Why LED Parking Garage Lighting matters for both safety and appeal:
One of the first things people notice when pulling into a parking garage is the lighting. Is there enough of it? Is it bright enough? Is it helping me figure out how the garage is laid out? These are the kind of questions people reflexively ask themselves when using a parking garage. It’s clear that lighting should be a priority.
Outdated or failing lighting systems are not capable of producing enough light for visitors to maintain adequate visibility. Poor lighting can also lead to security issues and can confuse people attempting to navigate the garage, leading to frustration.
Modern lighting systems, and LED lighting in particular, can provide a garage with excellent lighting coverage, intensity and efficiency. Compared to outdated HID lighting systems, LED technology represents a major step forward for parking garage lighting.
Why LED Lighting is the best option for parking garages:
Parking garages are expected to be available around the clock and must be as low maintenance as possible. LED lighting fits perfectly into this objective for several reasons. They include:
- Security – The Bureau of Justice Statistics tracks, among many other things, the number of crimes that occur in parking garages. From 2004 to 2008, the bureau tallied up nearly 2.5 million crimes in U.S. parking garages. Of these, more than 15 percent were violent crimes.
People often feel vulnerable in parking garages, and if there isn’t adequate lighting in the space, then that feeling will only be more intense. Older lighting systems are prone to outages and declining luminous intensity, and this can leave people in the dark. Anyone using the garage at night will likely take notice as well, and this may push people into finding an alternative.
Bright and even lighting ensures there are no dark areas where someone could hide. Every part of the garage is easy to see, allowing visitors to drive and walk around with confidence.
LED lighting is prized for its ability to produce even illumination, and this is thanks to the technology’s engineering. LED fixtures are directional by nature, which means they emit in a tighter angle than other fixtures. This allows for easier, precise aiming, and lighting experts can utilize this when diagramming and laying out LED fixtures.
- Safety – According to the National Safety Council, there are more than 50,000 accidents in parking garages every year, resulting in around 500 deaths. Parking garages can be hazardous for drivers and pedestrians alike, especially if there is inadequate lighting in the garage. Poor lighting reduces visibility and makes it difficult to detect motion at a distance. At night, visibility may be reduced to the point where completely preventable accidents occur.
Even illumination helps people feel more secure, it will also improve safety. LED lighting will eliminate the kind of dark spots and shadows that can affect driver visibility, ensuring drivers aren’t caught off guard by pedestrians.
- Low maintenance – Most parking garages are effectively giant mounds of poured concrete. They are intended to be sturdy, rugged structures that only need occasional maintenance. Aging lighting systems put pressure on garage owners to constantly address maintenance issues. As fixtures enter their decline phase, they produce less and less light and may blink out for good at any time. It only gets worse with time, as some lights will need to be replaced while others may still have a bit longer to go. This can lead to maintenance call after maintenance call, costing the owner more money to maintain failing systems.
This is a major problem with older technologies like HID lighting. These lights may only last thousands of hours before their illumination output becomes unacceptable. Most won’t make it past 10,000 hours. However, LED lights normally provide at least 50,000 hours of performance, and it’s common for LED fixtures to last much longer than that. Longer performance means fewer replacements, and that saves the owner money and time.
- Durability – It’s rare for a parking garage to be shielded from the elements to any degree. They aren’t climate controlled, which means rain, snow, ice and intense heat are all issues that the garage’s lighting will have to contend with. Drivers are another hazard for lights that are installed closer to the ground, and one will eventually bump into an expensive fixture.
Fortunately LED lights are particularly durable and are often used in tougher environments for this reason. They handle physical shock better than all other lighting options, so they can take the occasional bump without failing. LED fixtures are also able to withstand unconditioned environments with ease, ensuring they remain operational even during the worst conditions.
- Controllability – Occupancy controls are a must in parking garages, as lighting is essential when people are navigating through the garage, and a waste when no one is present. Fortunately, LED lighting is designed for maximum controllability, and can be easily tied to occupancy sensors, dimmers and other control options.
Parking garages can be confusing to many people, as they aren’t laid out like any other building. LED lighting with the proper controls can help with this, as well, as the fixtures can be set to flash, change color, or otherwise get attention. This is a simple way to help people find their way, and to do so in the safest way possible.
Parking garage lighting can greatly enhance the building’s utility as long as the right lighting solution is put in place. LED lighting is that solution for most parking garages, and will provide years of reliable, low maintenance service.