Case Studies

Lot 56, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Mike Johnson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities for the University of Arkansas, was looking at an expensive fix for a lighting problem at Lot 56 on the Fayetteville campus.

Lot 56 at the University of Arkansas Case Study, photograph of parking lot at night

“Light was uneven and there were dark spots because light poles were spaced too far apart.” Johnson said. “We didn’t want to replace the existing light poles. That would have been very expensive.”

The solution: Retrofitting the original high-pressure sodium fixtures with 200-watt induction lamps and ballasts.

“The results have been very, very pleasing, with better light, better color and more clarity,” Johnson said. “Clear Energy upped their game and gave us a safer parking area without going to the huge cost of replacing poles.”

Safety Concerns

Built in the late 1990s, Lot 56 is one of the larger surface parking lots on campus. Nearby are Bud Walton Arena, a soccer stadium, and intramural fields, making the lot a favorite for those attending or participating in sporting events, many of which take place after dark.

The lot is particularly challenging to light as the poles are spaced 200 feet apart and not spaced correctly to adequately light the lot with the original high-pressure sodium system, a form of HID (High Intensity Discharge) lighting which emits an orange cast. Adding to the problem were mature trees that were blocking some light.

“The university’s Department of Public Safety had been pushing us for better lighting,” Johnson said. “Trees had grown, there were dark spots and uneven lighting, and there was a perceived lack of safety.”

The university tested a number of options, including LED lighting, before contacting Clear Energy.

“We’ve used Clear Energy to pilot and prototype leading-edge technology on a number of occasions over the last seven or eight years,” Johnson said. ‘We have a long relationship with them; they’re very innovative and easy to work with.”

Benefits of Induction Lighting

Clear Energy considered LED lighting but opted for induction, as it was a better application due to the height and separation of the existing light poles.

In addition to the improved light levels and appearance, the retrofit offered significant cost advantages over both the original installation and other replacement alternatives:

The 200-watt induction system retrofitted on a one-for-one basis fixtures that were originally outfitted as either 400-watt or 1,000-watt high pressure sodium. Energy consumption was cut by more than 50%.

The 100,000-hour rated life for induction compares to a rated life of only 24,000 hours for high pressure sodium, significantly reducing maintenance costs.

Most existing HID heads/fixtures can be retrofitted with the induction system. This means that the heads can be reused and only the optical system replaced, providing an even greater economic benefit.

The result is a uniform blanket of white light that meets the university’s standards for parking lot lighting, as well as the IESNA standard.

More case studies