Over the last 10 years, the importance of having proper parking lot lighting has become more prevalent in Kentucky. There have been vast improvements since parking lot lighting first came into existence. When installed properly and maintained as it should be, it insures the safety of vehicle drivers as well pedestrians walking to their cars at night.
There are many different types of parking lot lights ranging from elaborate decorative fixtures to just plain, basic ones. The elaborate ones can usually be found at impressive, high-end buildings, such as corporate headquarters or upscale hotels, where the appearance of class is important to prospective customers. The more simple ones can be found at places such as shopping centers, factories, hospitals, and universities.
Taking into consideration the importance of public safety, most cities have laws and guidelines regarding this kind of parking lot illumination. The majority of states have laws stating that 3-4 foot candles must be evenly placed throughout the parking area. When these are not properly maintained, certain spots throughout the lot will become dark with burnt out lights. This not only encourages vandals and other criminals, but also impairs the vision of those behind the wheel.
Another important regulation enforced by cities is the ‘dark sky laws’. The dark-sky movement is a campaign by people who want to reduce light pollution. Advantages include making more stars visible at night, reducing the effects of unnatural lighting on the environment, and cutting down on energy usage. Earth Hour and National Dark-Sky Week are two examples of such efforts.
Currently there is a great deal of excitement over the use of solar powered parking lot lighting as well as for street lights. Commercial solar illumination came to the public’s attention in with the first experiments in 1994. In 1999, twelve units were placed at the Anaheim California Golf Club. Following this, in 2001, Baltimore, MD’s Fort McHenry had one installed. They have proved to be extremely energy efficient, reduce costs, and meet the country’s energy concerns. This technology is now quite wide spread throughout Kentucky and the U.S.