The Best Place to Start Your Lighting Upgrades May Not Be Where You Think

While outdoor lighting is often overlooked when it comes to upgrades, it actually represents the best ROI opportunity when it comes to lighting. Parking lot and building wall packs use significantly more power per fixture than most indoor lights and LED replacements, therefore they can yield a greater kWh reduction. This drives a greater savings in utility bills and greater opportunity for rebates from utility companies.


Example: CEA’s Recent Nursing Home Project

Community Energy Advisors recently assisted one of our customers, a nursing home with multiple buildings and parking lots, with a lighting upgrade and utility rebate application. The campus had over 80 lamppost lights and wall packs. They upgraded all outdoor lights as follows:

  • 250W High Pressure Sodium lamps on poles were replaced with 54W LED Cob Lights
  • 400W High Pressure Sodium and Metal Halide lamps were replaced with 100W LED Cob Lights
  • 150W High Pressure Sodium wall packs were replaced with 60W LED wall packs
  • 100W Metal Halide lamps were replaced with 16.5W LED Lamps

After all of the replacements had been made, an estimate of 80,000 kWh per year was saved. First Energy’s rebates covered about 1/3 of the project costs, and the other 2/3 was projected to be recovered over the next 2 years and 2 months.


What Did the Customer Have to Say?

We talked about the project with the nursing home’s Chief Financial Officer recently and asked him about the results of the lighting project. Here are some of the questions we asked, along with his responses:


Q: What made you decide to choose to do this project at this time?

CFO: “We have to rent a picker from time to time to change our outside lights. When we learned about the utility company’s double rebate, it made pretty good economic sense. The payback period was a little over 2 years. With the LEDs, no more light changing for 5 years and no more picker rentals for light bulb changes.”


Q: What have you noticed the most since the upgrade?

CFO: “The consistency of the light’s color looks good. The lights on the sides of the buildings look especially good. The wall packs are definitely an improvement.”


Q: Did you learn anything from the process or the project?

CFO: “Retrofitting existing fixtures was news to me. Upgrading the lights and leaving the fixtures turned out good.”


Q: Do you have any other comments?

CFO: “The installers were good. They worked around a busy parking lot. One of the installers stopped to show me the lamp he was installing. The crew was good.  Good job on the project and good job on the follow up.”


Are You Considering a Lighting Upgrade?

If you’re thinking about cutting energy costs by upgrading the lights at your business, don’t forget about the fixtures you have outdoors. Some of the greatest savings may come from surprising places. For more information, contact us as