Parking garages once considered dim, dangerous places are rapidly changing as parking garages become more upscale. Architects, owners and designers are beginning to realize that a better-looking garage with quality lighting will not only improve the environment, but will attract more customers.
Creating a Better Visual Environment
Many factors will affect the visual environment within a parking garage, including vertical illumination, the light source and glare. Facility designers must achieve a balance between these factors to create a comfortable environment that attracts customers and
makes them feel safe and secure.
The first question designers often face is how much light is needed within the facility. Lighting standards within Ontario call for a minimum of 5 foot-candles in parking garage isles, parking spots, staircases, and public corridors/exits.
Three types of light sources are typically found in existing parking structures: metal halide, high-pressure sodium (HPS), and T12 fluorescent strip fixtures. Each of these is represents an opportunity to capture energy savings and significantly reduce operating costs by retrofitting or replacing the fixtures with fluorescent and/or LED technologies.
At MultiLogic our lighting engineers mandate is to understand the customer’s objectives and preferences to design the most economical lighting environment that meets or exceeds lighting standards and delivers the greatest ROI.
The following FAQ’s provide answers to the common
What does Ballast Factor mean?
Fluorescent lamps require a high voltage surge at start-up. An electrical device called a Ballast achieves this surge, and then limits the flow of current during operation. Ballast factor is a measure of the actual lumen output for a specific lamp-ballast system relative to the rated lumen output measured with reference ballast. You can think of ballast’s as a control device that reduces, or increases, the light output and electrical load depending on its ballast factor.
Ballast factor is not a measure of energy efficiency. Although a lower ballast factor reduces lamp lumen output, it also consumes proportionally less input power. Ballast factor allows designers to better optimize energy use by “tuning” the lighting levels in the space. For example, in new construction, high ballast factors are generally best, since fewer luminaires will be required to meet the light level requirements. In retrofit applications or in areas with less critical visual tasks, such as aisles and hallways,lower ballast factor ballasts may be more appropriate.
Lighting output may be estimated as follows:
Occupancy Sensors in Parking Garages
In addition to a typical 40 - 50% energy/cost savings realized by an engineered lighting retrofit, the addition of motion sensors and/or photocell sensors offer a great way to capture up to a further 70% savings. Photocells can be added to fixtures exposed to indirect daylight, and motion sensors can be added to fixtures within parking spaces. Isles are not equipped with sensors for safety reason. Your MultiLogic Engineering Team can provide you with the optimum savings and incentive contributions for all sensor applications.