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Concrete's Advantage in Parking Lot Lighting Gains Momentum

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Recently, NRMCA Senior National Resource Directors Amy Miller, Doug O’Neill and Vance Pool attended a Webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), entitled "High-Performance Parking Lot Lighting for Federal Facilities." The focus of the Webinar was to discuss the implementation of DOE’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) which encourages the use of solid-state lighting (SSL), such as Light Emitting Diodes (LED), for exterior lighting. The Webinar provided attendees with an exterior SSL technology update, an overview of product and application-related support resources available from FEMP, and case studies of exterior SSL applications.

One of the case studies included was the Leavenworth, KS, Wal-Mart project completed in 2009. This site is one of Wal-Mart’s pilot LED projects and was scrutinized by Wal-Mart management prior to the recent change in policy which now specifies LED lighting on all new construction projects (you may remember hearing about this project before, as it includes a concrete parking lot).

Of great interest to our industry is the response from surveys of Wal-Mart customers and company representatives with regard to the performance of the LED’s on the concrete pavement vs. a similar asphalt parking lot. According to a DOE report, initial response from customers and Wal-Mart personnel indicate that the luminance of the LED-lit concrete parking lot was acceptable, even though it has significantly lower illuminance than a similar asphalt lot with a traditional 1000W metal halide lighting design. Additionally, the DOE reported, "Typical concrete has a higher reflectance value than asphalt, along with a smoother, more reflective texture. The higher reflectance values from concrete play as much of a role in the visibility and apparent brightness of the site as the lighting."

"What better support could we ask, for what we’ve been saying for years," said Senior National Resource Director Phil Kresge. "Concrete’s lighter color provides better reflectivity and therefore should be taken into consideration when designing exterior light plans!" Kresge's fellow Senior National Resource Director Jon Hansen added, "I believe this third-party information from DOE can be interpreted as an endorsement and our industry should take this opportunity to leverage it with the design community."

The DOE report can be found here. Please take a moment to download and review this document, particularly sections 4.1, 5.1 and 6.1. Also download NRMCA’s Promotion Facts Brochure, "Luminance, Illuminance and Concrete Pavement" here. For more information, contact your regional national resource director.


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