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The Advantages of Retail Parking Lot Lights

You may not be aware, but a customer's interaction with a business starts and finishes in the parking lot. Hence, having exceptional parking lot lighting is vital. When it comes to retail facilities, parking lot lighting is a crucial aspect that must be carefully designed to meet safety requirements, enhance the visual appeal of the area, and reduce energy and maintenance costs. With the increasing demand for energy-efficient lighting solutions, LED lighting has become a popular choice for retail parking lots. LED lighting not only provides high-quality illumination but also offers a variety of advantages such as longevity, durability, and low maintenance costs. Learn about the advantages of LED lighting design in retail parking lots, the role of lighting design in enhancing aesthetics and functionality, and tips for choosing the right lighting fixtures for retail parking lots.

Increased Safety and Security

The consequences of inadequate lighting in retail parking lots can be severe. Poor lighting can result in a plethora of safety concerns, including theft, vandalism, and accidents. Lack of parking lot lighting can cause many problems for your customers. 

The following are statistics and facts quantifying the consequences of poor retail parking lot lighting:

  • 35% of all aggravated assaults that occur in a commercial setting, parking lot, or parking garage, according to a 2017 Office for Victims of Crime data.

  • Although it can be difficult to get a precise number, the FBI believes that there were 5,865 documented kidnappings or attempted kidnappings in the United States in 2017.

  • Over 11% of violent crimes took place in parking lots and garages in the mid-2000s.

  • 6% of pickpocketing and purse snatching, as well as 80% of all shopping center crimes, occurred in a parking lot or parking garage.

  • Nearly 13% of all injuries, in the year of 2012, took place in parking lots.

  • More than $4.1 billion in total vehicle value was stolen in 2013

Dark parking lot with no lights

Retail establishments can be held liable for accidents that occur on their premises due to insufficient lighting, leading to costly lawsuits. Safety for both customers and employees should always come first. A well-lit parking lot can help to deter theft and vandalism. 

According to a study conducted by the Campbell Collaboration, crime rates significantly decreased by 21% when proper parking lot lighting was installed. LED lighting can also improve parking lot visibility and access, lowering the risk of trip and fall accidents and other potential liabilities. People are more aware of their surroundings when there is better visibility, and lighting creates a more inviting and welcoming atmosphere. If your parking lot illumination is subpar, you risk losing potential customers. Therefore, investing in high-quality lighting solutions that meet safety requirements and reduce the risk of accidents is vital.

Enhanced Visual Appeal

Installing lighting in a parking lot can not only improve the safety and security of the area as well as the assets of your business, but it can also create a better sense of environment and design. Lighting will make the parking lot and the building where the business is located stand out and appear more professional. Your visitors are your biggest critics, and ensuring you go the extra mile for the design and presentation of your business will go a long way.

LED Lighting is Low Cost

Traditional parking lot lighting, such as high-intensity discharge (HID) bulbs like metal halide lights, has a shorter lifespan than LED parking lot pole lights. You won't need to worry about replacing "dead" lights as frequently because LEDs last for a very long time (around a decade), thus reducing the maintenance costs drastically. Furthermore, due to environmental and health risks, it may be challenging to dispose of HID lamps, as they contain toxic components. Since LEDs do not consume as much energy as other lighting, there will be a visible decrease in the electricity usage and bill.

Great for the Environment

Compared to conventional lighting sources like fluorescent and incandescent lights, LED lights are up to 80% more efficient. Just 5% of the energy used by LEDs is wasted as heat, converting 95% of it into light. This contrasts with fluorescent lights, which only produce 5% of light from energy and 95% of it as heat. A standard 84-watt fluorescent light fixture may be replaced by a 36-watt LED to produce the same amount of light, another advantage of LED lighting over conventional lighting. Energy consumption cuts greenhouse gas emissions and lowers the demand for electricity from power plants. 

Successful Retail Parking Lot Lighting Design Strategies

Successful retail parking lot lighting takes a few factors into consideration listed below:

  • Low cost and maintenance

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Evenly distributed light pattern

LED outdoor lighting fixtures for retail parking lot applications provide a very evenly distributed light pattern, with no “bright spot”. Below are a few examples of LED lighting being used in a retail parking lot. 

Evenly distributed light pattern


Recommended Parking Lot Lighting

Choosing the right lighting partner can sometimes be half the battle! We understand that and have made the process simple and easy with our parking lot LED lighting solutions. Here are some photos from previous Stouch Lighting clients who made the call to switch to LED parking lot lighting for their lots.

Before Parking Lot Lighting | Stouch Lighting

After Parking Lot Lighting | Stouch Lighting

The sheer difference between an evenly distributed light pattern using LEDs, compared to the dull, spotty traditional lighting is visually apparent. 

On average, most parking lots are illuminated for 13 or more hours per day. The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America recommends the following parking lot lights as the safest and most effective:

  • The IES recommends a minimum horizontal illuminance of 0.2 foot-candles, a minimum vertical illuminance of 0.1 foot-candles, and a uniformity ratio of 20:1 maximum to minimum for parking lots under typical conditions.

  • IES recommends a minimum horizontal illuminance of 0.5 foot-candles, a minimum vertical illuminance of 0.25 foot-candles, and a uniformity ratio of 15:1 maximum to minimum for enhanced security conditions.

It is worth noting that a foot-candle is the amount of light required to saturate a one-foot square surface with one lumen of light. Horizontal illuminance applies to surfaces such as sidewalks, while vertical illuminance pertains to surfaces such as the sides of buildings. Recommended parking lot lighting design is needed to produce the foot candles required for an evenly distributed light pattern.

Stouch Lighting provides a diverse selection of LED lighting solutions for parking lots, tailored to the specific requirements of facilities of all scales. Our lights are engineered to deliver excellent illumination while minimizing energy usage, resulting in an economical and sustainable option for retail parking lots and garages. Moreover, our high-output LED lights are a perfect choice for parking facilities that necessitate optimal visibility and safety during night hours.

With over a decade of experience, we have helped numerous organizations improve their retail parking lot lighting with LED lighting solutions. If you would like to learn more about these LED options, contact Stouch Lighting today. We would be happy to give you a free, no obligation assessment. We look forward to hearing from you.