Outdoor lighting: MaxLite LEDs light parking; Global SSL projects update

Feb. 10, 2014
The Imagina headquarters in Miami, Florida is now lit with MaxLite LED fixtures, while Las Vegas reports on the success of its SSL program and two UK cities plan major LED projects.

MaxLite has announced an LED-based lighting installation at TV-producer Imagina's new headquarters after a detailed project comparison relative to metal halide (MH) fixtures. The GE Lighting installation of around 40,000 solid-state lighting (SSL) fixtures in Las Vegas, Nevada has been tested in a study that documents improved light quality. Glasgow, Scotland is tapping a green energy loan to commence a major LED project while coastal Bournemouth, England hopes to combine LED-streetlight and public Wi-Fi plans.

Imagina parking lot

The new Imagina headquarters in Miami, Florida includes an 85,000-ft2 parking lot for which the company sought to choose an optimal lighting system, both in terms of energy efficiency and light quality. The company commissioned Solar Energy Technologies of Hialeah, Florida to evaluate different lighting options for the lot.

Solar Energy Technologies designed two different lighting scenarios for Imagina. An MH-based design included 28 400W MH fixtures. The poles along the outside of the lot would have single fixtures installed while those on the inner lanes of the lot would carry two fixtures.

The proposed SSL design was based on 16 270W Merak luminaires from MaxLite. Because of the beam control afforded by the LEDs, the Merak fixtures could cover the entire lot from pairs of fixtures installed on poles in the inner lanes (see nearby photo).

The energy savings available with the LED option are obvious with both fewer fixtures and lower power usage by each. But Imagina was concerned about the photometric performance as well. The MH design delivered an average of 6.3 fc across the lot with a 1.1-fc minimum and 12.3-fc maximum. The LED design delivered an average of just over 4 fc across the lot with a 1.4-fc minimum and 15.9-fc maximum. The SSL system delivered the required light levels along with lower energy usage and the reduced maintenance cost enabled by longer lifetimes.

"Our customers were very pleased with the parking lot's light levels," said Jose Rieumont, executive vice president of Solar Energy Technologies. "More than that, they looked forward to realizing the tremendous energy savings the new LED fixtures will offer them for many years."

The Merak fixtures produce 24,300 lm and are rated for 104,000 hours of life. The life equates to 23 years of usage based on 12 operating hours per day. Relative to the proposed MH design, the LED luminaires will deliver 896,064 kWh energy savings, equating to $130,855 at $0.14/kWh over the projected lifetime.

MaxLite introduced the Merak series in December 2012. Subsequently the fixtures received DesignLights Consortium qualification in August 2013. This past month, the company more than doubled the rated product lifetime to the 104,000 figure.

Las Vegas project update

Las Vegas, meanwhile, has one of the larger LED streetlight projects in the US with the kickoff of the project highlighted during the Lightfair International conference in May 2012. The Las Vegas Sun reported, however, that some city council members had questioned the effectiveness of the LED lighting because of a high number of vehicle-pedestrian accidents.

The Las Vegas Public Works department, however, has tested the installation and reported that the SSL system is delivering more light than the legacy fixtures. Indeed, the department said that there has been a decrease in pedestrian fatalities, although there is no concrete link between that fact and the new lighting. The department studied 600 different lights along a broad set of road types ranging from residential streets to major arterials.

Edinburgh Green Investment Bank

In Glasgow, Scotland the town council has launched a project that will replace 72,000 sodium streetlights with LED luminaires. Moreover, according to The Scotsman website, the project will mark the first instance of a municipality in the UK turning to a green-energy loan to finance an SSL project. The Edinburgh-based Green Investment Bank, which was funded by the UK government, will provide funds for the project.
Glasgow plans to complete the first phase of the project including 10,000 lights in 2015. The city projects a two-thirds reduction in energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Just the first phase is expected to save the city GBP 8.9 million ($14.6 million) over the projected 18-year life of the products.

Bournemouth lights and Wi-Fi

The coastal resort town of Bournemouth in the south of England, meanwhile, hopes to both install LED-based streetlights for improved nighttime visibility and use those fixtures to build out a public Wi-Fi data network that would serve the beach area and public gardens. The Bournemouth Daily Echo reports that the city plans to retrofit 16,627 streetlights along with other outdoor lighting such as bollards.

The city has already partially secured the funding required for the lighting project that will be justified by GBP 32.3 million ($52.8 million) in energy savings over 20 years. But the Wi-Fi angle could provide additional justification through the possibility of increased tourism and the ability of the city to offer additional services.