A Complete Buyer’s Guide to Parking Lot Lighting in Toronto

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A Complete Buyer’s Guide to Parking Lot Lighting in Toronto

Parking Lot Lighting Toronto

Commercial parking lots come in a variety of layouts and sizes. Choosing the right lighting options to illuminate the premises at night is an important security measure that ensures the safety of your patrons, employees, and property. A well-lit parking lot can help discourage criminal activities and reduces the risk of liabilities such as injuries on your property. With so many advanced commercial and industrial parking lot lighting options in Toronto to choose from, how do you know which ones are the most suitable choice for your business? 

There’s certainly a case to be made for advanced energy-efficient LED lighting solutions in Toronto, Ontario. Businesses of all sizes across the GTA can benefit from upgrading their current outdoor lighting systems and taking advantage of long-term savings as well as low maintenance and operational costs. 

What Type of Lighting Is Best for Parking Lots? 

The type of lighting your parking lot needs depends on a number of very specific variables. Many parking lots are located in plazas that contain a number of different businesses, each with their own lighting requirements. Generally speaking, parking lots need excellent illumination and even light distribution. 

Although HID lamps used to be the standard lighting fixtures for commercial and industrial properties, they are rarely used anymore. This has mostly to do with the certain level of risk involved with using HID lamps. 

  • They have a short lifespan and the lighting quality quickly degrades over time
  • Maintenance can be expensive, especially for larger properties that require more luminescence 
  • Traditional mercury HID lamps can release toxic fumes if broken or damaged

LED lights, on the other hand, offer superior lighting performance, energy-efficiency, cost-savings, and longevity compared to traditional HID lights. LED parking lot lighting is the ideal solution for businesses that want to reduce their carbon footprint and promote environmentally-friendly practices. 

Since parking lot lights are required to operate for long periods of time to ensure property safety and functionality, they should have a low energy output that doesn’t compromise the quality of the light production, distribution, or nighttime visibility. 

Why Are LED Lighting Solutions Ideal for Parking Lots? 

LED lighting in Toronto offers a number of important advantages for businesses with parking lots of all sizes. They can be customized according to your current lighting fixtures and illumination requirements. Here are a few reasons why LED lighting solutions have gained immense popularity over the past few years:

Low Energy Consumption and Maintenance Cost 

LED lighting solutions offer significant cost-savings of thousands of dollars throughout their lifecycles. They’re about 70% more energy-efficient than traditional HID lamps. LED lights don’t use heat reservoirs to produce light. Instead, they operate according to the electrical law of electroluminescence. All this means is that when electric currents pass through a semiconducting diode, they result in light-emitting photons that illuminate various spaces. LEDs produce superior lighting quality using a fraction of the wattage of HID lights and they prevent overheating, which keeps the maintenance costs low. 

LEDs Work with CCTV 

LED lights produce a high lumen output without extensive energy consumption. High brightness levels increase safety standards in your parking lot at all hours of the night. It also makes it easier for security cameras to capture clear footage of accidents, injuries, and crimes that may occur. 


Wattage and lumen output are two important features to consider when looking at various lighting options. LED lights offer exceptional energy-efficiency while still producing bright lighting for optimal visibility in all weather conditions and times of day or night. Even light distribution throughout your parking lot along with anti-flicker and anti-glare are also important for enhancing nighttime visibility, increasing safety standards, and discouraging criminal activity on your property. 

Long Lifespan 

Compared to HID and halogen lights, LED lighting solutions have a significantly longer lifespan. Commercial LED lights have a useful lifespan that ranges between 50,000 and 100,000 hours depending on how many consecutive hours they’re in operation and their functionality. Regular LED lights are on the low to middle end of the spectrum, whereas dimmable LED lights are on the higher end. Roughly translated into years, that means LED lights can last up to a decade before needing to be replaced—and that’s on a 24/7 running cycle. 

Adjustable Brightness Settings 

High-quality lighting solutions should include adjustable brightness and functionality settings that suit your needs. Motion sensors and lighting timers are a great option if your lights don’t need to be on all the time. As energy efficient as they are, it’s wasteful and useless to have outdoor LED lights turned on when there’s sufficient natural daylight. 

Since manually adjusting the brightness and functionality settings isn’t always feasible or convenient, you can set up automated motion sensors and timers that adhere to specific schedules. Smart LED lighting solutions allow you to use remote computer-operated commands to make necessary adjustments on the fly. 

Should You Invest in New LED Lighting Installations or Replace Your Existing Fixtures? 

As you can see, there are a lot of worthwhile benefits to switching from traditional HID lighting to LEDs. But if you’re still on the fence, consider the following points:

  • High ROI. New LED lighting solutions have a higher upfront cost, but a much longer lifetime value. They’re energy-efficient, low maintenance, and have extensive operational hours that help counteract the cost of the initial investment.
  • Cost of installation. The cost of installing LED lights is the same as any other lighting fixture. The main difference is that less manpower is required to install standard commercial LED lights. Traditional lighting fixture installations typically require at least two technicians and a lift, whereas LED lights can easily be installed by just one person. In some cases, this may even result in a lower installation cost depending on the number of lights and size of your property. 
  • Disposal costs. HID lights contain toxic elements like mercury that can only be disposed of in a special hazardous waste facility. Since these lights need to be replaced more frequently than LEDs, the disposal costs can add up quickly. 
  • Government rebates and government incentives. Certain municipalities and utility companies offer businesses rebates when they switch to LED lighting solutions. 

How Is Parking Lot Lighting Measured? 

Parking lot lighting requirements depend on the size and layout of the property. On average, you’ll probably need a minimum of two LED lights that produce 20,000 lumens each installed at a height of about 15 to 20 feet. The higher up the lights are installed, the more surface area they can cover in a uniform fashion. 

The City of Toronto requires that all public parking lots must have a minimum illumination of 10 lux (0.90 foot-candle) on the ground to shed adequate light on dark corners, stairways, walkways, and outdoor ramps. 

How Many Lights Per Pole Must be Installed? 

On average, you should install a minimum of two and maximum of four LED lights per pole to achieve optimal brightness for your parking lot. 

The following factors determine the number of lights per pole that should be installed in your parking lot:

  • Total surface area to be covered
  • Parking lot configuration
  • Whether there are any unsafe dark spots
  • Number of lighting poles available
  • Height of lighting poles 
  • Distance between lighting poles

Parking lots with tall poles generally require fewer lighting fixtures because the height allows the illumination to be more widespread. LED wattage and crossover lighting between poles also increases the intensity of the illumination, so the distance between poles makes a big difference. 

How Far Apart Should Parking Lot Lights Be? 

Lamps with a height of 15 to 20 feet should be placed about 20 feet apart.

Three factors to consider when choosing lights for outdoor parking lots include:

  • Design. A knowledgeable electrician or technician will perform a lighting audit to create a suitable concept for your parking lot that maximizes brightness, visibility, and efficiency. 
  • Efficiency. LEDs reduce your overall operational costs and enhance customer and employee experiences. 
  • Light quality. Get better control of colour temperatures ranging from warm to cool to create a specific atmosphere for your business. 

How to Calculate Energy Savings for Parking Lot Lighting

  1. Determine the power consumption of each bulb by multiplying the wattage value by 1.15. 
  2. Determine the total cost of electricity based on kw/h figures, typically ranges between 0.0045 and 0.30. 
  3. Determine the total lighting run time per day. 

Contact Faraday Lighting to schedule a professional LED lighting audit in Toronto for your parking lot.