Don’t Just Replace Your Light Bulbs: Why Parking Lot Lighting Needs to Be Redesigned Around LEDs

LEDs are a great transformation in lighting, both in the private and public sector. The individual bulbs are more energy-efficient and give a greater degree of control to the operator. They give off less heat, and they last thousands of hours longer than other types of bulbs. But sometimes their brightness and advantages can get in the way of good lighting design. Here are two constraints to plan for when lighting up your parking lots with LEDs.

Bright LEDs create strong shadows.

Bright lighting in potentially dangerous areas creates more good than it creates harm. Parking lots and parking garages with high degrees of illumination deter significant percentages of criminal activity, and it makes people feel safe. But bright light creates harsh shadows, especially if the light is directionally controlled, and the sudden contrast between bright and dim can make it harder to see as people transition to darker areas. Make sure your new lighting design minimizes blind spots and dark patches that can be dangerous for pedestrians and drivers.

Too much brightness can be dangerous in other ways, too. Because the light output of LEDs doesn’t diminish with distance like with other lights, it can increase glare and misperceptions of distance. If you have a lot with tightly-packed, highly reflective cars, this can increase the number of small traffic incidents on your property. Look for designs that minimize glare and any wanted aspects of brightness.

Use LEDs to lower costs instead of increasing illumination too far.

While certain areas need to be brighter for more effective mobility and greater safety, the low price of lighting is making many properties use more light than they necessarily need. When you’re redesigning your lighting system, make sure to find the right balance between increased illumination and decreased expenses. The value of switching to an LED lighting system isn’t just in the brightness; it’s in the long-term savings.

Go to Relumination for more tips about how to design the optimal lighting environment for both your users’ safety and your budget.