LED Outdoor Area Lighting Report – The US Department of Energy (DOE) has released an initial Gateway report on a solid-state lighting (SSL) trial comparing high-output quartz metal halide (QMH) and LED based fixtures in a high-temperature outdoor environment. The trial involves three-poles retrofitted with LED luminaires along a stretch of the US-Mexican border fence near Yuma, AZ. Thus far, the SSL fixtures are delivering improved light quality and energy and maintenance savings bolstered by some unexpected nuances of the application at hand.
The topology of the project means that each luminaire, of a pair mounted on each pole, must cover 11,250
ft2 with an average illuminance of 25 lx. The project design revealed that LED luminaires from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business could handle the task when mounted at 40 ft. The QMH lighting is mounted at 64 ft. The superior beam control of the LED luminaires enabled the lower mounting heights.
Initial testing revealed that the LED poles deliver a better than 100% improvement in vertical illuminance on the primary fence. The DOE noted that average horizontal and vertical illuminance on the secondary fence was slightly worse with the LED poles relative to the QMH poles. The uniformity is superior for the LED-based lighting.
The LED-based system is delivering a 69% improvement in energy efficiency relative to the QMH lighting. Still, the trial has revealed other surprising findings relative to the lower pole heights.
In a new installation, the shorter poles would of course cost less. Even in the retrofit scenario, installation savings came from less lift time and faster installation. The same factor would benefit maintenance operations and even cleaning due to dirt depreciation.
But the lower mounting height also meant that lower peak output was required of the LED luminaire, enhancing energy savings. Moreover, the DOE said the lower mounting height results in less light spill into the night sky.
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