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Parking Lots Mercury Mall
 

Mall promotes shopper safety with
new PoleStar® lighting systems


Promoting shopper comfort was the goal in retrofitting the parking lot lighting at Mercury Plaza Mall in Hampton, Virginia, owned by Mall Properties, Inc. The variety and number of stores in the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping center, including major department stores, a grocery outlet, home center and electronics chain, attract a large volume of traffic, particularly during the late afternoon and evening.

In the past, the 600,000-square-foot parking lot was illuminated with a 400 watt mercury vapor system mounted on square 32-foot poles with 3-foot pedestals. Pole spacing averaged 250 feet in front of the mall, with poles spaced slightly farther apart on the southwest side of the property, which borders a residential area.

"Lighting with the mercury vapor system was poor," described George Martin, president, York River Electric, Inc. "Pools of light existed in the area immediately surrounding the poles, but the remainder of the lot was dark and shadowy. By retrofitting the lighting, management hoped to make shoppers feel safer, while bringing the facility up to code."

Based on the success of a Holophane system installed at another, nearby mall owned by Mall Properties, Martin specified Holophane PoleStar® fixtures with round covers, linear arms and 1,000 watt high pressure sodium lamps. The system includes four fixtures per pole, although only one fixture is used in the lot near the residential area. Holophane's Computer Lighting Analysis (CALA) software was used to determine fixture placement and light levels.

According to Martin, one of the requirements during the project was to use the existing poles. All poles were retrofit with a linear arm where the ballast is housed. Placement of the ballast in the arm not only reduces heat, but prolongs the fixture's life while keeping maintenance costs low.

"Because the mall is located near Chesapeake Bay, we were concerned about corrosion from the salt air. However, this has not been a problem. The PoleStar fixtures have held up well to the environment, including high winds; they have been virtually maintenance-free," said Martin.

While no schedule has been developed for cleaning and maintaining the fixtures, the units are being re-lamped as needed. The system is controlled by contactors with photo cells.

"Everyone, including store managers, is pleased with the difference in the type of light provided by the PoleStar system," said Martin. "The fixtures provide a maximum amount of uniform illumination in all areas of the parking lot; we no longer have dark and shadowy spaces. The PoleStar units have also been very reliable."

Illumination levels have increased from an average of two footcandles to five footcandles average maintained.


 

 
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