Traditional Lighting is Outdated
The MUV Fitness location on Forest Drive in Columbia, South Carolina is looking a little brighter these days thanks to the retrofitting of their parking lot lights to LEDs provided by Colite Technologies. Traditional parking lots commonly use one of three technologies—high pressure sodium (HPS), metal halide (MH), or fluorescent—largely because of their lower price points. However, that lower cost is negated by an increased need for frequent and ongoing maintenance due to their significantly higher usage of electricity.
The Case for LEDs
Meanwhile, LED lighting is emerging as the preferred choice for facility managers willing to invest now in order to reap a longer-term benefit. With rated lifetimes of 10 to 20 years, LED lights last 10 to 50 times longer than traditional sources without sacrificing lighting output. Although these fixtures generally cost more up front, the reduced maintenance more than makes up for the difference. Additionally, they can save facilities up to 70% in energy usage—which case studies have demonstrated can reduce overall electric operating costs by 25-33%. The benefits of longer lasting bulbs that require less maintenance outweigh LED lighting’s higher price point, and therefore is often the smartest investment for facility retrofits.
The Need for Increased Lighting Output
One of the primary motivations to improve parking lot lighting is public safety; this is often a specific concern for banks, hospitals, schools, and retail parking lots. Insufficient exterior lighting can be cited as a contributing factor to crime, affecting fitness center parking lots as well. Increased lighting output is also necessary during winter when the sun sets earlier in the day.
The Importance of Sustainability
An energy efficient lighting option like LED—which uses less energy than typical exterior lighting sources—can support an organization’s sustainability efforts; buildings can earn up to an estimated 20 LEED points for optimizing energy performance. According to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator, the MUV fitness lighting retrofit will eliminate nearly 500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 20 years. Simply switching light sources generates decades of positive impact on the environment and promotes a cleaner future.
MUV Fitness Decision
Like most executives who are exploring lighting options, MUV Fitness had to consider their ROI related to an exterior lighting retrofit. One must first identify the facility’s primary need—increased safety, managed visibility, heightened commercial appearance, energy and cost savings, or all of the above—and then consider whether this decision meets that need. Colite Technologies used our experience in lighting design and installation to create a custom plan that delivered the best solution.
MUV Fitness is raving about their experience with Colite Technologies and their new lighting system. After utility rebates, the payback on the project for MUV was 1.54 years. The ROI of an exterior retrofit can be seen across the board—from financial to environmental—proving that an investment in an energy efficient lighting system today can translate into substantial savings tomorrow.
Before (left) and after (right)