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How Many Light Poles Are Needed for a Parking Lot? August 21, 2018

Austin, Austin-Round Rock Metro Area, TX
How Many Light Poles Are Needed for a Parking Lot?, Austin, Texas

Your parking lot creates an important first impression for your employees and potential customers. That’s what makes exterior lighting such a big deal—it promotes safety and visibility, and it invites people to visit your business. Here’s a brief look at the key details you should know about lighting up your parking lot.

How Much Exterior Lighting Do You Need?

exterior lighting

Uniformity is one of the most important elements of parking lot lighting. If there is too much contrast between bright and dark areas, it will be difficult to see people and vehicles. The exact requirements for parking lot lighting may vary, according to local ordinances.

For basic parking lot illumination levels, current guidelines from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) recommend a maintained minimum horizontal illuminance level of 0.2 footcandles (fc), minimum vertical illuminance level of 0.1 fc, and a maximum-to-minimum uniformity ratio of 20:1 or less. 

The type of light fixture you use largely determines how light will be distributed in your parking lot. To that end, an electrical contractor may recommend you focus less on the number of light poles you install, and more on the quality of lighting and average illuminance levels throughout the area. This can be measured with a light-level meter. Work with a licensed electrician to determine what will work best for your needs.

Important Considerations About Lighting Design

Great exterior lighting design should promote safety, follow local codes and requirements, and reduce negative impacts. Excessive light pollution can disrupt the habits of many wildlife species, cause disruptive glare for neighbors over property lines, and waste fossil fuels.

To mitigate these issues, develop your exterior lighting plan with the help of an experienced professional. They’ll recommend a distribution of light poles that sets the best first impression for your business.  


For the highest quality electrical work at an affordable price, businesses throughout Round Rock, TX, trust the team at Quantum Electric. For more than 25 years, this team of licensed electricians has offered top-tier services like exterior lighting installation, landscape lighting maintenance, and electrical construction. To learn more about their work, including LED lighting options, call (512) 246-1145, or visit them online to view their licenses and certifications.

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