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  Parking Lot and Site Lighting


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The Challenge:
Retrofit HPS to achieve whiter, brighter light

The Solution:
1000 watt Uni-Form® pulse start metal halide systems with Venture® ballasts


Retailers Target Parking Lot Lighting to Maintain

Pleasant and Safe Shopping Experience
The customer’s shopping experience begins in the parking lot. If the parking lot is not safe and secure, especially at night, consumers will not stop, park or shop. That’s why major retailers establish strict specifications and monitor the status of their parking lot light levels to ensure that nothing prevents potential shoppers from entering their stores. Target Corporation is the industry leader in this effort.

Target Corporation prides itself in offering more for less. Target Corporation operates Target stores, a chain of large, general merchandise discount stores, as well as the on-line retail site The company currently operates 1,272 Target stores in 47 states, all of which are required to maintain a pristine, warm atmosphere for shoppers.

Target established a corporate policy to maintain standards for light levels for its stores’ main parking, peripheral parking and front drive areas. As part of their store maintenance program, Target periodically evaluates the light levels of each of its store location’s parking lots. That’s why when Target believed its parking lot light levels at its Hollister, CA, location were not meeting its corporate standards, they contacted Site Photometrics (SP) in Columbia, MD, to implement a luminance survey to measure light intensities from lighting fixtures at various pre-defined locations within the site area.

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SP Sheds Light on Target Parking Lot Problems
Established in 1996, SP specializes in providing complete parking lot lighting service for retailers, from luminance surveys to lighting system installations. They manage lighting design, electrical engineering, structural engineering, lighting equipment procurement and electrical contracting. Over the past eight years, they have completed retail parking lot lighting projects for more than 175 Target stores, 250 Wal-Mart stores and 25 regional malls.

In May 2003, SP evaluated the electrical system, light poles, luminaires, lamps, poles and pole foundations in the 200-space parking lot at Target’s Hollister location. Their study found that the existing lighting system included 1000 watt, 277 V Cooper Galleria large area lighting luminaires with high pressure sodium (HPS) lamps, and Type AR (vertical symmetric) optics with a bronze finish, mounted on 39-foot round tapered steel poles. More importantly, SP quickly determined that only 55 percent of the main parking lot area achieved Target’s 3.0 foot-candle standard, while 95 percent of the peripheral parking lot areas attained the 2.0 foot-candle requirement. In addition, approximately 85 percent of the front drive areas achieved Target’s 5.0 foot-candle standard. SP also found that one of the poles needed to be replaced.

In July 2003, SP provided three solutions that addressed both lighting requirements and budget considerations. Each solution came with a computer model and guaranteed lighting performance. All three solutions also included changing the lighting source from HPS to metal halide.

"When we complete an assessment and make a recommendation, " said Jerome Morstein, principal of SP, "we try to use the existing infrastructure as much as possible to minimize the expenses for our customers. For instance, we found that we could still use the electrical systems and all but one of the light poles at Target’s Hollister location."

While trying to minimize expenses and changes to infrastructure, SP did recommend that Target change their light source. "We have found, and retailers and developers agree, that metal halide provides a better quality of light compared to high pressure sodium," said Morstein. "Metal halide provides white light compared to the yellow light offered by high-pressure sodium. Although both light sources can have the same foot-candles, it is easier to distinguish dark color under white light. That is important when you are looking for a gray, blue or black car in a congested parking lot at night."

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Uni-Form® 1000W Benefits/Features

• Super metal halide for maximum light output

• Reduced outer jacket for precise optical control

• Warm 3400K color


Target Ventures into a Variety of Metal Halide Lighting Solutions
For all of their projects, SP specifies Uni-Form® pulse start metal halide lamps from Venture Lighting, the leading developer of metal halide lighting technology. Morstein said, "We have tested the lamps and have found that they meet our tight specifications. The combination of Venture’s lamps and ballasts ensure superior lumen maintenance, excellent lamp color uniformity, faster warm-up times and a high overall system efficiency."

SP’s first solution to improving the lighting in the Hollister parking lot was to continue using the existing Cooper fixtures, while changing the light source from HPS to metal halide lamps. The results of the change would have little effect on the foot-candle levels, but would improve the overall visibility in the parking lot.

Their second solution involved switching the fixtures to two and three Gardco HT19 1000-watt/480V metal halide luminaries on each of the existing light poles. This solution increased the percentage of the main parking lot area meeting the 3.0 foot-candle standard from 55 percent to 65 percent. However, only 65 percent of the main drive area would meet the 5.0 foot-candle standard.

SP’s third solution incorporated two and four Gardco HT19 1000-watt/480V metal halide luminaires and Venture Lighting lamps, which drastically improved the foot-candles throughout the Hollister parking lot. Under this lighting scheme, 98 percent of the main parking lot met the 3.0 foot-candle standard. Ninety-nine percent of the perimeter parking lot areas met the 2.0 foot-candle requirement, while 95 percent of the front drive area met the 5.0 foot-candle standard.

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Bright Solution Hits the Target
With the dramatic improvement in light levels, Target selected the third solution. In April 2004, Target authorized SP to implement the third solution of replacing 18 1000-watt HPS Cooper luminaires with AR optics with 24 1000-watt Gardco HT19 luminaires with 4X optics and Venture MS 1000W/HOR/BT37 lamps. The recommendation also included converting the balance of the shopping center from 1000-watt HPS to 1000-watt Venture MS 1000W/BU/BT37/PS pulse start metal halide lamps with Venture ballasts.

In order to prevent any disruption to Target’s business, SP implemented a fast-track program to converting the parking lot lighting in just two days. "Our goal is help our customer have more consumers come in to the stores, not disrupt business by tearing up the parking lot," Morstein said.

SP uses creative methods to get the project done quickly, such as prefabricating the lighting system off-site to allow contractors to convert the lighting system in just two days in June. "We have actually converted parking lots malls with more than 4,000 parking spaces in just seven days," stated Morstein.

Sparkling Results for Target
Upon completion of the Hollister parking lot project, 98 percent of the main parking lot area met Target’s 3.0 foot-candle standard. This marks a 43 percent increase in lighting illumination for the Target store parking lot, to create and inviting place to shop at night.

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