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Businesses that are feeling the pinch of eCommerce competition have concluded that they need to upgrade all aspects of the retail shopping experience to continue to draw customers to their locations.

Too often, however, those businesses devote all of their attention to upgrading their interiors and they forget about the last interaction that their customers will have their business location, namely, the parking lot.

A customer’s positive experience can be quickly forgotten when he finds himself in a dark parking lot asking, “Where did I park?”

Businesses that seek to remain competitive and relevant should consider the following six benefits of a LED parking lot light retrofit.

1. LED Lighting Reduces Operating and Maintenance Costs

Traditional metal halide and high-pressure sodium parking lot lights consume substantial amounts of electricity and drive up a business’s utility costs. A LED parking lot lighting system will consume 50% to 60% less energy than traditional lighting systems. Moreover, maintenance and replacement costs for aging metal halide fixtures will further reduce a company’s bottom line. Next-generation LED parking lot lights can provide between 50,000 and 100,000 hours of continuous operation with no degradation in lighting quality. A LED parking lot light retrofit can pay for itself through utility and maintenance cost savings, on average, within 18 months to 24 after installation.

2. LED Lighting Can Be Controlled More Effectively

A business might be tempted to reduce costs by lowering or shutting off parking lot lights during low-volume periods. Next-generation LED parking lot lighting systems are available with motion-sensing technology that reacts to parking lot traffic. Unlike metal halide lights, which require several minutes to come to full illumination, LED lights turn on and off almost instantaneously. During low-traffic times, a parking lot’s LED lights can be reduced or shut down. When sensors detect foot or car traffic, they can bring the LEDs back to full power to provide safe and bright lighting.

3. LEDs Have More Advanced Optics for Better Light Distribution

Outdoor lighting is measured by industry standards on a distribution scale of types I, II, III, IV, and V. Type I lighting is distributed laterally, whereas type V lighting is a broad 360-degree light distribution. A LED parking lot light retrofit will allow a business to combine different lighting types for the best and most effective light distribution throughout a parking lot.

For example, parking lot perimeters can be lit with type I lighting, and center locations can be lit with types IV or V distributions. None of these custom distributions would be available with traditional metal halide lighting. More customized and targeted light distribution also reduces light spillover and light “pollution” that can adversely affect neighboring businesses or residences.

In many cases, better light distribution and a more efficient photometric layout will even reduce the number of total fixtures required when making the switch from a traditional HID system to LED.

4. LED Luminaires have Superior Durability in Extreme Conditions

All outdoor lighting fixtures are subject to impairment from wind, moisture, and other weather extremes. Further, more than one distracted driver has been known to take out a light pole in his or her haste to exit a parking lot. Next-generation LED luminaires have low-profile designs that are less susceptible to wind and weather, thus enhancing their durability. A LED parking lot light retrofit can also be done with a modular layout that facilitates easy repair and replacement of one damaged module, leaving other modules fully intact and operable. Your signage company can show you how easy it is to maintain a LED parking lot lighting system.

5. LED Lighting Systems are Eco-Friendly

Businesses that are committed to sustainable “green” energy solutions will appreciate that, unlike metal halide or high-pressure sodium lighting, LED lights have no toxic components. The luminaires are also fully recyclable at the end of their useful life with no risk of adding hazardous waste to landfills. Due to their lower electrical load, LED lights provide up to a one-third reduction in the carbon footprint of a parking lot.

6. LED Lighting has Better Beam Uniformity and More Closely Matches Natural Lighting

Beam uniformity is an under-appreciated aspect of lighting systems. Uniformity is necessary to reduce eye strain and fatigue, and to allow individuals to distinguish between fine details in surfaces. Warehouse and loading dock operations are retrofitting to LED light to give operators a clearer picture of shipping containers. Professional sports teams are switching to LEDs to give athletes a clearer picture of playing surfaces. Parking lots can realize similar benefits when the retrofit to LED parking lot lights.

LED lighting systems can also be optimized with color rendering indices (CRIs) that more closely match natural light. Natural light gives individuals a better opportunity to recognize color variations and contrast. A business that retrofits to LED parking lot lights will rarely, if ever, hear a customer ask “where did I park?”.

The revolution in LED light retrofitting is expanding into all operations of every industry. Now is the time for a LED parking lot light retrofit. Your decision will allow your business to immediately begin to realize the financial and other benefits of LED lighting.


At Brady Signs, we’re a third-generation family business that’s served as a premier provider of business signage solutions throughout the North Central Ohio region and beyond for nearly 50 years.

Want to learn how we can convert your brand into a statement using our eye-catching signage for business? We’re here to talk.

Author: Ryan Brady
CFO at Brady Signs. Finance guy turned sign guy. Best move ever.

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