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How Many Lumens Do You Need for Parking Lot Lights?

How Many Lumens Do You Need for Parking Lot Lights?
How Many Lumens Do You Need for Parking Lot Lights?
How Many Lumens Do You Need for Parking Lot Lights?
How Many Lumens Do You Need for Parking Lot Lights?


When it comes to ensuring the safety and security of a parking lot, adequate lighting is paramount. Properly lit parking lots not only deter potential criminals but also provide a sense of safety and convenience for visitors. But how do you determine the right amount of lumens for your parking lot lights? In this article, we will delve into the factors to consider and guide you through the process of making an informed decision.

Understanding Lumens

Before we dive into the specifics, let's understand what lumens are. Lumens are a measure of the total amount of visible light emitted by a light source. In simpler terms, it quantifies the brightness of a light. In the context of parking lot lights, lumens play a crucial role in determining how well-lit the area will be.

Factors to Consider

1. Size of the Parking Lot 

The size of your parking lot is one of the primary factors that influence the required lumens. Larger parking lots will naturally require more lumens to ensure adequate illumination. It's essential to measure the square footage accurately to make an informed decision.

2. Mounting Height 

The height at which your lights are mounted also affects the spread and intensity of light. Taller poles might require lights with higher lumens to cover a larger area effectively.

3. Desired Light Level 

Consider the level of brightness you want in your parking lot. High-traffic areas may require brighter lighting, while lower traffic areas may suffice with lower lumens.

4. Type of Lighting Fixtures 

Different types of lighting fixtures have varying lumen outputs. LED lights, for example, are known for their efficiency and can provide higher lumens while consuming less energy compared to traditional lighting options.

Calculating Lumens

Now that we've identified the key factors let's move on to calculate the number of lumens you need for your parking lot lights.

  1. Determine the Area's Square Footage : Measure the length and width of your parking lot and multiply the two values. For instance, if your parking lot is 100 feet long and 50 feet wide, the total area is 5,000 square feet.

  2. Choose the Desired Light Level : The illuminance level is typically measured in foot-candles (fc). For a parking lot, 5-10 fc is a common range. Let's assume you want 7 fc.

  3. Use the Formula : Lumens = Area (in square feet) × Desired Foot-Candles

    Lumens = 5,000 sq. ft. × 7 fc = 35,000 lumens

In this example, you would need parking lot lights that provide a total of 35,000 lumens to achieve the desired illumination level.

Selecting the Right Fixtures

Now that you know how many lumens you need, it's time to choose the right fixtures. LED lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan. Consider fixtures with adjustable brightness settings, allowing you to fine-tune the illumination as needed.


Proper lighting is essential for the safety and functionality of parking lots. By calculating the required lumens based on factors like the parking lot's size, mounting height, and desired light level, you can make an informed decision when selecting parking lot lights. Investing in the right lighting solutions not only enhances security but also creates a welcoming atmosphere for your visitors.


1. What are lumens, and why are they important for parking lot lights?

Lumens measure the brightness of a light source, and they are crucial for ensuring that a parking lot is well-lit for safety and security reasons.

2. Can I use lower lumens for energy efficiency?

While you can use lower lumens for energy efficiency, it's essential to strike a balance between energy savings and providing adequate lighting for safety.

3. Are LED lights the best choice for parking lot lighting?

LED lights are a popular choice due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan, making them an excellent option for parking lot lighting.

4. Do I need a professional to install parking lot lights?

It's recommended to hire a professional electrician or lighting expert to ensure proper installation and compliance with safety regulations.

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