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Increase Safety With The Right Parking Lot Lighting

parking lot lighting

Want to increase safety in your parking lot? Simply add more lighting, right?

Well, that’s not always the case.

Unnecessary parking lot lighting will cost you more over time, both in energy costs to operate, as well as maintenance costs of the equipment. It is also more environmentally unfriendly.

Excessive lighting does not improve safety; refining your lighting plan will. The key lies in controlling the lighting for the situation.

It starts by assessing your needs. A parking lot in an apartment complex, where residents come and go at all hours of the night, won’t have the same requirements as an office building where everyone is gone by seven at night.

Illuminance levels should be installed to meet the situation. Lighting can be adjusted by the color of the light, the beam produced by the lighting unit, and the overall system design. In some cases it may not be the number of lights you have in place, instead may be the style and type of lighting used.

Replace Lamps

Common practice is to replace lamps only as the light burns out. Yet studies show that a metal halide or high-pressure sodium lamp can degrade as much as 40 percent of their lighting input over just a few years. That’s like cutting a 400-watt lamp back to 250 watts or below. Simply replacing all lamps at once can have a significant impact on the lighting in your parking lot.


What type of lighting are you currently using in your parking lot? An upgrade from high-pressure sodium to metal halide would drastically increase the light color and appearance. Metal halide has a higher color rendering index, meaning the human eye perceives the colors as brighter, more vivid. To improve energy efficiency even further, upgrade to LED. You’ll notice the difference immediately.

Replace Light Fixtures

Still using an older fixture to light your parking lot? The typical square pole light, commonly referred to as “shoebox” lighting, offers non-directional and inefficient lighting. Replacing these with flood-type lighting fixtures will allow the light to be directed to specific areas, such as sidewalks or walkways. With these simple adjustments, light can seem brighter even though the energy usage remains the same.

Proper parking lot lighting doesn’t take drastic changes. Instead, it takes a careful examination of what currently exists, compared to what’s possible. Even the tiniest of adjustments can have a huge impact.

A well-lit parking lot attracts business and greatly enhances the safety of all those that enter. Have additional questions about how to make your parking lot safer? Give us a call.

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