LED Exterior Lighting … a few things to consider.

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By Joshua Baker

Exterior lighting fixtures are often relatively high wattage and many stay on “dusk-to-dawn,” or roughly 12 hours per day on average over the course of a year. This results in a great opportunity for major energy savings with LED lighting.

Thinking about making the move to LED exterior lighting? Here are a few things to consider:

How bright do I need the space to be? Industry experts suggest that areas such as parking lots have relatively low light levels, but as uniform as possible, to allow the eyes of drivers to quickly adjust to lower light levels as they exit the parking lot onto a street or highway. Recommended light levels are significantly higher for outdoor areas used for retail sales.

BUG Rating: Light that is directed anywhere other than where it is needed is considered “light pollution.” Many exterior fixtures are rated for Backlight, Uplight, and Glare. (B.U.G.) Light shining onto an adjacent property may be considered a nuisance by that property owner. Light that shines sideways into the eyes of someone approaching your property is considered glare. Glare is gives an unpleasant appearance, and could be a safety issue. Light shining upward into the night sky is wasted and could possibly have negative consequences for migrating birds.

Controls: Ever seen a building with exterior lights left on during the day? This is clearly a waste of energy and can be easily remedied with a photocell or time clock. Some LED exterior fixtures even include occupancy sensors that dim lights when no-one is around and automatically bring them up to full brightness when a person or car approaches. This saves energy and could enhance security by indicating activity during non-business hours.

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