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Dec 1, 2016

Outdoor LEDs Offer Conservation, Cost Savings

Sponsored Content provided by Joe Marston - President, Wilmington Winlectric

You know that warm and comfortable light that illuminates your way to the parking lot or brightens the highway at night? Did you ever notice that bright orange light that makes it easier to navigate your street in the absence of a full moon?

For the most part, this type of light is produced by a High Pressure Sodium (HPS) bulb. The intensity, ease of installation and relatively low cost of HPS bulbs have kept them at the forefront of most outdoor applications for many years.

Though certainly warm and familiar, that bright orange glow is actually the look of a wasteful, inefficient product that harms our environment.  In fact, a new report recently released by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) shows that LED fixtures deliver a tremendous energy savings over traditional outdoor lighting applications, particularly HPS light sources.

To be clear, the DOE classifies outdoor lighting applications under a fairly broad umbrella. In the report, these types of lights include street and roadway lights, parking garage lights, wall packs and canopy luminaires. 

For each category, LED bulbs were found to be a better choice for outdoor lighting applications than traditional sources, such as High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. This is due to the fact that LEDs deliver a wealth of advantages in terms of energy efficiency, as well as better beam control than their HPS counterparts.

Of course, change will always be hard for some people to accept.  Though it has been proven that humans see better under a cooler light temperature - and LED bulbs that operate in this part of the spectrum are the most efficient - some people just love that warm orange glow and refuse to let go of it.

Maybe it’s that HPS bulbs and the amber light they produce are reminiscent of long autumn days, lazy afternoons or a cozy fireside. I don’t know for sure, but if experience has taught me anything, it’s that it is pointless to speculate about other people’s motivations.

In response to this phenomenon of people opting for orange-colored light over cooler temperatures, the industry has produced a range of LED fixtures that emit light at the warmer end of the spectrum. They are not as efficient as the cooler light of LED lamps but they still deliver a significant cost savings over traditional sources.

Advancements in lighting over the past few years have been stunning. A DOE report a few years ago found that in 2013, very few LED lamps were capable of delivering the light output necessary to replace a 400 Watt HPS bulb. LED bulbs are now capable of producing enough light to replace a 1,000 Watt bulb.

Although some LED fixtures do not produce the same amount of lumens as their HID counterparts, LED lumens can be more effectively controlled and distributed and are therefore the better choice. How often do environmentalists and business owners agree?

The fact that LED bulbs are more efficient for outdoor applications makes them a great option for business owners and conservationists alike.  For a consultation about how the integration of LEDs can have a drastic, positive impact on your business, contact us at one of the options below.

Joe Marston is a seasoned entrepreneur and the president of Wilmington Winlectric, a leading distributor of lighting solutions and electrical supplies. Offering reliable guidance and trusted insights, Wilmington Winlectric serves clients in the industrial, commercial, and residential markets. Wilmington Winlectric is a locally-based provider of consultation services as well as lighting solutions, controls and electrical equipment. To find out how Wilmington Winlectric can benefit your business, call (910) 790-1909, email [email protected], or visit

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