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Parking Lot Lighting

  • Posted on October 17, 2017 at 2:13 am

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By Russell Neal

Parking lot lighting represents an investment that every commercial entity must make to successfully operate a business. By law, every parking lot must have 3-4 foot-candles of light evenly distributed across the pavement. Businesses who ignore or neglect this requirement may find themselves subject to heavy penalties in the form of costly fines. Companies can avert this by upgrading their parking lot lights either to increase luminosity to legal levels or to more aesthetically illuminate the facility and add a decorative touch to the lot that compliments the architecture and landscaping of the property.

Many people do not realize how detrimental glare can be to the human eye. Surprisingly enough, glare can actually aid criminal mischief because it prevents a person under attack from clearly seeing in the bright light reflected from fixtures, windows, and windshields. Professional outdoor lighting contractors can solve the problem of glare with parking lot lights housed in shoebox fixtures (so named because they look like shoeboxes.) These fixtures output the same level of light as do other fixtures but filter it in such a fashion as to disperse light photons just enough that they ‘wash’ the parking lot in light rather than ‘beaming’ intense light onto highly reflective metal and glass.

Public squares, parks, restaurants, and nightclubs can improve their security with this simple upgrade that maintains both the welfare of customers and the reputation of the business as a safe place to be after dark. Upon client request, electrical designers can take safety one-step further by linking the lights in the parking lot to the security system. They can install lights with sensors that automatically shine the lights from dusk till dawn, or we can link parking lot lights to a timer that turns them on the moment the office closes.

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Parking lot lighting can be as ornamental as it is utilitarian when deployed by the expert designers like Houston’s Illuminations Lighting and Design. Parking lot poles come in a number of sizes and styles that add a decorative touch that contributes to entertainment, romance, and luxury. For restaurants, shopping centers, and commercial facilities we normally install standard parking lot light poles that measure from 25 feet on up to 45 feet in height. This proves very cost effective for businesses with exceptionally large parking lots because a smaller number of tall poles cast a greater field of light across the pavement.

For smaller lots adjoining parks, or for parking facilities surrounding luxury hotels, country clubs, and resorts, 12-16 foot poles with ornamental bases and fixtures add an elegant compliment to the lighting theme. Ornamental parking lot lights can be extended into the green space surrounding the pavement as well. In many public parks and private corporate parks one or two ornamental light poles placed adjacent to statuary and water features provides both a physically decorative element and an extra touch of light that accentuates foliage, sidewalks, streams, and walkway bridges.

Because parking lot lights require continuous power consumption, companies can reduce their overhead by using metal halide fixtures that produce a very bright, white light and consume less power than do older, now outdated parking lot lights. While specialty lighting design, advanced technology, and ornamental housing do require an investment, the return on investment is well worth the upgrade. Reduced power costs and improved security that minimizes crime and possible, associated liabilities are cost benefits businesses and luxury facilities can clearly measure on their annual reports over the years to come.

About the Author: Illuminations Lighting and Design multi-specializes in five major disciplines and continues to lead the way as Texas’s premier outdoor lighting, landscape lighting, and commercial lighting systems and service vendor. Visit and for more information.


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