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Parking Lot Foot Candles

How Many Foot Candles do you need for a Parking Lot?

The answer to this question comes in two parts. There is the recommended or required foot candles, and the foot candles that might exceed these for your location

According to DarkSkySociety.org, the average foot candles for a public parking lot is 0.8, not lower than 0.13 in any area of the lot.

For a private parking lot, the average foot candles is 0.5 fc, not lower than 0.13 in any area of the lot.

These levels may seem lower than what you think they should be, and many owners of commercial spaces request brighter lighting for their outdoor spaces.

It has been proven that shoppers like bright parking areas. They feel more safe and secure when there is bright, uniform lighting. They will avoid poorly lit parking lots.

Car dealerships want to highlight their cars. Keeping their outdoor space bright at night attracts night time shoppers. 


How Many Lumens do I need for a Parking Lot?

Lets walk you through the process. First, determine how much light you need on the ground (foot candles). Then create a lighting plan with your parking lot, and model different fixtures within the plan until you obtain the foot candles you need. Pay attention to light distribution. Uneven light is just as bad as not enough or too much light.

Answering this question by starting with lumens is the wrong approach. The good news? We do lighting plans for free!


Translating Foot Candles into Parking Lot Lighting Plans

So how do you know if your project to convert your parking lot to LED will achieve the foot candle requirements you’re looking for? Its simple – create a lighting plan. A lighting plan is a software model of your area inside special lighting software that calculates how bright and how well distributed the light is in your outdoor spaces

Parking Lot Photometric  

This parking area is 200 ft X 238 ft. Poles are 30 ft high. To achieve an overall average of 10 foot candles, we used 10 140 Watt Shoebox Fixtures with Type 3 optics and 8 300 Watt Shoebox fixtures with Type 5 optics.

Fixture Used

140W LED Shoebox – T3  (10 fixtures)

Fixture Used

300W LED Shoebox Fixture (8 fixtures)

Want a Free Parking Lot Lighting Plan?

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Last Updated: 08/31/2020
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