As energy costs continue to rise, local authorities and facilities managers everywhere are seeking savings across all their assets. All-night lighting across car parks that are not in constant use can seem inefficient and unnecessary. But leaving areas in total darkness would present unacceptable hazards to the public.
In the face of this challenge, Medway Council has been working with Earlsmann Lighting and energy consultant, Ashley Baxter, from Hydrostat, to develop a new car park lighting solution that balances the need for safety and security with impressive energy savings.
Safety versus savings – the challenge
The Council needed to replace the existing fluorescent lighting at the Brook public car park. A simple swap to LED tubes would have achieved a reduction in energy use of around 60%. The addition of sensors would result in further savings, but simple on/off movement sensors would leave areas of the car park in total darkness when lighting was deactivated – creating safety issues for users.
Designing a balanced solution
After consulting the experts at Earlsmann Lighting, the Council decided on a solution that balanced the need for safety with significant savings. The new lighting incorporates an automatic pre-set lighting level of 10%, with levels restored to full brightness when triggered by movement sensors.
To achieve this effective variant solution, the Earlsmann team designed a replacement LED gear tray. This avoided the need to remove ballasts and install LED emergency packs, enabling a much quicker installation process. Using external drivers and mounting the LEDs directly to the gear tray also improves the cooling capability of the equipment, increasing its reliability and cutting maintenance costs.
Faster payback, greater ongoing savings
The project is currently being installed by the contractor NCS Technology. The graph shows the significant impact the Car Park LED lighting has already had on energy usage – with costs reduced by over 70% compared to the old fluorescent lighting.
Although the addition of sensors meant initial investment costs were higher compared to simply replacing tubes, the combination of these intelligent sensors and the 10% preset level will deliver faster payback and provide greater ongoing savings to the Council.
Ashley Baxter, from Hydrostat, was impressed by the team at Earlsmann. “They are very knowledgeable with regards to LED – they have been with us every step of the way through system design, providing advice and support and assistance during commissioning,” said Ashley, also confirming that the gear tray and control system is “performing exactly as required”.
LED lighting – the intelligent choice
With the option to add sensors and pre-set lighting levels to suit user requirements, LED lighting is the intelligent solution for almost any application – from car parks to stations, factories, retail premises, offices, hotels, hospitals and schools. Making the switch to LEDs has never been easier, and provides instant, measurable benefits in lower maintenance costs, reduced power consumption and improved lighting levels.
Earlsmann manufactures its LED gear tray units in the UK, providing high-quality, reliable products underpinned by a full warranty. We provide a comprehensive range of lighting solutions for every interior and exterior application.
Find out more about Earlsmann’s commercial lighting products, call 08456 434 740 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.