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Car Park Lighting Design Guide

Thinking about converting your parking garage over to LED but are unsure about the end results?

We can create a parking garage lighting plan report for you. We can import you CAD file into our lighting software, and replace your existing lights with our parking garage lights. 

The report will show light levels and brightness, and how well the light is distributed in the entire area.

What Are Led Parking Garage Lights?

Garages and parking lots need light fixtures with high light intensity to be well lit. For safety and to deter intruders. Bright light helps motorists navigate their way through the parking lot. Needless to say it improves the attractiveness of the space.

This is where LED parking garage lighting comes in.

LED parking garage lighting is a term that describes outdoor lighting fixtures. They provide adequate light for pedestrians and motorists. These lighting fixtures provide light in both garages and parking lots. LED parking garage light fixtures are usually mounted on soffits and ceilings, or hung by pendants. They come in different shapes, sizes, and styles.

Where Are LED Parking Garage Lights Used?

People have different preferences when it comes to choosing the best parking spaces. Some people prefer open parking areas where they can watch their vehicles. Others choose closed parking garages to prevent their car from getting damaged and out of the weather.

Regardless of where you choose to park your vehicle, there’s always the need for proper lighting. LED Canopy Lights are used to illuminate outdoor garages and parking lots. They are also used to light up large indoor garages and commercial parking lots.

There are several lighting fixtures that are used in garages and parking lots. Today, we will be looking at the most commonly used lighting fixtures and how comparable they are to LED parking garage lighting. We will also tell you about the many perks of LED lights, and things you need to consider before buying these lights. This will greatly help you when choosing LED parking garage lighting.

Parking Garage

What Are the Different Types of LED Parking Garage Lights?

Car Park Low Bays

Low Bay Lighting

Low bay lights have a high lumen output and are effective at illuminating large spaces. Perfect for industrial warehouses, parking garages, and retail stores. They are usually fitted with lenses which spread the light further to specific plans.

To choose the appropriate low bay fixtures for a commercial parking garage, it's important to consider the ceiling height. Typical Low bay lights have a beam angle of 120°. They're most suitable for ceilings that are between 3.5 meters to 6 meters (12 to 20 feet) above the floor. The lower the ceiling height, the wider the beam angle should be.

With wattages between 60 and 100, LED low bay lights are efficient in providing light with minimum glare. Diffusers help in reducing harsh reflections, especially in spaces with low ceilings. This makes it easier for motorists to maneuver the parking garage on low beam headlights.

Surface Mount Canopy

Canopy Light Lighting

Canopy lights have become the preferred replacements for both HID and fluorescent lighting. Because they provide large areas with bright light that looks almost natural. All while saving energy in the process.

LED canopy lights, like other LED light fixtures, have very low maintenance costs. They have the ability to withstand snow, hail, sleet, and rain. Plus, a long life expectancy lights up a garage up to 100,000 hours. This is 25 times longer than traditional lighting methods.

Canopy lights protect the internal components from dust and moisture to cut the risk of fire. The metal casing prevents accumulation of water on the conductors and internal components. Which are susceptible to moisture, humidity, and dust. These features make canopy lights ideal for wet environments and harsh weather conditions.

Vapor Tight Fixtures

Vapor Tight Image

Some light fixtures do not have the ability to withstand humid environments. Fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause damage to traditional lighting fixtures. Warping, cracking, and splitting can occur. High humidity can lead to chemical deterioration and encourage mold, which reduce illumination.

LED vapor tight lights are designed to withstand extremes. Harsh weather or wet conditions like in factories, wash bays, and parking garage areas.  Vapor Tight LED Garage Lights are perfect for these conditions to protect the bulbs from dust and moisture.

LED vapor tight lights are fitted with special gasket seals that prevent any form of leakage. This is very important in parking garages. Dirt accumulates in light fixtures, which has a significant affect on lighting performance.

Benefits of LED Parking Garage Lighting

LED parking garage lights generate and distribute light different from conventional lighting fixtures. These lights generate light from multiple diodes – each with an individual optic to help disperse even light.

Security is paramount in parking garages. LED garage fixtures do not need time to warm up before they get full luminosity – unlike HID lamps. They have the ability to turn on and off instantaneously. Also, they work brilliantly with lighting controls such as motion sensors, so the light output can be lowered when no one is around. If you’re on an energy-saving mission, we don’t need to tell you that you should pair LEDs with lighting controls.


1.  LED Lights Reduce Energy Costs

With LED parking garage lights, say goodbye to that high electric bill that was the norm when you had HID lamps. By using LED lights, you can save up to 75% on your electric bill. LED parking garage lights have a high luminous efficacy compared to other traditional fixtures. This means that LEDs emit a higher amount of light (lumens) per unit of power (watt).

LED parking garage lights need less electricity to attain full luminosity. According to research, LED parking garage lights use 50% less electricity than conventional. Replacing or retrofitting traditional lighting with LEDs saves hundreds of dollars in energy costs per fixture per year.

For example, looking at a single 400W metal halide lamp installed in your parking lot. It consumes up to 455W including the electricity the ballast pulls. LED Lighting Supply can replace this lighting fixture with a LED shoebox light, which only draws 120 watts of electricity but gives off 16,800 lumens. And that’s not all. The best part is that the LED light comes with a 10-year warranty.


According to our energy savings calculator, this is what you will save per fixture, per year – depending on the electricity costs of your location.

.18 kW/h, savings are $268.06 per fixture per year

.20 kW/h, savings are $297.84 per fixture per year

Remember, this amount only represents a single fixture.


2.  LED Parking Garage Lights Produce Zero IR and UV Emissions

LED lights produce almost zero Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) emissions. They can be used to illuminate spaces with objects that are sensitive to UV rays. These fixtures emit light in the visible spectrum (which is the light we humans need).

HID lamps, on the other hand, produce a considerable amount of Ultraviolet rays (UV) which can have a negative effect on both humans and animals.


3. LED Lighting Lowers Lighting Maintenance Costs

LED lights go through their functional life differently because of the way in which they generate light. As we said, HID lamps and fluorescents use a fuel source to produce light. As this fuel gets depleted, their functionality considerably goes down. But LEDs do not use a fuel source, which means they can produce the same amount of light for their whole lifespan. And while the light output of LEDs does decrease with time, it never goes below 70% (because of the L70 Rating)

The useful life of LEDs is between 50,000 and 100,000 hours, much longer compared to metal halides, fluorescents, and HPS lights. These older lights would have been replaced twice or thrice within this time. LED lights generate light through the use of semiconductors that don't degrade easily.

Because LED parking garage lights are efficient and reliable, fixtures need less maintainance. This directly translates into money saved on bulb replacement and labor costs.

Many parking garages use metal halide bulbs. The downside is these lamps have long warm-up and restrike periods. Due to this, they can't be used with lighting controls and lower energy consumption. Metal halide lamps also have a tendency to lose most their useful lumens by half of their lifetimes.


4. Some LEDs are Dimmable

The cost of making HID and fluorescent lights dimmable is quite high. This is not the case with LED lights as some are fitted with dimming features. When there’s no activity in a parking garage, dimmers can be used to dim the light up to 10%.

LED parking garage lights also have the ability to operate on low current. This feature makes them ideal for use with solar panels, especially on low power reserves. Traditional lighting fixtures need a significant amount of power to warm up and restrike before they light up.

Make sure the fixture is equipped with a dimmable driver. Not all LED Drivers are dimmable.


5. LEDs Enhance Safety and Security

Do you have lights that flicker and buzz, burn out easily, or under-light areas in your parking garage? Consider purchasing LED parking garage lights. Improper lighting is a great hindrance to safety and security. When you choose LED lights, you ensure that your garage has adequate lighting. There are no shadows, underlit areas, buzzing, or flickering.

According to a recent study, LED lights decrease crime 39% when used in outdoor alleys, streets, parking lots and garages. It goes without saying that investing in the safety of pedestrians and motorists should be top priority.

If you have under-lit areas, lights that flicker and buzz, or lights that burn out, it can put a damper on safety and security efforts. And if people don't feel safe in your parking garage, it will be hard to get them to come back. By converting to LED garage fixtures you remove bad lights and dark spots which lead to a safe garage.

It's not only important for the garage to be bright, it's important that the light is even. A poor lit parking garage will dissuade customers from using the parking space. A photometric evaluation before you buy will ensure the light levels are correct and evenly distributed. 


6. LEDs provide a Better Customer Experience

Parking garages aren't places where people go to have fun. But they do remember how their experience was. Lighting plays a big role in that from driving, parking, and walking through the garage. If poor lighting is present, it can cause a poor experience which can lead to unhappy visitors. Parking LEDs combat this by providing high quality lighting for a better experience.


7. Able to Withstand Extreme Outdoor Temperatures

LED parking garage lighting withstands harsh weather conditions – unlike fluorescent and HID lamps. When temperatures are low, fluorescents sometimes fail, especially if fitted with magnetic ballasts. Also, they need a high voltage power supply to function. Low temperatures can lower their light output and significantly reduce their lifespan.

On the other hand, LEDs are not affected by fluctuating temperatures. They are able to work perfectly regardless of the weather, and their luminous intensity is not affected. This makes them ideal for use in parking garage applications. Regardless of the weather, LEDs keep on giving off bright, high-quality light.

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