Car parks: incorporate LED and illuminate the way…

One of the most versatile technologies for accommodation and hospitality applications is LED lighting.

The use of LED technology can create impact, ambience and improve safety while delivering significant savings and being kinder to the environment, compared to traditional lighting.

A hotel or resort car park is often the first point of contact for guests and so it needs to be a welcoming, comfortable and a safe space. Open all night, a car park needs to be well-lit even in the darkest corners, with highly visible signage to guide guests, the challenge for managers is to find the right balance between energy efficiency, operating costs, light quality, guest comfort and safety.

A manager who skimps on car park lighting will put their business at an increased risk of damage claims from accidents. At best, an unilluminated car park will create a poor first impression for arriving guests, at worst it creates an unsafe or perilous environment.

Car park lighting technology has consistently advanced, thankfully the use of LED technology is now widespread. Motion sensors installed into LED light fittings allow for the operation at a lower light output, hence lower energy consumption, when there is no movement detected in the space.

While still more expensive than halogen initially, LED lighting can enable a hotel to make significant cuts in energy use and create a dynamic atmosphere to adapt to the different needs of guests.

LED lamps can last 30,000 hours or more, or between 20 to 35 years, depending on their length of usage. This can mean a return on the initial investment after only a few months. There are also advantages in environmental sustainability: the lifecycle of LED is far longer and so there are far fewer lamps going into landfills.

Kieran Kelso from LED Lighting Aust told us about some of the newest LED technology on the market: “Our safety LED tube product works and looks the same as any other high quality LED tube but turn the light off (including removing the power source) and they will emit a bright glow (photoluminescence) which still produces functional and usable light over an extended time period – for free! Without the use of battery backups.

“Many other products on the market rely on maintenance, batteries, or lamps and other components that can all fail when you need them to work the most, in an emergency,” he added.

According to Mr Kelso, the use of LED technology leads to substantial savings that cannot be ignored. “Through the use of our innovative LED Lighting, our customers have made 80 percent savings but with further automation of low occupancy areas we have achieved results of 93 percent on their lighting costs. These are world-class leading products that are perfect for the energy saving, safety, emergency, security or blackout backup lighting markets in particular.

“Some of the automation that we use include microwave sensors and light dimmers. Both the dimming light level and the time before it dims, after no movement, can be custom set to suit the customers and area’s needs. Our LED emergency battens are the perfect solution for fire stairs, car parks and corridors,” he explained.

LED is so adaptable and can be incorporated into areas and things that were not conceivable with traditional light sources. When it comes to size, you cannot go beyond LED. The smallest product is one watt, which makes LED excellent for awkward, small or tricky areas such as pathways, gardens and feature lighting.

There is also a significant reduction in the heat generated from the LED light source. With underground car parks not being air conditioned, another benefit of replacing fluorescent lighting with LED is the reduction of heat output, thus improving guest comfort.

In high-use car park lighting applications, the robustness of light fittings, light quality, reliability and ease of maintenance are paramount. Managers and engineering staff who are upgrading their car park lighting need to focus on the long-term project value and not just the upfront cost. Instead of simple lamp replacement costs, now mangers also need to assess energy performance, operating life, light depreciation, environmental impact and what mood should be created for the best first impression.

Mr Kelso said: “Quality LED Lighting can save you thousands on your lighting, maintenance and air conditioning costs. For managers wanting to improve the quality of their light while helping the environment and lowering their ongoing expenses, the only solution is LED Lighting.

““LEDs contain no mercury, unlike many of the other lighting solutions available, with broken bulbs releasing chemicals into the atmosphere and the surrounding water supply, impacting the environment.

“LED products that produce significantly less heat and more light than other lighting sources, means that cooling costs are greatly reduced. This adds up to considerable energy savings. Dichroic halogen lamps can reach temperatures of well over 200°C.

“There is an LED lighting product to suit every situation. We specialise in finding that solution for our customer’s needs.”

LED lighting can enable a manager to make significant cuts in energy use and maintenance costs for his property, pleasing unit owners and bodies corporate. He can also create a dynamic atmosphere that adapts to the different needs of guests but it pays to shop around. To get the best long term benefits, financially, environmentally and visually it is very important to source world-class leading products from respected industry suppliers.

Suppliers who are experts in their field, like Mr Kelso can provide “perfect energy saving, safety, emergency, security or blackout backup lighting” for their particular needs. LED is revolutionising the lighting industry. There are new products coming out all the time such as built-in sensors, smart automation, and app controls. The potential is untapped and we will continue to see phenomenal advances in lighting technology.

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