Milwaukee Parking Garage Goes Green, Saves Money and Improves Lighting With LED Retrofit

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Lighting Upgrade with [P2] Fixtures Saves Over $130K Annually, Cuts 1.3 Million kWh

Expected to save the facility over $134,000 in energy costs every year.

The Shops at Grand Avenue’s parking garage in Milwaukee, Wis., has significantly cut its lighting maintenance costs, reduced its electricity consumption and improved its lighting quality with an LED lighting upgrade. Current Electric Co. of Brookfield performed the energy-efficient lighting retrofit, using the VPL LED parking vaportight fixture manufactured by Precision-Paragon [P2].    

The lot was originally illuminated with 986 metal halide lights, each consuming over 150 watts of electricity. The retrofit replaced these with VPL LED fixtures from [P2], consuming just 51 watts of electricity per fixture. Replacing the metal halide fixtures with [P2] VPL LEDs reduced the facility’s lighting energy consumption by over 66%.

Not content in stopping there, Current Electric and Precision-Paragon [P2] collaborated to implement two more energy-saving strategies in the facility. The first of these strategies uses occupancy sensors on the fixtures to detect when people or moving vehicles are present. When the area is empty of pedestrians or moving vehicles, the fixtures dim their light output by 40%, reducing energy consumption while maintaining an appropriate base level of light output for safety and security. When a vehicle or pedestrian approaches, the sensors instantly bring the fixtures to full brightness. All 986 LED fixtures in the parking garage are fitted with these occupancy sensors.

The second energy-saving strategy implemented in the facility is the use of daylight sensors mounted on 450 fixtures in areas where natural light enters the structure during the day. When these sensors detect sufficient natural daylight in their area, they’ll turn off the fixture to both save energy and extend life. The daylight sensors also have a built-in time delay function that avoids startup when natural light levels are temporarily dimmed, such as when a cloudbank passes over the sun.

The VPL LED fixtures used in the retrofit are well suited to use in parking garages. With an IP67 rated housing that can withstand washdown pressures of 1500 psi, the fixtures will have no trouble in the area’s harsh wintertime weather. The VPL LEDs can reach full brightness instantly when they’re turned on, even in sub-zero temperatures when other lighting technologies can take several minutes to reach full brightness. The fixtures also diffuse light over a large area, providing even, uniform illuminance through the parking facility while reducing the glare experienced by drivers.

The VPL’s efficacy of between 97 and 103 lumens per watt, combined with the daylight and occupancy sensors throughout the parking garage, is expected to save the facility over $134,000 in energy costs every year. The retrofit’s annual energy savings of 1,344,963 kWh represents 949 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reductions, equivalent to taking 198 cars off the road for a year.

"Lighting maintenance in parking garages can be difficult, and hazardous," said Randy Breske, director of lighting business development at Current Electric. "The new lighting system we installed more than doubles the maintenance interval in the parking garage."

As a result, lighting maintenance will need to be performed less frequently, creating additional cost savings for the facility’s owners.

"We’re happy to be part of a project that meets so many of our goals," said Joe Martin, [P2]’s vice president and general manager. "Our fixtures were able to help significantly cut the facility’s lighting costs, improve their lighting quality and make a positive environmental impact."

About Precision-Paragon [P2]:

For over 20 years, [P2] has made high-quality, indoor-and-outdoor light fixtures for a wide range of applications in retail, commercial and industrial spaces. [P2]’s energy-efficient lighting drastically cuts energy consumption, creating big cost savings and significant environmental benefits.

Over the last two decades, [P2] has earned a reputation for going the extra distance in customer support by producing high-quality, American-made products. [P2] products are manufactured in Hudson, Wis. and at the company’s headquarters in Yorba Linda, Calif..


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