LED Lighting Blog

How to Upgrade to New LED Parking Lot Lights for Free

Posted by Dave Scaglione on May 31, 2016 6:00:00 AM

Get New LED Lighting Parking Lot Fixtures For Free! When I hear claims like this sometimes I read them just to find out what’s the catch? In this case, believe it or not there is no catch. In fact the retrofit to LED parking lot lighting is better than free and will actually pay you to do this with a positive cash flow from Day One in most scenarios. Too good to be true? How can this be? Let’s do some real analysis with some real world scenarios and see what kind of results you can get by replacing your existing HID parking lot lighting with LED parking lot lighting.

Most small businesses want well lit, inviting lighting to showcase their business and create an inviting, safe, and clean looking environment at night to attract clients. Even if the business is not open late at night, for security purposes the lighting of the lot is often a requirement. We will examine three scenarios for retrofitting traditional HID parking lot lighting with LED parking lot lighting.

  1. A business who has average energy costs and lights their business for ten hours per evening with an average utility rebate.
  2. A better case for savings in which the business has high energy costs and needs all night lighting with a generous utility rebate.
  3. A worst case for savings in which the business has relatively low energy costs and only has their lights on eight hours per night with a low utility rebate.

1. ROI on LED lighting for a typical business operation

Some assumptions about lighting for the typical business operation:

  • Existing parking lot has 50 1000 Watt Metal Halide lights to be replaced with 50 270 Watt LED Parking lot lights
  • Energy cost of 10 cents per Kilo Watt Hour
  • Lights are on for ten hours per evening.
  • Utility rebate of $10,000

We use an LED lighting retrofit calculator to generate these results.

As you can see, we generate energy savings of $1,185 dollars per month. In addition, because the LED parking lot lights last much longer we also will have maintenance savings over 10 years of $26500 or $2650/year or an additional $221 per month for a total savings of $1,405 per month.

If we purchase these LED Parking Lot fixtures for $950 dollars each and use an installation cost of $125 each the total cost of our LED retrofit project is 50 x ($950 + $125) = $53,750. If we finance this project over six years our monthly payment will be about $850 per month. A typical energy utility rebate will be about $10,000 for this installation.

On day one we will begin saving $555 per month which is the monthly savings of $1,405 - $850 monthly payment for the first six years. Having these lights on for 10 hours per evening will likely result in 15 years of LED Parking Lot fixture life and for the last 9 years we will get the entire $1,405 savings in our pocket each month. In addition to this savings the utility company will pay us $10,000 cash up front! Note the total savings over 10 years of $168,700 not including the rebate.

2. Better case of ROI on LED lighting installation

Some assumptions about lighting for the better case business:

  • Existing parking lot has 50 1000 Watt Metal Halide lights to be replaced with 50 270 Watt LED Parking lot lights
  • Energy cost of 12 cents per Kilo Watt Hour
  • Lights are on for twelve hours per evening.
  • Utility rebate of $15,000

Once again, we use the LED lighting ROI calculator.

As you can see we save generate monthly energy savings of $1,706 dollars per month. In addition because the LED parking lot lights last so long without replacement we also will have maintenance savings over 10 years of $41,000 or $4,100/month or an additional $342 per month. This yields a total savings of $2,048 per month.

If we purchase these LED Parking Lot fixtures for $950 dollars each and use an installation cost of $125 each the total cost of our purchase is 50 x ($950 + $125) = $53,750. If we finance these over six years our monthly payment will be about $850 per month. A generous energy utility rebate will be about $15,000 for this installation.

On day one we will begin saving $1,198 per month which is $2,048 monthly savings - $850 monthly payment for the first six years. At 12 hours per night of operation we can assume 12 years of life for the LED Parking Lot fixtures so for the last 6 years we will get the entire $2048 savings in our pocket each month. In addition to this savings the utility company will pay us $15,000 cash up front! Note the $245,068 of total savings over ten years which does not include the rebate.

3. Worst case scenario for upgrading your parking lot lights to LED

Some assumptions about lighting for the worst case scenario business:

  • Existing lot has 50 1000 Watt Metal Halide lights to be replaced with 50 270 Watt LED Parking lot lights
  • Energy cost of only 8 cents per Kilo Watt Hour
  • Lights are on for eight hours per evening.
  • Utility rebate of $5,000

 

As you can see we generate monthly energy savings of $758 dollars per month. In addition, because the LED parking lot lights last so long we also will have maintenance savings over 10 years of $11,500 or $1,150/year or an additional $96 per month. This yields a total savings of $854 per month.

If we purchase these LED Parking Lot fixtures for $950 dollars each and use an installation cost of $125 each the total cost of our LED parking lot retrofit is 50 x ($950 + $125) = $53,750. If we finance this project over six years our monthly payment will be about $850 per month. A low energy utility rebate will be about $5,000 for this installation.

On day one we will begin saving $4 per month which is $854 monthly savings - $850 monthly payment for the first six years. Since these lights are only on for 8 hours per night we can assume 18 years of life and for the next 12 years I will get the entire $854 savings in my pocket each month. In addition to this savings the utility company will pay me $5,000 cash up front! Note the total savings of $102,508 over the ten years which does not include the utility rebate.

Getting your LED parking lot lights for free

As you can see even in the worst case scenario you really do get new LED Parking Lot lights for free! In fact, you actually get $5,000 cash from the utility company and break even on the payments for the first six years and for the next twelve years you pocket the entire monthly savings. If you have a better than worst case scenario the savings are much greater and can be in excess of $200,000.

In addition LED lights have many other benefits including:

  • Reduced Carbon Footprint – one third to one quarter of energy usage.
  • Better Lighting – clean true white colors makes your parking lot appear clean and inviting.
  • Dark Sky Friendly – LED Parking lot lights only shine down and do not pollute the night sky with light.
  • No Neighbor Light Intrusion – LED Parking lot lights are directional and the light and overflow is limited.
  • Environmentally Friendly Disposal – no toxic materials.
  • Long Life – eliminate the hassle of scheduling maintenance replacements.

Feel free to play with the Parking Lot LED lighting ROI calculator yourself using your energy costs, number of lights, wattages, hours of operation, and other parameters to see how much you can save by upgrading your existing HID lighting to LED Parking Lot lighting.

 

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Topics: Commercial Lighting, LED Lighting

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