A Guide to Outdoor Commercial LED Lighting

Many organizations considering an outdoor commercial LED lighting retrofit can find this to be a challenging task to complete. You will find yourself confronted with tasks like selecting the right product, ordering, shipping, finding an experienced project management team, and finally the actual installation. Then at the end when you think you’re finally done, the post-project work begins like recording the warranties and filing energy rebates.

But not to worry. Action Services Group has 30 years of experience with outdoor commercial lighting. In today’s article, we will walk you through the process of converting your outdoor lighting to LED from start to finish with examples.

The Number One Commercial LED Lighting Retrofit Question

No matter the type of commercial LED lighting retrofit you are planning, either outdoor or indoor, there are common questions you will want answered. But the number one question most organization ask is:

What is the cost and ROI of a commercial LED lighting retrofit project?

Let’s answer that question by starting with the simple definition of a commercial LED lighting retrofit. A commercial LED lighting retrofit is the renovation of your old lighting fixtures and lamps. It improves your lighting output and temperature, all while emitting less heat and saving energy and money. With this definition in mind, below we review how cost and ROI go hand in hand.

Cost vs ROI

A commercial LED lighting retrofit is a capital improvement, and the prime barrier often falls on the high upfront cost. Even with the energy and maintenance savings, businesses often struggle with justifying this type of major renovation. What companies need to understand is that high-quality LED lighting can deliver real capital improvement.

Organizations must understand that ROI depending upon a few factors:

To better understand the correlation between cost and ROI let’s look at an example from a completed outdoor commercial LED lighting project.


If you would like to start your ROI and savings calculation, our latest eBook is the place to start. In The Essential Guide to Calculating Energy Savings and ROI on any Lighting Project, we walk you through the calculation for:

  • Lighting Only Energy Saving
  • Your HVAC Energy Savings
  • Calculating Your Lamp Replacement Savings
  • Learn to Calculate Your Labor Savings
  • Calculating Your Return Of Investment (ROI)

Example of an Outdoor Commercial LED Lighting Retrofit

In this example, a national variety store company with thousands of locations was in need of a turn-key outdoor led lighting solution for 758 of their locations. They wanted to reduce both energy and maintenance costs while improving the security of their parking lots.

Action Services Group working with the customer selected LED parking lot products that ensured the customer’s goals were met in a cost-effective manner.

We replaced the following lamps and fixtures with:

  • 400W HID Parking Lot Lights with 15k Lumen Parking Lot Lights
  • 400W HID Flood Lights with 15k Lumen Flood Lights
  • 150W HID Wall Packs with 4k Lumen Forward Through Wall Packs

The overall commercial LED lighting retrofit investment was $1,896,363.

The LED retrofit reduced their lighting energy by 62% which came out to a total of $3,419,191 saved over the first 10 years. They eliminated an annual maintenance cost of $650,665 with an expected $9,016,273 savings over 10 years. Their light levels were improved by specified light distribution patterns, to provide safe well-lit parking lots. The energy savings and other benefits gave them a 22-month return on investment. As an added bonus, they reduced their greenhouse gases by 3,839,611!


The driving factor on this commercial LED retrofit was safety, followed by energy savings. Parking lot safety is a major concern across the country. Download our free eBook, Parking Area Liability, are You Vulnerable, for more information.


Commercial LED Lighting Retrofit Considerations

When considering an outdoor commercial lighting project, start with deciding who will be handling and completing the project. As a recommendation, we suggest partnering with a national commercial lighting service provider that also offers project management services.

With the example we shared above, having a nation lighting service provider that included project management was a huge asset for the 758 location LED lighting project. Can you imagine trying to complete a commercial lighting project of that magnitude with multiple companies doing a variety of tasks on a national level. We can guarantee that if your hair wasn’t grey when you started it would be once the project was completed.

Know Your Lighting Component Data

Before taking on a project of this size and magnitude it is important to understand your facilities outdoor lighting component data. What is this data? Lighting component data is all the technical pieces of information about your lighting.

You will want to know the answers to questions like:

  • What lighting do you currently have installed?
  • How high are your light poles?
  • What is your current lighting performance levels?

Without knowing the current lighting component data, it will be impossible to generate a potential ROI let alone a cost analysis for the project.

If you decided to hire a lighting service provider, they will be able to answer these questions by surveying your locations. If you already happen to have a lighting service provider that handles your current maintenance needs, ask them if they have this information. As an example, our lighting service coordinators here at Action Services Group, keep detailed records of our customers’ lighting component data.

LED Product Procurement

A national commercial lighting services provider is going to offer you the best turnkey solution. Typically, facility managers and property owners would go through their existing lighting supplier like they may have been doing for years. The challenge is that a lighting supplier will have a more limited selection of LED lighting products. Typically, a distribution house has fewer options because they handle only one of the major manufacturers.

In addition to the larger product selection, a national commercial lighting services provider will ensure the product meets your lighting criteria, and that they can get the product in time to start an accelerated LED installation.


If LED product procurement is a major concern for your organization, we suggest reading blog, 3 Tips for Choosing Product for Your LED Lighting Solution. We walk you through the 3 key factors you will want to consider.


Outdoor Lighting Installation and Project Completion

I know we keep hammering home the concept of hiring a national commercial lighting services provider, but if you aren’t convinced yet, you are about to be. A national commercial lighting services provider will have an internal project management team. The project management team will be the ones who manage the ordering, shipping, and installation logistics for your outdoor commercial lighting project. They will set up project communications and reporting criteria for their team and for you the customer. They will handle installation items that include:

  • Manpower and quantity of available resources required for the retrofit
  • Size and lift capabilities of bucket trucks
  • What is their daily installation capability
  • Inventory stocking capabilities
  • GPS tracking systems
  • Clearly defined Key Performance Indicators
  • A backup and contingency plan for product and labor
  • The workforce installing your outdoor commercial lighting

If you would like to review more examples of the major savings your organization could experience with a commercial outdoor retrofit, check out our Case Study Education Center.


Outdoor Commercial Led Lighting with Action Services Group

Implementing a large-scale outdoor commercial LED lighting retrofit for hundreds of units in a short time-frame takes planning, resources, and careful execution. Make sure that you are working with a national commercial lighting services provider that can capture lighting component data, procure the best LED products that meet your lighting criteria, and have the resources needed for a national installation roll-out.

We understand that any commercial LED project is a daunting and time-consuming process. Our lighting specialists are standing by to assist you from the very start. For more information on outdoor commercial LED Lighting for your organization contact Action Services Group by calling 800-223-0982 or email info@actionservicesgroup.com.

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