OK, you purchased LED lights for your property, and you’re thinking to yourself, “how many competent contractors does it take to install an LED flood light?”
In this post, I’ll run through the top three considerations to take into account when installing led floodlights, high bay lights, and many more led lighting fixtures. Number 2 will blow your mind.
When you purchase LED products, make sure you hire an experienced and licensed electrical contractor for installation. Using an unskilled electrician can leave you with LED products not working as intended, a dark situation to be in indeed. Believe it or not there are minor details that need special attention. From special tools to unique methods of installation, even something as small as the angle the light is installed at can make a huge impact on the end results. If you take one thing from this post, make sure to hire a knowledgeable professional to install your LED lights at your project site.
1) Degree of tilt – did you know that LED fixtures have special lenses that requires the fixtures to be angled or aimed a certain way?
Parking lot led lighting or led flood lighting often are fixed to a lighting pole at a 90-degree angle. There are other times when a trunnion mount or slipfitter mount is used to acquire a 45-degree angle. Either angle is ok, but you must make sure that you purchase the correct lens type with your Dorado or Qubeflood LED fixture. In just a moment, I’ll explain what trunnion and splitfitter mounts are.
Trunnion mount – A trunnion (from Old French “trognon”, trunk) is a protrusion used as a mounting or pivoting point. First associated with cannons, they are an important military development. Alternatively, a trunnion is a shaft that positions and supports a tilting plate.
Splitfitter mount -A splitfitter mount is a cylindrical mount with an opening that allows the fixture to pivot where there is currently a round mounting point.
QD1-1-UNVL-5M-50-6-0 describes the Dorado LED parking lot/flood light. It also notes that the lens type is 5M. This lens type has a 360-degree spread and should only be installed at a 90 degree angle. Taking this fixture and installing it at 45-degrees will result in a loss of 50% of your light or more.
2) The biggest concern with parking lot led lighting or flood lighting is water.
Improper installation can result in water seeping into the fixture housing damaging the driver and shorting out the fixture. All led fixtures have lenses that are prone to water leakage if not tightened correctly. Therefor it is so important to purchase fixtures from a reputable manufacturer and not from internet sites such as ebay. Lighting sales persons have estimated that as much as 50% of products that come from overseas will show signs of water damage in 3 years or less.
This is because the amount of testing that goes into LED fixtures that are made in China can be small since these manufacturers are in business to sell what is hot America and then quickly change product lines when something more profitable comes along. Water leakage into lenses happen on rare occasions with manufacturers who test and certify their fixtures are IP-66 rated. The most common water damage is to the driver. Water generally leaks from the pole due to the cap not being properly placed back on the pole to create a seal and down into the driver cavity. Also note that when there are holes in the pole that are not sealed water will leak there as well.
3) Improper pole installation –
Following up from water being the largest factor to worry about with an improper install, the biggest factor leading to this type of defect is improper installation of lighting fixture poles. When installers remove the existing fixture in a retrofit and install a new LED fixture, they often do not seal the existing holes. This is not only bad for water leaking into the fixture but this allows for water to go down the pole and into the underground electrical which can cause serious and very expensive labor down the road. Water leaking into the underground conduit will cause the wire to degrade over time. The wire which insulated metal heats and cools as power is turned on and off – when you add water to the mix bad things happen especially when the water sits over a long period of time. You can see how this can be an issue with led floodlight in particular.
What have we learned?
When led lighting fixtures are improperly installed, you expose your property to all kinds of hazards ranging from improper lighting to water damage and more. LED lights are longer lasting, more durable and overall a great idea for businesses to save money and cut costs, but if they are not installed properly, you can turn the lights off on all of those benefits.