Proper illumination of parking lots and lead-in access roads is necessary for security and safety. Unfortunately, this comes at the significant expense of energy and maintenance cost using conventional lighting. In contrast, LED lighting provides the double advantage of lowered energy and maintenance costs. Additional benefits include truer color recognition, precision optical shaping, unsurpassed durability, and new control possibilities.
A new dimension of energy savings and control is achievable since LEDs require no warm-up and they can be deeply dimmed without color change. Unlike older lighting solutions, LEDs can be cycled on and off without the penalty of decreased lifetimes and they can be dimmed to 1% levels. Parking lot lighting systems can utilize motion-sensing technology to turn selected zones on to light the path to the exit for example and then automatically turn off the zones afterwards. Lights can be controlled for different dark idle settings based on ambient light, clock time, calendar sunset times, work shift changes, or combinations of these. The energy and maintenance costs advantages of LEDs can be nearly doubled again with the use of electronic lighting controls.
Properly designed LED lighting fixtures provide better beam uniformity across large areas than metal halide or high-pressure sodium lighting fixtures. High quality fixtures are designed and produced so that the manufacturer supplied electronic characterization data (IES and Revit files) are easily incorporated into the Engineer’s lighting model and parking lot design.
The leading LED manufacturers incorporate advanced beam optics into their products to provide types II, III, IV and V lighting distribution. Those distributions range from broad lateral lighting, which is useful for parking lot perimeters, to full 360-degree lighting that is installed at the center areas of larger parking facilities. These LED distributions that focus light only in parking areas with little spillover to surrounding areas also help to reduce light pollution. Additional tuning for glare or cutoff can be accomplished with baffle add-on options available on most LED products.
While solid-state LED technology and controls are inherently more vibration resistant and durable, not all industry available fixtures are designed or tested to the levels of excellence of a premium LED fixture. In addition to Intertek/ETL certification for voltage driven lighting fixtures in outdoor four-season weather conditions, high end commercial LED products undergo additional factory design validation and accelerated life testing under extreme conditions which assist in making sure the product will exceed expectations.