Wall package lights, or exterior building lights, are lights that are usually mounted on the exterior walls of commercial buildings. They are the most common commercial outdoor lighting fixtures. Wall packs use high-intensity lamp heads that are durable, energy-saving, and have low levels of light pollution. These lights provide extra security to buildings, as multiple fixtures are typically mounted on a wall to illuminate specific areas outside a building.
How to choose the best LED wall lighting
There are 4 types of traditional lamps used in wall packs:
- High-pressure sodium
- Metal Haluro
- Mercury vapour
- Fluorescent lamps
And while these lights are very capable of generating bright light, even in hostile environments with snow, rain and sleet, they are not as efficient as LED lamps.
High-pressure sodium bulbs have a low color temperature and the color of the light they produce is normally very yellow (2200K-2400K). The metal halide may have a higher color temperature (4000K-4500K) but it takes a long time to heat up and cool down (as is the case with all HID lights). Fluorescent lamps have the best color temperature of all conventional lights (2700K-6500K) but consume a lot of electricity and do not have a long lifespan.
LED wall packs outperform traditional lights in all aspects: power consumption, light power, light uniformity, service life, maintenance and heat emission.
There are 4 types of wall pack lights:
- Flood Wall Pack Lights
- Total cut
- Top-to-bottom wall packages
Semi-cut and full-cut wall packs dispense light downwards, wall up and down packages distribute light up and down, while flood wall packs distribute most of their light to the exterior.
If you have decided that LED is the way to go and is in the process of choosing wall packs, here are five considerations to guide you in the right direction.
The basics of wall packages
Look at the lumens
In the past few days, people used to look at the watts to determine the brightness of a light bulb. While watts may have been an important factor in determining the brightness of traditional bulbs, they are no longer. Watts simply indicate the electricity that an LED bulb draws.
Lumens are what you should look at if you want to know the brightness of an LED bulb.
Lumens tell you the total amount of visible light a light source produces. Visible light is the light seen by the human eye. An LED bulb that emits more lumens looks brighter than one that emits fewer lumens.
Lumens are important because they tell you how an LED bulb compares to a conventional bulb. For example, if you already have metal halide wall packages installed on the exterior walls of your building and are looking to replace them with LED wall packs, the lumens can tell you if the LEDs you are planning to acquire will be as bright as metal halide – or brighter.
Save energy with motion sensors
While it's easy to remember to turn on the lights when you're in a dark area, remembering that turning them off isn't always easy.
LEDs with a motion sensor function can significantly reduce your building's power consumption. While LEDs can only reduce power consumption by up to 75%, when combined with motion sensors, energy usage can decrease by up to 90%.
Motion sensors turn on the lights if they detect any movement nearby and turn off the lights if a few minutes go by without activity. Building owners and managers usually install LEDs with motion sensors in outdoor areas that don't have to be on all the time.
Some LED manufacturers install motion sensors during the manufacturing process, which means you won't have to go through the hassle of installing the sensors after purchasing LED lights.
Lights must have photocells
Photocells function as light sensors. Unlike infrared sensors that are good at detecting the presence of objects, photocells are good at detecting light. Photocells are also called photo-resistances because they act as light-sensitive resistors. They have little resistance when they are in a place with light and high resistance when they are in a dark place.
The photocells on the LEDs point to the circuit to provide more or less current. The resistance of photocells is usually based on the amount of ambient light that reaches your photosensitive plates. This usually dictates the brightness of light. LED manufacturers also install photocells, so there is no need for additional integration.
Photocells are used in packages of walls and streetlights from dusk to dawn, and the light turns on at night (when the surrounding environment turns dark) and turns off in the morning (when the atmosphere becomes bright again). Turning on the light only when needed extends LED life, saves a lot of electricity, and reduces maintenance costs.
They must be rated as wet
The efficiency and longevity of a lamp depends mainly on where you install it. Some operating conditions, such as humidity and water, can be very harsh on light bulbs. This is why you should get bulbs specially designed for wet places.
A humid place is a place where water or other forms of moisture (rain, snow, hail, sleet, fog, or marine dew) can splash, drip or flow into accessories and damage their electrical components. Typical wet spots on the premises include exterior walls of buildings, hallways, roads, stairs, open garages and uncovered porches.
Lighting fixtures installed in wet places must have a UL moisture rating so that electrical components can be protected from water and moisture. If these accessories are not classified as wet and are continuously exposed to water, their service life decreases and can also become potential fire hazards.
DLC listed for utility rebates
You may have found the tags "LISTED DLC" or "Approved DLC" and had no idea what they meant. DLC is designLights Consortium, a certification organization for commercial grade lighting products. DLC-certified lighting products have a high level of energy efficiency, as the organization promotes efficient lighting solutions and collaborates with government, municipalities, utilities and other partners.
If you purchase LED wall packs that are listed in DLC, your local utility may offer you discounts, which can significantly reduce upfront costs.