Have you noticed that petrol stations are no longer dull? They used to be lit with high pressure sodium lamps and everything looked dark orange. A few petrol stations used metal halide lamps which had the advantage of white light but their life was considerably shorter. This was important because petrol stations are open for long hours and sometimes, 24/7.
LEDs have changed all that with their good quality white light and long life.
Petrol stations have also changed in that they sell a lot more than (low profit) fuel. Most have a small shopping area or a mini supermarket. The appearance of a petrol station has become more high street than highway.
It is interesting to see that most petrol station luminaires are quite Cool, typically 5,700K although some manufacturers offer 4,000K.
However, the place where you actually refuel your car is a work area. The luminaires have to provide good, functional lighting. The general requirement given in EN 12464-2 is 150 lux horizontal. Although not specifically stated, you also need to provide good vertical illumination on the pumps and signs. You will find that a lot of large petrol companies have their own guidelines on the level of illumination they require.
Due to the long burning hours, reducing energy consumption is critically important and can save a lot of money. Some luminaires are fitted with movement sensors that dim to a low level of illumination when no-one is present and then brighten to full output when a vehicle arrives. Other luminaires can be individually programmed by the site owner to suit the local conditions and hours of use. Connectivity, varying illumination and IoT is becoming an important aspect the luminaire design.
Of course, the luminaires, themselves, need to be weatherproof. Since a typical canopy height is 4 – 5m, the luminaires need to be easy to maintain and the LEDs to have a long life. The construction of the canopy roof varies enormously and most luminaires are designed as a “surface mount” unit. They can then be supplied with a choice of recessing frames to suit the particular roof construction.
One final point is that there are surprisingly few companies in this market sector. As a result, they are all experts in their field – you won’t find any poorly designed or unsuitable luminaires.
Bever Innovations Luci EOS
Whilst not known for general lighting, Bever Innovations has a strong presence in the retail petrol market sector. As well as luminaires, they also make those large vertical LED price displays and signage.
They are particularly proud of their EOS connectivity and control technology. “Bluetooth on steroids” was one description. In essence, you can program luminaires individually or as groups from your laptop, phone etc. It can also be linked to movement and daylight sensors. You can do just about anything you want.
This is solidly constructed cast aluminium, 80W luminaire with large heat sink fins on the back which allow it to operate at a 60C ambient. I also like the cable connections which are potted in flexible resin – it won’t matter if the canopy leaks.
Lux rating: Dedicated design
This luminaire was supplied by LTSS who are the UK distributors for CREE in the petroleum market sector.
In essence, the CPY250 is an IP66 surface mounted luminaire with a cable entry on the upper face. If required, it can then be supplied with a range of frames of different sizes for recessing in to the canopy.
This 81W luminaire (126W also available delivering over 12,000 lm)) is a solidly constructed unit of cast aluminium with large fins and a patterned front glass which obscures the view of the LEDs. The standard one delivers 8,820 lm at 5,700K with a CRI of 70. Life to L70 is claimed as 150,000 hours.
Lux rating: Slim height
Maybe the first thing to say about the Kanopy is that it looks attractive. The clear front glass has a satin etched rim. In the centre is large array of LEDs is set in a white honeycomb structure giving the whole luminaire quite an architectural type of appearance.
The function of the luminaire is designed around saving energy. It can be fitted with a simple presence detector or there is another option which has both presence and daylight regulation. Both sensors can be programmed remotely to adjust the time and illumination settings.
This 74W luminaire delivers over 8,700 lm in the 4,000K version.
- Lux rating: Best looking
Philips Mini 300 LED gen2
Philips have a large number of pages on their website devoted to this market sector. A large number of products is listed but this Mini 300 would have its main application in a petrol station canopy.
It is a very adaptable unit with six optical distributions and light output from 4,000 lm – 13,000 lm. You could equally well use it in warehouses or large DIY stores. It has a solid die-cast aluminium body and clear glass lens. There is a range of heavy duty painted steel mounting frames.
It has an integrated movement detector and daylight sensor. It also has Bluetooth connectivity so you can control it remotely from your laptop, phone etc.
Judging by its construction and appearance, the concept of this range is based on functionality and durability.
- Lux rating: Funtional