Custom LED Retrofit Brightens a Seattle Parking Lot


An Aerospace Company Wanted to Upgrade Parking Lot Lighting

A large aerospace company in the Seattle area made plans to upgrade outdated lighting fixtures in its parking lots to decrease energy costs. The parking lots contained over 100 light poles which currently held high-pressure sodium fixtures (HPS). Replacing the HPS fixtures with new LED heads would provide a much brighter and more  cost-efficient parking lot.

To meet year-end budget requirements, the project needed to be completed within a tight deadline. The parking lot also needed to remain in operation during the retrofit. The lot was always full and space was a premium. For the contractor,  this meant that there was no room for garbage or packaging on the job site.

For this type of project, a contract would typically use an onsite trailer to store the fixtures until they were installed. Fixtures would remain protected in the trailer. Then the trailer would be filled with the cardboard and packing waste after  the install. The waste would ultimately be hauled off the project site at the end of the project. Unfortunately, due to limited space and the requirement that the parking lot  remain open, this option could not be used for the project.

The Kitting Process

  • 1. Materials are received and stored in the secure warehouse
  • 2. Material is unpacked in a controlled environment and prepped for kitting
  • 3. Large pallets are broken down
  • 4. Extra packaging, cardboard and foam are removed
  • 5. Kit components are organized
  • 6. Materials are carefully laid in the carts with minimal packaging
  • 7. Components are arranged in order of use, phase and functionality
  • 8. Cart kits are staged for delivery according to the release schedule


Lighting Materials were Staged and Stored  in a Secure Warehouse to Eliminate Lot Downtime

The contractor who was awarded the project reached out  to Wesco as a logistical partner to help manage the fixtures in accordance with the requirements of the bid. Lighting shipments were delivered to the Wesco Seattle facility,  where the materials were thoroughly checked in and stored  in a secure place until needed.

To prep for kitting, materials were carefully unpacked in a controlled environment. Large pallets were broken down and components were organized into individual kits. Excessive packaging from each box of material was removed. Heavy outer cardboard and foam were discarded. Each kit had all factory packaging material removed except minimum layers of foam to separate the fixtures so that they wouldn’t bump during delivery.

A kit contained 8 to 12 fixtures, depending on the lot size  and customer request. Each fixture was wrapped in foam bubble wrap for protection and identified on top with a black marker. There were different fixture types due to beam spreads, but all of the mounting hardware was the same. That made it easy for Wesco’s Seattle team to consolidate the mounting hardware in one box on top. Each kit was marked with the component pieces on the top so that the contractor could easily identify what was included for assembly.


Kitted Material was Delivered on Time with Zero Trash Left Onsit

The fast-track nature of the project required precise scheduling of the material installed while the parking lot remained open. Wesco delivered all materials in cages to the jobsite on a daily basis. Collapsible cages held kits material and were wheeled directly to the installation areas. They ultimately saved the electrician’s time for installing instead of material handling.

Three cages were delivered in and three empty cages were delivered out every day. Carts were wheeled into the space and could move from light fixture to light fixture. The installer controlled how many kits were delivered, ensuring control of tight space. Since there was no dumpster on site, trash was hauled off of the job site every day.

The project was a great success. Wesco’s unpacking of the 100 fixtures from their 28-by-28-by-10-inch boxes into then collapsible 3-by-3-foot cages in kits by area resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the material footprint. The replacement of the outdate HPS fixtures with the new, sleek, LED fixtures gave the customer a brighter parking lot where employees could feel safer while also providing energy cost savings to the company.

Working together, the owner, contractor, and Wesco all tackled this challenging project in a fluid and cost effective manner to provide an end solutions that enhances the owner’s property for years to come.