External car park lighting requires careful designing to provide ample lighting while minimizing energy consumption. The amount of light used, efficiency of accessories and landscaping are some of the considerations to make. This guide provides the best practices required to achieve this objective.
Whenever presented with a parking light project, the first step is to determine the lighting level appropriate for the space. Knowing the capacity and the parking lot traffic is crucial to the design. A good practice is to use 5 lux for 100 spaces of small traffic and 10 lux for 500 parking spaces. For large parking lots with heavy traffic, not less than 20 lux of lighting should be used. All lighting must be maintained at least 0.25% overall uniformity.
Lighting requirements at external car parks are highest from evenings till dawn. Controlling the amount of light available during the day is therefore necessary to save on energy and extend the life of the elements. Intelligent lighting circuits as well as LED lights have proved effective for such applications. These work by tracking the natural light and only illuminating the necessary amount of light.
Mimicking Natural Light
Attaining the clarity of the natural lighting should be the objective of any external car park lighting design. White light not only makes items visible from a distance but also accentuates landscaping. This light also makes CCTV footages more clear, a step to combating parking lot thefts. To meet this objective, lights of 4000K lumens or warmer are used. Additionally, a minimum of 70Ra color rendering should be used.
Dealing With Glare
In lighting, glare is considered a form of environmental pollution. Excessive glare is also an indication of energy wastage and should be avoided in all designs. An adage in external lighting is to produce the right amount of light at the right place and time. If for any reason glare is unavoidable, lighting accessories such as optics and shields should be incorporated to minimize glare.
Once all the aspects for proper parking lot lighting are considered, the next step is to come up with the best design. High masts may be used but with considerations to achieve uniformity. Most park users prefer lower luminance with uniformity than concentrated light only at the center. Proper lighting design also avoids illuminating to other people’s backyards or windows. This can be achieved by light brackets that have no inclinations and avoiding light sources with upward illuminations.
Incorporating the parking lot landscape to the overall lighting design is key to the success of a project. This eliminates the possibility of lighting posts interfering with space usage or the landscaping attributes of the field. Additionally, there should be light sources near entrances and sign boards. It is possible to create clutter if landscaping is not factored.