You’re definitely experiencing a high electric bill when you have a building that is at least 10 years old or older. An older building also is an indicator that your lighting system is most likely be so outdated as well. In the past, outdoor lighting (such as parking lot lighting for example) was not considered a top priority of building owners. They were basically thought of as a means to simply light up buildings, parking lots or cars at a dealership. However, at present lighting designers are beginning to notice the importance of outdoor lighting. Security and safety are now main factors lighting designers have to include when updating lighting systems. Now, let’s take a look at some items when checking the efficiency of your parking lot lighting system.
Six Things To Examine for Parking Lot Lighting
First, you’ll have to consider light intensity. Ask the question, “How bright do I need the lights to be?” Second, you’ll have to examine how uniform the lighting is. “Will the light spread out consistently and evenly?” Third, you’ll have to take into account the color of the light. Just ask yourself, “Will the rendered colors be accurately portrayed?” Fourth, consider how efficient your lighting will be. Fifth, look into the life of the lamp. “How long is the standard lamp life of my lights?” Lastly, consider the cost. Ask yourself, “How much will it cost me?”
What Is My Existing Lighting System and How Does It Actually Work?
In order for you to move from your traditional lighting system, it is essential that you know and understand what your current lighting system is. You’ll have to know what type of lights your system uses and the wattage your current lights use. If you’re not sure about this detail, you can always ask your maintenance personnel. When you’re talking about types of lights that are usually installed in parking lots, you’re looking at traditional HID lights and LED lights. LED lights are the most efficient when compared to traditional lights.
If you want to see how your existing lighting system fares, it’s best to make a survey of your illuminated area. It is really important to survey your area because you’ll be able to see how well-lit or ill-lit your area is. Also, it is best to take note of the foot-candles used. You want your survey to be precise. In order to do so you have to prepare a fairly precise map of your area. Make sure you added all the pole lights and fixtures in your map. You can also either buy or just borrow a light level meter. This device helps you get a precise reading of the lights in your area.
What Parking Lot Light Is Adequate?
There are different opinions on what should be the right parking light level. But there is a way you can definitely figure out the lighting level that is best for your parking lot lighting system. Just consider the activity in your area. For example, if your area has low activity, a .5 foot-candle would be sufficient. Conversely, areas with high activities should have 5 foot-candles.
You may find that a majority of parking lots have low foot-candles, lower than what is recommended by norm. They may also not have evenly distributed lighting, which is quite important in providing a well-lit parking lot. But you can always reassess your need and apply more foot-candles. For example, you have an auto-dealership. Naturally, you would want your displayed cars to be the star of the show. So, you’ll have to add more foot-candles to address this need.
As previously mentioned, having an even or consistent lighting is important. It is because it creates an appealing overall aesthetic. When you notice that your parking lot lighting is not uniformly distributed, it is because of spaces between fixtures. Shrubbery and trees may also be another reason.
Total Operational Costs
When you have a large facility, your overall operational costs can quickly increase. One great way to decrease your operational costs is by upgrading your old parking lot lighting system. And the best light type to use would be LEDs. Switching over to LEDs from traditional HID lighting can save you a lot in the long run.