As business owners and facility managers, it is one of your jobs to make sure your customers and staff are safe while shopping, eating, or visiting your establishments, but an often-overlooked area can bring significant liability to your organizations.Assault, robbery, rape, and even murder are a few of the rampant occurrences plaguing parking lots across the U.S. They have low lighting, shadowy expanses, and distractions, that make for a tempting invitation for criminals. To make matters worse , resulting in hundreds of deaths and even more injuries.
There are thousands of articles online offering advice on parking lot safety, park close to the store, make sure you’re under a light, don’t park in a dark garage, the list goes on. Predators are aware of the many distractions in and around these locations which are often under patrolled, underlit, and offer secluded areas to hide.
Is Lighting the Answer?
There are a few things business owners and managers can do to lessen the risks associated with parking lots, one being, retrofit your lighting. When considering a retrofit to your parking lighting, there are four.
- Lighting Performance
- Energy Savings
For the purpose of this blog, we are going to look mainly at Lighting Performance as it pertains to security. Parking lot lighting’s primary function is to provide illumination for vehicles and pedestrians, with a secondary purpose of lighting storefronts. While many businesses are retrofitting their exterior lighting, the majority of parking lots utilize High Intensity Discharge (HID), Metal Halide, High Pressure Sodium or Mercury Vapor lamps. Depending on the type of lamp your facility is using the characteristics of your lighting can vary. For Example;
Metal Halide: These lamps typically produce a white light, but these lamps tend to accelerate lumen degradation where the light output decreases quickly after installation. This can turn your once bright illumination into a pink glow that provides diminished light by the time it hits the ground.
High Pressure Sodium: While these lamps see a longer useful life span, their fuel structure produces an orange light with a poor color rendering index. This basically means you trade longer life for poor quality light.
LED: LED fixtures distribute light from a multi-point design, producing an evenly distributed light pattern. This provides less variance between the light fixture and the ground, and with the availability in different color temperatures in LED’s, they provide a range of options to increase the visual perception of brightness.
When considering your parking lot and area lighting as it pertains to performance and safety, the LED is the clear winner. As an added bonus, LED lighting works best with security cameras. An LED’s superior illumination quality allows for an even spread of light, with no dark or overly bright spots. LED lighting has been refined to provide the even quality illumination that is precisely what CCTV cameras need. With the right products, the light can be easily targeted and adjusted to give both the correct range and angle of coverage for any application. Along with the increased performance and safety aspect of LEDs, comes energy savings and minimize maintenance costs.
It is important to understand the effect poor lighting can have on your business when it comes to parking. You can inadvertently be sending the wrong message to both your employee’s and customers by providing them with a poorly lit parking lot or garage structure. We highly suggest reviewing your safety measures in these areas and consulting a professional for a breakdown of your lighting options.
To get started with retrofitting your parking lot or garage structure contact Action Services Group at 800-223-0982 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.