Wall pack lights, which also go by the name exterior building lights, are lights that are mounted on the exterior walls of buildings. They are generally used to light up building walls or the ground areas next to buildings that are frequented by pedestrians and vehicles.
The best thing about these lights is that they offer additional security to buildings. Most of the time, multiple fixtures are mounted on a single wall and are evenly spaced (20-40 feet apart) so as to provide uniform light around a building.
Lighting designers usually choose between 3 models of wall pack lights: full cut-off, semi-cut off, and flood. Full cut-off and semi-cut off wall pack lights illuminate the walls but don’t discharge a lot of light outwards while flood wall pack lights light up areas near and far from the building.
Most of the wall pack light fixtures installed in buildings use High Intensity Discharge lamps or other traditional lights. In this post, we’ll discuss why LED lights are much better for wall pack fixtures than any other lights.
Why Are LEDs Better Than Traditional Lighting Systems?
Most wall pack light fixtures use Metal Halide Bulbs, High Pressure Sodium Bulbs, Mercury Vapor Bulbs, or Low Pressure Sodium bulbs. And while these may have been efficient at one time, that was long before LED technology was invented.
The light produced by High Pressure Sodium bulbs is usually very yellow (between 2200K and 2400K) and has a bad Color Rendering Index (meaning it’s impossible to tell the true colors of objects). Low Pressure Sodium lights also have a poor color temperature (1700K) and discharge a very deep yellow light.
Metal Halide may have a better color temperature than these two traditional lights, (between 4000K and 4500K) but their CRI is poor. But for a while, these lights replaced both HPS and LPS lights because of their light that was of higher quality.
However, they need time to warm up in order to attain full brightness and also time to cool down before you can turn them on again (as is the case with all HIDs). They are also expensive to maintain because they don’t have a long lifespan. They get very hot when they run for long hours, buzz and flicker, and consume a lot of watts in order to produce sufficient light.
Sometimes, you will come across wall pack fixtures with fluorescent lamps, which have a better color temperature than metal halide lights (2700K-6500K). But these are not very common.
While every conventional lighting system has its benefits, they are all outperformed by LEDs in more ways than one.
The 3 Major Benefits of LEDs
Without a doubt, LED lights have a myriad of benefits. LED technology advances at a rapid pace and keeps on getting better with time. This is why the new LEDs sold on the market today are much more efficient than those sold a few years ago. Let’s look at three of the best benefits LEDs have to offer.
1. Energy Efficiency
This is unquestionably one of the best benefits of LED technology. LEDs are extremely efficient and can consume up to 90% less electricity than conventional lights. Because of this, you’ll notice a significant reduction in power costs.
LEDs not only emit light differently, they also distribute it much more differently than traditional lighting systems. Most traditional lights are omni-directional, which means they emit light in all directions – even in places where it is not needed. Reflectors are usually added to fixtures to redirect the light to specific locations. However, LEDs are directional and discharge light in a limited range.
Conventional lights waste a lot of the electricity they consume (95%) by discharging it as heat. LEDs, on the other hand, convert 95% of electricity into light.
2. Better Color Rendering Index and Light Quality
LEDs have a higher Color Rendering Index, Correlated Color Temperature, and Foot Candles. Color Rendering Index measures a light’s ability to show the true colors of objects compared to natural light.
Correlated Color Temperature describes the color appearance of a white LED. It is measured in Kelvin and can be further defined as the characteristic of a light (cool, warm, bright, and so on).
Foot candles measure the light intensity of a light source, the amount of light a bulb emits on a specific surface. A foot candle reading can be for one light source or for several that light up a particular area.
3. Lower Maintenance
The lifespan of HID bulbs is 15,000 hours but they have a rapid rate of lumen depreciation. By the time they reach half of their lifespans, they only produce half of the lumens they produced initially (those written on the label). LEDs can last up to 100,000 hours. This means you won’t have to replace bulbs every now and then.
Since wall pack lights are usually mounted higher, changing bulbs can be a time-consuming task that may call for the use of ladders or mechanical lifts. If you get wall pack fixtures with LED bulbs, you won’t have to change them for years. You’ll save money you could have spent on labor and replacement bulbs.