Lighting Can Improve Efficiency and Safety In Parking Structures
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
We hold those words true in many cases, especially when it comes to commercial maintenance projects you’ve been putting off for awhile. Yes, there are opportunities for improving efficiencies just about everywhere. But you might overlook one of the most obvious, your parking structure.
Outside lighting is more than just a few lights to illuminate the parking spaces. Outside lighting can include parking structures, surface lots, fixtures on roads and driveways leading onto your property, pedestrian and bicycle paths, even building exteriors, especially by your entrances. And the benefits are many, including energy savings, reduced maintenance, and improved safety.
In many cases, what drives a company to make changes to their parking lighting is the energy savings. And they can be significant. Ask yourself a few questions to determine if your lighting fits your needs.
- Do people enter or exit your property at all hours of the day?
- Do you own a public facility or private property?
Keeping a parking structure lit up all night long can be wasteful, especially if it’s private and the gates are closed after normal business hours. You can eliminate a significant portion of your energy bill associated with this structure simply by adjusting your lighting to fit the needs of the building.
In most commercial applications you can change your existing parking lot lighting, or exterior security lighting with an LED equivalent fixtures, or bulb. Commercial buildings normally have 400 watt fixtures installed on the exterior to illuminate the area for security, or parking areas. You can install an LED fixture that looks exactly the same as your current lighting, and instead of using 400 watts per fixture, they only use 120 watts. That’s almost four new fixtures using the same power as one existing light!
While energy savings is a good motivator, it should never be at the expense of public safety. Change out low-color temperature lights and brighten the area with whiter light. It can help patrol officers or safety monitors see things more clearly and distinguish details and movement easier. Adding more lights can also brighten up areas that were previously dark and dreary.
And if all of that isn’t reason enough to make improvements to your parking lighting, consider its effect on maintenance. Updating your lighting can result in longer lamp life – up to 100,000 hour in some cases – which means less frequent replacement and fewer lamps ending up in landfills. It also means fewer hours spent changing and replacing lighting fixtures as they burn out. That can free up your maintenance crew to work on other projects and issues.
When was the last time you updated your parking lighting?