Types of LED Lighting
Canopy Lights - Mounted on the inside of canopies covering fueling pumps, entrances, etc.
Post Lights - Mounted in place of traditional lamp post bulbs that are used to illuminate entrances, parking areas, and walkways.
Wall Packs - Used in a similar manner as canopy lights, except mounted on the side of a wall or building.
Flood Lights - Similar to post lights, these are used to illuminate walkways, parking lots and areas in which large amounts of people congregate.
Benefits of LED Lighting for Gas Stations
There are many benefits of LED lighting for gas and fuel stations, the most obvious of which is reduced energy consumption. LED lighting on average is up to 70% more efficient than its traditional lighting counterparts, including fluorescent, HID and mercury vapor lamps. This reduction in energy costs alone is enough to justify the transition to LEDs, however there are several additional benefits that only further solidify their dominance in lighting.
The second benefit not immediately apparent to most is the dramatically reduced maintenance requirements for LED lighting. In a gas station setting, the majority of lighting fixtures are mounted high up (15’ or more) and require the hiring of a 3rd party maintenance crew using a specialized lift truck to access and repair or replace the lights. Compared to the lifespan of traditional lighting (avg. 7,500 - 10,000 hours), LED lamps have a far greater lifespan (avg. 100,000 hours) and require zero maintenance or replacement parts for years at a time. This dramatic reduction in the maintenance frequency for LED lighting significantly reduces the station’s annual operating costs and increases the return on investment.
In addition to the reduced energy and maintenance costs, LED lighting offers a higher quality of light that not only is more pleasing to the eye but also contributes to a safer environment for customers and employees. The quality of a light is measured in CRI (Color Rendering Index), which measures the light's accuracy in replicating natural sunlight - which has a CRI of 100. The higher the CRI, the more accurately a light illuminates its surroundings and the less strenuous it is for the human eye to see.
Compared to traditional lighting, LEDs offer a distinct advantage in their CRI rating. In best case scenarios traditional lighting can achieve a CRI of up to 80 when new, seeing a progressive degradation in CRI over their lifespan. By comparison, LED bulbs normally have a CRI of 90 or above, without any appreciable degradation over time. While it might not sound like a large difference, it is a significant increase which is very noticeable when compared side by side. The resulting improvement in visibility due to the higher CRI of LEDs helps reduce accidents and also better highlights products in a store - which can result in improved sales.
This advantage is shown in a study conducted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. According to this study,
“The management team at 7-Eleven has made a decision to test LED lighting at several stores across the nation, including one store in Citrus Heights, California. Since this store was located within SMUD’s service territory, SMUD agreed to provide a research grant and assist 7-Eleven with evaluating the performance of the LED Lighting system. Results included:
- Higher initial illumination levels
- Less visual glare
- Less light pollution
- Energy savings of 63 to 80%” (Sacramento Municipal Utility District, 2009, Energy Efficiency & Customer Research & Development Technology Brief: LED Canopy Lighting).