Case Study: Test Fixtures & Exterior Lighting
Published January 2016
We’re sharing another LED retrofit case study story today. For this exterior lighting project, the client is a company with facilities located nationwide. Their savings goals take into consideration the entire network of facilities, but we can see in this single project area how much of an impact that an HID to LED retrofit can make, visually and in energy savings. Another unique aspect of this story is that because this is a multi-unit business, the client wanted to work toward a unified lighting solution to be used across all their locations. This project began with a lighting project design, and was confirmed effective after a real world test install. I spoke with TRC’s lighting project and design consultant to learn more.
Can you tell me a little bit more about the Beta test that you did?
TRC Lighting Consultant: We started this process in 2013 and installed a pair of 90 watt test fixtures in the west side of the lot. They performed well but the customer decided they wanted a more dramatic increase in light levels and the 136 watt fixture was used. It was the fixture we used in the final project, seen in the photos.
Did TRC do any models or photometric layouts before hanging the test fixtures?
TRC Lighting Consultant: We went through several photometric layouts using the client’s CAD files from original construction. TRC sometimes builds a photometric model, but we can use other CAD files, if the client has them. Through this process we achieved a well distributed light level in the model and selected the first fixture to try in our real world test.
How many fixtures were in the test?
TRC Lighting Consultant: The initial mini-test was the two 90 watt fixtures. Once we decided that the 136 watt fixtures gave the desired outcome [more light], 58 of those fixtures were installed in their corporate location as the beta test for all company locations.
How long did the fixtures stay up?
TRC Lighting Consultant: They are there for the duration. These fixtures will remain in place as they are satisfied with the outcome.
Did you test more than one fixture type?
TRC Lighting Consultant: We used just one fixture type, but experimented with lower wattage and optimized to what you see here.
Will TRC install these same fixtures at all the client’s locations now?
TRC Lighting Consultant: That this is the best lighting solution for the client and their needs, is the hope and dream confirmed by this test. When they are ready to upgrade the other locations will depend on rebate structures and utility rate plans, and how those factors influence the overall project viability. TRC builds the project models with the fixture we know will work best for them, and after taking all the financial factors into consideration, the client will decide which project locations make the most financial sense for their business.
I also briefly spoke to the client, we asked why were they motivated to do this project & what has been the response to this dramatic change? The client said they knew an update was needed, but the beta test convinced them what a noticable diffference they would see by upgrading the lighting system. The guest’s responses were also very strong, “I feel safer, WOW!”
Below are some sets of before & after photos and project details, notice the rebate the client recevied for this project:
- Replaced 400 Watt Metal Halide Area Lights with 135 watt LED fixtures with custom optics package.
- Existing lighting had multiple hot and cold spots.
- The new lighting offered superior distribution giving users of the parking lot a sense of confidence and security.
- The fixtures installed also offer L95 Light levels at 100,000 hours.
- New system eliminates any maintenance costs for 10 years.
- 70% reduction in energy usage and utility costs.
- Project qualified for over almost $13k in utility rebates.
If you are interested in more information about outdoor lighting safety & savings, keep reading.