What is Wall Pack Lighting (LED)?

Wall Pack Lights, also known as exterior building lights,  are used to describe lighting that is typically mounted on the outside walls of commercial or industrial installations. This exterior lighting is used to illuminate the walls of the building, or the grounds, sidewalk or parking areas adjacent to the building. They provide security lighting to keep the exterior of the building lit.

Typically, more than one wall pack is installed on the exterior of the building, 20-40 ft apart. Depending on what you are trying to illuminate, light designers will choose between flood, cut-off or semi-cut off models. Cutoff models are designed to light the walls without a lot of light being pushed outwards, floods act like a flood light illuminating distances away from the building.

Most existing wall pack light fixtures or commercial light fixtures and building lights utilize (HID) High Intensity Discharge lamps such as High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH) or much older technology, Mercury Vapor or Low Pressure Sodium Bulbs.

Why use a LED instead of conventional (HID) lighting solution?

A typical outdoor wall pack light might be a high pressure sodium vapor light. These lights are the ones that tend to be very deep yellow, around 2300K with very poor CRI. These bulbs produce a monochrome (yellow) emission that tends to render color poorly. Metal Halide tends to be better, with a whiter spectrum 4000K-5000K. On occasion, you will even see fluorescent CFL technology installed inside wall packs. While each of these technologies may have merits, commercial LED fixtures outperforms all of these conventional light sources in many ways. Here's a short list of the benefits of LED over these light sources.

LED versus HID Lighting

If you’ve ever walked around a parking lot or building exterior at night and noticed the yellow glow, these lights are probably sodium vapor. Low Pressure Sodium lights emit a very deep yellow, monochromatic (1700K) light while high pressure sodium lights have a slightly whiter (2300K) light. These lights, at one time, were the best option before LED was ever considered an option. Metal Halide lamps started to replace HPS and LPS lights, and provided better light and produced a higher quality light. Benefits of Metal Halide include better color rendering (CRI) and significantly better  foot candle levels in comparison to HPS and LPS. Some of their drawbacks include a long warm up, or strike, time (sometimes 15-30 minutes), they are expensive to maintain (bulbs last at most 15,000 hours), and failure characteristics including flickering. They are also very hot, using a lot of the energy to produce heat.

What are three major benefits of using LED lighting technology?

It’s no secret that LED lighting technology has surpassed the capabilities of conventional lighting. In addition to the considerations discussed above, there are three general benefits of LED lighting that apply to all lighting applications.

  • Decreased maintenance: LED lights have a lifespan that is many times longer than many conventional HID bulbs. This means fewer bulb replacements. LED lighting technology also generates light differently than typical filament lighting, by using a diode instead, a solid state device. Maintenance is an important consideration when it comes to lighting when you are a facility manager. Wall pack lighting may be mounted higher, which means that changing a bulb often requires a ladder at a minimum and in some cases mechanical lifts. All of this adds up to expenses attributed to maintenance, labor, and equipment costs. The lifespan of LED means that fixtures need to be changed much less often, which improves your bottom line.

  • Improved lighting quality - higher CRI. LED lighting for wall packs  will score better in a head-to-head comparison against most other HID bulbs when it comes to Color Rendering Index (CRI), Correlated Color Temperature (CCT), and Foot Candles. CRI is a measurement of a light’s ability to reveal the actual color of objects as compared to an ideal light source (natural light). In non-technical terms, CCT describes the glow produced by a bulb. Is it warm (yellow) or cold (blue)? Foot candles is the amount of light coming from a source and the amount of light hitting the desired surface. Foot candles may be collective, 1 or more lights may contribute to the light at a particular location.

  • Increased energy efficiency. Not only do LED lights generate light differently, they also distribute light differently than conventional lighting solutions. Their light is directional, which makes it extremely efficient delivering the lumens it produces. How does that work? First, conventional lights waste a lot of energy by emitting it as heat. Second, most conventional lights are 360 degrees or omni-directional. This mean light is being produced where it is not needed. LED lighting produces far less heat and its light is directional. So therefore, it produces light very efficiently.

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