Parking Garage lighting is a term used to describe lighting that is commonly surface, pendant, or recessed mounted to a parking structure’s ceiling, soffit, or overhang. This type of lighting is generally used to provide illumination for vehicles and pedestrian use. There is a wide range of fixture sizes, shapes, and mounting types that can be categorized as lighting for parking garages or canopies. In today’s blog post we will look at 3 common issues that surround your typical HID parking garage lamp.
Energy costs with typical HID parking garage lights are higher than necessary. If we look at common lamp wattages used for wall pack lighting, the range is between 70 watts up to 400 watts. In general the higher the wattage, the higher the light output on the surface below.
Other variables that play into the wattage utilized in the fixture are: the function of the area being illuminated, combined with the quantity, spacing, and mounting height of the lamp. From a cost perspective a 175 watt or 250 watt HID fixture can cost up to $91 and $131 to operate per lamp, per year, in electricity alone. Depending on the size of your facility these costs can really add up over time.
In addition to the high energy costs associated with utilizing HID parking garage lamps, maintenance costs are often a big concern as well. In additional to the potential lamp lifetime concerns, exterior building lights are commonly mounted on building walls in excess of 15ft, and may require the use of a lift to change out a lamp or a Ballast.
Many buildings and facilities do not own a lift and thus have to hire an outside contractor to maintain these of types fixtures. These are expenses that can really add up over the course of a few years. It can easily cost up to $4,459 in labor and material to maintain a single wall pack light fixture over the course of 3 years.
Depending on the type of HID lamp your facility utilizes, the performance characteristics of your parking garage lighting can vary significantly. For example, if you are using metal halide lamps you may see light that is Whiter, but these types of lamps tend to have accelerated lumen degradation, meaning the light output of the lamps decrease quickly after initial install, and as a result the overall lifetime of the lamp decreases.
If you are using high pressure sodium you may see longer useful life as these lamps see less lumen degradation than metal halide, but their fuel structure produces a very orange light with a very low CRI (Color Rendering Index). So basically you trade a longer life for a poorer quality light, in regards to visual perspective.
In conclusion traditional HID parking garage fixtures create a myriad of issues for your facility. By utilizing these types of lights you will be paying higher than necessary energy costs, your maintenance costs will arrive too frequently, and the overall performance of your lighting will be less than optimal. To learn how LED parking garage lamps can mitigate all of these issues, contact us at Stouch Lighting to learn how we can help. We looking forward to speaking with you soon.