The Challenges of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Updated June 26, 2023

Commercial landscape lighting can bring curb appeal and safety to your business. There are numerous benefits to having exterior lighting. Unfortunately, this type of landscape often presents a number of problems when it comes to illuminating it properly.

How often do you use your commercial property at night? Whether you operate a golf course, trendy nightclub or manage a high-profile office building, effective nighttime lighting is essential for providing a safe and welcoming place of work. Not only does this attention to exterior lighting help to accentuate your building’s entrance and architectural detail, but it also improves safety by illuminating walkways, parking lots, and hazardous obstructions.

The Challenges of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Buildings and facilities with high quality exterior lighting systems are safer for foot customers, passing motorists, and staff members alike. With that being said, designing and maintaining good exterior lighting for retail properties, storage areas, parking lots and other commercial areas isn’t always easy.

Good Exterior Lighting vs. Bad Exterior Lighting

Believe it or not, most commercial outdoor lighting installations provided more bad lighting than good. Bad lighting can be defined as any kind of light that is counterproductive, reduces safety and security, or results in higher-than-normal operating costs. This occurs when a commercial lighting system is poorly designed, misapplied, defective, or features poorly aimed fixtures. The result is hard shadows, strong glares, wasted light, and unnecessary light pollution.

How to Spot Bad Exterior Lighting

Bad exterior lighting is relatively easy to locate. Simply look for misplaced light or glare. This is known as “obtrusive light” and is recognized as any kind of unwanted light, specifically urban sky glow or light trespass (any lighting that crosses a property line). Both of these forms of light pollution are commonly caused by glare.

Glare and Your Commercial Lighting System

If your commercial lighting system is guilty of glare, it could be due to a lack of light. While many people believe glare is caused by an overabundance of illumination, the opposite is actually more accurate: glare is caused by inefficient and ineffective lighting.

In order to minimize glare on our commercial lighting projects, the experts here at Nite Time Décor pay close attention when selecting the appropriate fixtures and luminaire optics. The correct placement is also key, as is the use of protective light shields. Wall-mounted lights are a great option for lighting narrow passageways, such as alleys or compact parking areas between buildings. Wall-mounted lights can also be used to light building entrances and walkways, depending on the design of your building. Ground-mounted flood lights can also do the trick, provided they’re positioned properly so as not to distract pedestrians and motorists.

The Challenges of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Little White Lights

The trend in commercial exterior lighting is leaning heavily towards white light, especially fixtures that feature a good colour rendering index. In fact, the use of yellow or orange low-pressure lights has been steadily declining for years. This is because long-life, white lights offer building owners an option that reduces maintenance and labour costs, as well as improves the overall lighting of their property. The use of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) is also steadily rising, as more and more building owners commit to a greener, more cost-effective lighting option.

Costly Bills

One of the major problems that many business owners have with professional designed and installed commercial landscape lighting is the cost. Lighting up a business for safety and security can be a costly undertaking; however, what would you rather be spending your money on: landscape lighting or a costly slip and fall lawsuit? Proper lighting will help protect you from these types of unfortunate accidents, saving your money in the long run.

Save Energy with Timers & Motion Sensors

Finally, timers are a key piece to any commercial exterior lighting system. These nifty tools help improve energy efficiency and cut operating costs. Motion sensing security lighting is also a smart investment, as it provides a protective glow of light only when necessary.

Shine a Light on Curb Appeal

While it may feel like an unnecessary expense, creating beautiful commercial landscape lighting with gorgeous fixtures can actually bring you more money. This is a way to market your business by attracting in the eyes of your customers. When they see how well you take care of your business, patrons are more likely to investigate your services. Remember that first impressions make a huge impact on new clientele.

Focus your efforts on accent lighting and highlighting the areas of your property that are particularly appealing.

Let Us Be Your Guide

Improvement in commercial lighting equipment are happening all the time. Trust Nite Time Décor to provide you with the most modern and efficient lighting fixtures on the market. Contact our exterior lighting experts today to book an onsite consultation and light demo at your place of business. We design and install professional outdoor lighting in Mississauga, Burlington, Oakville, Halton and in the Hamilton region.