LED Fixtures Saving Cities Thousands Annually

Parking garages are some of the most wasteful structures when it comes to energy. Most parking garage light fixtures are lit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, consuming over 100 watts of power per fixture. Cities around the world are replacing their parking garage fixtures garages with LED fixtures, including the City of Raleigh in North Carolina.

Raleigh was the first city to participate in Cree’s LED City program, and they replaced 141 120-watt high pressure sodium fixtures in their parking garage with 70-watt LED fixtures. About half of the fixtures were equipped with a photocell sensor that turned the lights off for 12 hours during the day. According to the study, Raleigh is producing only 128 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, and 46,720 kilowatt-hours per year. Their electricity savings totaled $2,803 annually.

Raleigh also saved $3,325 per year on maintenance costs. LED parking garage fixtures only need to be changed every 5 – 22 years, rather than every few months, depending on the lifetime of the fixture. Also, the inside of the fixtures do not have to be cleaned on a regular basis because they are manufactured to keep insects, dirt, and moisture out of the fixture.

Two hundred customers of the parking garage were surveyed before and after the LED replacement. After the retrofit, the surveys revealed both men and women felt safer in the parking structure, the quality of light was better, and the overall opinion of the garage was most positive. People also thought the parking garage was cleaner and easier to maneuver through.

According to the study, LED parking garage fixtures are 75% more efficient than those used in current parking garages. Payback time has been seen in as little as few months, or in the case of Raleigh, a few years. More cities have seen the energy savings and customer benefits from the LED retrofit in Raleigh and have begun the change themselves.