Realizing this, businesses work to keep their lots clean and well-lit. LED lighting is often the answer to creating better illumination, but retrofitting an existing parking lot lighting system to LED’s requires more planning than just swapping old metal halide or high-pressure sodium fixtures for new LED’s.
Regardless of its size, a business owner can go through a five-step process to complete an effective and efficient retrofit of a parking lot’s lights to LED’s:
tart with a thorough survey and overview of the existing lighting system in the parking lot. Measure the height of light standards and record the distances between them. Check the power supplies and sources, as well as the voltage, wattage, and types of lights and ballasts for each fixture. Note if any of the current fixtures are controlled with photocells that turn the lights on or off as a function of ambient lighting. Make notes of any natural obstructions like trees or parking lot signs. An LED light system design technician will use all of this information to configure the best and most economical lighting retrofit for the lot.
An LED lighting technician can then use the survey information to develop two or three alternative retrofit plans. One possible plan can be as simple as swapping out existing lamps and ballasts with LED’s and drivers, while retaining the existing housings and standards. More complex retrofits might include adjustments to standard heights, removing old standards or adding new ones, and upgrading electricity supply systems. The ultimate goal of each plan should be to create a well-lit parking lot with a plan that is within a retrofit budget.
Select the plan that best suits the business’s needs and budget. If the budget allows, the business might select lamps and fixtures with longer warranties in order to reduce maintenance and repair costs over the system’s useful life. Add-on features, such as surge protection and advanced control systems, can also help a business save on operating and utility costs. Check for tax breaks and incentives for energy-efficient systems, which can substantially reduce your retrofit costs.The key at this stage of the process is to match the chosen retrofit system with near- and long-term budgetary constraints.
Schedule and implement the retrofit. A smaller lot retrofit might be done in under a day. Larger lots and more complex plans will require additional time and scheduling. Schedule those more complex plans to be implemented such that no section of a lot is left dark for any period of time.
When the retrofit is complete, measure the results and make any necessary adjustments. LED lighting systems are versatile. A plan that looked good on paper might leave some gaps in practice. If you see shadows or dark spots anywhere in the lot, adjust fixtures and diffusers, or make changes to get to a better beam dispersal pattern.