Parking Lot Lighting Best Practices

Jul 17, 2023

Parking Lot Illumination Best Practices

Parking lot lighting is an important aspect of any parking facility to ensure safety and security for both pedestrians and vehicles. Proper lighting in large parking areas helps to prevent accidents, deter crime, and provide a sense of security for people using the area. Following are some key considerations regarding parking lot lighting standards.

Lighting Design

Proper lighting design is crucial to ensure uniform illumination throughout the parking lot. This involves determining the appropriate placement, height, and spacing of light fixtures to achieve optimal coverage. A lighting professional can help create an effective lighting plan.

Energy Efficiency

Choosing energy-efficient lighting options can help reduce operational costs and environmental impact. LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting is a popular choice for parking lot lighting due to its long lifespan, low energy consumption, and high-quality illumination.

Light Levels

The recommended light levels for parking lots typically depend on the specific requirements of the area, such as the size of the lot and its intended use. Generally, it is recommended to have an average illuminance level of around 5-10 foot-candles (fc) for parking lots and higher levels for specific areas like entrances, walkways, and security cameras.

Sensors and Dimmers

Motion Sensors and Dimmers: Implementing motion sensors and dimmers can further enhance energy efficiency. Motion sensors can activate lights only when needed, such as when vehicles or pedestrians are present, while dimmers allow for adjustable light levels during different periods, such as reducing light output during low-traffic times.

Safety and Security

Apart from general lighting, it’s important to consider specific safety and security aspects. This can include ensuring proper lighting for pedestrian walkways, crosswalks, staircases, entrances, and exits. Additionally, the lighting design should minimize shadows and dark spots where criminal activities could occur.

Regulation Compliance

Familiarize yourself with local building codes, regulations, and safety standards related to parking lot lighting. These regulations may outline specific requirements for lighting levels, fixture types, light trespass, and energy efficiency.


It’s important to note that each parking lot has its unique characteristics With this in mind, it’s advisable to consult with a professional lighting designer or engineer to create a customized lighting solution; one that meets your specific needs and complies with local regulations. Finally, using whether you’re choosing lighting for your parking project, a retrofit or upgrade, using high quality commercial-grade products from qualified lighting suppliers like Commercial Lighting Specialties is key.

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