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parking lot lights

Like everything in life, it is critical to plan where you will be putting your parking lot lights. You have to consider several factors for the best placement. There’s safety, logistics of installation and visibility. Now, let’s take a quick look into the top things to consider for parking lot light layouts.


It is important to take the style of fixture into consideration because this will determine the quantity of lights you will be using. Not only that but the spacing of each light from each other. When you’re choosing a luminaire, it’s best to choose one with an LER (Luminaire Efficacy Rating) rating of at least 65. This the recommended LER rating of the US Department of Energy.


Naturally, you’ll be doing a survey of your site. When you do your survey, pay attention to nearby buildings and how do people get from point A to point B in that area. This is mainly to take other neighboring lighting systems and daily foot traffic into consideration when you’re designing your own parking lot lights layout. There are four cutoff classifications and these are based on the light’s intensity. They are non-cutoff, full cutoff, semi-cutoff and cutoff. When you utilize the right optic, you’ll have less light trespass.

Parking Lot Light Levels

As per the RP-20-98 Parking Lot Illuminance Recommendations, for minimum horizontal illuminance the basic foot candle (fc) should be 0.2 while for enhanced security, it should be 0.5 fc. For Uniformity ratio (maximum to minimum) the ratio should be 20:1 while for enhanced security, it should be 15:1. And for minimum vertical illuminance, the basic foot candle should be 0.1 while for enhanced security, it should be 0.25. Should you have adjoining business properties, your light level within your property should not exceed 0.1 fc. For residential properties, the fc should not exceed 0.05.

Parking Lot Light Pole Height

Some towns have their own required pole height for parking lot lights. You should take note of this before you go into designing your parking lot layout. The area of your parking lot will usually determine what the height of your pole should be. For example, in densely populated areas, having a short pole will not produce glare. However, in order to get the correct amount of quality light, more poles are needed. Conversely, rural areas use taller and fewer poles. The designer of your parking lot could also use factors such as veiling luminance and glare rating to make sure that the angle of discomfort does not spill over to neighboring properties.

Keeping in mind the tips mentioned above, you’ll have no problem creating a consistent parking lot lighting layout. This parking lot lights layout will definitely provide enough light for safety and not be an annoyance to the general public.