LED highbay lighting is used in many public places, like parking zones, football stadiums, baseball fields, skate parks, outdoor tennis courts, basketball courts, sports halls, airport tarmacs, transportation terminals, highways, outdoor storage yards, piers, roundabouts, freeway interchanges, ports, and more. These lights are ideal for large areas that require uniform light.
But while LEDs are used in a variety of roadway lighting and street lighting applications, most high mast lights still have HID lamps. The Lighting Center manufactures industrial LED highbay fixtures that make perfect replacements for high pressure sodium, metal halide, and mercury vapor lamps.
When you replace conventional lighting systems with LED technology, energy savings can be as much as 90%, especially if you integrate energy-saving controls like motion sensors or photo sensors. LEDs provide intense, high-quality light and spread it evenly across surfaces.
The mounting height of LED highbay lights usually ranges between 60 feet and 120 feet (or more). The pole the lights are mounted on is at least 30 meters tall and several independent lighting fixtures are mounted on it. These fixtures may be 4, 6, or 8.
In rare instances, highbay lighting poles may have 10, 12, or 16 lights. These fixtures may form a square or a circular pattern to dispense light uniformly over a specific area. Sometimes the lights are usually surrounded by circular shields to decrease light pollution or to prevent light from affecting neighborhoods that are next to the highway.
While most high mast lights use high pressure sodium bulbs, LEDs are replacing these traditional lights by the day as more decision-makers realize their benefits. Freeway interchange poles normally have 2-12 1000-watt high pressure sodium lamps that are evenly spaced.
A single 1000-watt HPS lamp with a ballast draws 100 watts of electricity. If a lighting pole has 8 of these lights, its consumption will be 9.6 kilowatts. Because of the high energy consumption of these lights, most cities usually switch off the lights after 11 pm to cut down energy costs. But when these lamps are replaced with LEDs, the lights can run all night without driving up an electric bill.
One of the best things about LEDs is their low energy consumption. It is without a doubt the biggest benefit of LED technology. As we had said earlier, a 1000-watt HPS lamp with a ballast pulls 100 watts of electricity. Since most high mast poles have several of these fixtures, they send electric bills through the roof.
LEDs need very few watts in order to produce sufficient light. And thanks to advancements in LED technology, new LEDs need even fewer watts to produce more lumens. LED lights alone can reduce energy consumption by up to 75%. When paired with controls like motion sensors and daylight sensors, energy usage can go down by up to 90%.
When buying LED highbay lights, never look at the watts, focus on the lumens – especially lumens per watt. Lumens per watt tell you how many lumens the light produces for every single watt of electricity it consumes. For instance, a LED that produces 140 lumens per watt consumes less electricity than one that produces 100 lumens per watt. The high mast luminaires manufactured by The Lighting Center produce more lumens per watt. To know a light’s efficacy, divide the lumens produced by the watts consumed.
Something else you should look at is the number of LEDs a light uses to produce a specific number of lumens. Always go for bulbs with more LEDs as this means they don’t work extremely hard to produce adequate light. If the LEDs are fewer, it means they will work harder to produce sufficient light, which may affect their lifespans.
Because of their long warm up and cool down times, metal halide and high pressure sodium lights don’t work well with lighting controls. LEDs do not have this problem because they achieve full brightness as soon as they are switched on. If you want dimmable LEDs, make sure the ones you buy have drivers that are dimmable (0-10V).
You can pair LED highbays with different types of lighting controls like motion sensors (which switch lights on and off if any activity is detected), photo sensors (which switch off lights as soon as ambient light is detected), or timers (which switch lights on and off automatically at specific times).
One of the benefits LEDs have over traditional lights is a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI). CRI tells you how good a light source is at revealing the true colors of objects compared to an ideal light source like sunlight. It is a scale with numerical values between 0 and 100. The higher the CRI, the better a bulb’s color rendering ability. Light bulbs with a CRI of 85 and above are excellent at color rendering. Because LEDs have a high Color Rendering Index, their light quality is much better than that of conventional light sources.
Don’t fluorescent lamps also have a high CRI? You’re absolutely right.
However, since fluorescent lights are powered by an alternating current (AC), they tend to flicker, causing headaches and eye strain. LEDs do not flicker because their drivers convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). The lack of flickering, coupled with the high-quality light they produce, make for a better work environment.
However, LEDs with a high Color Rendering Index aren’t required in high mast outdoor environments. We only recommend them for outdoor industrial settings where color rendering is important. Unless you’re getting them for such an environment, don’t pay more for high CRI LEDs.
It is the wish of every business owner to recoup their investment in the shortest time possible. When you know the estimated return on investment, you can decide whether a venture is worth undertaking or not.
At The Lighting Center, we use the 1 (cost of electricity) + 1 (hours of use) + 1 (rebates) rule to determine the LED payback period. The rebates come in last because their savings may be cancelled by the cost of electricity and the hours of use (the operating times for the lights). In addition, some utility companies do not offer rebates for some LED conversions (some utility companies only give rebates for fixtures with a DLC premium rating, not the standard rating).
What will mostly determine the payback period will be the cost of electricity in your area and how long the lights will operate each day. You shouldn’t worry too much about rebates because we have created many proposals for our customers (who didn’t get rebates when they switched to LED technology) where ROI was under 1 year.
The biggest problem with traditional lighting technologies, like high intensity discharge lights and fluorescent lights, is that they use ballasts which have very short life expectancies. LEDs use drivers which usually have long lifespans. LEDs also have heat sinks which disperse the little heat they produce, extending their lifetimes.
The average lifespan of LEDs is 50,000 hours, which means they can last for more than 10 years without burning out. However, the driver is likely to fail first. The best drivers on the market (Philips, Inventroniks, and Meanwell) usually come with a warranty of 5 years so be wary of manufacturers who give their drivers a 10-year warranty. Be sure to buy LEDs with high-quality drivers as chances are both will stop functioning at approximately the same time.
The secret to a good lighting design is picking the right optic for the application. We have more than 10 years’ experience in LED technology and have installed LED highbay fixtures in gun ranges, parking zones, storage yards, and many other places.
In all our projects, we make sure that the poles are evenly spaced so they can spread light uniformly over large areas while maintaining the required foot candles. The lights we have installed in gun ranges can illuminate targets that are 100 meters away. We understand optics very well and know how to use them to produce the desired lighting effect.
The Lighting Center manufactures LED highbay lights that are DLC listed and eligible for rebates. Some models come with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. Our outdoor lights are rated IP65 or higher and are ETL or UL listed. They can withstand harsh weather conditions and temperature ranges between -30°C to +60°C. They come with different mounting solutions like wall, yoke, sport, pole, and adjustable heads.
Call us today and talk to one of our experts to help you choose the right LED highbay fixtures for your application. If traditional fixtures are already in place, we will carry out an evaluation and recommend products that will replace the current lights and meet your requirements.