Optimizing Lighting in Parking Lots
| ByMeera Dewaan
A well-lit parking lot is important for the occupants of any building. Whether the parking lot is in the basement or on the surface, bright and optimized lights assures safety, prevents accidents and deters theft. Moon LED Lights from Wipro, for instance, is an optimum indoor parking light that is long lasting, easy to mount and service.
Most newly constructed buildings are adhering to stringent guidelines with respect to building safety and optimum lighting. However, structures that are more than a decade old could be facing the following problems with the parking spaces –
Uneven lighting – Part of the parking space is very brightly lit as opposed to sharp corners or areas that appear dark and dingy
Higher Energy consumption- Parking lot not equipped with LED lights, therefore registers high energy consumption
Low Efficiency – The brightness of the luminaire is less and not far-reaching
Reduced Lamp Life- The lights require frequent change and replacement
The key is to evaluate existing lighting situation based on the above parameters before initiating an overhaul. In addition to that, the space and size of parking lots vary. Therefore, a single and uniform approach does not solve the problem. Taking this discussion further, here are some relevant suggestions on optimizing lights in parking lots –
Choosing an optimum lighting solution for a parking space is very scientific. The design of the fixture determines the distribution of the lights. Light distribution is a major component that addresses visual comfort and uniform lighting. Typically, there are six types of designs, each serving a given purpose and use –
Type I – Such light fixtures have a lateral width that distributes equal lights to elongated pathways, sidewalks, and pavements of a parking lot
Type II – Another category of lateral width distribution that is optimum for pathways, pavements, entrance road of a parking space
Type III – Lateral distributed light offers more coverage and is best fit for roadway lighting or the sides of the parking lot. The light from such light fixtures projects outwards, thus filling up the entire area
Type IV – These light fixtures are circular in design and work best for perimeter parking areas
Type VC - Owing to the circular layout, the light is well distributed. These light fixtures are best for the inside of the parking lot, especially for 4 ways intersection points
Type VS- This design fixture has a square design and work best for large outdoor parking lots. Take the example of Alpha LED Floodlights, which are created for area lighting and designed with optical grade PC Reflector to ensure optimum light distribution
Parking lots can be both indoor and outdoor. In either case, mouthing height matters when it comes to even light distribution. The mounting height also determines the number of poles required to light up the entire space. High mast lights from Wipro are perfect for illuminating large outdoor parking areas. These lights are very easy to install and require lower maintenance and are available in standard height for 12/16/20/25/30 meters. High mast lights are highly customizable and support various luminaire combination.
In the case of indoor parking, the mounting height can vary from 12 to 30 feet. The height of the parking space determines the mounting height. In this case, the lumen output of the light fixtures is critical.
Analyzing the Surrounding Areas
This point is particularly relevant for outdoor parking spaces. The presence of high rises, trees or any construction in the vicinity of the parking space can affect the distribution of lights. Placement of the poles and luminaire to prevent blind spots and shadows are some other factors to consider when determining lighting solution for outdoor parking lots.
Quality of the Lights
The quality of lights used at parking spaces is guided by the size of the parking space, intent of use and the occupancy. For example, a parking space of a building that houses a bank or hospital may need higher illumination. In such places, LED luminaries with higher temperatures are best for active environment such as the basement parking of bank or a hospital, etc.
Alternately, parking space at recreational centers, shopping malls or park will do with moderate lighting. In the case of the former, it is important to recall that bright light does not equate to quality light. When it comes to lighting parking spaces, paying attention to the uniform light distribution is more relevant.
Efficiency of the Lights
LED lights have revolutionized the way commercial centers, educational establishments, residential complexes and community centers across the globe are being lit. The world is moving to renewable energy, and with time there will be growing needs of lights that consume less energy. LED lights fit perfectly with the larger scheme of things. Although an inconspicuous space, parking lots require energy efficient lights that last longer and do not require frequent replacement.
Installation of Motion detection sensors is parking spaces is also a smart way to optimize light efficiency. The system detects the movements of vehicles, humans and automatically turns the light from full glow to dim illumination.
A separate switch panels for the parking area is yet another recommendation for energy conservation. Most commercial buildings have a centralized electrical control panel which leads to waste of energy. However, with separate switch panels the concierge of the building can turn off all the light when the parking space is empty. This will not only optimize energy consumption but also cut down the operational cost of a building.
The world is moving towards energy conversation. Parking lots consume significant amount of energy. Therefore, parking spaces that were built more than a decade ago needs to be spruced up with energy saving LEDs.