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The Definitive Guide to Commercial Outdoor LED Lights



The need for energy-efficiency cannot be overstated, especially in the commercial sector. A report by the U.S. Department of Energy shows that in 2015, this sector consumed approximately 40% of the overall lighting electricity consumed nationally. It isn’t hard to see why this was the case, commercial and industrial properties need a lot of light, and at times, lights are switched on even during the day.

The report also mentions that when energy consumption is ranked according to lighting technology, HIDs, which are quite popular in the commercial industry, comprised 34% of all lighting systems used for lighting in that year. However, daily skyrocketing energy costs are pushing the commercial industry from its comfort zone to newer, energy-efficient light sources that combine high-quality lighting, ease of maintenance, and versatility in one neat package.

Commercial outdoor LED lights are quickly overtaking traditional commercial outdoor lights and are now lighting up public parks, parking lots, open spaces, docks, sports, and other outdoor spaces. LEDs have the ability to produce intense and uniform light for up to 100,000 hours. They have become the go-to sources of light for commercial lighting applications, improving security and making spaces more inviting to users.

Where Are Commercial Outdoor LED Lights Used?

Commercial outdoor LED lights are very robust fixtures and are suitable for car dealerships, service stations, private or public parking lots, walkways, building entrances, building exits, building perimeters, streets, warehouses, garages, workshops and other outdoor spaces.

Installed on posts 10-100 ft high, they can be used to light up displays, signboards and other public spaces. They are very flexible in installation and different types of mounts can be used to install them.

Types of Commercial Outdoor LED Lights – and Their Advantages

High Mast Lights

High mast lighting is designed for outdoor areas that require strong safety and security lights. This kind of lighting is commonly found in transportation terminals, highways, airports, and shipping ports. The light fixtures are mounted at high points and focus light downward to the ground. High mast lights effectively illuminate large areas, providing a sense of security.

A high mast lighting pole can be as tall as 120 feet, and the light fixtures can be mounted at heights between 60-120 feet, depending on the particular height of the poles. A single lighting pole can have 4 to 16 lights installed on it, based on the lighting requirements. Traditional high mast lights utilized metal halide and high-pressure sodium light bulbs, which have some of the shortest lifespans and the highest maintenance costs of all lighting sources.

Both high-pressure sodium lights and metal halides have long warm up and cool down times, a feature that makes them very inefficient. LED lights may be newer to the market, but their many advantages over traditional lighting systems have endeared them to contractors, business owners, and facility managers.

Advantages of LED Outdoor High Mast Lights over Metal Halide High Mast Lights

  • They are extremely precise and even at extremely high points none of their light is wasted. Traditional light bulbs, on the other hand, are multi-directional and disperse their light all over the place, sending most of the light where it is not required.
  • They have a high color temperature that gives them the ability to reveal the true colors of objects. They help users to carry out tasks without experiencing visual discomfort. The lights also ensure surveillance cameras record minor details that are essential for security and safety.
  • LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours, maintaining 70% of their illumination capacity to their life’s end. Some HID lights tend to shift colors with age – metal halides produce pinkish light at the end.
  • Because LEDs are very robust and last so long, they are almost maintenance-free.
  • LED lights do not require ballasts, unlike HID lights. They can also be switched on and off on demand. They produce no infrared energy and are not as dangerous as HID and fluorescent lamps.
  • Commercial outdoor LED lights easily integrate with intelligent lighting controls that regulate the light intensity, the light output, and the lighting duration.

LED Shoebox Lights

Shoebox lights are used in areas that require broad-scope, intensely-bright lights. They pair perfectly with surveillance cameras, allowing them to record activities with ease – thanks to their high CRIs. LED shoebox lights have many advantages over HID lights. They are energy-efficient and are highly versatile. For this reason, they can be used to illuminate different environments and can be easily upgraded.

LED shoebox lights can directly replace 1000W-2000W HID shoebox lights and produce up to 60,000 lumens. Shoebox retrofit units can easily replace HID or fluorescent bulbs and lower both installation costs and time. The traditional bulbs are simply replaced with LED bulbs. LED shoebox fixtures have very little maintenance costs because of their long lifespan.

Advantages of LED Shoebox Lights

  • Unlike HID bulbs that produce bright spots and dark spots and have poor light coverage, LEDs distribute their light evenly. They ensure that there are no dark or bright spots, enhancing both safety and security.
  • LED shoebox lights can be dimmed without adversely affecting their lifespan, unlike HID lights.
  • LED shoebox lights are available in a wide range of color temperatures and are perfect for use in different environments. They can be used to create a unique ambiance outside a commercial space.
  • These lights are eco-friendly and are a great alternative to conventional lighting which is not. They use less electricity yet produce powerful, high-quality light, ensuring your energy bill stays low.
  • LED shoebox lights are very tough in build and can be installed in areas with extremely low or high temperatures and still work effectively. Their performance actually gets better in low temperatures. They can also withstand higher temperatures better than traditional shoebox lighting fixtures.

LED Outdoor Flood Lights

These broad-beamed, high-intensity lights are perfect for sports venues and the exteriors of commercial spaces, thanks to their powerful lighting capabilities. They enable nighttime sports coverage, giving sports fans an excellent chance to let off some steam after a long day's work. They can also be used to highlight beautiful landscapes, pathways, and monuments.

Flood lights can also be used as temporary light solutions for venues that have no permanent flood lights installed. There are two types of floodlights: directional and area floodlights. These two are classified by their capability to regulate their light's distribution and intensity.

Directional flood lights are commonly used in façade lighting and architectural wall washing. They can be used to boost the visual appeal of architectural or structural features. Most area flood lights are found in outdoor stadiums, warehouses, and parking lots. These are areas that need high-intensity light that is well distributed.

LED outdoor flood lights are usually mounted with trunnion mounts, slip fitters, or straight arm mounts. Common shoebox light fixture wattage range between 400W and 1000W. Once you convert to LED, you will lower energy usage by up to 75% – even more if you add lighting controls.

High-quality flood lights are very sturdy and are built with aluminum casings to protect them from extreme temperatures, strong winds, rain, or storms.

Advantages of LED Outdoor Flood Lights

  • LEDs have a high CRI which ranges between 80 and 95. Their high CRI mimics daylight, revealing even the slightest variations in colors.
  • These lights do not have toxic substances in them and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • They are well-built and can withstand high-abuse and extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
  • They are economically beneficial as they drastically reduce energy consumption and are low maintenance.

LED Outdoor Wall Pack Lights

Also known as wall mounted lights and wall packs, these lights are used to illuminate parking lots, landscapes, building perimeters, office complexes, and walkways. You will find them installed on vertical surfaces, on walls, or on lighting poles. They are normally used to light up outdoor spaces with heavy pedestrian and vehicular movement.

Wall pack lights work perfectly as surveillance lights and the best ones have certifications like DLC Premium Rating, UL Rating, and IP Rating. They are able to withstand harsh weather conditions of any kind.

These lights have very low glare values and are impact-resistant. Paired with lighting controls, they can be switched on and off at dusk or dawn or on demand.

Advantages of LED Outdoor Wall Pack Lights

  • They are resistant to vibrations, external impact, and extreme weather conditions.
  • They have no UV emissions or infrared radiation and are suitable for lighting up spaces that have heat-sensitive and temperature-sensitive materials. When traditional lights are installed in such spaces, the air conditioning has to be switched on to decrease the heat and temperature.
  • They light up areas evenly, ensuring that no dark or bright spots are created. HID lights create shadows in dark corners, posing lighting and security challenges.

LED Outdoor Pole Top Lights

These lighting fixtures, which also go by the name post top lights, are used to light up street scapes, walkways, pathways, green spaces, campuses, parks, and gathering areas. They are great alternatives to HID and fluorescent pole top lights.

LED outdoor pole top lamps feature type III, type IV or type V light distribution and light up all areas around the lighting poles. The lights are typically mounted on poles with heights ranging between 7 ft to 20 ft. Multiple lighting fixtures can be mounted on one pole.

LED Light Distribution

Because these lights come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, they can be used for decorative lighting purposes. You can pick from a wide range of color temperatures, and their light output and performance is superior to that of traditional pole top lamps.

When photocells are installed in the lights, they detect the brightness of the ambient light and switch the lights on at dusk and switch them off at dawn, cutting down energy costs. Motion sensors can also save energy by only switching on the lights when there is any activity.

Advantages of LED Outdoor Pole Top Lights

  • They not only provide sufficient illumination, they enhance the aesthetics of a space because of their contemporary designs.
  • They highlight landscape elements and enhance safety by offering bright, uniform light that increases visibility for drivers and pedestrians
  • They are available in a variety of styles to suit different environments – from traditional to contemporary.
  • They easily pair with lighting controls and can lower energy consumption by up to 90%.

Benefits of Commercial Outdoor LED Lights

  1. Commercial outdoor LED lights have very high luminous efficacy levels and most produce more than 100 lumens per watt. These lights utilize a small fraction of the energy commercial outdoor lights use.
  2. The lights last almost 10 times longer than HID and fluorescent bulbs; some are capable of providing light for more than 20 years.
  3. Commercial outdoor LED retrofit units are cheaper and much easier to install than new fixtures.
  4. The commercial outdoor LED lights sold by My LED Lighting Guide reduce light pollution because of their high-quality optics which control the light distribution and send the light where it is needed.
  5. Lighting controls and LEDs go well together, enabling easy manipulation of light intensity and output.
  6. Unlike conventional bulbs, LEDs do not burn out. They retain at least 70% of their light output as they age, emitting high-quality light for up to 100,000 hours.
  7. A high-quality LED that produces 50,000 lumens consumes a lot less energy than a HID lamp with the same lumen output.
  8. LEDs can be turned on and off on demand and have no warm-up or restrike times. They will save you a lot of money you could have spent on power bills.
  9. Traditional light sources emit light that is not powerful or bright. LEDs have higher color temperatures so the light they produce is identical to daylight.
  10. HID lights have low CRIs while LEDs have a CRI range of 80 to 95. This gives them excellent color rendering abilities.
  11. LEDs require neither reflectors nor ballasts and feature heavy-duty construction. This lowers their maintenance expenses.
  12. LEDs emit light that is focused. Older lighting solutions emit light in a 360-degree angle – and while this light is redirected by reflectors, some of it is usually lost to the surroundings.

The Takeaway



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