Category: Photometric Lighting Design

Designing Smart: Arkon’s Approach Streamlines, Saves

Graham Brown took one look at the quote a competitor had provided for a construction industry client and knew Arkon Power could do better. The lighting layout simply had more poles positioned around the PDQ restaurant parking lot in Clearwater, Florida, than were necessary.

“We’re always aware of design efficiency,” Brown said. “And we consistently save our customers money by reducing light pole and fixture numbers with better photometric plans and eventual lighting layouts.”

The competitor’s parking lot and site lighting design proposed 10 light poles and 10 LED fixtures. Tarpon Springs-based Arkon was able to achieve better lighting with only five light poles and five LED fixtures. The strategy was to use lights with slightly higher output, but also adjust the height of the proposed light poles.

“When completing a design, we always attempt to do so with the least number of poles possible, as we know this will cut product costs and significantly lower installation costs,” Brown said.

Arkon was also able to offer its construction company customer lower priced LED fixtures and direct burial fiberglass light poles to eliminate the need for the concrete bases used with streetlight poles. The result for the PDQ restaurant parking lot was lower upfront costs on both product and install, reduced ongoing maintenance costs, and a smaller energy bill.

Arkon and PDQ, a rapidly growing fast casual restaurant chain, have enjoyed a successful partnership since 2014, when the LED firm installed the site lighting at PDQ’s flagship location in Hillsborough County, Florida. While completing the job at Waters and Benjamin in South Tampa, Arkon contracted to provide upgraded exterior site lighting for dozens more PDQ locations around Florida.

Arkon’s exterior LED fixtures are ideal for fast food, fast casual, and full-service dining establishments, where nighttime exposure and security is critical for success. And while the latest PDQ project was for new construction, Arkon is capable of working on all types of development projects.

“We do a lot of retrofits on existing structures, but we love working on new construction, as well,” Brown said.

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

LED Lighting shopping centers pinellas county south florida hillsborough

Light Shopping

Arkon Power recently completed four new retail center installations.

Following a series of recent projects, Arkon Power recently announced shopping center lighting has become one of its fastest growing sectors. The Tampa Bay-based LED firm has completed four retail center installations across Florida over the last several months, company executives said.

“Shopping centers can be a highly demanding industry segment, and we’ve found our expertise in the area gives us a decided advantage,” Arkon’s Graham Brown said from the company’s Tarpon Springs headquarters. “These centers are often anchored by major national companies—CVS, Publix, Dunkin’, Tire Kingdom, Planet Fitness, Popeyes—and they require exacting LED lighting standards for all their locations.”

Arkon’s four recent installations include Cheddar’s Ocala Center in Marion County, Monarch Town Center in Broward County, Park View Shopping Center in Osceola County and Vero Beach Square in Indian River County. Arkon installed 14 direct burial concrete light poles and 20 LED fixtures for the Cheddar’s center, 91 aluminum light poles and 141 fixtures for Monarch, 34 concrete light poles and 39 LEDs for Park View, and 12 concrete light poles and 30 fixtures for Vero Beach.

Clients point to Arkon’s low up-front pricing, seamless project completion, customer service and ongoing support as its major advantages over the competition.

“We know Arkon is going to give us the best price,” one facilities manager said. “And beyond that, they just do the best job throughout the LED installation process.”

Arkon has long been expert at developing photometric plans for grocery-anchored shopping centers, and the firm has recently expanded its capabilities, working with national fast causal restaurants, sit-down dining chains and drugstores. Using its in-depth knowledge of photometrics, LED light fixtures and custom bracketry, Arkon delivers lighting to any shopping center’s specifications while saving the property owner money on energy and maintenance.

“It’s very specific by place,” Brown said. “Fort Lauderdale can be different from Miami—or Miramar for that matter. We deal with all local requirements, so our designs meet both regulatory and client needs.”

In addition to saving money, shopping center lighting upgrades attract new tenants, draw in customers, enhance safety and eliminate light pollution.

“Many of our latest jobs have been new construction, where we complete the entire design—photometric studies, footcandle requirements—and based on that make sure the light goes only where it needs to go,” Brown said. “We expect to do many more shopping centers in the near future.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Tennis Anyone?

Arkon Power has seen a rapid increase in athletic court lighting installations.

Arkon Power’s Graham Brown predicted in October 2018 that sports court lighting would be a growth market for the Tampa Bay-area company. But even Brown has been surprised at how successful the sector—including tennis court lighting, pickleball court lighting, basketball court lighting and other courts—has been.

“LEDs are just ideal for the outdoor recreational sports setting,” Brown said. “Not only are they less expensive to operate and maintain, they reduce glare and improve playing conditions. They’re a winner all around.”

Since 2018, Arkon has installed LED lighting over a significant number of tennis courts, as well as several basketball courts across the state of Florida. Arkon is not alone. Countless universities across the country have turned to LEDs for their athletics facilities, and installation data indicates municipal and private sports court managers countrywide are turning to LEDs to save money on high-quality site lighting.

“LED tennis courts are becoming the preferred solution in areas with high energy costs,” said one tennis court lighting expert. “Beyond extreme energy efficiency, LED luminaires reduce light trespass and virtually eliminate maintenance.”

According to Brown, tennis courts thrive under LED fixtures, usually hung at 18 to 22 feet. Unique lenses, recessed LEDs and directional lighting reduce glare. And the lights’ optical systems are optimized to illuminate courts’ primary playing area (PPA). The PPA extends 10 feet behind each baseline and 6 feet beyond the sidelines.

The light levels inside the PPA are measured through photometric studies, which Arkon completes in-house for every court lighting project. The criteria measured through the photometric studies include the average maintained horizontal footcandles, minimum maintained footcandles and maximum uniformity ratio of footcandles. The measurements determine the specific class of lighting installed on the court. The classes are based on play level—for example, Class I is professional and Class II is collegiate.

Included in the sports complex jobs completed by Arkon are Tampa Palms, a planned community in New Tampa just north of the University of South Florida. Arkon provided Tampa Palms a photometric analysis showing eight 450-watt LED area lights could provide ideal lighting across the entire playing area. The LED replacement of Tampa Palms’ legacy metal halide fixtures fit on four new concrete lighting poles, also provided by Arkon.

“We are very happy with the end result of the product—we are very happy with what Arkon came up with,” Tampa Palms North Owner Association Manager Deborah Paul said. “On the older halide fixtures, every time the lights went out, we had to bring out the lift, and it was quite expensive.”

Arkon has also completed multiple court lighting projects throughout Florida for The Valencia Del Sol Development in Wimauma (south of Tampa), the City of Safety Harbor, Live Oaks Reserve in Oviedo, Eastwood Tennis Courts in Orlando, Village of Woodland Hills in Palm Harbor and Advenir Magnolia in Orlando. For Safety Harbor, Arkon replaced 16 1,000-watt metal halide bulbs over two Marshall Street Park tennis courts with LED fixtures. Arkon engineers determined they could produce the required amount of light with just eight 600-watt LED lights. On Safety Harbor’s Marshall Street racquetball courts, Arkon replaced eight 1,000-watt metal halides with eight 320-watt LED streetlights.

“LEDs are a no-brainer for so many market segments, but perhaps none more than court lighting,” Brown said. “I’ll say it again—we expect this market to keep growing. And we’ll be there for folks when they decide to make the move.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Service With a Shine

An auto and tire center upgraded its car care with improved lighting from Arkon Power.

Goodyear Leone Auto Repair & Tire, Oldsmar, Florida, was having trouble with its lights, and the darkness was affecting all aspects of the auto service center’s business.

Goodyear’s technicians either couldn’t see what they were doing, or they dealt with sub-optimal conditions to account for the lack of lighting. Lighting maintenance and power costs were too high. And customers couldn’t be serviced quickly and efficiently.

Arkon Power had the solution to put the Pinellas Country-based Goodyear outlet on track to have a great year, replacing the company’s legacy lighting with LED fixtures throughout its service area.

“I am just really happy with the light quality itself,” company President Nick Leone said. “I can’t say anything bad about it. The techs are really happy, and the light quality is amazing.”

Prior to installing the new LED lighting—efficient high bays down the middle of the service area, and 4-foot linear low bays between each work center—Goodyear Leone operated 8-foot fluorescent tube lighting throughout its facility on Tampa Road. The lights often went out, and when they were working, they didn’t provide enough illumination for technicians to see what they were doing. The Central Florida service center frequently had to open its doors to let in enough light to work. On hot days, conditions were stifling. On cloudy days, light was still an issue.

“They wanted to replace the tubes in the existing fixtures,” Arkon’s Graham Brown said. “That would’ve helped, but it was not going to be the best solution.”

After completing a photometric plan, Brown and his team came up with the current configuration. The result was daylight-like lighting regardless of conditions and shadow elimination regardless of car positioning.

“Better lighting makes it easier to work—you can just see things better,” Leone said. “If it’s raining out or overcast, we still don’t have dark spots in the shop. The use of [supplemental] lights has gone down drastically.”

Leone said his Goodyear facility has also seen a drop in its energy bill, using nearly 1,000 watts less energy each month. And that reduction is even with longer hourly lighting use.

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Tampa Bay Tennis Court Lighting

Tampa Palms Partners With Arkon for Tennis Court Lighting Winner

(Click on images below to enlarge)

Tampa Palms just missed when it first installed LED lighting over its tennis courts using another lighting company. The planned community, situated in New Tampa just north of the University of South Florida, didn’t want to double fault.

“The first lighting was okay, but it just wasn’t great,” said Deby Paul, Tampa Palms North Owner Associations manager. “LEDs are supposed to provide much better lighting and huge savings on electricity, and we didn’t quite get that.”

Working alongside court surface provider Welch Tennis, Arkon was able to provide Paul and Tampa Palms exactly what they wanted.

Arkon’s Graham Brown and his team performed a photometric analysis of the Tampa Palms courts and determined they could provide high quality illumination over the entire surface using eight 450-watt LED area lights. The one-to-one replacement of Tampa Palms’ legacy metal halide fixtures would fit on four new concrete lighting poles, also provided by Arkon.

“We were able to cut their power use by more than half while giving them 50% more light,” Brown said.

Tampa Palms isn’t the only tennis court Arkon has upgraded. The LED provider has completed multiple court projects for the city of Safety Harbor and Advenir Magnolia in Orlando, and Arkon recently signed a contract on a large new construction project for LED lighting on tennis courts and pickleball courts in the Tampa Bay Area.

“Tennis court lighting is a huge industry, and we’ve mastered the necessary photometrics,” Brown said.

The new lighting at Tampa Palms, which reduced maintenance costs significantly compared to the metal halides

that preceded the community’s first set of LEDs, has been a hit with Tampa Palms residents, Paul said.

“We are very happy with what [Arkon] came up with—we’re very happy with the end result,” she said. “And our tennis players are much happier with the upgrades.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

LED Lighting SHopping Center Jacksonville Florida North Florida

Florida Bank Makes Investment with Arkon

Wauchula State Bank contracted with Arkon Power to bring its exterior lighting up to code and save money in the process.

Wauchula State Bank in Florida needed new site lighting to meet state illumination requirements, and Arkon Power’s LED lighting was the first place the company turned.

“We were committed to LED because we knew it was more efficient, and we knew we would be able to get a lot more consistency out of it,” said Toby Sapp, Wauchula State Bank maintenance technician.

The banking group is in the process of transitioning its eight Central Florida branches to 100% LED lighting, and Sapp said Arkon Power has been nearly flawless in helping it achieve its mission so far.

“Arkon is easy to work with and has a representative we can reach out to and have on the phone and present usually within minutes, not hours,” Sapp said. “Arkon stands behind its product and gives us a level of confidence we are very much in need of.”

Since starting work with Wauchula, Arkon has updated the parking lot lighting at multiple branches to ensure it meets the safety requirements of customers and regulators. Arkon has also installed LED lighting under several of Wauchula’s canopies and provided wall pack lighting for drive through facilities. In all cases, Arkon has provided photometric plans to ensure Wauchula has the foot candles on the ground it needs.

“The customer and Sapp knew what they wanted in terms of light quality, and we knew how to get them there,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said.

Arkon has also provided interior lighting for Wauchula, and Sapp said the company has exceeded his expectations on all dimensions.

“Whenever we have the opportunity, we have recommended Arkon to others in the area,” Sapp said.

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Arkon Works Closely With Electrical Contractors on Lighting Projects

Arkon Power has recently grown its customer base among electrical contractors, becoming the go-to lighting supplier for multiple firms.

“Arkon is our first call,” said Matt Gera of Preston Link Electric in Gainesville, Fla. “Arkon and [Technical Manager] Graham [Brown] have taken big steps to make sure we have the right documents for permitting offices and receive products in the right amount of time. We haven’t had any issues with our customers, and we’ve been very pleased.”

Electrical contactors like Preston Link rely on lighting suppliers to deliver the correct solutions to their commercial and residential customers. According to Gera, LEDs have become the standard in the industry. He often doesn’t offer his customers legacy fixtures like metal halides and incandescent bulbs.

“I pretty much price out LEDs and don’t really give them a choice,” Gera said. “The technology has come down in price a lot—that’s a big part of it.”

For Arkon, working with electrical contractors means its team can focus on designing layouts using photometric analysis and sourcing the perfect fixtures for each application. Brown and his associates then work with the contractor to ensure the installation portion of the job is done seamlessly.

“When electrical contractors see our product and use our product, they are always impressed,” Brown said. “Because of the detail we’re able to provide in terms of photometrics, the contractor can make sure everything goes in the right place. They don’t just slap them up and hope for the best.”

Arkon has also done multiple jobs for contractors like Strada Electric in Sanford, Fla., Windsor Electric in Orlando and Carpenter Electric in West Palm Beach.

“We’ve had some electricians switch firms and still come back to using our products and services,” Brown said. “We take all the pressure off from a lighting design perspective.”

Brown said electrical contractors have come to Arkon Power for new construction and retrofit jobs, including for parking lots, tennis courts, church exteriors, and other applications.

“The product sells itself,” Gera said. “The big name brands want twice as much as Arkon does for its fixtures. We started partnering with Arkon…and we’ve sold more and more products.”

Email to learn more about the LED services Arkon can offer for electrical contractors or any other projects.



Shopping Center Lighting a Bright Spot for Arkon Power

A Winn Dixie-anchored outlet in Central Florida is the latest in a string of shopping center lighting jobs Arkon has completed.

Arkon Power continues to grow its position in the shopping center LED lighting space. The firm has completed dozens of lighting upgrades projects for customers across the country; the latest job brought upgraded lighting to the Mariner Village shopping center, anchored by grocery giant Winn Dixie in Spring Hill, Florida located in Hernando County.

“Arkon has done several shopping centers for us,” said Paul Frahm, construction manager for Bruce Strumpf Inc., which manages more than 4.3 million square feet of Florida-based commercial property, including Mariner Village. “Everyone is making the move to LED for energy conservation and cost.”

Frahm said Arkon has become his go-to provider for LED fixtures and technical solutions. He said Arkon is consistently lower on cost and more efficient than other suppliers.

According to Arkon Power Technical Manager Graham Brown, the LED lighting company has become an expert in developing photometric plans for grocery-anchored shopping centers. Arkon truly understands the needs of national grocers, Brown said. Winn Dixie, for example, typically demands 6 foot-candles on the ground throughout its parking lots. Publix-anchored shopping centers require 5 foot-candles.

Using its in-depth knowledge of photometrics, lighting design and custom bracketry, Arkon is able to deliver lighting to any shopping center’s specifications while saving the property owner money on energy and maintenance.

“In the case of Mariner Village, I said, ‘look, the guys from Arkon are going to give us the best price,” Frahm said. “And the improvement is a huge added value.”

In addition to saving money, shopping center lighting upgrades attract new real estate tenants, draw in retail customers, enhance safety for after-dark customers and eliminate light pollution.

“There is no way we would ever go back to putting high pressure sodium bulbs in,” Frahm said.

Email to learn more Arkon’s work on site lighting for shopping centers or any other projects.

Arkon Provides LED Lighting to Secure Church

Orlando-based Church in the Son wanted to improve its parking lot lighting. LEDs proved to be a revelation.

As a worshipper was leaving Orlando’s Church in the Son one night in December, her son asked if she needed an escort to her car. “No thanks,” she said. “They put out new parking lights, so it’s much brighter out there.”

It was music to Church in the Son administrators’ ears.

The house of worship had contracted with Arkon Power to replace its legacy metal halide parking lot fixtures several months earlier, and the project’s central goal was improving churchgoer safety.

“The first concern we had was that our parking lot was very dark,” said Carla Kong, Church in the Son operations director. “Our lights were old-school and yellowish, and we knew we wanted to go bright. Safety was our number one reason.”

With assistance from Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown and his team, which completed a thorough photometric analysis, the church elected to replace its 37 400-watt metal halides with nine 320-watt LED street lights and 28 240-watt LED street lights.

The result is more foot-candles on the ground, daylight-like ambient illumination, and a decrease in power consumption. And while Kong says Church in the Son “at first wasn’t even thinking about” how much they’d save on their power bill, the nearly 40% reduction in energy consumption was “a nice bonus down the line.”

Arkon worked closely with an electrical contractor to complete the installation, and Kong said the project went smoothly from beginning to end.

“The attention and the follow-up process was very good,” she said. “The communication was great.”

Church in the Son was able to raise all the capital necessary for the installation from member donations, and Kong said all of the church’s parishioners have been happy with the results.

“Over all, we’ve accomplished everything we were looking for,” she said.

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Arkon Helps Real Estate Manager Create Long-Term Value with Site Lighting

Alliance Exchange installed LED lighting to make a new retail-storage outlet more attractive and energy efficient.

Mark Blanton of commercial real estate brokerage and management firm Alliance Exchange was considering leasing LED lighting from his local utility company. Alliance was working on a new development in Odessa, Fla., that would house a retail outlet and storage facility, and Blanton knew he wanted the low energy and maintenance costs of LEDs.

But after examining the lease option, he decided a permanent solution from Arkon Power would give his company an asset with long-term value.

“We kind of did the cost-benefit analysis and looked at the savings, and it just made sense,” Blanton said. “I’m personally not a fan of renting anything if I can help it.”

Once Blanton had decided to purchase his own light poles and fixtures, he knew just who to contact. He’d met Arkon Power executives multiple times at trade shows over the years, and he respected them as experts in the field.

Arkon Power Technical Director Graham Brown went to work after speaking with Blanton, performing a photometric analysis on the retail and storage site and suggesting LED street lights and direct burial concrete poles. The new lighting design would feature eight 240-watt fixtures, seven 30-foot poles and one two-way bracket.

“We were able to put together a design that would give the facility more light and save them on costs in the long run,” Brown said. Brown noted that by purchasing the lights, Blanton’s firm added an asset to the property, rather than incurring a liability owed to the local utility company.

Blanton said the up-front cost of LED lights has come down enough to make their benefits—energy efficiency, low maintenance, high-level brightness—worthwhile. And while it’s too early to say just how much Alliance Exchange is saving via its new LED lights, Blanton said he’s been happy with the results and the lights “look fantastic.”

“Graham was very much on top of everything, and I have nothing but good things to say about him and the company in general,” Blanton said. “We will look to Arkon again in the future.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other projects.

Arkon Deepens Relationship With Tampa Port on Dock Lighting Project

The LED solutions expert provided the most competitive bid for a massive retrofit at Port Tampa Bay.

Port Tampa Bay needed a major lighting overhaul at its sprawling downtown docking center. So the state’s largest and most diverse commercial port turned to a supplier that had served it well in the past—Arkon Power.

Arkon first worked with Port Tampa Bay in the summer of 2015, when the LED supplier retrofitted the port’s highly visible atrium lighting. This time around, Arkon was tapped for a much larger project: replacing 120 metal halide floodlights with long lasting, efficient LEDs.

Where the metal halide bulbs had been 1,000 watts apiece, Arkon was able to engineer a solution using 320-watt standard LED floodlights.

“This was all on the loading docks where they bring the ships in,” Arkon Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “The poles are about 150 feet from the water and shining out to illuminate the water’s edge where the ships unload. It was a very cool project.”

Brown said the LED lights, which were replaced roughly one-to-one on existing light poles and placed about 45 feet up, easily achieved the required 5 foot-candles on the ground throughout the Port Tampa Bay loading dock. Brown and his team completed a photometric plan (i.e., a computer lighting simulation) to show the proposed design met the port’s criteria. After installation was complete, the team conducted a site review using a light meter and confirmed the numbers matched the plan.

“The lights were spread around four different docks, and each required a slightly different alignment, with up to six fixtures on each pole,” Brown said. “We experimented with a variety of optics and fixture orientations.”

In addition to offering its advanced engineering expertise, Arkon was able to offer Port Tampa Bay the most cost-effective bid among multiple suppliers. Arkon’s previous successes working with the port and warranty offerings also set it apart from the competition.

“The port is a government agency, so there are more details required for the bid and a more extensive bidding process,” Brown said. “It’s something we’re very comfortable with, and we look forward to more projects like it in the future.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s other industrial lighting projects.

Arkon Provides LED Site Lighting Crown Acura Auto Dealership in Clearwater, Florida

Arkon assisted the auto group in revamping its lighting during a major facility remodel and expansion.

When Crown Acura looked to remodel its car lot in the heart of Clearwater, Fla., the dealership knew lighting would be critical to its success. So the sales organization worked with an industry contractor who knew just where to find the right solution: Arkon Power.

“They wanted a full-blown remodel, and they wanted to build out a new display lot next door,” Arkon Power Technical Manager Graham Brown said. “We did the photometrics and delivered a bid that proved to be the best anyone could offer. We’re proud to have won the contract.”

Crown Acura, located on US Highway 19 near Gulf to Bay Boulevard for more than 20 years, is a critical piece of the Crown Automotive Dealership empire. Earlier this year, the company looked to increase its competitive advantage by purchasing an adjacent shopping center and remodeling its existing facility. The remodel was a full gut job, and the shopping center nearly doubled the size of the dealership’s footprint.

Once it had completed its photometric analysis, Arkon Power provided new fixtures and brackets for the light poles in the existing car lot, as well as a from-scratch lighting layout throughout the new display lot.

The project took on two phases. In phase one, Arkon replaced Crown Acura’s existing 1,000 watt metal halide fixtures with 50 320-watt LED streetlights and 6 240-watt LED streetlights. The fixtures, mounted with 13 charging bull horn brackets, four three-way 120 brackets and seven two-way 180 brackets, reduced power usage by more than 70% compared to the legacy halides.

In phase two of the project, Arkon worked on the new lot, deciding where each pole and fixture would go and installing each from the ground up. All told, the lot was outfitted with 80 320-watt LED streetlights, 31 direct burial concrete light poles, 14 charging bull horn brackets, 13 three-way 120 brackets and two two-way 180 brackets.

One of the goals of the remodel and expansion was to help Crown Acura stand out from its competition—the dealership is among a number of others along the US 19 corridor.

“Lighting is so critical to achieving the look and feel auto dealerships want when they update their facilities,” Brown said. “Crown Acura has told us how happy they are with the results of our lighting design, and anyone who drives by the dealership at night will certainly see why.”

Email to learn more about this or any of Arkon Power’s LED Lighting projects with Car Dealerships.