If you’ve driven inside the SM City North EDSA Main Carpark or the Annex Carpark building lately, you would have noticed an awesome mall innovation that they call Parking Finder which uses LED indicator lights to notify customers of empty parking spaces. This is however not exclusive to SM City North EDSA, Parking Finders are an awesome addition to SM Malls nationwide, from SM Mall of Asia to SM Lanang in Davao City.
Also known as ‘Parking Spot Indicators’, lighted colored LED devices indicates a spot that is occupied or unoccupied which saves customers both time and fuel because they don’t need to drive around the area anymore looking for a place to park their cars. It’s a cool innovation – but the question is, for mall owners and carpark building owners, IS IT COST EFFICIENT?
For these to work, an establishment will need hundreds and even thousands of automated LED parking spot indicators depending on the capacity of their carparks. Let us define first its primary component and how it’s shaping the lighting industry today – the LED light.
A couple years back, the SM Parking Finder would have only be just an impractical idea because of the add-on costs on electricity bills and maintenance. But the introduction of LED light have changed all that.
LED or Light Emitting Diode is a two-lead semiconductor light source that works on the principle of the optical phenomenon called electroluminescence or the ability of certain materials to illuminate or glow when electric current passes through it.
To many, LED is the future of lighting technology. It is steadily being used by both homes and commercial establishments here and abroad.
Let’s look at the many promised benefits of using LED lighting:
- LONGER LIFE SPAN: LEDs don’t burn out like a standard incandescent or flourescent lamp. It lasts 5x longer than flourescent lamps and 30x longer than incandescent lamps or an average of 50,000 hours and even longer.
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: LED produced more light per watts than incandescent. It is considered as the most efficient way of illumination with an estimated energy efficiency of 80%-90% when compared to conventional light bulbs. This means that about 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light. So with little input, more light is produced. That translates to big savings on electricity bills.
- ECO-FRIENDLY: LED devices are free from harmful chemicals and is fully recyclable. It doesn’t contain mercury like flourescent lamps and because it has a longer operational life span, one LED light can save materials used for the production of 25 to 30 incandescent light bulbs. Making way for a greener future and a reduced carbon footprint.
- DURABLE: LED can be used indoors, outdoors and even in extreme or the roughest conditions. It is made of durable components that doesn’t need much care. It is resistant to shock, vibrations and external impacts, they make great outdoor lighting systems for rough conditions and exposure to weather, wind and rain.
- ALL-CONDITION LIGHTING: LED is also known for having a low noise and heat output. Its enhance lighting performance produces little infrared light and an almost zero UV emission. Which makes it the perfect lighting device for areas that contains goods that are sensitive to heat and UV sensitive objects or materials like those found in museums, art galleries and archeological sites.
In addition to these five very awesome benefits, LED devices, because of its design flexibility can be used for many applications like mood illuminations (airplanes), rural solar lighting projects, PARKING SPOT INDICATORS and other lighting effects.
For businesses and commercial establishments like Sm City North EDSA, the use of LED devices proved to be a most welcomed innovation in lighting due to its energy efficiency and low energy consumption. Based on studies, the long-term use of LED can bring down electricity bills 60 to 90% and annual maintenance cost 70 to 90%.
That ‘Parking Finder’ idea is a Win-Win for both SM and its customers!
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