Good parking lot lighting design serves many crucial roles for your business and your customers.
It provides convenience, aesthetic appeal and safety and security benefits. Especially during the winter months, with fewer daylight hours, parking lot lights enable you to welcome customers after the sun goes down.
That’s why it’s so important to keep your parking lot lighting system in good condition. Don’t just wait for something bad to happen before getting around to replacing a few burned-out bulbs.
A proactive maintenance program is your best bet for getting the most out of your parking lot lights.
Benefits of Regular Maintenance for Parking Lot Lights
Neglecting parking lot maintenance, including your lighting, can leave you open to lawsuits in the event of an accident or criminal incident on your premises.
But keeping up with maintenance, on a regular proactive basis, offers three key benefits for you and your patrons.
- Safety. Parking lots often have at least some hazards that could lead to a slip or trip and fall accident. These include uneven surfaces, bumps, cracks or holes. There may be slippery substances including snow, ice or oil that leaks from people’s vehicles. Patrons may also suffer injuries from dangerous debris like nails or rocks. Good lighting makes it easier to see these hazards and avoid an accident.
- Security. Poor lighting offers a hiding place for thieves, vandals and other would-be wrongdoers. Quality lighting, with good color rendition, especially when used with quality security cameras, may help to deter criminal incidents and make it easier to identify perpetrators.
- Make a good impression. The outside of your building, including your parking lot, is your first impression for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who pass by your location. Dim lighting reflects poorly on your business image, while quality lighting creates a good experience for customers and makes the right impression on passers-by.
Getting the Most Out of Parking Lot Light Repair & Maintenance
If you decide to implement a preventive maintenance plan that meets your parking lot lighting requirements, here are a few helpful tips to get the best return on your investment.
- Include regular inspections. Light bulbs and poles can both be damaged by poor weather conditions as well as ordinary wear and tear. Regular inspections help you to identify areas in greatest need of repair so you can spend your maintenance dollars more wisely.
- Understand lighting characteristics. Not all lighting is created equal. Different light bulbs and fixtures produce different kinds of light, different visual effects and different levels of energy consumption – which can, of course, affect your utility costs. Don’t just replace burned out bulbs. Become familiar with different lighting characteristics to make sure you’re getting the best value.
- Intensity – how bright is the light?
- Uniformity – how consistent is the light?
- Color – how accurately does the light render colors?
- Efficiency – how much light per watt does the bulb produce?
- Lamp life – how often do you have to buy new bulbs?
- Measure parking lot lighting levels. Don’t just settle for the “eyeball” test. Invest in a light meter, or hire a lighting professional who uses one. Take readings throughout the parking lot to capture variations based on lighting placement and obstacles like trees, signs or buildings. And don’t just look at individual bulbs. Treat your parking lot lighting system as a whole, and make adjustments to give you the optimal levels of brightness, uniformity, color rendition and efficiency.
- What type of bulb should you use? Use the criteria listed above to evaluate parking lot light bulbs on criteria like efficiency, lamp life and quality of light. These features will impact the bulbs’ aesthetic effect, safety and security protection and lighting costs.
- Mercury vapor bulbs have excellent lamp life but give off a blue-green light that diminishes with age and yields poor color rendition.
- Low-pressure sodium bulbs give off an orange-yellow light, have a short lamp life and yield poor color rendition, but are efficient in terms of energy usage.
- High-pressure sodium bulbs are also very efficient and long-lasting. However, they produce a yellow-amber light that show colors poorly.
- Metal halide bulbs produce excellent color rendition but only moderate efficiency.
- LED parking lot lights are durable, efficient and power up quickly. Existing light poles and fixtures can be adapted for compatibility with LED bulbs.
- Maintain parking lot lighting fixtures and poles. Even the best light bulbs won’t give you the lighting you need if they aren’t paired with the right parking lot lighting fixtures and poles. A good parking lot light pole, along with the appropriate fixture, distributes light where you need it, maximizes efficiency and minimizes glare and light pollution.
- Update parking lot lighting layout. If your building is more than 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade your parking lot lighting system. In addition to the other criteria mentioned in this article, think about how well your lights work with the latest security cameras. As the needs of your business and your customers evolve, your lighting system may need to change in order to keep up.
If you need help with parking lot lighting, get in touch with Complete Electrical.
Our experts will answer your questions and help you implement a preventive maintenance plan that saves energy costs, protects customers and employees, and meets the ongoing needs of your business.