Best Outdoor LED Light in 2019 (Part 1)

A common question we get is what is the best outdoor LED light for a project. This guide to outdoor LED fixtures will shed some light (pun intended) on the topic.

To begin, we should understand what makes an LED lighting fixture suitable for outdoor use. Outdoor LED fixtures must have a high IP rating (read about IP ratings here) such that the electrical components are not affected by the weather. They must also be suitable for more extreme temperatures, as they will be exposed to the elements.

In general, outdoor LED lights aim to achieve one of two objectives: area lighting, and accent lighting. Area lighting refers to powerful and high coverage lighting that lights up a particular area, such as directly outside buildings, driveways, car parks, stadiums, sports fields, and other outdoor areas. Accent lighting refers to less powerful lighting that is installed to provide a decorative effect. This is part 1 of 2 that will focus on outdoor area lighting.


Outdoor Area Lighting

There are a few led lighting fixtures that are suitable for outdoor area lighting.

LED flood lights are popularly used when a lot of control is needed in terms of where the light is shining. LED flood lights range from very small fixtures consuming as little as 10W to very large fixtures of well over 600W. For example, to light a football field from a high height, you may wish to consider 200W or higher LED flood lights. To light your store’s signage, you may wish to use a few 15W or 45W flood lights. The most notable benefit of LED flood lights is the adjustable tilt, allowing for better control of the angle of light.

15/45W LED Flood Light15/45W Flood Light - Side140W/200W Flood Light

LED shoebox flood lights are increasingly popular to use as street lighting and outdoor area lighting. They can be mounted on poles or installed on walls, and shine downward in a wide area. Their popularity stems from the great lighting coverage they are able to provide, and the versatility in their application. LED shoebox flood lights are available from around 60W up to over 300W. They are also sometimes compatible with accessories such as photocells and motion sensors to conserve energy when not needed. Arani’s LED shoebox flood lights have 3 different mounting accessories, as well as an optional photocell, so they cover all potential applications.

LED Shoebox Flood Light - Wall MountLED Shoebox Flood Light - Bracket

LED wall packs are popular in more commercial and industrial areas where a wide area needs to be lit with very few fixtures, and a robust and more vandal resistant fixture is required. LED wall packs are compact, durable, and designed to be installed at low to medium heights. They have a wide beam angle to cover as much ground as possible with as few fixtures as possible, which is perfect where it is difficult or expensive to run wires, such as along the outside of a building. It is common for old fixtures to already be present, and LED wall packs are perfect as a retrofit solution. In some instances, an old wall pack needs to be replaced, and the paint under the wall pack fixture does not match the rest of the building – in these instances, it is best to use a larger classic LED wall pack such as Arani’s Wall Pack 2 to cover the mismatched paint. LED wall packs readily come with pre-installed photocells or motion sensors to help conserve energy when they are not needed. Examples are Arani’s Wall Pack 10, which comes with a photocell, and Arani’s Wall Pack 11, which comes with a photocell and an adjustable head. 

LED Wall Pack 2LED Wall Pack 10 with PhotocellLED Wall Pack 11 with Motion Sensor and Photocell

LED vapor tight fixtures are sometimes used when a more linear outdoor solution is required. In general, they are shatter-resistant, and can give a less industrial look. Some LED vapor tight fixtures are tandem accessible (chain-mountable), allowing for a long row of them to be mounted consecutively. This is helpful during installation, as they can all be installed on the same electrical circuit. They are commonly used to light tunnels, underpaths, and walkways. Arani’s LED vapor tight fixtures are a great example of a tandem accessible fixture.

LED Vapor Tight Fixture