Within the United Kingdom there are 1000’s of exterior and open car parks used for residential houses, commercial shops and leisure activities to name just a few. The majority of exterior car parks will have some kind of lighting the ensure safety for the drivers and encourage the use of them at night. Car park lighting enhances the outside parking zones, making them not only safer but more pleasant to use.
New lighting within exterior car parks is covered under the guidance of British Standards BS EN 12464 and BS 5489: 2013. The car parks are classified as either open or covered with both having different levels of lighting required to ensure adequate safety. Exterior car parks have three levels of lighting depending on usage, and range from Low, Medium and High. The car park lighting designer or lighting consultant would undertake a risk assessment based on the anticipated vehicle, pedestrian, crime and type of use to determine the lighting category. A similar process is undertaken on enclosed or interior car parks.
A summary of the lighting classes of exterior car parks is shown below: –
High usage (Heavy Traffic) – Eave = 20 Lux, Uo 0.25
Where high use would be based on, parking areas of schools, churches, major shopping centres, major sports and multi-purpose building complexes
Medium usage (Medium Traffic) – Eave = 10 Lux, Uo 0.25
Where medium use would be based on, parking areas of department stores, office buildings, plants, sports and multi-purpose building complexes
Low usage (Light Traffic) – Eave = 5 Lux, Uo 0.25
Where low use would be based on, parking areas of shops, terraced and apartment houses, cycle parks
Car parks can be lit with various different types of lighting, ranging from low level bollard, perimeter mounted columns, bay mounted columns, high mast of flood lights. Within car parks LED fittings are an excellent way of rejuvenating an area with high colour rendering characteristics, low energy and low failure rates.
Lighting designs with new car parks should be lit to the appropriate British Standard lighting classification to ensure even, consistent and safe lighting. Having a scheme designed by a qualified lighting engineer can also save a client money as the fewest amount of lighting columns and lanterns would be used to achieve the correct uniformity and lighting class.
Private residential parking areas also have a requirement to conform with Secured by Design. This new initiative is a police scheme to ensure even and consistent lighting.
“We received a quick turn around for the small development we required a car park lighting design carried out for. Planning approval was quickly granted.”