Parking Garage Lighting
Parking Garage Lighting Fixtures
Parking Garage Lighting Design
When considering lighting for a parking structure, the most important factors to consider are safety, security and energy efficiency. Good lighting will provide adequate visibility and reduce the risk of accidents or crimes. It is also important to ensure that the lighting is energy efficient as this will reduce operational costs.
LED Carport Lights - LED carport lighting fixtures are available in a variety of styles and sizes, including wall-mounted and ceiling-mounted options. They can also be programmed with sensors and timers to automatically turn on and off as needed, further improving energy efficiency. More often than not, LED square canopy lights are the ideal solution for carport lighting as these fixtures are easy to mount and come in a wide range of watts, lumens, color temperature, etc.
General Parking Area - For general parking structure lighting, the IES recommends a 5.0 foot candle minimum lighting level for proper illuminance. This includes a low light level for general parking areas to avoid shining bright lights into the eyes of pedestrians and higher lighting levels for areas such as intersections, entrance ramps, and other areas prone to accidents.
Parking Garage Stairwells - The stairwells inside parking garages present a potential hazard to pedestrians if it’s not properly illuminated. Using vapor proof lights on each story is important since these areas are exposed to water vapor.
Pedestrian Tunnels/Walkways - Many parking structures connect to entertainment venues such as sports arenas, casinos, or transportation systems. Proper illumination throughout these areas are important for pedestrian safety. These walkways and tunnels can be populated with weather resistant vapor proof lights, canopy lights, or LED strip fixtures.
Entrance & Exit Ramps - The IES recommends a low light level for basic parking areas and higher light levels for ramps, particularly for entrance areas. This makes sense since ramps present the highest likelihood for accidents. You can generally achieve the desired illumination through strategic placement of LED wall packs, vapor proof lights, or canopy lights.
Parking Garage Intersections - Intersections inside parking garages can be hazardous. It’s in these areas where head to head collisions may occur between vehicles. As a result, it’s advised to use slightly more illumination around these areas with ceiling fixtures such as LED canopy lights or LED vapor proof lights.
Top Deck - The top deck in an above ground parking structure can be a design challenge. It is often open to the sky, which usually requires the use of poles and/or roof tops to provide lighting. We use a variety of LED flood lights with pole mounting and flat surface yoke mounting options to provide directional illumination.
LED Parking Garage Lighting
There are a variety of parking structure lighting options to choose from, including both indoor and outdoor lighting. The lights used should be bright enough to illuminate the entire area, while not being too bright as to cause glare or discomfort.
LED lighting is becoming increasingly popular for parking structure lighting due to its high efficiency and long life. LED lights are more efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, and they can last up to 50 times longer. The lights also produce little to no heat, which is beneficial in reducing the risk of fire. The U.S. The Department of Energy discusses the benefits of LED lighting in their Parking Structure Lighting Guide.
Parking Garage Lighting Layout
Parking Garage Lighting Requirements
Certain regulatory bodies such as the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) as well as the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) developed minimum recommended standards for parking Garage Lighting.
According to the IES, For parking garages, the recommended minimum was 10 lux (1.0 fc) on the pavement with a maximum to minimum uniformity ratio of less than 10:1. The vertical illuminance criterion at 1.5 meters (5 ft) above the pavement was a minimum of 50 percent of the recommended horizontal illuminance on the pavement. (IES, 2014, Lighting for Parking Facilities).
Below is a simplified chart with several lighting requirements based on average lumens per square meter (lux); for the benefit of the reader, we’ve converted lux into foot candles (fc) and provided these numbers as well.
|Application||Illumination Level in Lumens/Square Meter (lux)||Illumination Level in Foot Candles (fc)|
|General Parking Garages||50-100||5-9 fc|
|Parking Garage Area||50||5 fc|
|Parking Structure Entrances||500||40 fc|
|Parking Structure Ramps||500||40 fc|
|Parking Structure Intersections||100||9 fc|
Parking Lot Lighting
Similar to enclosed parking garages, outdoor parking lots require a great deal of planning to ensure proper illumination and security. Parking lot lighting fixtures should provide illumination for drivers, pedestrians and vehicles.
These lights are typically mounted on poles or other structures and are strategically placed to provide even lighting throughout the parking lot. The purpose of parking lot lighting is to improve visibility and safety, deter crime and vandalism, and make it easier for drivers to navigate and locate their vehicles. It is important to have proper lighting in parking lots to ensure that they are safe and secure for everyone who uses them.
There are a number of factors that go into parking lot lighting including mounting height, pole spacing and the fixtures themselves. Fixtures come in various wattage ranges, as well as beam angles and patterns, which has a big effect on their placement and quantity.
Q. What is parking garage lighting?
Parking garage lighting refers to the illumination levels that are present throughout an enclosed area that’s used to safely park vehicles. This area may be a multi story car park, an underground parking garage, or general parking structure. Parking garage lighting is an essential component of a safe and functional parking facility. Adequate lighting ensures that drivers can easily navigate through the garage, find their vehicles, and feel secure while doing so.
Q. What are the types of parking garage lights?
There are several categories of lights used in parking structures throughout the United States. These include,
- HID or High-Intensity Discharge Lamps (Metal Halide)
- High-Pressure Sodium Lamps
- Mercury Vapor Lamps
- LED Lights
Q. How much lighting does a 36000 square feet parking garage need?
We modeled a garage, 600 feet by 60 feet with 10 ft ceilings, and used our 55 Watt low bay canopy light. And set the model to achieve an average of 9-foot candles in the space.
It calculated that we required 58 fixtures to achieve those light levels. Average levels to min levels are around 2.0. Meaning we have balanced and even light levels across the entire parking garage.
Q. What is the minimum lighting level in a parking garage?
The minimum lighting level required in a parking garage can vary depending on the specific regulations and standards of the region or country in which the garage is located. In the United States, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) recommends a minimum illuminance level of 5 foot-candles (fc) for general lighting in parking garages. However, local codes and regulations may require a higher or lower lighting level, and some areas may have specific requirements for emergency lighting as well.
It’s also worth noting that the recommended lighting levels may vary depending on the specific area of the parking garage. For example, entrances and exits may require brighter lighting to ensure safe navigation, while interior spaces may not need to be as bright. Ultimately, the lighting design for a parking garage should be based on a careful assessment of the space and its intended use, with a focus on providing safe and effective illumination for drivers and pedestrians.