The Short and Sweet Answer
Wall pack lights are exterior building lights that are commonly mounted on the outside facing walls of buildings. Common mounting areas include the front and side exteriors of buildings, walkways, and even inside parking garages. In general, wall packs provide light for areas that are frequently visited by cars and pedestrians. Yet, one of the most common applications of these types of lights is for security purposes.
36% Reduction in Index Crimes
From March through August 2016, four researchers (Aaron Chalfin, Benjamin Hansen, Jason Lerner, and Lucie Parker) and in partnership with New York City found a 36 percent reduction in nighttime outdoor index crimes. Along with this finding, they also found that outdoor lighting led to a ~4 percent decrease in overall index crimes.
This studying leverages behavioral economics and psychology principles that small changes to the environment, such as lighting, can affect human behavior. Most notably, using the research done by Stanley Milgram’s obedience studies involving “nudges” as the foundation for their human behavior study in urban environments. The research did note that apart from lighting, other environmental factors can have an influence on human behavior.
Overall, during the course of their research, they found that unwanted behavior can be influenced by relatively small changes to the environment that over the long-run can mitigate costs of implementing such behavioral changes. In this case, we can see the benefits of adding quality outdoor lighting to prevent index crimes. Now, I’m guessing your project doesn’t compare to that of NYC but we can borrow the ideas here to improve your environment. So we know that installing outdoor lights can help in preventing index crimes but what about their costs and performance?
Cost and Performance
The cost savings you’ll experience switching to an LED wall pack from a traditional HID wall pack will be significant. Traditional wall packs consume more watts to produce the same amount of light (lumens). An example of this would be a 100W HID wall pack that produces 2930 lumens, compare this to the LED wall packs of today that only need to consume 25W to produce the same amount of light. Perhaps the most striking difference is that most people who switch from HID to LED wall packs experience savings anywhere from 20 t0 60 percent!
Apart from the cost savings, you’ll notice a significant performance improvement as well. LEDs last longer, which means less cost in changing bulbs and associated costs (hiring someone to change the bulbs out and any equipment needed to complete the job). LEDs offer superior light distribution as well. Common complaints of HID wall packs are bright spots where you would notice a bright center engulfed by a lesser light surrounding it.
This brighter spot problem goes away with LED fixtures because they distribute light in a more controllable and evenly fashion. This issue is not so large if you’re installing one wall pack light per wall but once you start installing two and more lights along the same facing wall, you’ll want to maintain an even light distribution for performance and visual standards. On Top of offering consistent light distribution, LEDs offer consistent Lumens Per Watt (LM/W) and a variety of Kelvin temperatures to personalize the look and feel of your outdoor lighting.
The Kelvin temperature, sometimes referred to as the Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) ranges on a scale from Soft white – 2700K to Full Spectrum – 6500K but you’ll usually see wall packs between 4000K and 5000K. Apart from the color of the light, we have brightness or lumens of the light. One may think that the brighter the outdoor light the better but this is not necessarily true, instead, think about your environment and its usage then decide on the right lumen output for you.
Correct Mounting Placement
One last consideration is the exact placement of your LED wall pack light. You’ll want to consider the location and the purpose the light will serve. In a loading dock area, it may be to provide illumination for overnight delivers, in a walk-way area it could be a two-fold purpose of illuminating the walk-way and deterring crime, and in the front-facing wall of your business it could be to provide a “welcoming feel” for your business, even after business hours.
Along with the location and purpose the light will serve, you’ll want to consider its optimal mounting height. Most wall packs are built to be mounted at a height between 10ft and 20ft, however, this can differ based upon the lumens of the light as well as its intended purpose. The idea here to achieve the optimal light distribution. On one-end, we want to make sure that our lights take into account any potential dead-space and on the other hand, we want to account for any potential light-spillovers. Dead-space is the dark area surrounding the light, and light-spillover is the un-intended lighting of an area, think shining a light into a nearby apartment complex.
We’re Here to Help
The world of lighting can be a difficult world to navigate, that’s why GoodBulb provides educational resources on our blog. If you’re having trouble deciding on what options best suit your needs then feel free to learn more on our blog at goodbulb.blog or call us at 701.205.4953 to get your questions answered by a qualified Lumen Master.
Author: Preston Gilmore
Published: Feb 24, 2021