Parking garages may seem easy to illuminate, considering they are usually large spaces and the lighting needs are straightforward. However, it is important to analyze the space and decide what type of lighting is suitable for the garage as a whole and individual sections of the garage. It is also important that lighting helps keep parking garage customers safe both as motorists and as they enter or exit the garage individually. Finally, garage lighting should provide the right light for security cameras to capture quality video.
There are many lighting technologies that can be used in garages: induction, LEDs, T5 fluorescent systems and T8 high performance fluorescent systems. When choosing between your lighting options, consider light quality, light levels, how easy they are to maintain in addition to other safety and security issues that affect both drivers and pedestrians.
Parking Garage Lighting Upgrade Options
Many municipalities are interested in upgrading municipal parking garages. In the last 10 years, LED technology has emerged as one of the best lighting options for parking garages with constant improvements in its performance. Other lighting technologies, however, have also seen improvements over the years. Some of these improvements are linear fluorescent and induction luminaires, which also deserve consideration.
When you need to choose which of these improvements would suit your parking garage best, consider your specific location, facility operating characteristics like temperature, security issues etc. Also, make a list of the fixtures that need replaced. It is helpful to collect as much information as possible about each existing fixture at the parking garage. Have in mind that light levels will be different, considering that ramps and entrance zones might have different lamp types than parking zones.
Deciding what light quantity and quality levels can be tricky in different parts of the garage. First, it is important to have one appropriate uniform light level, for night and day. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), low light levels are recommended for basic parking areas and higher light levels are recommended for ramps and entrance areas. Considering that most parking garages always have their lights turned on, ramps and entrance zones should have even higher lighting levels during the day, so the drivers and people who use the garage can adjust their eyes from daylight to the artificial lighting inside.
Car and pedestrian interaction must be as safe as possible. Remember that too much contrast between bright and dark zones creates possible safety problems. Lighting fixtures with appropriate distribution patterns and with suitable spacing can prevent these problems. Watch out for the light colors on ceilings and vertical surfaces because they can increase reflection.
You can save energy by using lighting controls for changing daylight and occupancy activity. Ramps and entrances have higher light levels during the day. Therefore, consider adding photo sensors to reduce lighting levels at these zones to save some energy during the night.
Lighting in parking garages is very important for both drivers and pedestrians. There is a lot of movement inside and space to illuminate. Also, there are various lighting levels needed in the garage, so consider using lighting controls in order to save some energy.
Contact a Lumax Lighting local sales rep to learn more.