North America’s busiest international passenger gateway introduces smart lighting technology

JFK upgrades apron lighting to smart LEDs

End Customer: John F. Kennedy International Airport
Application: Apron Lighting
Fixture: Phoenix's Highland Series - 500W High Mast LED
Location: Queens, NY

Project Details

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the primary international airport serving New York City. It is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America and fifth busiest airport in the United States. In 2017, JFK handled over 59 million passengers. The airport features six passenger terminals and four runways, covering a total of 4,930 acres (1,995 ha). JFK is so large that it has its own zip code.

JFK International Airport Terminal 1 used 1000 watt metal halide floodlights to illuminate their aircraft parking apron. Not only were these lights expensive to maintain, but they also generated significant glare for the pilots taxiing into the gates. With rising energy and labor costs, Terminal 1 wanted to upgrade to an LED lighting solution that would offer durability, performance and reliability, while minimizing glare discomfort for pilots and ground personnel.

Traditional metal halide lights were retrofitted with Phoenix's 500W Highland Series LEDs and then optimized with lighting intelligence technology - Phoenix's LIT System. Currently at JFK, there are 475 total LED fixtures installed and under control of the LIT System bringing a new level of safety, security and operational efficiency.

The Highland LEDs are lightweight with versatile mounting options, making them easy to retrofit to an existing pole infrastructure. At 500 watts, the fixtures use half the energy of a 1000 watt metal halide fixture, plus offers integrated glare shields to minimize glare for pilots and tower personnel. A 100,000 hour L80 lumen depreciation provides long-term performance and reliability over the life of the fixture. And because they are controlled with Phoenix's LIT System, JFK will see up to 30% in additional energy savings, resulting in a quick return on investment.


  • Over 65% reduction in energy consumed
  • Projected annual kWh saved: 290,766 kWh
  • Projected annual energy savings: $47,686
  • Payback: 2.4 years


"The group at Phoenix lighting are utmost professionals and my team enjoyed working with them through the project execution and continued ongoing service and support. The new lighting system has greatly improved the safety, security, and efficiency of our nighttime operations at Terminal One.”

– John Dalton, Facilities Manager at Terminal One Management

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