In a parking area, lighting is essential for safety and security; it helps to prevent crime and allows people to feel safe in the area. If your parking area was created over 10 years ago, chances are that your have outdated and/or inadequate lighting. This is because, in the past, the purpose of lighting in these areas was to enhance the appearance of the area — not to provide safety and security. At Future Connections Electrical, Inc. we can help you with all of your lighting and electrical needs.
Basic Considerations for Parking Areas
There is a variety of things that you should consider for your parking area. The purpose of the parking area differs depending on the area and the community. Lighting systems and the design is highly technical and requires training and experience. Here are a few fundamentals of lighting design for you to consider:
- How bright is the light?
- Is the lighting consistent?
- Does the lighting render colors?
- How energy efficient is the lighting system?
- How long do the lights last?
A Brief History of Outdoor Lighting
Toward the end of the 19th century, a variety of lamps and technology were used to offer outdoor lighting. Arc lamps were used, then incandescent lamps were prominent. Later, in the 1940s, mercury vapor light fixtures were popular, as they offered increased brightness and a longer lamp life, all while being more energy efficient. Yet, these lights appeared more blueish/green in color, which was not all that favorable among the majority of people. Finally, in the 1970s, high-pressure sodium lamps gained popularity because they were even more efficient than the mercury lights and offered a warm yellow/orange glow, as opposed to the greenish-blue. Now, these are the most popular light fixtures used in outdoor lighting applications.
A downside to these high-pressure sodium lamps is that it distorts colors. For example, a blue car may appear to be purple, which, as you can imagine, would be not ideal for a car dealership’s parking lot. To accommodate industries such as dealerships, or even parking lots where people want to be able to identify their car easily, metal halide lamps became a popular alternative to the high-pressure sodium lamps. While these lamps provide a white light that allows you to see colors clearly, these lamps are more expensive and less energy efficient, leading to overall increased costs.
A New Lighting Solution: LED Lights
When deciding which type of lighting to use for your parking area, security should be a priority. You’ll find that some light options lead to shadows, meaning poor video surveillance. By using LED lighting in your parking area, you can have superior light quality with minimal shadows. This leads to enhanced safety and allows security surveillance to operate efficiently.
While LED lights have been around for over 50 years, more recent advancements have made these lights able to produce more light than they could in the past. Actually, these developments have led to LED lights being able to produce increased levels of light so that they can be used in general lighting applications and can replace incandescent and other types of lamps.
Benefits of LED Lights in Your Parking Lot
- LED lights can reduce the amount of energy you use from anywhere between 60 – 90%
- LED lights last longer, averaging 10 + years
- LED Lights offer a nearly white light
- LED Lights can be directed to focus the lights where light is most needed
- LED Lights do not need to warm up to turn on — they immediately turn on and off
- LED lights are more durable
- LED lights are environmentally friendly
- LED lights can be dimmed
The Cost of LED Lights in a Parking Lot
While LED lights do offer many great immediate benefits, the initial cost of the light is more expensive than traditional lamps. Actually, these LED light fixtures can cost 4 – 10 times more than these traditional light fixtures. However, taking into account the reduced energy and lifetime of the bulbs, LED lights are well worth the investment.
Let Future Connections Help With Your Parking Lot Lights
If you are interested in getting lights for your parking lot or replacing the existing lights, contact Future Connections Electrical, Inc. Whether you are looking for LED lights or more traditional lighting options, we can help. Our team of lighting designers and experts can help you achieve your lighting goals in your parking lot today.