Heat and its Impact on Outdoor Lighting

One of the main issues we talk to our clients about is how heat impacts long-term LED performance. Most of the time we bring this up in the context of interior industrial lighting but for clients in the Southern and Western parts of the country, where outdoor temperatures can be sustained above 80 degrees during summer evenings, this needs to be a concern as well.

A recent Energy.gov report on the long-term performance of outdoor area lighting was just released and highlights what we have been saying for years. Under this study, area lights showed dramatic reductions in light levels and had color changes when exposed to higher temperatures.

The study also exposed the major issue the industry has with marketing LED products in this country. The gap between lab performance to field performance is dramatic. Just because a fixture says on its spec sheet that the L80 is 50,000 hours means nothing if your environment is hot and if you have harsh conditions. Too many people buy LED products from people who do not understand the technology and just show spec sheets “proving” their products will last for 20 years. If you have a hot environment or unfavorable conditions such as dust or oil in the air, you can expect most LED fixtures to last 2-3 years before reducing their light levels over 50%.

Therefore, it is imperative you talk with a lighting specialist who can analyze your needs properly and evaluate the unique conditions of your facility.


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