Gone are the days when we strung lightbulbs on lampposts to light the outdoors. Today, sophisticated LED wall packs can be finely tuned to our unique needs.
Some of the most common factors that play a part in choosing the perfect wall pack for outdoor lighting include:
- Beam spread/light distribution pattern
- Light source technology (LED, HID, or fluorescent)
- Light output
- Applications: tunnel, walkway, wall, or entryway lighting
- Extra features: wildlife-friendly, dark-sky restrictions, light color
- Control features such as automation and dimming
With all these considerations in mind, it is important to pick high performance wall packs that not only meet, but exceed your project specifications.
So what exactly does “high performance” mean when it comes to LED wall packs? Read on to find out and see some examples of LED outdoor lights you can order today.
Table of Contents
- What “High Performance” Means in LED Wall Packs
- Four Types of LED Wall Packs by Application
- Let Us Find You the Perfect LED Wall Packs
- Frequently Asked Questions
What “High Performance” Means in LED Wall Packs
LED lighting technology has become the go-to choice for electrical contractors, lighting designers, and other experts in the field for its many advantages.
The biggest benefit of LED technology is its extremely high efficiency compared to traditional incandescent, fluorescent, metal halide, or halogen lighting. Through the use of a diode, LEDs convert electricity directly into light and lose less than 10% of it in the process.
In contrast, incandescent lights have an efficiency of 10% and lose the rest of that energy as heat. Fluorescents manage an efficiency of 85%, while high-intensity discharge (HID) lights achieve an impressive efficiency of 75-90%.
However, energy efficiency isn’t the only feature by which wall pack lights are judged. Let’s look at five other important features to consider when choosing the best wall packs for outdoor lighting.
Knowing the beam spread of a wall pack light is important for determining what area the light will cover and its intensity. For example, a beam spread of 300 will cover a small area with intense light, while a spread of 1200 will wash over a much larger area less intensely.
Depending on their beam spread, standard wall packs can be narrow spot, very narrow spot, spot, flood light, narrow flood, wide flood, and very wide flood.
Beam spread is engineered into the design of a wall pack light, but it can also be affected by the mounting height, size and lumen output of the wall pack, as well as by the positioning of the light.
Some advanced wall packs feature adjustable heads that allow you to customize the spread and direction of the light beam. For lights that cover large outdoor spaces, high output wall packs can be mounted high up to cover a wider area.
Light Distribution Pattern
The light distribution pattern of a wall pack is based on the horizontal light pattern it casts and how much light reaches each area of that pattern.
Figuring out light distribution patterns allows contractors to figure out how to create a bright, attractive space without glare. It also lets them know how many lights will be needed to achieve the desired effect.
The table below examines the five main types of light distribution patterns and their common applications:
|Type of Wall Pack||Light Distribution||Example Applications|
The center of most open commercial areas such as roads and walkways
Perfect for paths, alleys, roadways, and walkways
Wide roadways, parking areas, and lawns
Type IV/forward throw/asymmetric wall packs
Large areas such as building exteriors and perimeters of parking areas
Large areas such as commercial parking spaces
Also perfect for canopy lighting
With traditional lighting technology, the amount of light produced increases in proportion to a lamp's wattage. However, the amount of light produced by an LED wall pack is determined by its lumen output, not its power.
In fact, the same wattage can produce different levels of lumen intensity depending on the manufacturer and the light’s design factors.
The output of LED wall packs can vary anywhere from 12 W to over 120 W, producing 1,000 lumens to over 15,000 lumens. The table below provides some examples of power specifications from one LED wall pack manufacturer.
|Power (Wattage)||Lumen Output||Wattage of HID Equivalent|
|12 W||1,320||100 W|
|30 W||3,290||175 W|
|50 W||5,280||250 W|
|80 W||9,240||300 W|
|120 W||14,220||400 W|
LED wall packs in the 12–30 W range are considered low output and produce 1,000–3,000 lumens. They are the best option if your goal is energy savings.
If you want medium output, LED wall packs in the 30–80 W category will give you 3,300–7,000 lumens. These are the most popular options among clients and electrical contractors.
LED wall packs with a wattage of over 80 W are high output, producing 11,000 to 17,000 lumens or more. This high lumen output allows them to be mounted at extensive heights.
Expert Tip: If you’re not sure what lumen output you need, most manufacturers now offer LED wall packs with selectable output ranging from 30 W to 120 W (5,000–15,000 lumens).
Commercial lighting applications generally range between 3,000K–5,000K in terms of their color temperature. Where HID and fluorescents tend to produce one type of light, LEDs can be finely tuned to produce the exact light color the client wants.
For example, some projects such as roadways, gas stations, or warehouse lighting call for high visibility. In this case, a cooler, whiter color provides the highest contrast.
In areas where more welcoming outdoor lighting is desired, a warmer color will help to improve the mood and ambiance. This can be seen around stores, shopping malls, casinos, and other places of leisure and shopping.
A lot more functionality and efficiency can be achieved when you pair LED lights with modern control solutions, such as photocells, motion sensors, and computerized control systems.
If that’s what your project requires, it’s important to install LED wall packs that come with dimmable drivers and other control units.
As a case in point, UC Davis retrofitted its exterior lighting with dimmable LED wall packs in 2012. The system also used an array of sensors and wireless controls to create an automated and adaptive campus-wide outdoor lighting system.
The result? Energy costs went down 89%, and maintenance costs fell by $986 per fixture per year. See how the transformation took place in the video below.
While your project may not call for such high-tech lighting, it’s easy to save money with simple automated controls such as dimmers and photocells.
Expert Tip: By recommending additional control solutions to your clients, you can earn more money from installation costs and additional service calls.
Four Types of LED Wall Packs by Application
Several categories of LED wall pack lights exist to suit different applications. From basic wall packs to those designed for advanced light distribution and control features, the team here at RelightDepot is available to consult on and supply outdoor lighting solutions for any project.
The following are just four of our most popular wall pack lights to help you get started.
Option1 - Traditional Wall Packs
“Traditional” LED wall pack lights are so-called because their design, shape, and form factor all resemble the old HID lamps. Some of the traditional LEDs are designed to be exact replacements of these old lights to make retrofitting even easier.
The classic look of this large LED wall pack instantly reminds you of hospital and school hallways. The only difference is, they emit a much brighter and cooler white light and use much less energy.
Traditional wall packs usually offer general wide-area flood illumination. They are perfect for a wide range of commercial, municipal, and industrial applications and are available in a wide range of lumen outputs and light colors.
Option 2 - Small Wall Packs
These packs go by many names, including small, mini, or architectural wall packs. All of these terms refer to a type of small, rugged wall pack that’s ideal for small spaces.
Small wall packs are available in a wide range of designs. However, their application usually requires them to be a concentrated light source highlighting a specific area or item. This is why many of them are designed as downlights, as seen in the example above.
They’re also called architectural wall packs because they often feature sleek and ornate designs.
Small wall packs are available in a range of color temperatures, lumen outputs, and control options.
Option 3 - Adjustable Wall Packs
As we have already mentioned, adjustable wall packs enable you to choose and set various features of your light, including beam width, light distribution pattern, lumen output, and positioning.
You’ll find that many adjustable wall packs are designed with a hinge as shown in the example below.
Other LED wall packs allow you to set the wattage and, therefore, the lumen output.
Adjustable LED wall packs may have manual or advanced controls. From simple hinges to automated options, they are one of the most cost-effective and versatile types of LED wall packs.
Option 4 - Cut-Off Wall Packs
Cut-off lighting provides direction to prevent stray light from causing light pollution or light trespass. It also helps to provide concentrated light on a specific area.
There are several types of cut-off wall packs, and which one you choose will depend on the type and level of light restriction required.
- Up-and-down wall packs: These send light either up, down, or both up and down. They may be used to highlight a particular spot or create a symmetrical light pattern on a vertical wall.
- Non cut-off wall packs: Mostly traditional wall packs that provide unrestricted lighting in general applications. However, since these are LEDs, the light pattern is still directional.
- Full cut-off wall packs: These are lights that comply with dark-sky regulations. That means no back or up light and no glare beyond the angles of 80–900. Light is produced only downward and partially forward.
Here are two examples of cut-off LED wall pack lights.
This 30 W up/down LED wall pack has a power output of 2,500 lumens and shoots light up and down at a beam angle of 1800 on both sides.
This full cut-off wall pack is available in power options of 60–80 W. You can order it with motion sensors and photocells as desired, further reducing unnecessary light.
Let Us Find You the Perfect LED Wall Packs
In addition to canopy and post lights, LED wall pack lights are the ideal solution for outdoor lighting. However, the high initial cost of LED lights can put contractors off when they’re under tight budget restrictions.
But there’s no reason why you, as an electrical or general contractor, shouldn’t lean towards these high-performance LED wall packs for outdoor lighting. In addition to the energy efficiency and lifetime savings, there are rebates and other incentives that will allay the higher initial cost of purchasing LED lights.
Tim Hill, a former CEO of Cooper Lighting (which owns brands such as Neo-Ray, Halo Commercial, Ametrix, Corelite, and many more) said to Electrical Contractor Magazine:
“Utility rebates and other financial incentives are rewarding higher quality products, so it behooves contractors to be aware of these rebate opportunities and to know that manufacturers are continuing to redesign and reinvest in older LED products to meet new requirements in this rapidly changing field.”
-Tim Hill, former CEO of Cooper Lighting
Here at RelightDepot, our lighting experts are at your service to provide value-engineered quotes from our wide selection of LED wall packs. We also offer consultations on outdoor lighting designs, so don’t hesitate and give us a call at 888.548.6387 and let us help you get your new or retrofit project moving.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do LED wall packs last?
Commercial LED wall packs can last from 50,000–100,000 hours or more. They’re built to such a high quality standard that they rarely overheat. For this reason, LED wall packs require minimal maintenance. Compared to 25,000 hours for fluorescents and HIDs, LED wall packs offer the best lifetime value.
How many lumens do I need for a wall pack?
The number of lumens you need for a wall pack light depends on the size of the area being lit. Common lumen counts range from 5,000 to over 20,000. If you already know the corresponding wattage of your HID lights, refer to the table above to find out what lumen count of LED wall packs will replace the existing HIDs.
What is wall pack lighting?
Wall pack lights are a type of light fixture mounted on vertical walls to illuminate large areas. They are mostly used for walkways, parking areas, loading bays, and more. Modern LED wall packs are designed to provide concentrated and controlled directional light, which helps deal with issues such as light pollution and light trespass.