How To Evaluate Your Parking Lot Lighting

How To Evaluate Your Parking Lot Lighting

If your property was constructed ten or more years ago, there’s a good chance your lighting is inadequate. For many years, parking lot lighting was a low priority for designers. The purpose was more for enhancing architecture and appearance rather than for safety and security.

Therefore, evaluating your outside lighting today can be an important step in making your property safer, more secure, and more attractive to potential and existing clients as they evaluate where to sign a lease. The design of a proper lighting system is a highly technical science, one that a security team or a property manager probably won’t know. Yet through years of training and experience, we understand well and transfer to you when providing an evaluation of your current lighting system.

Basic characteristics should include:

  • How bright the lights are
  • Uniformity of lighting and its consistency throughout the space
  • Color of lighting
  • How much light per watt of electricity the lighting delivers
  • How long the lamps last before needing replacement

In every evaluation, the process involves determining the type of lighting already in place and evaluating how effective it is in its current condition. From there, weaknesses are determined, and potential corrections can be discussed.

There are many opinions about what constitutes adequate lighting in a parking lot. Published standards suggest that acceptable light levels can range from a minimum of 0.5fc in low activity areas, to a high of 5fc in high pedestrian sections. Yet finding lighting far below these recommendations is easy to do. And in fact, may even be present on your property.

Equally important is the uniformity of lighting throughout the area. Uniformity is expressed as a ratio between the lowest light level and the average light level taken throughout the area. For example, if the average light level throughout the lot were 5fc, with the lowest reading being 1fc, the uniformity ratio would be 5:1. It’s not uncommon to see uniformity levels as high 200:1. Light falls off dramatically from source. As you walk away from the lighting fixture, light levels can diminish quickly. And can be further complicated with placement of landscaping and other obstructions.

If your evaluation reveals inadequate light levels or lack of uniformity in light levels, you should consider making improvement to your parking lot lighting. Our consultants can assist you in determining which specific improvements will benefit you most.

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