The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a new Snapshot report on LED-based outdoor area lighting. The report covers area/roadway luminaires, parking garage luminaires, and canopy luminaires. Notably, outdoor area lighting has been important in the transition to solid-state lighting, and it is a major contributor to nationwide energy use. Also, LED outdoor area lighting has been a substantial component of the LED Lighting Facts®database since its inception. Consistently, outdoor area luminaires has been one of the categories with the most products.
According to the DOE report, as of August 29, 2016, area/roadway products alone comprized 15% of the lighting facts product database. The other two product categories featured in the report comprised about 4% of the listed products.
The report points out that LED outdoor area lighting comes in a broad range of color and output characteristics. This broad range of options allows specifiers to match the LED lighting to the needs of the project.
The report revealed that of the outdoor area luminaires in the lighting facts database, at any given output level up to the equivalent of a 1,000 W high-pressure sodium light (which delivers about 100,000 lms), LED products are available with significantly higher efficacy.
Like other LED lighting products, outdoor area luminaires have substantial variation in their efficiencies at any given correlated color temperature.
Although the products are grouped together for the report, the included products may be used in applications that are not strictly outdoors (such as parking garages).
The Mean efficacies for the three product categories within the database are between 93 and 98 LPW, with some products having efficiency as high as 150 LPW.
While the market seems to have shifted towards higher LPW, it has also shifted to using lower (warmer) correlated color temperatures (CCTs). While many early LED area lighting products were 5000 K or higher (cool white), within the Lighting Facts database the DOE found a measurable shift toward 4000 K products, and now a sizeable percentage of products come in 3000 K or lower (warm white).
For area/roadway lighting, average output and power continue to increase. The report speculates that this increase in output and power perhaps reflects the emergence of LEDs in applications in which greater output is needed such as high-mast lighting. In contrast, the average output for canopy and parking garage luminaires has remained relatively steady over the past few years. This stagnation in efficiency seems to indicate that LED products can already meet all demands of the application.