Shoebox Pole Light Vs Metal Halide Lighting
For years, people have been relying on Metal Halide fixtures to illuminate their outdoors. But ever since outdoor LED lights debuted, a lot of people have been switching to this new technology.
And that begs the question:
Why are people running away from Metal Halide fixtures?
To answer that there are a few things you need to know…
First of all: Shoebox Pole Light
What is a Metal Halide Lamp?
A metal halide is a compound of metals and iodine/bromine.
Metal Halides lamps are light fixtures that generate light by passing an electric current through a mixture of gaseous/vaporized mercury and metal halides.
Since the 1960s up to the early 2000s, Metal Halides lamps were considered the best fixtures for outdoor lighting.
And one of the main reasons why this was the case was that these lamps had a higher CRI than most other light fixtures at the time.
Aside from higher CRIs…
Metal Halides were also highly adopted due to their high luminous efficacy that ranged from 75-100lm/W and a longer 15,000-hour lifespan (almost 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs).
The long reign of Metal Halide lamps for exterior lighting came to an end when LEDs first made it to the market.
Basically, LED fixtures like the Shoebox were better than the Metal Halides in all aspects. And that’s why it didn’t take long before people started moving away from the halides.
So, what exactly made it easy for LEDs to oust Metal Halides from their decades-long rule?
How do Metal Halides Compare to Shoebox Pole Light?
As stated above, LEDs are far more superior to Metal Halides; that why people began switching from the latter as soon as the former hit the market.
And to paint a clearer picture of LED superiority here’s a short comparison table that summarizes everything:
Can you spot the differences?
Aside from the high CRI, there is no other area of concern where Metal Halides are better than LEDs; hence, the massive exodus from the former to the latter.
You get the point, right?
If so, the next thing you want to look at is safety…
Are Shoebox Pole Light Safe?
Safety is always one of the biggest concerns when dealing with something new.
And when you are planning to upgrade your lighting from Metal Halides to LED lights, you may find yourself questioning their safety.
You don’t have to worry about safety when using LEDs.
In fact, they are much safer than the Metal Halides and HPS lamps that we’ve been using over the years.
Arguably, blue light exposure is the biggest safety risk you’ll get from an Shoebox Pole Light; which is a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of blue light we get from the sun.
However, the fact that excessive exposure to blue light disrupts our Circadian Rhythm is the main reason why it’s not always advisable to stay under cool temperature LED for extended periods at night.
Aside from that, you’ve got nothing else to worry about.
- No poisonous mercury.
- No UV radiation.
- No fixture explosions hurling pieces of glass at you unexpectedly.
- No IR radiation.
- Or any other health risk we face from Metal Halides and other traditional forms of lighting.
Awesome, isn’t it?
The Different Mounting Types for Your Shoebox Pole Light
This is yet another awesome feature of LED Shoe box Pole lights…
You can mount it in many ways; hence, making it easy for you to blend it into any environment without compromising on your décor.
Shoebox mounts are always designed according to the pole being used or intended application. That’s why there is more than one mounting option.
Let’s look at each one:
The Slip Fit Mount
A slip fit mount goes over a typical 2.36-inch lighting pole.
The biggest benefit to using this mounting option is theflexibility you get; i.e. you can angle the light back and forth to where you need it to be.
It’s often a great choice for those looking for fixtures to light up indoor and outdoor sports courts.
If you are looking for a Shoebox LED you can fit against your building, then the Wall/Flat bracket mount is exactly what you need.
It offers you even more flexibility and is very easy to set up.
For a much cleaner and aesthetically appealing look, the direct mount is often the best choice.
You’ll find this mounting style on street lights, exterior lighting fixtures, in stadiums, for parking lots, and so much more.
An Arm Mount is oftencharacterized by one bolt at the top and bottom each.
These mounts are also the least flexible on the list.
Lastly, the Trunnion Mount is a square-shaped mount design that’s bolted to poles or walls.
It has a hinge that allows the user to tilt the fixture up and down (not left and right); that means that you are also a bit limited in terms of flexibility with this mount.
The major benefit of using trunnion mounts is that they are very strong and can support heavy lighting fixtures easily.
How to Decide What Is the Best Color of Light (Color Temperature) For Your Application?
You might not know this but:
Color temperature matters a lot because it determines light quality, user comfort, as well as the fixture’s ability to blend into its new environment.
In fact, this is often the first thing people will notice when you install your new shoebox pole light LEDs.
So, which is the best color of light for your application?
To answer that you need to first answer this; where are you planning on using it?
Take these two instances as an example:
Instance 1: For Outdoor Use
Obviously, the outdoor lighting needs differ from the indoors.
In most cases, exterior lights have to be brighter in order to offer proper illumination.
And that’s why experts recommend that outdoor lighting be oriented towards 5000K color temperature.
Well, it’s very close to the sun’s color which is usually at 5778K.
That means that 5000K LED shoebox pole light fixtures are the closest you can get to natural light from an artificial source.
LEDs are great because they offer more control over the color even as time goes by. That’s contrary to traditional fixtures that often deteriorate in color over time.
The reason why the color temperature of outdoor fixtures needs to be as close to natural light as possible is that it improves visibility and color rendering.
Things change a bit when you’re dealing with indoor lights as explained below…
Instance 2: For Indoor Use
Since we spend most of our night time indoors, most interior lights are used for longer hours than exterior fixtures.
And that’s why indoor Shoebox Pole Light are usually warmer in color temperature.
The warmer the color temperature, the lesser the exposure to blue light.
Higher temperature lights (>4000K) emit more blue light than lower temperature (<4000K) fixtures.
And that’s why you’ll find 5000K LEDs in huge warehouses, assembly lines, and indoor sports complexes.
For smaller spaces like offices, schools, libraries, even a 4000K fixture might be too bright. In such an environment, a 3000K light is probably your best option.
Can you spot the relationship between the light’s application and color temperature?
Simply put, your intended application area will determine which LED light you use.
7 Tips and Tricks For Buying Led Shoebox Pole Light Fixture
Buying lighting fixtures is not always as easy as people often portray it to be; it needs a number of considerations before one can make an informed and wise purchase decision.
So, when you are shopping for LED shoebox pole light fixtures, here are a few tips to help you make a good purchase:
1. Do Light Planning
Unlike in the past when you just went into an electrical shop and bought these fixtures, nowadays, it’s more efficient and cost-effective to do some planning.
That way you don’t under/overspend on your lighting fixtures.
Experts recommend that you get a photometric study done on your space to determine things like:
- Your lumen requirements?
- How many fixtures you’ll need?
- Where each fixture will be placed?
- As well as the ideal voltage/wattage of each fixture?
2. Determine Your Lumen Requirements
Nowadays, it’s more about the lumens needed than it is about the wattage of the fixture.
In fact, the lumens needed often determine the wattage.
With that said, get an expert to help you calculate how many lumens of light it will take to comfortably and efficiently illuminate your space.
3. Always Go for Quality and Service
It goes without saying that good quality and a better service-span of a fixture will give you great value for your money.
LEDs aren’t cheap; therefore, the fixtures you buy need to be of high-quality and durable.
That means that the new LEDs should serve you for a longer time without any problems and better than any other lighting fixture out there.
4. Always Look for a Reliable and Reputable Manufacturer
The thing with LEDs – like all other manufactured products – is that the manufacturer plays an important role in the quality of the product and also, the service delivered.
Finding a good manufacturer will not only mean better and stress-free service but also, you’ll have more guarantee of the product’s efficiency and useful life.
5. Decide on Which Features and Functionalities You’ll Need
As mentioned earlier, there are some features that don’t come with all fixtures.
The photocell and motion sensors are not standard features.
Despite these two being essential by helping to conserve energy and improving safety, you have to decide whether you want them or not.
And if you do, make sure you check the fixtures packaging/user manual to see if the fixture has them or contact your manufacturer for inquiries.
6. Know Your Line Voltage
Proper voltage is very important when it comes to outdoor lighting fixtures; especially street and parking lot lights.
A standard shoebox Pole Light will be able to handle between 100V and 277V.
However, there are some lighting power lines that carry a higher voltage; and that can be dangerous since some lights are voltage-specific.
To avoid damaging your new outdoor LED light fixtures, it is recommended that you check to see whether the fixture is voltage specific or built to handle the intended line voltage.
7. The Right LED Driver Makes All the Difference
What is an LED driver?
A driver is the most important part of an LED fixture because it acts as the brain of the fixture.
It’s responsible for most of the work including converting AC power to continuous and reliable DC power for the LEDs.
Power consistency is the main reason why LEDs have impressive lifespans; that’s why the driver is always the suspect whenever an LED fixture fails.
There are tons of drivers available, however, LED experts have touted Meanwell Drivers as the best in the market.
Awesome stuff, right?
Well, these shopping tips will come in handy when the time comes.
As we wrap up, you might still have a few unanswered questions in mind.
If so, this next bit is for you…
5 Frequently Asked Questions about the Shoebox Pole Light
A lot of questions have been asked over time about outdoor lighting fixtures.
And with LEDs still being a fresh entry into most world markets, it’s natural to be curious about them.
Here are a few common FAQs about the LED Shoebox Pole Light Fixtures that may help:
1. Do All Lights Have an Inbuilt Dimming or Sensor System?
Some of these fixtures come with dimming, daylight, and motion sensors inbuilt; however, some don’t.
Therefore, always check to see if the fixture has the features you want before buying it.
2. What’s the Metal Halide Equivalent of An LED Shoebox Pole Light 150W Light?
Which, as you can see, is three times higher than its LED equivalent.
3. Where Can I Get A Motion Sensor LED Shoebox?
From local Electronic shops, online retailers, or by placing an order with the manufacturer.
All you need to do is to look for lights that are labeled accordingly or are indicated as having motion-sensing capabilities. Or just inform your manufacturer to fit your fixtures with these sensors.
4. Are These Fixtures Ideal for Indoor Lighting?
But only in large spaces and warehouses. Using these high-performance fixtures in small spaces can cause eye discomfort for users due to the high intensity (brightness) of the light.
5. What Else Does an LED Driver Do?
Aside from AC to DC conversion, drivers also:
- Increase the fixture’s lifespan.
- Help to provide better light quality.
- Protect the fixture against power surges.
- Allow for 0-10V dimming.
And there you have it – everything you need to know about LED Shoebox Pole light.
Now that you are well-informed about the Shoe box LED and how it can improve your lighting situation, the last question you might have is; Is it worth it?
In truth – Yes!
These outdoor fixtures are not only the best in the market but also the most cost-effective. And everything you’ve read here will help you make an informed and beneficial upgrade decision.
Do you have any questions or thought contributions to this topic?