An In-depth Look at Parking Garage Lighting

What is Parking Garage Lighting?

Parking garage lighting installations are generally utilized to provide illumination for areas that house vehicles and equipment but also contain pedestrian thoroughfares. The range of fixture shapes, sizes, and mounts vary greatly within parking garage lighting. Some of the most common forms consist of recessed, surface, or pendant parking garage LED fixtures mounted to the ceiling, soffit, or overhang of a structure.

Below are a few visual examples of non-LED parking garage lighting installations.

Parking Garage and Canopy Lighting Example 1
Parking Garage and Canopy Lighting Example 2
Parking Garage and Canopy Lighting Example 3
Parking Garage and Canopy Lighting Example 4

Common Issues in Non-LED Parking Garage Lighting

Most existing non-retrofitted parking garage lighting installations are utilizing High-Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps. Such as Metal Halide, High-Pressure Sodium, and Mercury Vapor Lamps, all of which shared common issues.

Energy Cost

Common HID lamps used in parking garage lighting installations have a typical range of 100 watts to 400 watts. The higher wattage produce higher light output. There are several factors that play a role in the number of wattages that are utilized. Such as quantity, spacing, mounted height. A 175w or 250w HID fixture can cost between $110 and $160 to operate per lamp/year in electricity costs alone. (Most common wattages for parking garage lighting installations)

Lighting Performance

The performance characteristics of HID lamps can vary significantly. Mainly depending upon the type that is utilized in your facility. If your facilities parking garage lighting is utilizing High-Pressure Sodium. You could be seeing a longer useful life than some of the other forms of HID. This is due to slower lumen degradation. But due to their fuel structure, they can produce an Orange light with a very low Color Rendering Index. The illumination produced by operating Metal Halide lamps will initially provide white light. But with the accelerated lumen degradation common to Metal Halide lamps, the overall lifetime of your lamps will decrease and produce a pink illumination. They will eventually barely provide light.

Maintenance Costs

When it comes to parking garage lighting, maintenance costs are always a big concern. Not only do you have to worry about the lamp’s lifetime. But these fixtures also require maintenance overtop of parked vehicles, even if done during non-business hours. These expenses add up fast. For an average-sized parking garage that is utilizing HID lamps, throughout 3 years you could be looking at over $30,000 in labor and materials to maintain a single parking garage.

The Benefits of an LED Parking Garage Lighting Retrofit

There are substantial benefits to retrofitting to parking garage LED fixtures. Light Emitting Diodes or LED’s generate light utilizing a semiconductor. They do not rely on the consumption of a fuel source like an HID lamp. Most parking garage LED fixtures utilize multi-point sources. Which means the fixtures have multiple diodes with individual optics. When compared to the way HID fixtures distribute light, the results in illumination is more evenly distributed across a surface. With this in mind, let’s look at the three most common benefits of an LED Retrofit.

Energy Savings

Parking garage LED fixtures commonly utilize wattages between 33 – 100 watts. Which often results in a 40%-60% reduction in energy consumption. This could mean savings of up to $75 per fixture, per year in electricity costs.

For more on an LED’s energy savings, check out the section on Energy Savings on our LED Education Page.

Lighting Performance

As a result of an LED fixtures multi-point design. You will see a bright evenly distributed light pattern perfect for illuminating parking garages. The illumination across a given area will vary less and will eliminate the common bright spot produced by HID fixtures. In addition to your evenly displaced illumination, LED’s come in a variety of color temperatures. They provide a range of options in increasing the visual perception of brightness.

For more on an LED’s lighting performance, check out the Lighting Performance Section on or LED Education Page

Maintenance Savings

Due to the way LED’s generate light their functional lifespan is much longer. An LED’s generated light output will degrade very slowly over time. As a result, their functional lifespan can often exceed 100,000 hours. The LED’s lifespan drastically reduces the costs associated with maintaining your parking garage LED fixtures.

For more on an LED’s lifespan, check out our blog, Understanding LED Lifespan.

Here are a few comparison images from one of our Parking Garage LED Retrofits.


More Parking Garage LED Fixture Resources to Explore

Buying LED - A Buyers Guide to Understanding LED Lighting Specs

LED Retrofit Education

When narrowing down the best solution for your organization, you will find it to be a challenging endeavor. Because of the thousands of lighting options available in the LED Industry, not all of them offer the same results. With this in mind, we have created an in-depth look at LED retrofits that covers things like;

  • What is a turn-key commercial LED retrofit?
  • Examples of commercial LED retrofit goals.
  • LED lighting Performance
  • Commercial applications
  • LED energy savings
  • LED maintenance Savings
  • And so much more!

Read more about LED retrofits here!

7 Checklist Items to Ensure A Proper Parking Area LED Retrofit

7 Checklist Items to Ensure a Proper Parking Area LED Retrofit

When considering an LED Retrofit for your organization, it can be difficult to know where to start. Is it best to start on the interior or exterior space? Where will you receive the maximum return on investment from the retrofit? 

In this article, we will look at some important reasons to start an LED retrofit in the parking area (i.e. parking lots, area lights, and parking garages).

Read the full article here!


Parking and Area Lighting_eBook Cover Slanted

Parking and Garage Lighting

This type of lighting is generally used to provide illumination to areas for vehicle or pedestrian use. As a result, we designed this eBook to contain images of typical lighting applications, along with mounts, and statistics you should be aware of. We will also cover outdoor LED lighting fixtures, such as LED parking lot lights, which provide some excellent benefits for parking and garage applications because of how they generate light and how they distribute light.

In this e-book, you’ll find common concerns regarding garage lighting, the benefits of a retrofit, as well as next steps.

Download the free eBook Here!


Determining Next Steps in an LED Parking Garage Lighting Retrofit

You have weighed the pros and cons of retrofitting your parking garage lighting to LED. And the LED won by a landslide. So, now the big question is, what are the next steps in the process? We have a few considerations for you to review.

Commercial Lighting Service Provider

Consider partnering with a project management provider. Make sure they can supply a national LED lighting and electrical project management program. Review these items when vetting a national LED lighting, electrical, and signage service provider.

Interested in Learning More About an LED Parking Garage Lighting Retrofit?

The first step in any LED parking garage or canopy lighting project should be to contact a lighting solutions provider or lighting company. Make sure they are manufacturer and product-neutral. With neutrality comes a higher focus on your needs as opposed to the desire or limitation of selling a specific product.

A LED Retrofit Provider Should Ask You About Your Project

  • What are your desired results?
  • Are you looking at budget or project completion constraints?
  • Do you have an energy reduction target?
  • Are there lighting performance specifics needed to be taken into consideration?

At Action Services Group, our business model is designed to offer you the maximum ROI. While taking your lighting performance, maintenance cost, and energy efficiency into consideration. No solution or product is ever a one size fits all. We understand the need to customize solutions to meet the organization.

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