Metal Halide to LED Panel Delivers Better Light and Substantial Savings

Metal Halide to LED Panel Delivers Better Light and Substantial Savings

Brea Black |

Having problems providing the proper light output in your parking garages to ensure guest safety?  Still using metal halide bulbs and maximizing your monthly electric usage budget?  This high-end parking garage in Westlake, Ohio faced these problems and more, and turned to Phoenix Maintenance Supply for the solutions.


With mega-sprawling, city-like shopping centers comes more widely spread and higher quantities of parking garages.  Along with this comes a more discerning shopper who expects well-lit public areas to keep themselves and their valuables safe.  Commercial property owners can turn to greater security enhancements, or they can opt for the right lighting choices.

Why consider LED upgrades?

In the early 2000s through Q1 2014, presenting companies with LED upgrade opportunities and ROI analysis was a tough sell.  LED lighting technology was still very expensive, and electricity rates were on a steady decline for several years.  However, several things happened in the months and years to follow – electric rates spiked in July 2014, causing many businesses to panic and look for ways to save operations money quickly.  The cost of LED lighting products began a steady decline, making upgrading to LED the most affordable option to go for businesses to save money.

While electricity rates have been hovering at their all-time low since October 2016, multi-family and commercial property owners know these rates won’t be sustainable and are trying to lock in long-term contracts fearing for severe inflation.  The best way to do that is locking in an electricity contract and then upgrading your facility to LED.  Many national electricity providers are still offering attractive energy rebates, LED material costs are stabilized, but still substantially lower than in past years, and the ROI makes the funding decision a “no brainer” for savvy and cash-positive businesses.

How to decide between LED retrofits vs. fixture replacements?

There are still many debates to be had in regards to the value of LED retrofits (keeping the same fixture and installing a new light bulb or LED panel) vs. complete LED fixture replacement.  Each has its own value, but we encourage customers to think beyond the ordinary ROI and look deeper into their business model to make the right decisions.

Things we ask customers to consider when investigating LED retrofitting vs. LED replacements:

  1. Will your staff be performing the electrical work or will you have to hire an electrical contractor?
  2. What labor costs will be part of your ROI calculations?
  3. If your on-site maintenance/facility staff is capable of doing the led replacement work, do they actually have the capacity?
  4. How accessible is on-site trash collection?  Will increase waste impact your business in unforeseen ways?
  5. Does your company recycle?  How would that be worked into time value cost?
  6. Are you willing to pay more for an LED solution with a longer warranty / rated hours?
  7. If you only get one decision to make, which is more important – light output, energy consumption, or material cost?
  8. Is there architectural lighting which must be maintained for property design standards?
  9. Does your property reside in a territory offering LED upgrade rebates from your electric company?
  10. If considering bulb replacement, are sockets mogel base to enable qualification for energy rebates?
  11. Will your labor be able to accommodate any restrictions imposed to qualify for rebates?

This is just a sample list of things which need to be considered before even looking at fixture styles.  LED upgrading, while becoming a more commonplace, is still a considerable investment that you don’t want to be regretting your choices later.

What benefit does the flat panel offer in this parking garage application?

At this retail shopping center, LED retrofitting through a modular LED Panel was the best solution for several reasons:

  1. Skilled staff were able to work together to complete the retrofitting process in-house.
  2. Standard high-bay fixtures were installed in each of 5 garages, so upgrading one garage at a time would create aesthetic differences throughout the property.
  3. Exceptional light coverage was accomplished with a fairly inexpensive 45 watt (150 watt equivalent) LED panel.
  4. Rebates through First Energy subsidized almost 40% of the complete project cost.
  5. The panel selected offers 100,000 L70 Lifetime panel performance, as well as a 5-year warranty on the driver and 10-years on the LED head.  Without the expense of fixture replacement, unnecessary waste, and structural adjustments, they were able to achieve optimal output at a lower cost.


How are large structures paying for such expansive LED upgrades?

First Energy continues to offer enticing rebates for LED upgrades throughout Northeast Ohio.  As a First Energy “Ally,” Phoenix Maintenance Supply Company was able to identify where the greatest savings were for different project priorities.  Such savings continue to be available nationwide while electric providers work to meet federal usage cuts.

In the case of this parking garage, electric rebates covered almost 35% of the total material cost and during the first transition month, their electric bill decreased by over 60%.  As work was completed during the summer and timed light performance is at a minimum, this project is expecting an ROI in slightly over a year.

Cashflow planning is certainly a consideration for investigating LED upgrades in multi-family and commercial properties.  But so is the foresight of financing which can have a higher overall impact on regular operating expenses and how that impacts square footage rent profitability, as well as tenant contributions to common area electricity bills.

Our customers continue to inform us that aggressive sales people approach their facility with great frequency, offering free lightbulbs and quick savings.  As this shopping center discovered, trust in the long-term relationship we’ve established delivers more than freebies, it delivers insight, concern, and attention to the problems their business faces.

Through our vast distribution of maintenance lighting products, we continue to manage maintenance needs with a vested interest in overall money-savings strategy and long-term relationship growth.

If you’d like information about how these groundbreaking LED panels can retrofit your high pays, parking lot pole lights, architectural arch lights, and more, please call (216) 904-6046 or email and we can assist you.

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