What is Exterior Commercial Building Lighting and Why You Should Make It
Are you looking for lighting solutions for the exterior of your commercial property? No matter your situation, you must ensure your staff or tenant’s safety and security at all times. To do that, you have to install exterior outdoor fixtures.
Remember that outdoor lighting is critical for warehouses, businesses, and other commercial properties with regards to safety and security investment. These lights offer bright illumination to dark areas during the day and keep darker areas illuminated throughout the evenings. Plus, it improves your commercial building’s aesthetic appeal.
As the name suggests, exterior commercial building lighting is lighting fixtures installed onto the exterior of your building to illuminate your property’s perimeter. Finding the proper exterior commercial building lighting is not just about the bulbs; you also need to consider your fixtures.
Depending on the building’s lighting design, fixtures help improve energy efficiency while adding appeal to your property. They also allow Internet of Things (IoT) devices connectivity.
Many commercial business owners make exterior lighting systems for several reasons, such as:
Finding the right outdoor lighting type for your commercial property will instantly improve its aesthetics. As you search on the market, you will see plenty of styles, sizes, colors, and finishes. If you choose the lighting type that flows cohesively throughout your property, expect a more attractive and cohesive exterior.
Attention to Wayfinding Signage
Are there plenty of businesses near your commercial building? Then, wayfinding lighted signage will help you guide customers to your business. However, wayfinding signage may go unnoticed if you install it in your property’s discreet area. You have to use exterior lighting to draw attention to it. A lighting fixture directed towards the signage makes it more visible to everyone.
The most common reason for commercial building owners to install outdoor commercial building lighting is to improve security. In most cases, criminals target areas and establishments with poor lighting since it hides their illicit activities.
Commercial properties that are poorly lit usually have higher crime rates than those that are well-lit. That is why installing exterior lighting is critical to ensure a more secure environment for everyone in your commercial property.
Exterior lighting makes your commercial property easier for customers to access. As the sun goes down, they may find it challenging to find your business if it is poorly lit. So, ensure to place lighting fixtures to illuminate your building during the nighttime hours.
Lower Energy Bills
You can find many energy-efficient options for exterior lighting. For example, you can go for light-emitting diode (LED) lighting on your property instead of using incandescent. This lighting is considered one of the world’s most energy-efficient lighting technologies. It consumes minimal power and offers a substantial amount of illumination.
How Do You Light Outside of a Building
Now that you know the importance of having exterior lighting on your commercial property, it’s time to discover you will light the outside of your building.
There are two ways to create lights for your commercial building, namely:
Floodlights refer to artificial lighting that creates a wide, bright swath of light. They are commonly found in areas that require plenty of light, such as parking lots, outdoor playing fields, theater or concert halls, and other commercial buildings.
You can use floodlights to illuminate the front or back of your property. Aside from broad light angles, floodlights are also resistant to different weather elements, like frost or rain. As a result, they are more weather-resistant than indoor lights.
Here are a few tips on how to place floodlighting on your commercial property correctly:
You can either mount the floodlights above your garage to illuminate the driveway or in the eaves of the back and sides to improve visibility. It is recommended to evenly space out the fixtures for better coverage and prevent unnecessary glare.
You can use various techniques to make the fixtures more dynamic, like shadowing and moonlighting. For example, moonlighting enables you to emulate the moon’s soft rays by placing the fixtures high up. If you prefer using the shadowing technique, you can achieve outline effects when the fixtures are placed under up lights.
When it comes to exterior floodlight installation, brighter is not always the best. Investing in high-output exterior fixtures might be a waste of money and energy. Most commercial properties that use outdoor LED lighting on entrances or feature only require 5,000 to 7,000 lumens of light.
You have to evenly space the fixtures to ensure any part of your property will not get too bright. It also helps illuminate other parts that require lower lumens. If your property is surrounded by shrubs or trees, the proper spacing will create moonlight effects that shimmer off leaves.
Overall, floodlights are ideal for illuminating large areas, including sports fields, huge parking lots, and concert halls. They are also designed to illuminate commercial building exterior. They effectively get the necessary broad beam of light, helping you monitor your building’s surroundings. Plus, they complement well technologies like motion sensors and integrated cameras.
Spotlights help create a beautiful alfresco feel while securing your property. However, you can only achieve these benefits if you find the proper lighting and setup.
Spotlighting is straightforward yet effective, making it the perfect choice to highlight focal points. It has never been out of fashion and has not drawn too much attention. Unlike floodlights, this one provides a gentle illumination at a low voltage.
Here are some advantages of using exterior spotlight fixtures on commercial properties:
Illuminating Patios and Pathways
If your commercial property has a pathway, patio, and other social zones, spotlights are ideal for “leading the way.”
As you gently illuminate the pathways, you will have peace of mind knowing there is an extra layer of safety after dusk. Lighting your building’s landscaping does not only create fantastic aesthetics but also acts as a guide.
Careful positioning of lights at a low voltage offers a gentle glow in your pathway to and from your garden or patio. If your property has a designated entertaining area for customers, you can create a beautiful low-lit path winding around to your seating or barbecue zone. It creates a romantic atmosphere.
Framing the Doorways and Entrances
Spotlights are increasingly becoming more popular among commercial property owners who want to mark their buildings’ doorway or entry points. This lighting type is excellent for design and security perspectives. You can place spotlights from the design sides of your building to add highlights and shadows to entrances.
You can install spotlights to point downwards or upward to illuminate your front door. While framing the entrance is an excellent idea, you still have to avoid using too much focal or intense lighting.
Remember that the goal of framing is to showcase a central facet or feature your building ultimately. In this case, it is your door or entrance.
What is the Required Illumination for Commercial Areas
When purchasing lighting for your commercial space, one of the biggest concerns for commercial property owners, is, “what is the required illumination for commercial areas?”
Commercial buildings consist of retail establishments, offices, hospitals, institutions, etc. The proper lighting enables optimum functioning, a task-centric atmosphere, and customer satisfaction.
Commercial lighting might be expensive initially, but it is designed to have better energy-saving potential and be more durable and longer-lasting than lighting for other settings. Under-lighting can be as detrimental as over-lighting in commercial spaces. So, commercial property owners should provide the right lighting to deliver the main goal of that lighting system.
Footcandle (FC) or lux is the unit used to measure illuminance. 1 FC is the light amount on one sq ft of a surface using one light lumen from 1 ft away from the surface. Meanwhile, 1 lux is the light amount on one sq m of any surface using one light lumen from 1 m away from the surface.
Here are recommended light levels for commercial building’s most conceivable spaces:
|Room Type||FC (Light Level)||Lux (Light Level)|
|Warehouse for small items||30||323|
|Warehouse for large items||10||08|
Why Do Commercial Building Use LED Lights
Fluorescent lights do a great job in commercial spaces, but LED lights do better. The market for LED lights is continuously growing, serving multiple industries. LED lights can cover more areas than fluorescent bulbs for less money.
It’s no surprise that more business owners replace their current fluorescent systems with their LED counterparts. They go beyond aesthetic improvements since they make functional and technical upgrades smooth and easy.
Here are the top reasons why commercial buildings use LED lights
High Energy Efficiency
LED lights are highly energy-efficient, allowing you to enjoy a financial advantage. The lesser your lighting systems consume, the more savings you get from electricity bills. Not only that, LEDs last longer. They provide greater lifespans and extended operating hours than fluorescent light sources.
Color and Size Options
You can find LED bulbs as small as 2mm when it comes to size. You can also find bulbs you can customize. The available size options make LED lights fit into hard-to-reach areas or compact spaces.
Additionally, LEDs offer vividness and vibrancy. You can choose from different base colors, such as amber, green, red, and blue. You can combine these colors to create plenty of shades without using filters.
Fluorescent lighting fixtures require light to cast towards the intended direction. As a result, the light fails to travel outside the fixture. You can achieve better light distribution in your commercial building with LED lights than other conventional light fixtures.
Since LEDs focus light in a single direction, you don’t need to use reflectors and diffusers found in conventional light bulbs that trap light. On the other hand, LEDs provide illumination with greater strength.
As a result, only a few lights are necessary to achieve a similar brightness level as fluorescents. This lowers your energy consumption once again. In short, LEDs do offer not only money-saving advantages but also provide environmental benefits.
What is Lighting Pollution
Lighting pollution refers to the obtrusive, misdirected, or excessive artificial light, usually outdoor. Like noise pollution, it can degrade the environmental quality and cause adverse effects.
In most cases, light transmitted as electromagnetic waves is generated by fossil fuel combustion. It is said that there is a connection between air pollution and lighting pollution. Therefore, control of light pollution helps conserve fuel while reducing air pollution and mitigating the immediate problems due to excessive light.
Lighting pollution also affects amateur and professional astronomers and even casual observers because it reduces stars and any other celestial object’s visibility in the night sky. That reduction of visibility results from an upward-directed light that emanates from poorly directed or designed security floodlights and lamps and is also known as “skyglow.”
After being scattered and reflected by liquid or solid particles in the atmosphere, wasted light returns on the ground, obliterating people’s view of the night sky. The skyglow effect from a city or town is not always localized, where people can also observe it from the primary source.
Commercial signs and security lights, glare from road lamps, and even a neighbor’s misdirected bright lighting in the yard can cause distraction and discomfort, which can cause adverse effects to people’s quality of life.
Lighting pollution does affect not only humans but also animals. For example, many migratory birds fly by night, and light from the moon and stars helps them navigate. However, they become disoriented by the artificial light’s glare as they fly over different areas.