How to apply LED lighting for brighter and safer indoor car parks.
User safety and security are the keywords for Car parks. Location alone will not attract users to a car park, particularly indoor car parks, where there is an element of entering the unknown. If a user perceives a threat to their personal or vehicle safety they are unlikely to consider leaving their vehicle.. Car park operators mustsatisfy a user’s perceived safety expectations and comply with safety requirements to facilitate the movement of both pedestrian and vehicles.
Indoor car parks often operate for long periods throughout the day and night with limited natural daylight, resulting in high operating and energy costs. The usage patterns of a car park could also vary greatly, from peak times of arrival and departure for work or leisure activities to much quieter periods where it would be a phenomenal waste of energy, increased cost and environmental impact, if services were to run constantly.
Lighting plays a huge role in creating the desired ambience in a car park. Once inside and safely parked, it is important for users to easily recognise emergency and way finding information.
A lighting scheme with high vertical illuminance should be considered to increase recognition of people’s faces and the feeling of security. A well-lit car park can also help towards reducing criminal activity and aids the effectiveness of CCTV. Lighting should eliminate shadows by providing clear visibility and bright spaces at key areas such as pay stations, ticket barriers and stairwells.
For further recommendations and guidelines for transit areas and carparks, please refer to the European lighting standard, EN 12464-1 Lighting for indoor workplaces.
Questions to consider when choosing the right luminaire for indoor car parks include:
- Will the luminaire provide enough light on the various surfaces and structure of the car park to eliminate shadows and a gloomy environment?
- Are there suitable options to ensure emergency, wayfinding and structural hazards are clearly marked to allow users to travel via the optimal and safest route?
- Is the luminaire efficient? Does the luminaire have a low power consumption and high efficacy rating to help lower energy bills and C02 emissions?
- Is there a way to further reduce energy usage with the use of a Nualight DALIPark controls system that optimises light output dependent on daylight and occupancy/ usage of the car park?