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Jason
Jason, Service Technician
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 4246
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience in all types of installations, troubleshooting, and repairs.
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Im an electrical contractor installing new lights for two

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I’m an electrical contractor installing new lights for two tennis courts at a residential apartment complex. Each court has four 25 foot poles, two on each side. I’ve learned through my own research the minimum recommended light for residential tennis courts is 250 lux –or about 25 fc (foot candles). Presently, each court is using (8) 1000 watt metal halide probe-start fixtures rated at 86,000 lumens each –a total of (16) lights. These fixtures are presently producing between 25 and 30 fc in each court.

My plan was to replace them with either LED units or pulse-start metal halides to achieve same (or better) light, but using less watts. In order to retain the existing light level my supplier recommended replacing the 1000 watt units with 304 watt 20,000 lumen LED fixtures; or 575 watt 60,000 lumen pulse-start metal halide units. Since the disparity in lumen value is so great I did not understand how these new fixtures could produce light equivalent to the 1000 watt fixtures –which carry a light producing value of 86,000 lumens each. My supplier was not able to furnish any useful information; it’s just what he was told. (And he does not sound re-assuring.)

My goal is to be confident the new fixtures I install will produce at least as much light as the old ones do. I realize LED lights are mono-directional (the light source shines 100% in one direction) Vs. conventional light sources which shine 360 degrees and use reflectors to re-direct the light to the target areas. But, can a 20,000 lumen LED fixture really perform as well as an 86,000 lumen metal halide? Does anyone at Just Answer have experience in this area, or suggestions on how to go about establishing the correct fixture for the job?
Thank you!

Jason :

Hello. Welcome to Just Answer.

Jason :

I am not a lighting specialist, and I don't think Just Answer has a lighting specialist. However, I would still like to offer my professional opinion.

Jason :

I've been doing electrical work full time for about 20 years. I recently took a job at a new hospital, in the maintenance department. We have a few LED light fixtures on poles, in a parking lot that was added shortly after the hospital opened (about 3 years ago).

Jason :

No one has said they like the LED fixtures. That particular parking lot is always darker than all of the others.

Jason :

I am all for saving energy, but I really doubt you'll be happy with the light output from LED fixtures.

Jason :

I should note that the LED fixtures were retrofitted, with original HID fixtures being gutted and replaced with LED components.

Jason :

Even knowing that, I still don't think I could recommend the LED fixtures, just based on the difference in lumens you noted in your original question.

Jason :

If I were bidding it, I would go with the tried and true HID fixtures, pulse start.

Jason :

With those, you can KNOW you'll get the light output your customer is looking for.

Customer:

Thank you for adding credence to my own hesitation with jumping on the LED band wagon. However, my customer is very pro-LED. Therefore, in light of what I already know combined with your thoughts on the subject, I feel better about taking a more rigorous approach to verifying the luminance capability of these fixtures. I plan to obtain reliable photo-metric diagrams, upping the number of fixture per pole if necessary, and outfitting each fixture arm with an adjustable knuckle type support fitting (to allow for directional adjustability).

Customer:

Thanks for you candidness. The last time I checked your web site I noticed the areas of expertise have grown. Just Answer is a great concept. I hope your organization continues to expand into more subjects and specialized areas. It's really difficult to get straight answers these days that are honest, sincere, and credible.

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