What are Canopy Lights?
Canopy Lights (also known as parking garage lights or gas station lights) are a type of area light that illuminates a large area. Canopy lights provide an increased sense of security in outdoor areas such as loading docks, gas stations, storage areas, parking garages or underpasses. They are typically offered in square and round designs and offer various IP ratings to withstand outdoor conditions.
Advantages of LED Canopy Lights vs Metal Halide (MH)
LED Canopy Lights replace their metal halide (MH) counterparts and can provide brighter, more consistent light with reduced energy costs. They also require less maintenance than metal halide fixtures as there are no bulbs to change. The LED diodes used in LED Canopy Lights are rated to last 50,000 hours with some even lasting up to 100,000 hours. Compare that with the average lifespan of metal halide bulbs being 6000-15,000 hours.
Metal halide bulbs suffer from quick lumen degradation over their lifespan. For example, a 400W metal halide bulb produces 20,000 lumens with a life expectancy of 15,000 hours can lose up to 20% of it's lumens within the first 6 months of operation meaning that 20,000 lumen metal halide bulb produces only 16,000 lumens after 6 months. LEDs have a much better lumen retention over their lifespan.
Another advantage that LED canopy lights have over metal halide is reduced upward light loss. Metal halide bulbs emit their light omni-directionally, meaning light from the bulb is emitted in every direction. That means metal halide fixtures require a rear reflector to help reflect some of that upward light back down where it is usable. Metal halide fixtures can lose up to 30% of the light due to this. On the contrary, LED fixtures produce light directionally from the diode making it easy to direct all of the light downward and prevent light loss.
Some LED canopy lights are even color tunable meaning, the fixture has multiple color temperature options to choose from. This allows the customer to select which color temperature they want and what temperature will best suite the area that is being lit. Color Tunable LED canopy lights are great for contractors because one solution can cover multiple customer color temperature preferences.
All LED Canopy Lights are rated to be used outdoors however there are ranging degrees of outdoor ratings. It is important to ensure you purchase an LED Canopy Light that has the proper location rating for the location you wish to install it. Ask yourself the following question:
- Will the fixture be installed in a location that will have direct contact with rainwater?
- If yes, you will want an LED Canopy Light that is protected against direct contact with water such as a wet rated fixture.
- If no direct contact to water is anticipated, then a damp rated LED Canopy Light should work just fine.
Wet rated LED canopy lights are tested and approved to withstand direct contact with a jet of water. Wet rated LED canopy lights can withstand the elements when exposed directly!
Damp rated LED canopy lights on the other hand are tested and approved for use in areas that are regularly in contact with moisture and condensation. These fixtures can handle limited amounts of moisture but can't hold up to direct contact with water spray.
Most LED Canopy Lights also have an Ingress Protection Code rating, or IP Rating. Similar to damp and wet rated, IP code classifies and rates the degree of protection against water and dust intrusion into a light fixture. To understand the IP rating of a fixture, the first digit indicates the level of protection against the ingress of solid particles and the second digit indicates the level of protection against the ingress of liquids. Find out more about IP ratings on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) website here.