LEDs slash energy bills and improve light quality at LAX

Los Angeles International Airport has improved lighting efficiency and performance on the roads in central terminal areas in an upgrade to LED. The change will slash energy bills by 48% and make navigation easier and safer.

A team from architect AECOM and lighting designer Horton Lees Brogden (HLB) was responsible for the $118-million LAX improvement project. The two-phase project has seen the revamp of the curbside lighting using LED technology, with each new streetlighting pole consuming 48% less energy than the 33-year-old, high-pressure sodium lights they have replaced.

“Los Angeles is a progressive city that is constantly innovating and in flux. The team sought a design that would be forward-thinking and inspirational but simple enough to be timeless,” said Teal Brogden, HLB’s senior design principal. “Eaton’s customized LED technology has been pivotal to the success of the design, enabling discrete integration of light and architecture.”

The team chose Eaton’s LightBAR LED optical technology because of its asymmetric roadway distribution and narrow linear design for the highly customized, double-arm Y-shaped, contemporary luminaire. Uniquely installed in each of the two arms to illuminate different levels and areas of the roadway, the technology met the roadway lighting requirements (average 2.5 footcandles) and provides uniform illumination for both the Upper/Departures and Lower/Arrivals levels at the airport, which serves 70.7 million passengers annually.

The 91 new LED street lighting products each consume only 413 watts compared to the 78 previous 920-watt high pressure sodium fixtures. The upgrade results in a 48% reduction in power consumption per fixture. The energy reduction afforded the opportunity for airport officials to add additional architectural LED accent fixtures to highlight the new unique poles. In addition, the new streetlights can also be controlled and dimmed, presenting the possibility for additional energy savings.

With the first phase of 13 fixtures installed in 2013 in time for the unveiling of the $1.9 billion new Tom Bradley International Terminal, the team has now completed the final phase of an additional 78 fixtures. The LAX CTA Curbside Appeal and Roadway Improvement Project is part of an ongoing $8.5 billion LAX Modernization Program.

Picture courtesy of AECOM