Parking garages are an effective venue for providing high-octane chase scenes in action films and creepy stalkers in suspense thrillers. In real life, parking garages are usually kept well lit, facilitate traffic under 5 miles per hour, and are generally safe. Here are some the latest trends in lighting these popular places.
LED Lighting is becoming the parking garage lighting of choice. Its popularity is growing as prices fall and because of inherent advantages such as energy efficiency, superb color rendering, broad and directed light distribution, extremely long life, ability to dim, operation on a battery backup, and easy integration with sensors and controls.
Energy efficiency – LED garage lighters provide as much as 80% energy savings as compared to Metal Halide (MH) alternatives
Superb color rendering – LED typically offers 80+ CRI which means the color rendering is 80% or more accurate
Broad-directed light distribution – While older technologies like MH and HPS distribute light everywhere, LEDs can deliver light precisely to where it is needed providing additional efficacy
Extreme long life – Depending on the LED chips and the design of the luminaire, LEDs can maintain 70% to 90% of their initial light levels for 50,000 to 100,000 hours. Long-lasting, more reliable lighting enhances safety.
Dimmable – LEDs are dimmable enabling them to be part of daylight harvesting and step down dimming when visitors are absent
Battery backup – Low power usage means LED luminaires stay lit for as long as 2 hours and in many instances can replace emergency lighting systems
Sensors/Controls – With instant on/off capability and dimming, LED lighting works well with occupancy sensors and photocells maximizing energy efficiency. Depending on local code, occupancy sensors can either step down energy use by 80% or turn off the lights when nobody is around. Photocells can be employed to harvest daylight. LEDs can be controlled by measuring the level of ambient light and then, dimming the LEDs to a preset level meeting required foot candle levels and conserving energy.
The capabilities of LED parking garage lighters now go as far as a LED vandal resistant luminaire that can be equipped with a remote programmable occupancy /photocell sensor and battery back-up for emergency lighting. The benefits of LED parking garage lighting are many and the payback is faster than ever. With rebates frequently available on DLC approved parking garage luminaires, the cost is even less.