Best Lighting for Your Parking Lot: High-Intensity Lighting (HID) vs Light-Emitting Diode (LED)

Posted on March 20, 2023 •

Many factors go into deciding what type of lighting is best for a commercial parking lot such as energy costs, maintenance required, quality of light output, and environmental impact. While high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps have historically been used to light commercial parking lots, light-emitting diode (LED) lighting has emerged as a clearly superior option in recent years.

In this blog, we’ll break down why M3 Service recommends choosing LED lighting for your commercial parking lot through and through.

HID Lamps vs LED Lighting

If your parking lot is not already optimized with LED lighting, it’s likely you’re using a type of high-intensity discharge (HID) lamp. The three most common types of HID lamps are: high-pressure sodium, metal halide, and mercury vapor lamps.

Below, our commercial service technicians break down energy costs, maintenance upkeep, quality of light output, and environmental impact of the most common commercial parking lot lighting options.

Energy costs

The average electricity consumption of an LED light is 30 watts per hour compared to HID lamps which consume an average of 100 watts per hour (source). Since energy companies calculate energy bills based on kilowatts used, you’ll save money by using a lower-watt bulb. In other words, owners have the opportunity to save significantly by opting to use LED lights over HID lamps to light their commercial parking lot.

In California, energy companies charge .30¢ per kWh on average. Learn how to calculate exact savings in our recent blog: 6 Simple Ways to Minimize Utility Usage

Maintenance Upkeep

The next reason our commercial service technicians recommend using LED lighting for parking lots is because LED requires very low maintenance upkeep.

LEDs have an extremely long lifespan— the U.S. Department of Energy suggests that the average LED lighting product lasts between 30,000 – 50,000 hours. In comparison, HID lamps last 5,000 – 24,000 hours on average.

Longer lighting lifespan means less maintenance upkeep, which ultimately means owners will save on maintenance costs by opting to use LED lighting instead of HID lamps. 

Quality of Light Output

According to the Mark III Service electricians, metal halides typically output a “bright white” light. While a brighter, whiter light is ideal for security purposes, metal halide lamps tend to have accelerated lumen degradation, meaning the lighting output decreases quickly and the lifespan of the lamp is significantly shorter than other types.

High-pressure sodium lamps, on the other hand, see less lumen degradation than metal halide, but produce a much warmer, “orange” light which is less ideal for security purposes.

In contrast, LED lights have an excellent, bright white output and experience little to no lumen degradation and are better for distributing light evenly.

Environmental Impact

Because they use less energy than HID lamps, LED lights naturally have a lower impact on our environment. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests that widespread use of LED lighting has a large potential to impact energy savings:

By 2035, the majority of lighting installations are anticipated to use LED technology, and energy savings from LED lighting could top 569 TWh annually by 2035, equal to the annual energy output of more than 92 1,000 MW power plants.” – U.S. Department of Energy

Therefore, LED lighting for parking lots makes a positive impact on the future of our planet.

Install LED Lights at Your Commercial Parking Lot

Opting to use LED lights to light your commercial parking lot will save energy costs, reduce maintenance upkeep, provide higher-quality lighting output, and generate less environmental impact compared to other lighting types.

Mark III Service electricians are ready to help you install LED lighting infrastructure at your commercial facility.

Schedule a consultation today!

Service Request

Related Posts