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An In-depth Look at Bollard and Pathway Lighting

What is Bollard and Pathway Lighting?

Bollard lighting, often called pathway lighting is commonly used for exterior lighting designed for landscaping and pathways. This form of exterior lighting is most typically found in a round or square style post fixture and tends to be between 2ft – 4ft. Due to the bollard and pathway lightings height and desired illumination results, they tend to project light horizontally and/or downward.

Some of the most commonly used bollard and pathway lighting applications utilized today are Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, and Mercury Vapor Lamps, which are all forms of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. You might also see a few compact fluorescents in non-LED bollard and pathway lighting. Below are a few visual examples of non-LED bollard and pathway lighting applications.

Common Issues in Non-LED Bollard and Pathway Lighting

Metal Halide, High-Pressure Sodium, and Mercury Vapor Lamps are all forms of HID lamps, which results in a few share common issues you should be aware of.

Energy Cost

Common HID lamps used in bollard and pathway lighting applications have a typical range of 50 watts to 150 watts, with the higher wattage producing higher light output. There are several factors that play a role in the number of wattages that are utilized, such as quantity, spacing, and height. A 70w or 150w HID fixture can cost between $50 and $100 to operate per lamp/year in electricity costs alone.

Lighting Performance

The performance characteristics of HID lamps can vary significantly, depending upon the type that is utilized in your bollard and pathway lighting. If your facility is utilizing High-Pressure Sodium, you could be seeing a longer useful life then some of the other forms of HID due to slower lumen degradation. But due to their fuel structure, they can produce an Orange light with a very low Color Rendering Index.  The illumination produced by operating Metal Halide lamps will initially provide a white light, but with the accelerated lumen degradation common to Metal Halide lamps the overall lifetime of your lamps will decrease and produce a pink illumination that barely provides light.

Maintenance Costs

Due to the fact that bollard and pathway lighting’s main purpose is to provide illumination for pedestrians, maintenance is always a big concern. Not only do you have to worry about the lamp’s lifetime, but these fixtures are generally located on pathways or close to parking lots and can interfere with everyday activities when changing out the lamps and ballasts. These expenses add up fast and over the course of 3 years, you could be looking at $400 in labor and materials to maintain a single bollard or pathway light fixture.

Check Out Our Blogs on this Topic!

What can you learn from our hottest blogs on this topic? These are the most common blog topics searched by people just like you. They are looking to make informed decisions about their Bollard and Pathway Lighting.

The Benefits of an LED Bollard and Pathway Retrofit

There are valuable benefits to performing an LED retrofit to your organization’s bollard and pathway lighting. Light Emitting Diodes or LED’s generate light utilizing a semiconductor and do not rely on the consumption of a fuel source like an HID lamp. Most LED fixtures utilize multi-point sources which means the fixtures have multiple diodes with individual optics. When compared to the way HID fixtures distribute light, the results in illumination is more evenly distributed across a surface. With this in mind, let’s look at the three most common benefits of an LED Retrofit.

Energy Savings

LED bollard and pathway lighting commonly utilize wattages between 12– 40 watts, which often result in a 40%-85% reduction in energy consumption. This could mean savings of up to $100 per fixture, per year in electricity costs.

For more on an LED’s energy savings, check out the section on Energy Savings on our LED Education Page

Lighting Performance

As a result of an LED fixtures multi-point design, you will see a bright evenly distributed light pattern perfect for illuminating areas frequented by pedestrians. The illumination across a given area will vary less and will eliminate the common bright spot produced by HID fixtures. In addition to your evenly displaced illumination, LED’s come in a variety of color temperatures providing a range of options in increasing the visual perception of brightness.

For more on an LED’s lighting performance, check out the section on Lighting Performance on our LED Education Page

Maintenance Savings

Due to the way LED’s generate light their functional lifespan is much longer. An LED’s generated light output will degrade very slowly over time, and as a result, their functional lifespan can often exceed 100,000 hours. The LED’s lifespan drastically reduces the costs associated with maintaining your bollard and pathway lighting and could result in over $300 in maintenance saving for a single fixture over the course of 3 years.

For more on an LED’s lifespan, check out our blog, Understanding LED Lifespan.

Determining Next Steps in an LED Bollard and Pathway Lighting Retrofit

You have weighed the pros and cons of retrofitting your bollard and pathway lighting to LED, and the LED has triumphed. So, now the big question is, what are the next steps in the process? We have a few considerations for you to review.

Have You Considered an LED Bollard and Pathway Lighting Retrofit Partner?

Consider partnering with a commercial lighting service provider that can supply a regional, national, and multi-location LED lighting and electrical project management program. Review these items when vetting a national LED lighting and electrical project management provider.

Interested in Learning More About an LED Bollard and Pathway Retrofit?

The first step in any LED bollard and pathway lighting project should be to contact a lighting and electrical solutions provider or lighting and electrical project management company that is manufacturer and product neutral. With neutrality comes a higher focus on your needs as opposed to the desire or limitation of selling a specific product.

A LED Retrofit provider should ask you about your project.

  • What are your desired results?
  • Are you looking at budget or project completion constraints?
  • Do you have an energy reduction target?
  • Are there lighting performance specifics needed to be taken into consideration?

At Action Services Group, our business model is designed to offer you the maximum ROI while taking your lighting performance, maintenance cost, and energy efficiency into consideration. No solution or product is ever a one size fits all, and we understand the need to customize solutions to meet the organization.



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