Parking lot lighting is much more involved than simply flipping a switch. And with the fall time change making the sun set an hour earlier, now is a good time to check the lighting system in your parking lot or garage. Curcio Enterprises offers the five following elements to consider when reevaluating your parking lot lighting this winter:
It’s a matter of timing
Most outdoor lighting systems are automated so that they are turned on or off at certain times of day. Others have sensors that trigger the system to turn on when the natural light is low enough and shut off at a pre-programmed time, or when the sun rises. Do your lights know that we “fall back” to Pacific Standard Time? Remember to program the time change so that your lot or garage isn’t left in the dark for an hour, causing customers to think you are closed or your employees to walk to their cars in darkness.
Assess your lighting brightness and distribution
Are your lights too bright or too far apart? Do they illuminate all areas of your parking facility to ensure visitor safety and deter thieves? If you have bulb or wiring malfunctions, you may be setting your clientele up for an accident. Cracks or obstacles are hard to see in the dark. Make a review of your lighting hardware a routine maintenance task.
Stay up to date with zoning regulations
Many cities or counties base their ordinances on the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) lighting handbook, which gets updated every few years. Their guidelines can include details, such as how many lighting poles you need in your facility, what height they should be, and even what time your parking lot lights must be shut off. To make sure you are current, work with a company that makes it their business to know your zoning ordinances so you are always in compliance.
Be a good neighbor
Good manners may help you keep your lighting out of your neighbor’s living room, but those zoning regulations will guide you in this area, too. The rules can dictate the direction of your parking facility lights to avoid “light trespass,” or the spillover of commercial outdoor lighting into interior residential spaces. Upward light pollution adds to the overall brightness of a neighborhood at night, so city codes will dictate how many lumens, or units of brightness, are allowed to come from your outdoor fixtures.
Save money and the environment, too
As technology evolves, there are always new ways to increase efficiency. Consider investing in newer LED (light emitting diode) lights. While the upfront cost may be higher than other types of parking lot lights, the lifetime of an LED light is far longer, it is more energy-efficient, and the light that it casts is easier to direct. It turns on instantly with no warm-up time, so it’s a much more time-efficient choice for an indoor parking garage. LED lights may also be eligible for rebates.
The weather doesn’t care about your lights
In Southern California, this is the time of year for rainstorms, cold snaps, and even wildfires. Your outdoor parking facility lighting system should be rugged enough to weather the weather. After a major event or extreme temperature swing, it’s a good idea to check on your lighting equipment: the poles, lamps, wiring, and control boxes. Weather damage to any of these could compromise the system’s operation and in turn, compromise your business.
Effective parking lot lighting should be more than a design after-thought. Illuminate your facility’s assets and communicate that you value the safety and security of those who access them. Let us help you evaluate your parking lot lighting. Contact Curcio Enterprises to discuss strategies and options for effective parking facility lights.