An In-depth Look at Post Top Lighting

What is Post Top Lighting?

Post top lighting or decorative area lighting is commonly used for exterior lighting designed for roadways, pathways, parking lots and campus lighting for both commercial and educational. This form of exterior lighting is most typically found mounted vertically to poles and tends to be between 7ft – 20ft.

Some of the most commonly used post top lighting applications utilized today are Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium, and Mercury Vapor Lamps, which are all forms of High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. Below are a few visual examples of non-LED post top lighting applications.

Common Issues in Non-LED Post Top 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 post top lighting applications have a typical range of 100 watts to 250 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. Multiple 100w or 250w HID fixture can cost between $6,000 and $16,000 to operate per year in electricity costs.

Lighting Performance

The performance characteristics of HID lamps can vary significantly, depending upon the type that is utilized in your post top 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 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 post top lighting’s main purpose is to provide illumination for pedestrians and vehicles, maintenance is always a major concern. Not only do you have to worry about the lamp’s lifetime. But these fixtures are generally located on pathways or parking lots. they can interfere with everyday activities when changing out the lamps and ballasts. These expenses add up fast. Over the course of 3 years, you could be looking at $1,200 in labor and materials to maintain a single post top 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 Post Top Lighting.

The Benefits of an LED Post Top Retrofit

There are sizable benefits to performing an LED retrofit to your organization’s post top lighting. Light Emitting Diodes or LED’s generate light utilizing a semiconductor. They 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 post top lighting commonly utilize wattages between 25– 106 watts. Which often result in a 40%-80% reduction in energy consumption. This could mean savings of up to $800 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 pedestrian and vehicles. 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 or 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. As a result, their functional lifespan can often exceed 100,000 hours. The LED’s lifespan drastically reduces the costs associated with maintaining your post top lighting. They could result in a significant maintenance saving, especially if you need the use of a bucket truck or lift to maintain your post top lighting.

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

Determining Next Steps in an LED Post Top Lighting Retrofit

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

Consider an LED Lighting Partner

Consider partnering with a commercial lighting service provider. Make sure they 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 Post Top Bay?

The first step in any LED post top lighting project should be to contact a lighting and electrical solutions provider. Make sure the lighting and electrical company 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. We understand the need to customize solutions to meet the organization.

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A Critical Guide to Setting Criteria goals for your LED Project

Narrowing down the best LED solution for your organization can be a challenge. The LED Industry has thousands of lighting options, and not all of them offer the same results. Without knowing product specifics, you might select an LED lamp that provides optimal performance but does nothing for energy efficacy. That is why prioritizing your LED goals should be your first step in any LED Retrofit project. No matter what your lighting application is, a full review of these factors is needed to prioritize them based on your LED Retrofit goals. We created this guide for LED projects; it will lead to the appropriate LED lighting solution for your organization. (more…)

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