determine light quality: lumens, Kelvin, and CRI (Colour Rendering Index). Since we’ve already discussed lumens and Kelvin, let’s talk a little about CRI. CRI measures a light’s capacity to reveal the true color of objects. LEDs usually have high CRI ratings, which means a bulb that discharges 20,000 lumens may seem brighter than a HID light that emits 50,000 lumens.
Perceiving Light: Photopic vs Scotopic Lumens
Lights usually produce two different types of lumens: photopic lumens and scotopic lumens. Both lumens are visible to the human eye. However, photopic lumens are seen by the eye in well-lit conditions while scotopic lumens are seen in dimly lit environments.
Until recently, only photopic lumens were measured, no one really thought of the fact that human eyes perceive light differently than manmade devices, or that a bulb can appear different during the day and in the night. But thanks to technological advancements, there are now two ways to label lumens.
The light LEDs produce falls within the visible spectrum, the spectrum that can be seen by the human eye. LED lights meant for humans do not produce UV or IR spectrums as they are invisible to the eye and of no benefit to us visually.
A correction factor is usually applied to photopic lumen readings to determine the usable light (scotopic lumens) a light source produces. This factor was developed by scientists to create common ground between different light sources, because two different bulbs with similar photopic lumen readings can have very different usable light outputs. The correction factor adjusts the actual value of the lumen downwards or upwards from the advertised photopic lumen.
The factor usually reduces the lumen quantity of some HID lights and increases the lumen quantity of LED lights (by 1.7 or more). This means the scotopic lumens LED lights produce are more beneficial to humans.
A Little Recap
The most important message we are trying to put across in this post is that you need more metal halide lumens to get the same amount of light fewer LED lumens produce. Even if you forget everything you read in this post, don’t forget these three things.
So, How Many LED Lumens Are Enough?
Photometry is the most accurate way to determine the exact amount of lumens you need. But since we’ve been selling LEDs for more than 10 years, we know the general amount of lumens needed for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Indoor spaces usually need about 45,000-55,000 lumens and outdoor spaces need approximately 40,000-60,000 lumens, but this all depends on the application and the mounting height.
When you look for the LED equivalent of a 1000-watt metal halide lamp, you’ll find bulbs that discharge 100 lumens or more. High-quality lights made by reputable manufacturers can emit 150 lumens or more. These lights can decrease wattage consumption by up to 4 times. If you replace multiple bulbs, you can save a significant amount of electricity.
Replacement Options for Metal Halide Bulbs
When it comes to replacing metal halides, there are two options: Retrofitting or a full fixture replacement. Retrofitting simply means replacing metal halide bulbs with LED bulbs while a full fixture replacement means replacing the bulbs as well as the housing (the light fixture).
The condition of the existing light fixtures will determine which option is better for you. If the fixtures are new or in good working condition, there’s no need to replace them – simply get retrofit kits. If they are old or worn out, a full fixture replacement is the only option.
How Efficient Are the LEDs in A Retrofit Kit?
One common misconception is that the LEDs in retrofit kits are not as good as those in new fixtures. This is simply not the case. HID replacement kits last just as long as new fixtures. Don’t replace lighting fixtures that are functioning well just because of some untruth you may have heard.
Our retrofit kits come with a 10-year warranty and have been installed in sealed fixtures in both hot and cold regions. None has ever malfunctioned.
Retrofitting will always be cheaper because installation is easier and the process doesn’t require as many materials as a full replacement. If there’s no need to replace the existing light fixtures, always choose retrofitting.
While many companies, lighting specialists, and facility managers now use LED technology, it is not uncommon to see metal halide lamps in manufacturing facilities, big-box stores, industrial spaces, and warehouses.
And while these bulbs are more efficient than high pressure sodium lamps, they cannot hold their own against LED bulbs (especially when it comes to energy efficiency, cost savings, and light output). As more and more people become aware of this fact, they are changing to LED technology.
Two common questions we get asked by those looking to convert to LED technology are ” How many LED watts can replace 400 metal halide watts?” and “Can a 150-watt LED bulb replace a 400-watt metal halide bulb?”
The second question is erroneous as you can never use watts to determine the light output of a LED bulb. We’ll talk about this in detail in the next paragraphs.
How Many LED Watts Replace a 400-Watt Metal Halide Bulb?
When buying a LED light, watts are not what you should be looking at; what you should be looking at are the lumens. Watts are not an indication of brightness, they only measure the amount of electricity a bulb draws.
Understanding Lumens and Their Role in Lighting
We usually buy things based on their quantity. When buying milk, we look at the gallons; when buying fruits, we look at the pounds. Buying light bulbs should be no different.
For the longest time, people bought bulbs depending on how much energy they consumed (wattage) and not based on the amount of light they produced. Watts measure the amount of energy a light source uses, they have nothing to do with brightness.
LED bulbs need fewer watts to produce a lot of light, which means wattage ratings are not as important as they were in the past. LED technology is all about creating bulbs that use less watts to produce more light.
Lumens measure the exact amount of light a bulb puts out. They are a more accurate way to measure light output because they tell you how the light performs, regardless of its source.
Most electrical professionals use foot candles to measure the levels of light in indoor and outdoor spaces.
What exactly is a foot candle?
It is a measurement of light intensity. It can be defined as the power of light discharged by a uniform light source on a 1-square-foot surface.
When lighting specialists want to measure the foot candles in a specific place, they use something called a light meter. This meter gives you the foot candle readings of the exact spot you’re in. If you happen to move closer to the light source, the foot candles will increase; if you move away, they will decrease.
If you stand between two light sources, the foot candles will be the joint lumen output of the two sources dispensed to where you’re standing.
Do lumens really matter?
They are the only thing that matter when replacing a conventional lighting system with LED technology. When getting LED fixtures, the most important thing you should look at are the lumens each fixture produces. If the initial lumens produced by each 400W metal halide fixture were 30,000, you should get LED fixtures that produce 30,000 lumens.
A metal halide light that produces 30,000 lumens discharges 75 lumens per watt. While the light may seem very efficient, it falls short when pitted against a LED light because there are LEDs that emit as many as 200 lumens per watt. There are also other things you need to be aware of.
Initial Lumens and L70
Lumen depreciation is one of the biggest downsides of metal halides. These lights lose their lumens very quickly and the quantity keeps rapidly decreasing from the first time they are used. If the initial lumens of a metal halide light are 30,000, the number could go down to 15,000 by the time it reaches half its lifespan.
The best thing about LEDs is that they work differently. LED manufacturers refer to the L70 rating when specifying the life of a LED. L70 is an accurate estimate of the time it takes for a LED to lose 30% of its initial lumens. This is usually given in the range of 50,000-100,000 hours and is usually mentioned as lumen depreciation or lumen maintenance. The L70 rating of a LED bulb is usually much higher than that of a metal halide lamp
Metal Halides and Light Loss
Besides suffering from rapid lumen depreciation, metal halides also suffer from light loss. Because the lights are omnidirectional, they discharge light in all directions. In order for them to produce the maximum amount of light, reflectors must be integrated into the fixtures housing them to redirect the light.
However, the problem is that even if the reflectors are efficient, a lot of lumens (up to 30%) will still be lost because of fixture absorption, spillage, and diffusion.
LEDs are directional and only generate light over a limited portion. This means more light reaches the targeted area because very little light is lost to absorption.
CRI and Its Effect on Light Quality
For those of you not familiar with CRI (Color Rendering Index), it is a measure of a light’s ability to reveal the true colors of objects compared to a natural light source. If a light is of high quality, it doesn’t need a lot of lumens to reveal the true color of objects. For instance, a LED light that emits 10,000 lumens may seem brighter than a metal halide light that emits 20,000 lumens.
Differentiating Between Photopic and Scotopic Lumens
While we talked about foot candle readings earlier, determining lighting quality is not as simple as taking these readings. Our eyes do not see light the same way light meters do.
For example, if a lighting specialist takes the foot candle readings of two light sources – a LED light and a metal halide light – and then asks people close by to say which light looks brighter, they may point to the LED light, whereas the light meter readings may show differently.
The human eye and a light meter perceive light very differently. The eye has two light-sensing cells located in the retina called rods and cones. Cones are more active during daytime and in well-lit environments while rods are active at nighttime and in dim environments. Scientists refer to daylight vision as photopic vision and night vision as
Why is all this important?
Well, until recently, lighting specialists only measured photopic light, not considering that the light emitted by bulbs could appear differently (to human eyes) in the light and in the dark. Thanks to technology, there are now two ways to label the lumens a light source produces: by its photopic lumens and its scotopic lumens.
Since the human eye doesn’t see light the same way a light meter does, this can result in energy savings. The eye has the ability to see more light than what’s technically discharged as lumens. This means you can switch to a LED bulb with more scotopic lumens and see more light than you would from a metal halide light with a higher wattage. You can reduce energy consumption by using low-wattage bulbs that produce the same or higher-quality light.
Summing It Up
Throughout this post, there are three things we have been trying to emphasize. Metal halide lights are very bright when new but lose their lumens very quickly. LED light is focused while metal halide light is not. With LED lighting, no lumens are lost because of reflection You need fewer LED lumens than metal halide lumens to get the same amount of light – it’s a matter of quality over quantity
How Many Lumens Will Be Enough for Your Space
Photometry, the science of measuring light, is the best way to determine the amount of light you need in a space. But drawing upon our experience as LED lighting experts, we can tell you the average amount of lumens needed indoors and outdoors.
Generally, 15,000-25,000 lumens are needed indoors (in places like warehouses, auditoriums, and industrial spaces) and 14,000-20000 lumens are needed outdoors. But the exact number of lumens required will depend on the setting and the height of the lights.
LED bulbs are not equal, some produce more lumens than others (more than 150 lumens per watt). Always choose those that produce more lumens per watt as they will significantly lower your energy consumption.
Two Great Replacement Options
When it comes to replacing metal halide lights, there are two ways you can go: retrofitting or a full fixture replacement. If you choose retrofitting, only the bulb and ballast will be removed. If you choose a full fixture replacement, the bulb, ballast, and the light fixture will be replaced.
Deciding which option is better for you will depend on the current condition of your fixtures and your company’s needs and priorities. If the fixtures are old or damaged, they will need to be replaced. If they are fine, replacement kits are the best option.
Are Retrofit Kit LEDs of High Quality?
Yes. Just like new fixtures, retrofit kits contain LEDs of the highest quality. The only difference between the two alternatives is that retrofitting is cheaper because it is not as labor-intensive or material-intensive as a full replacement.
One way to ensure you buy quality retrofit kits is to buy from a reputable manufacturer. All our retrofit kits have a 10-year warranty and function optimally in both hot and cold environments.
The post The Best LED Bulb to Replace a 400-Watt Metal Halide Lamp appeared first on TheLightingCenter.com.
You’ve heard that switching to energy efficient lighting can save money.
But where to start?
Old 400 Watt HID (Metal-Halide and High-Pressure Sodium) fixtures are installed almost everywhere in commercial and industrial spaces. You see them used in parking lot fixtures, flood lights, wall packs, street light cobra heads and for indoor spaces like warehouses, factories and gymnasiums. Energy costs are rising every day. So how can you take advantage of the energy savings when converting to LED?
Well there are several options available. What works for your fixtures is totally dependent on your fixture type and your goals. You should expect at least 50% energy savings over HID. Add controls, like motion sensors and daylight harvesters, and you can achieve up to 90%.
Things to Consider before the LED Conversion
Who will do the install?
Some conversion options require a licensed electrician. Others allow you to screw in a bulb into the socket. But this should not be the determining factor in your conversion decision.
What retrofit options do you have?
Typically, you have three options to convert over to LED
How much does it cost to convert to LED?
Prices have come down a lot over the past few years. Rebates may be available to help offset the cost at time of purchase. Rebates can be obtained for both new fixtures and retrofit conversions. Once we understand your goals, we can help you find the best option including looking to see if there are any rebates available.
What are the Differences between HID and LED?
Never buy a LED solution based on watts consumed. Determine the amount of lumens you need and get the most efficient LED solution that produces that amount of lumens.
LED does not generate a lot of heat. It does generate some, but it is significantly less them HID bulbs. That is one of the reasons LED is more efficient – it uses the energy to produce light and not heat.
LED Light is directional. The light goes where its needed. You need less lumens to replace a 400W HID bulb that requires reflectors to focus the lumens. Reflected light is less efficient than directional light.
HID is old technology, consisting of several bulb types that include metal halide, low pressure sodium, high pressure sodium and mercury vapor.
When you convert to LED, you have to include ‘ballast draw’ of the HID bulb. This is is the amount of energy the ballast consumes to power the bulb. It can add as much as 15%. So a 400 Watt HID bulb consumes around 460 Watts of energy. A great deal of the energy consumed produces heat.
HID bulbs are omni-directional. They distribute light in every direction. It is not directional like LED.
400W HID fixtures are commonly found not mounted higher than 30 ft above the surface.
Five Easy Steps to Convert to LED
1: Do you have a 400W HID Fixture/Bulb?
These bulbs are rather big and there are 2 sizes. One is larger than the other. The smaller of the two is 8-9″ long, the larger bulb is about 11-12 inches long. Somewhere on the bulb, you should see the bulbs identification markings, and it should say 400 (to identify 400 watts HID)
2: Determine the fixtures voltage
Not that this is terribly important at this point, but you need to order your solution with the right voltage. LED comes in basically 2 driver options, 100-277V and 277-480V. The drivers are auto switching, so it will figure out what voltage you have and switch on its own. Make sure you have the right range selected or you will toast your driver.
3: What is the Goal?
A. Energy Savings?
Reduction in energy spend up to 75% is a compelling reason to convert to LED. That should significantly reduce your utility bill.
B. Reduce Maintenance Costs?
LED’s life span is much longer than HID bulbs. Large facilities can spend a lot of time and money maintaining light fixtures.
C. Increase / Decrease in Brightness
Maybe your area is under lit or over lit. Photometric studies done before lets you adjust the light-level. The software will help you decide what the best outcome for your area is.
4: What Type of Fixture do you Have?
Our Retrofits are designed to replace a 400 Watt MH or HPS bulbs and will fit into the fixture without issue. If you use one of our replacement kits, you can make even more space when you remove reflector. Besides creating more space, it has two other side benefits.
5: Make Your Choice
We offer both new and retrofit solutions, so we are not biased in one over another. We want your solution to be what works for you.
Industrial LED Lighting Fixtures to Consider for Your Warehouse
Industrial offices typically are huge in size. As a result, these structures are costly to maintain. Keeping the lights on, sometimes 24/7, is critical to the success of your facility. Unfortunately, you might devour and be paying for a significant amount of energy because you’re using traditional lighting. Luckily, there has never been a superior time to buy energy efficient LEDs thanks to recent technology advancements and available rebates. LEDs have changed the game. They are the ideal lighting solution with options for every lighting category available.
Why do you need Industrial and Commercial LED Fixtures?
LED light fixtures have made traditional lighting akin to a box TV. There are three main factors that contribute LEDs being a great option including reduced maintenance expenditures, increased energy and superior quality lighting.
Retrofitting your current industrial lighting with a vitality effective LED arrangement can save up to 75% in your electricity expense. This level of savings allows you to reinvest in your facility or give pay raises to your employees. LEDs are so efficient because in part to how they point light. A traditional HID light shining out will produce 360 degrees of light. Do you have an interest in lighting the night sky? If not, some of the light can be reflected but 25%+ is still lost. This means expending extra electricity, needlessly.
LEDs on the other hand produce 180 degrees of light focusing the beam on the intended target. Right away you are saving valuable dollars by not lighting up the night sky. Importantly, you are also providing more high quality light on your intended target, be it a parking lot or loading zone. One of the great benefits of this directional light is that it has a much higher lumens count. LEDs will outperform the proficiency of a similarly fit traditional light because they are directional. This makes them extraordinary fixtures for industrial lighting.
Reduced Maintenance Expenditures:
industrial LED lighting fixtures decrease upkeep costs for maintenance teams. Industrial and commercial offices are large in scale so having lighting which substantially long life is very important. The initial cost of LED fixtures and retrofits have a tendency to be higher than traditional fixtures. The good news is that there are many utilities that offer significant rebates you can qualify for to offset the product cost. Additionally, the long life expectancy compensates for the initial investment many times over. One of the things to watch out for are products that do not come with warrantees. These manufacturers will leave you high and dry if something goes wrong!
Superior Quality Lighting:
Light produced from LEDs is substantially higher quality than conventional lighting for two important reasons.
LED Warehouse Lighting: What is the best LED for my Application?
High bays are utilized in warehouses which have roofs of more than 25 feet. They are used for both level and vertical working areas. Due to the benefits, conversions from HID and Metal Halide are very common. While older technology may be cheaper, the long term benefits of LEDs are not outweighed.
Low Bay Fixtures
Warehouses and offices typically have areas where the ceiling height is far lower than the rest of the structure. Low bays an ideal solution because they will direct the light in the needed way. With low bay lighting, it may seem easier to just replace traditional lighting with more of the same. Fortunately, rebate opportunities and the energy savings to be recognized, make low bay fixtures the ideal choice.
LED Tubes a great fit for retail chains and supermarkets. Their advantage stems from being easily hidden with a cleaner look. When considering LED strip lights for commercial spaces, the reduction of maintenance requirements can be truly remarkable . Lastly, for industrial needs, T8 and T12 tube light fixtures have been utilized. Inquire with us you have a tube light need.
Recessed Troffer Lights
Traditional Troffer fixtures regularly incorporate T12 and additionally T8 Fluorescent lights which equates to 2-4 lights for every apparatus. They can be hung using a chain, pendant or surface mounted. Troffers come as both new LED fixtures and LED retrofits, with the best choice being dependent on your budget and needs. Troffer applications include offices, warehouses and other industrial structures.
If you are in the food industry, your commercial space likely is quite sticky and messy. Alternatively, it may be regularly exposure to the elements, specifically dampness. If not appropriately maintained, rust can develop, severely damaging the fixture. Vapor tight fixtures are a great solution because of this. They are NSF certified, to ensure regulatory adherence and rebate eligible.
If you are looking for a lower price alternative to new LED fixtures then retrofit kits are the solution for you. We have a wide range of retrofit kits available so no mater what your need is, we can assist by providing the best option possible.
Once someone has discovered retrofitting as a completely viable option for upgrading their existing lighting system, there often comes up some very commonly ask questions about retrofitting, more specifically LED retrofits.
What is a retrofit kit anyways?
Well, we’ve actually put together a post explaining this more in-depth. But to recap, it is the process of upgrading your lighting system with a new light source all while maintaining the integrity of your existing fixture itself.
In better terms, it’s basically like replacing an old light source with a new one without getting rid of the entire fixture it is housed in.
Can you dim a LED retrofit?
Yes, you can dim LED retrofits if you want to. By dimming you opt-in for the exact illumination that you want, while reducing your energy consumption even more. Just make sure you are buying a LED retrofit kit that has the option to be dimmable, otherwise you will NOT be able to dim them.
Retrofit vs full replacement, why should you consider retrofitting with LED?
While a full replacement of an entire is fixture is very valid to do especially when they are outdated or literally falling apart; often times you can avoid that by retrofitting your fixtures. With retrofitting you get to keep your old fixture but just replace the light source in it with a new one. This will allow you to reduce the costs associated with the lighting upgrade tremendously, which will allow you to realize a much larger ROI.
Although there are benefits of both, you need to think about your facility or buildings own situation, and go from there. To recap; retrofitting is great if you can keep your old fixtures but if you can’t (due to reasons like outdated or near falling apart), then a full replacement is probably the better option.
Why should I even switch to LED in the first place?
Very good question, and this not only applies to those retrofitting but for any facility that plans to make a lighting system update. LED technology has vast benefits in almost every area of the definition “quality” for commercial lighting purposes. Here are just a few of the major benefits that more often than not win over businesses to commit to the conversion over to LED technology:
As you can see these are all some pretty big benefits, and that’s only the start. These reasons are why many companies are making the conversion over to LED products from other outdated technologies such as metal halide, HPS, and even fluorescent. Why not convert to LED with a retrofit LED kit and realize all of these benefits and more? It just makes sense!
Is it difficult to retrofit an existing light fixture?
For retrofitting LED lights from metal halide, HPS, or othre lights; it can depend. To someone who has no knowledge about lighting fixtures and electrical wiring, then yes this will seem like an extremely difficult task. On the other hand for someone who is a professional, this isn’t a difficult task at all.
The process, in theory, is simple because all it consists of (for the most part) is a replacement of all the existing lamps, ballasts, sockets, and brackets with new ones to fit your retrofit kits. If you have no experience doing this, and even if you do, it is always recommended to bring in a licensed electrician if you can to ensure it is done right and to safety standards.
Are LED retrofits that are compatible with existing ballasts a good idea?
You need to consider the age of the ballast that is currently installed. In most cases, it will be nearing the end of it’s life and thus it won’t be the most up-to-date ballast that you could have. This adds for an additional point of failure, which could cost you more down the line in maintenance fees to replace them when they die out.
You have to consider that since you are considering the switch over to LED through retrofitting, you most likely haven’t recently upgraded you lighting system or replaced much. This means that the ballasts currently installed are most likely, at best, as old as the lights in your fixtures currently. But more often or not, they are even older than that which can definitely mean they are nearing the end of their lifespan.
Can you retrofit all Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium fixtures?
Not all, but most. There has to be enough room in the fixture to install our LED Heads and drivers. We have options designed for High
How big are your Commercial / Industrial Retrofit Lights?
The 30, 45 and 60W retrofit mini heads are 4.6″ L x 4.6″ W x 1.9″ H, about the size of the PAR 38. The 75W, 105W and 120W heads are 6.8″ L x
How much energy can I expect to save after I buy?
We would expect at a minimum 70% and higher energy savings, depending on the model.
What can each of your retrofit lights replace in terms of existing Metal Halide or High Pressure Sodium Lamps?
We can replace everything from 100W to 1000W. This makes our lighting options the best LED replacement for high pressure sodium bulbs (and metal halide).
If your 100W LED retrofit light replaces 400W Metal Halide, then how can you replace 1000 Watts Metal Halide?
We have a 280W, 320W and 350W LED Retrofit Kit that produces over 50,000 lumens. And you won’t need a special plate made to fit your fixture. There is no need to send your fixtures to us. Converting your lighting to LED is simple and easy with our metal halide LED retrofit kits.
So what is all included in a LED retrofit kit box?
Our kits contain a LED Head, a driver, and multiple installation adapters. This is typically no more difficult than a bulb or ballast
What if I don’t want to retrofit and want new fixtures?
No problem. We have a full line of :
So we can retrofit your existing fixture or supply new LED fixtures. When you browse our website, you will find both new fixtures and
Why would I retrofit versus buy a new fixture?
Typically purchasing our retrofit light is cheaper than a new fixture. There are times where there are specific fixtures that just need to be used in their existing setting. There are times companies want to replace their old fixtures. There is no right or wrong answer here as it can depend on the facilities personal circumstances. If you like your fixtures and are tired of hearing that you have to replace them to move over to LED, let us show you that is not your only option and that a LED retrofit kit will be a great option for you.
Also, we often talk about the benefits of retrofitting and the related on our blog. Be sure to check out our posts on retrofits!
Is there a maximum number of heads we could use in a retrofit?
No. The size of the fixture is the physical limitation. We have to keep the LED retrofits cool, so as long as your fixture is able to support a LED retrofit head and its cooling needs, and there is physical room to install everything, it can be retrofitted. But that being said, our retrofits are powerful enough that one LED kit should be more than enough to retrofit your existing fixtures. Unlike some competitive product whose solution is to create custom plates with
Will a normal fixture lose it’s UL or ETL certification after it is retrofitted?
It shouldn’t, as long as you follow all the instructions associated with the product. Our LED Retrofits are listed under the UL1598C standard, which is a retrofit standard. UL and ETL understand that the purpose of our lights are to retrofit the existing fixture, replacing the ballast with the driver and the bulb with the LED Head.
How long do your LED Retrofit Lamps last?
They are rated for 100,000 (L70) hours of use, in normal operating conditions. This is approximately 2-3 times longer than metal halide, HPS, or other similar lighting technologies.
What voltages do you have available?
We offer 2 power supply options. One for 100-277V and one for 480V. There is a slight up-charge for the 480V drivers. We can also supply step down transformers to convert higher voltage down to 277V.
How long is the warranty?
Our heads are ALL warrantied for up to 10 years, the drivers are warrantied for 5 years. Follow the installation instructions, remove the reflector, keep them dry and you shouldn’t have any problems.
What is the difference between DLC Standard Qualified and DLC Premium Qualified?
In a nutshell, it is about efficiency. DLC Premium Qualified is only for high efficiency LED products. This means that these lights are typically brighter and use less energy. For example, a LED Light at 150 lumens/watt creates 15,000 lumens at 100 watts consumed. A LED light at 97 lumens/watt only creates 9700 lumens using the same 100 watts. Or if you want to look at it another way, you would only need 64 watts to produce the same 9700 lumens as the other less efficient product which requires 100 watts.
Do you offer large quantity discounts?
Yes. Talk to us about your needs and give us the opportunity to quote you on both retrofitting existing lights as well as other new LED fixtures. If you are an electrical contractor or facility manager, give us a call at (866) 452-1113.
Is retrofitting cheaper than replacing?
The answer is yes (the majority of times). Fixtures are expensive, and if you have a large investment in your fixtures, then why not keep them? If your fixtures are in good condition, why not re-use them? And one thing we heard back on several occasions from our customers, disposing of fixtures was more expensive than they thought it would be.
Are your LED replacement bulbs designed for metal halide fixtures?
They are a great LED replacement for not only metal halide lights but also work as a great high pressure sodium to LED conversion as well as fluorescent and other industrial lighting technologies. Typically, as long as the kit fits (which we can help you determine), our LED retrofits will replace virtually any luminaire.
What’s the best way to inquire about your retrofit options?
You can contact us or call directly at (866) 452-1113. We will guide you through anything you need to know about retrofitting to LED and even help you through the entire process, step by step.
Whats the best way to install the retrofit head inside the fixture?
The best option is to remove the fixtures socket. Using the mounting holes where the socket was installed, use one of the many mounting brackets we include. The best screws to use may in fact be the screws used to hold the socket, but we also include screws in the box.