LED Solutions Boost Long-Term Sustainability at ATL


LED Solutions Boost Long-Term Sustainability at ATL

Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) is one of the busiest airports in the world with millions of passengers flying through or connecting in the hub each year. The facility offers several on-site amenities, including covered parking for more than 10,000 vehicles.
While this presents a convenience for passengers, these parking facilities also present a challenge for airport officials due to their strict lighting needs and associated energy costs. To address both issues head on, airport agency officials decided to evaluate the existing infrastructure to determine whether an upgrade to a more energy-efficient solution could help reduce costs.
Instead of simply replacing the more than 4,300 existing 210-watt metal-halide fixtures with a similar product, officials worked with a range of suppliers to find a solution that would satisfy their stringent lighting and energy demands.
Project goals included finding not only a product that would deliver the appropriate amount of light, but one that would also offer improved efficiency, reliability, long-life and a payback time of roughly three years.
To help ensure solutions would meet such strict parameters, officials worked with numerous manufacturers, inviting each to install sample fixtures, including light-emitting-diode (LED) and induction products, in specific locations throughout the parking facilities. Once installed, officials would then collect lighting data underneath each test installation.
Altogether, five manufacturers participated in the study, offering up a total of 10 products. Once the test products were installed, officials collected foot-candle readings at 2,000 data collection points on two separate occasions and calculated the average number of foot-candles and standard deviations for uniformity comparison. In addition, they also worked with a Virginia Tech University professor to review and validate findings to select the most cost-effective and efficient solution.
After reviewing and analyzing the findings, officials settled on 80-watt McGraw-Edison Valet LED fixtures from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Division for a 1-to-1 retrofit of the facility’s existing metal-halide products. The LED fixtures had the lowest wattage consumed and the highest average foot-candles.
“When evaluating solutions against the data, we paid particular attention to those that would allow for improved visibility with respect to both vehicular movement and pedestrian safety,” said Doug Strachan, Creative Innovations Manager of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation. “We also looked for a manufacturer that was able to offer a range of services from the onset of the project all the way through completion to help ensure we reached our lighting and energy goals.”
The McGraw-Edison Valet LED fixtures did just that, officials said, offering superior optical control, as well as improved vehicular movement and pedestrian safety in the parking structures. Selected products included modular LightBar technology, featuring the patented AccuLED Optics system, to deliver uniform and energy-conscious illumination in the airport’s parking structures.
These factors were extremely important to airport officials, who aimed to improve the distribution of the lighting in all parking garages, while also optimizing energy savings. In addition, the products have been designed to last up to 50,000 hours, satisfying project goals and offering a reduction in total maintenance cost.
“Replacing parking garage lighting with more energy-efficient LED options is one of the most practical upgrades a facility can make to save energy, reduce cost and lower carbon dioxide emissions,” said Mark Eubanks, President of Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Division. “This project is further proof, allowing officials to not only provide ample lighting, but also save a significant amount of money each year.”
Funded by the City of Atlanta Green Loan Fund, the initiative to replace all of the existing metal-halide fixtures in the airport’s north and south parking decks with energy efficient solutions has been successfully completed.
The result has been an annual cost savings of almost $500,000 and a carbon dioxide reduction equivalent to taking 500 cars off the road, said Atlanta’s Office of Sustainability, the airport’s financial and environmental partner.

Contact Tim Hill, Director of Marketing and Product Management for Outdoor Products at Eaton’s Cooper Lighting Division, at TimothyAHill@eaton.com.


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Tim Hill
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