What is a Wall Pack Light?
A wall pack light is a wall mounted lighting fixture which provides illumination and security around the exterior of buildings during evening hours. These lights are commonly used around walkways, back entrances, mandoors, and other areas around building perimeters. Wall packs were traditionally designed as HID and fluorescent fixtures; however, LED wall packs are now available as a more energy efficient and eco-friendly alternative.
Common Types of LED Wall Packs
Components of An LED Wall Pack Lighting Fixture
LED Chips: The light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the core of any LED light. These chips are semiconductor devices that emit light when an electric current is passed through them.
Housing: This is the protective casing that encloses the entire light fixture. It's typically made from durable materials like aluminum or plastic to withstand outdoor conditions.
Heat Sink: LED lights generate heat during operation. A heat sink is a component that absorbs and dissipates that heat to keep the LEDs from overheating and burning out prematurely.
Driver: This component converts AC power from the mains supply into the correct voltage and current to power the LEDs. It's essentially the power supply for the LED chips.
Lens or Cover: The lens, often made of glass or plastic, protects the LEDs and can help shape the light output. It can be clear or frosted, and some designs may include prisms or other structures to direct the light in a certain way.
Mounting Hardware: LED wall packs are typically mounted either via a junction box or mounted on a flat surface via conduit connection in the back of the fixture.
Wiring and Connectors: These electrical components deliver power to the LED driver and ultimately to the LED chips. They must be suitable for the voltage and current requirements of the device, and they must be well-insulated for safety.
Gaskets and Seals: In an outdoor fixture like a wall pack, gaskets and seals help keep out moisture and dust. They're typically placed where the housing opens for access to the inside, and where the housing meets the mounting surface.
Control Systems: Some wall packs include or are compatible with external sensors or controllers for dimming, motion detection, or other smart features. These can help save energy by turning the light on only when it's needed, and they can be convenient for users.
LED Wall Pack Accessories
Photocell Sensors: These sensors can automatically turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn. They're useful for energy efficiency and for situations where manual control isn't convenient.
Motion Sensors: These can turn the light on when movement is detected, providing light when it's needed and saving energy when it's not.
Glare Shields: LED wall pack glare shields, also known as visors or cutoff shields, are accessories that can be added to LED wall pack fixtures to help control and direct the light output. A glare shield effectively blocks and redirects light that would otherwise be emitted at higher angles, focusing the light downward where it's needed. This can prevent light from shining into people's eyes or into areas where it's not wanted, like windows of nearby buildings or into the night sky.
Dimmers: These allow the brightness of the light to be adjusted. Some LED wall packs can be dimmed to save energy and reduce light pollution when full brightness isn't needed.
Bypass or Direct Wire Adapters: In some cases, you may need to retrofit an existing light fixture to use LED lights. Adapters can allow an LED wall pack to be used in a fixture that wasn't originally designed for it.
Protective Guards or Wire Guards: These can be used to protect the LED wall pack from damage, especially in locations where they're at risk of being hit or vandalized.
Mounting Brackets and Hardware: Different types of brackets can be used to install the wall pack on different surfaces, or to adjust the angle at which it's mounted.
Gaskets and Seals: If the existing ones get damaged or worn out, replacement gaskets and seals can be used to maintain the waterproof and dustproof properties of the light fixture.
Diffusers or Lenses: These can be used to change the distribution of light. For example, a diffuser might be used to create softer, more even light, while a different lens could be used to focus the light more narrowly.
Types of Wall Pack Bulbs
Wall pack light fixtures have been designed to use several types of light bulbs over the years. Here are some of the most common types:
Incandescent Wall Packs: Incandescent bulbs were the traditional bulbs used for many decades. They're less energy-efficient and have a shorter lifespan than modern alternatives, so they're less commonly used today.
Fluorescent Wall Packs: Fluorescent bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs and have a longer lifespan. They're often used in older wall pack fixtures. However, they contain mercury, which is hazardous and requires special disposal.
HID Wall Packs: High-Intensity Discharge (HID) is another category of light bulbs. This category includes metal halide wall pack lights, high-pressure sodium wall pack lights, and mercury vapor wall pack lights. These types of bulbs were often used in outdoor lighting fixtures due to their high light output and efficiency. However, they have some drawbacks, including slow warm-up times, color rendering issues, and the need for special ballasts.
CFL Wall Packs: Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are a type of fluorescent bulb that is smaller and generally more efficient than traditional fluorescent bulbs. They're often used as an energy-saving alternative to incandescent bulbs.
LED Wall Packs: Light Emitting Diode (LED) Bulbs are the most recent development in lighting technology and are now commonly used in new wall pack fixtures. They're extremely energy-efficient, have a very long lifespan, and offer good light quality. They also turn on instantly and can be easily controlled and dimmed.
LED Wall Pack Pricing
The cost of an LED wall pack can vary widely depending on a variety of factors such as the power (wattage) of the LED, the specific features of the light (such as motion sensors or photocell inclusion), the brand, and the build quality.
On the lower end, a basic LED wall pack could be found for around $50-$100. Mid-range models with more features or higher light output could be in the range of $100-$200. High-end models, or those with integrated advanced features, like smart home compatibility or high-power output, might cost $200-$500 or even more.
These prices could vary depending on your location, the retailer, and the current market conditions. You might also consider the long-term costs, as LED lights can save money over time due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan.
Our LED wall packs range from $50 to $250 per fixture.
LED Wall Pack Applications
Wall pack lights are commonly found on building exteriors to illuminate areas around the perimeter such as walkways, paths, exits, etc. Common uses for LED wall packs include but are not limited to the following,
- Outdoor stairwell lighting
- Exterior lighting
- Car wash lighting
- Storage Unit Lighting
- Parking Lot Lighting
- Parking Garage Lighting
- Gas station lighting
High Voltage Wall Packs
High voltage LED wall packs are popular for large applications requiring significant illumination, especially when they are mounted from high above. These lights are ideal for multi story buildings with tall exterior walls, as well as large retainer walls and other high structures. These wall packs feature higher powered LED chips with exceptionally robust driver technology, all housed within a durable alloy case and impact resistant lens.
LED Wall Pack Installation
Wall packs are typically installed either via wall mount or junction box. They are hard mounted, meaning they utilize solid fasteners to affix them to their structures. Wiring to the fixture itself is typically through conduit mounted either externally or within the wall or vertical surface itself. It is recommended to work with an experienced electrician during install to ensure that they are mounted correctly and to the relevant building codes.
LED Wall Packs v.s. Metal Halide Wall Packs
While these fixtures look similar in appearance, they are vastly different in terms of performance and energy efficiency. One of the most apparent differences between these two lights is the actual quality of the light produced itself, with LEDs offering a much higher CRI rating when compared to traditional metal halide technology.
When combined with built in dimming capabilities for custom tailoring lumen output for the specific ambient lighting situation, LED lighting is clearly the superior choice for wall pack lighting applications. UC Davis discusses these benefits in their assessment of their own experience in upgrading to LED wall packs from outdated metal halide tech, stating:
“Wall packs typically employ high-intensity discharge (HID) light sources, such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH) lamps. These sources are only moderately efficacious, contribute significantly to light pollution…Replacing inefficient sources with LED or induction technologies and adding photocells, occupancy sensors and controls to wall packs dramatically reduces this energy waste.” (University of California, Davis, 2012, Adaptive LED Wall Packs)
Wall Pack Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a wall pack light?
Wall pack lights are wall mounted outdoor fixtures that provide illumination around building exteriors at night. These fixtures are the most popular outdoor commercial light in the United States.
Q. What is a photocell?
Some LED wall pack lights come with a dusk to dawn photocell. This allows the fixture to automatically switch off during daylight hours in order to maximize energy-efficiency. It’s important to note that not every wall pack comes with a photocell or is photocell compatible so it’s important to check the product descriptions and specifications prior to buying.
Q. What Wattage LED is Equivalent to a 250 W Metal Halide Wall Pack?
While dependent on the manufacturer, in most cases a 250W metal halide wall pack is equivalent to a 100W LED version. While there is a big difference in energy consumption, illumination output is equivalent thanks to the highly efficient technology behind LED fixtures. Also, because LEDs are unidirectional, they can be more efficiently used to direct light instead of requiring extensive reflectors to redirect a metal halide bulb producing a 360° beam pattern.
Q. Where are wall packs used?
These outdoor lighting fixtures are mounted on the walls of building exteriors and used to provide security and illumination around the perimeter. This includes lighting for walkways, alleyways, flagpoles, entrances, exits, mandoors, etc.
Q. Why does my LED wall pack flicker during the day with the dusk to dawn sensor?
Sometimes this can be as simple as a bad photocell sensor, which will switch on and off intermittently. If this happens regardless of ambient lighting, it is more likely that this is actually a bad LED driver and not the sensor itself. Other times, it could be something as simple as a piece of vegetation or something else blocking the proper functioning of the photosensor.