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Lighting in car parks should provide basic levels of visibility. Illumination levels must promote confidence and feelings of safety and security. Ideally lighting should be positioned over and between  parked cars to eliminate potential hiding places.

Wide column spacing in outdoor car parks may be counter-productive in terms of light distribution. A preferred option is a higher quantity of lower output luminaires, more closely spaced.

Vertical illuminance must also be considered to ensure good facial recognition which instils a sense of personal security in spaces that may often be quite deserted. This form of illuminance also helps the effectiveness of CCTV recordings.

Specific areas such as ticket machines, barriers, pedestrian walkways, and signage benefit from highlighting to allow easy location and wayfinding. Car parks are often close to local residences, so light spill and general light pollution should be carefully considered and minimised.

Vandal resistance and high ingress protection are vital for luminaires specified in car park applications.

Technical Support

To light these areas a range of column, wall mounted luminaires and bollards may be appropriate with close attention paid to light spill. Calculated uniformity should be 0.4 for covered / 0.25 open but care should be taken to avoid, as much as possible, areas of deep shadow between vehicles by careful selection and positioning of luminaires.

Referencing BS EN 12464-1:2011 for indoor applications. BS EN 12464-2:2014 has guidance for outdoor car parking applications.

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