Converting Parking Lot Lights To Led: What You Need To Know


Poorly lit parking lots are a hub for muggers who often drive clients away and hurt business revenues. Besides, they also contribute to night-time accidents that can increase your liability issues. So, instead of watching your business revenues dwindle as people speed past your business, you are better off investing in good quality lighting. By now, most business owners have realized that LEDs are the present and the future. So, should you also jump on the LED bandwagon, and if so, what preparations should you have in place?

Should you Switch to LED Parking Lot Lights?

LED parking lot lights rely on light-emitting diode technology, which boasts two main factors- fantastic light quality and significant energy savings. One look at can have you gawking at how much energy these lights spend per lumen produced. But of course, we are getting ahead of ourselves with all the technical speak. So, are LED lights all that good?

Sure! They are:

  • Budget-friendly: Anyone saying that LEDs are expensive has probably not checked the current market prices. Over the years, the purchase prices have only gone down. Besides, they also feature low operational and maintenance costs, like you can see with Add the fact that they last tens of thousands of hours, and you have a great deal!
  • Energy-saving: You can get up to 80% savings in energy costs. The average LED light is about 70% more energy efficient compared to a HID!
  • Quality: Rather than dealing with flickering and spotting light, how about switching to uniformly distributed light? That’s right! LEDs have a color rendering index of 80-90 on average, which pretty much ranks as daylight.

Moreover, these lights look great and barely require replacements. Plus, they are reliable, and you do not want to take any chances with safety in a parking lot. When searching for rentals online, such as monthly parking NYC, many renters seek for a secure location with enough lighting, which is essential. We could go on and on about their benefits, but you have probably heard a lot by now. So, how can you get these lights in your lot?

Retrofitting vs. Replacing Parking Lot Lights

The big decision business owners must make with LEDs is whether they should replace or retrofit them. Let us consider your options:


Suppose your existing features are new or still in good condition; it makes sense that you would be hesitant to replace them. But, of course, new fixtures come with added costs. Most times, people choose to go the replacement route if their existing features are already coming apart. Again, safety is a crucial determinant.

You may also want to consider how much you have invested in the existing lighting. For example, if you went all out and bought the latest poles, heads, controls, sensors, and whatnot, the idea of replacement might pain you. In your case, investing in new fixtures may not be the best financial move.

In some interesting cases, this decision might not even be yours to make. Take an example of historic properties where the law may explicitly prohibit you from making any changes to the existing light fixtures. Finally, retrofitting is the easiest route if you want to get the installation over and done with.

Is Retrofitting Safe?

For the most part, retrofits are great options. They feature the same benefits as replacement LED kits and offer the same efficiency. Even so, their safety comes down to the existing features. For example, if the gaskets or other components have weathered, water can get into the fixture. Plus, without adequate components to cater to the high power generated by LEDs, the fixture might not have the best thermal management. As a result, your LED’s life would be much shorter than indicated by the manufacturer.

To be safe, have a professional check out your existing features and make adequate tweaks in preparation for the retrofitting. If the existing fixtures are beyond tweaking, you may want to consider getting new LED fixtures.


Switching out old lighting fixtures for new ones is a welcome idea if your old fixtures are old and weathered. Otherwise, you can retrofit the lights and save money. So, why would a replacement be a good idea?

New fixtures can withstand the high lumen per watt output generated by newer LED models and come complete with modules and driver systems. Moreover, they boast a variety of mounting positions and can support auto-switching. The best part? – They come with enticing warranties!

Of course, the decision to retrofit or replace has a substantial financial bearing, and you may want to check what is necessary. For example, you can start by installing LED lights first, and with the energy savings, you can then invest in new fixtures!

How to Choose LED Parking Lot Lights

Now comes the fun part- selecting the lot lights! You should consider:

The Quality of Light

As you move away from traditional lights, you will no longer focus on wattage. Instead, you will look at the lumen. Wattage refers to power draw, and with traditional lights, the higher the wattage, the brighter the light. With LEDs, the case is different because they are energy efficient. They, therefore, use less wattage. So, what should you look at? The lumens! Lumens refer to the quality of the light, i.e., the brightness. To be safe, work with options with at least 100 lumens per watt.

Also, consider the size of the lot when choosing the total lumens. For example, with a 20 to 30-foot distance, 40,000 lumens make sense. But when working with 15 to 20 feet, you can even get good quality with 20,000 lumens. 

Color Temperature

What kind of ambiance do you want in the parking lot? 4,000 kelvins replicate natural daylight and are common in workspaces. Lower kelvins create a natural relaxing space and work for spaces like dining areas and bedrooms. However, you are better off with 5,000 kelvins going up for a parking lot and any other outdoor space. Be sure not to go too high with the kelvins as this adversely impacts the environment and is not necessary for a parking lot. Plus, anything over 5,700 kelvins can harm humans.

With all these aspects covered, you can now convert your parking lots to LED lights. All the best!

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