Choosing lights for parking lot and large areas-what they are and how to plan them out

Are you thinking of installing some LED Parking Lot Lights?  Its a worthwhile investment, big energy savings and better light for starters.   Along with this, they reduce the cost of maintenance and a much safer source of lights. Selecting the correct lighting for your parking lot makes all the difference. There are various LED lights available with different wattages, mounts, features etc etc, and choosing one from them is a daunting task. To make it easy for you, we have created this guide.

What are LED Parking Lot Lights?

LED Parking Lot Lights are parking lot light fixtures built using light emitting diode (LED) technology. The LED technology allows for considerable energy savings and better quality light

This one may be obvious, but what may not be obvious is that even though we call them parking lot lights, they are really all purpose area lights. We can use them for flood lighting or sports lighting applications too. The possible uses are kind of endless.

Reasons to Use LED Lights in Parking Lot

Here are many reasons why you should choose LED Parking Lot Lights:


The LED lights offer lower energy and maintenance costs. Usually, the LED light have a useful life of 100,000 hours. This means that you will not have to replace them as often as HID lights, as in about every 5 years to every 25 years.

Energy Savings

Cut down your electricity bill up to 75% by replacing existing traditional fixture with AntLuxs led parking lot lights. (300 watts replaces 1000 watts).   LEDs can get up to 140 lumens to watt. The led shoe box pole light can turn on automatically at dusk and off at dawn.

Light Quality

Another reasons for selecting LED lights is the quality of the light. These lights provide better Color Rendering Index rating, from a 50 in metal halide to about 75 in LED. From 20 in the Orange colored high pressure sodium(HPS)! There is also no buzz or flicker, known scientifically as Total Harmonic Distortion( THD). This low THD makes them safer and easier on the eyes.


The old boxes are not exactly keeping the place looking new and inviting, May not matter in the back of the warehouse, but retail and other areas with customers do matter. New LED Lights look more appealing and give the area an updated look.

Easy To Manage

No maintenance for 20 years? Yes please. No ballasts to change or bulbs to swap out, that sells it right there. You can focus on specific areas and brighten or dim them. There are many reason why you would be changing the brightness of the lights. It can be to follow the municipal lighting code or to decrease light pollution. You dont have this flexibility with the HID lights.


One of the reasons to choose LED lights for parking lot is the safety. Parking lots that are not well lit can be dangerous for everyone. From homes for various crimes to unpredictable driving accidents, these can occur if the lot is not well lit. Having LED lights in your parking lot will make people feel safer and customers more likely to stop by. If the lot is not well lit, its easy with LED lights high output to make the parking lot safer and brighter, and still save some energy. Along with this, it works great with CCTV. If an accident occurs, the security video can capture the incident clearly.

Designing Your Parking Lot Light Layout

First we look at a retrofit versus new build;

1. Existing lights, just replacing

If you have lights in the lot or area already and they are generally well laid out then here are the replacement wattages to use

What are the replacement wattages for LED Parking Lot Lights?

A:To replace old HID parking lot lights with LED, here are the recommended conversions; 1500 watt metal halides or HPS require about 60,000 lumens. Look at Lights with 450watts. 1000 watt metal halides or HPS require about 40,000 lumens so look at Lights with 300 watts. 400 watt metal halide led replacement is about 20,000 lumens or our 150 watt models. 250 watt Metal haliode or HPS LED replacement is about 10,000 lumens so look for a 90-100 watt.

2. New Installations;

Let's start with a reminder; we can do a computer photo plan for free for you.  Call one of experts to get started.

How Many Lights to a Pole Must Be Installed

Another problem that most people have to face is how many lights should be installed on a pole. The best choice is to have 2 LED lights per pole. In case you want the area to be additionally brightened, you can go for up to 4 lights to a pole.


One of the questions that people ask when installing LED lights is related to spacing. Spacing depends on how high up you go. The higher up you go, the bigger the fixture you can use and the farther spaced out you will be. Be careful because going higher can leave a lot of light up high and you can run into code issues, wind problems etc.  There is a sweet spot that we'll get to. Every setup is different and requires different planning. Retail and sport court requires brighter, where lightly used back lots require less. Here is some rules of thumbs to start with;

Home and small parking lot Lights at 15-20 Feet High;

20-30ft spacing is usually ideal. About 12-18,000 lumen fixtures. (2 per pole is usually best)

For light poles with lights at 20-25 Feet High;

30-40ft spacing and 20,000 to 30,000 lumens.

High Mast poles of 25-35 Feet High;

40-50ft spacing and 30-70,000- lumens


For actual light poles we created a whole outdoor pole light info page for that.

Light Pattern

See our article on parking lot light coverage charts for more, but in this photograph of an office building we can see the lights start near the building and are spaced about 12 car spots apart. At 7ft each that is about 84ft apart.  With a T3 pattern that will work just fine. For a retail setting you would be closer to 50ft and maybe 4 lights per pole.


The first thing you must pay attention to is the wattage. LED lights provide more lumen output per watt. As far as efficient lighting is concerned, this is what matters. You can get LED lights that offer different lumen output. If you want the light to cover 15 to 20 feet it is best to look for 16000 to 20000 lumens. On the other hand, if you want to cover 20 to 30 feet, 40,000 lumen light is an ideal choice.

Cross Over Lighting

It is good to have cross over lighting. The light coming from various directions decreases the shadows and balances the lightning. Having a lower lumen fixture provides better lighting.

How to Choose Lumens for LED Parking Lot Lights?

A:When you buying any new LED light, you must forget about watts. Your focus must be on lumens. Watts indicates how bright a light will be. It is a measurement of how much energy the light draw. Since LEDs are more efficient, you get more light for each watt. Thus making watt only a secondary factor. The brightness of LEDs are determined by lumens. Lumen is a unit of measurement of brightness provided by the light. So when you are shopping for LED lights, you should look at lumens and the angle at which the come out of the light

Some Examples;

-1000watt metal halides require about 30,000 to 60,000 lumens.   Look at our LED Shoebox Lights with 300watts to 480watts.

-When you are looking for 400 watt metal halide led replacement you have an option of looking at our 100 watt, 120 watt or 150 watt models. For the 400watt replacement you will be needing 12,000 lumens to 20,000 lumens.    

-For 250 watt metal halide model, you should look at 9000 to 12000 lumens. If you are looking for 80 watt or 100 watt metal halide, 4000 to 8000 lumens is good.   You can also start to look at LED Corn Light Bulbs at this level.  May be a good solution.

-For 150 watt or 175 watt, you should consider lumens 7000 to 9000.   This is our 150 watt lights.

Kelvin, Mounts, Photocells and Other Considerations

once you know how many fixtures and what wattage you need, you need to consider some final options. Kelvin is the light color, mounts are how it will secure to the pole and a photocell can turn the light off during the day, also known as a dusk to dawn sensor.

Which Kelvin Color to Choose for LED Parking Lot Lights?

A:There are various colors in which a LED light is available. They are:3000k – it is a white warm color. This is great for all areas of house and restaurants.

4000K – a natural white light. This is a sharper light that replicates the daylight. It is suitable for business or other areas of work.

5000K – this a white light that is best for large spaces and outdoors.   **5000K is our recommended and most popular color**

5700K - blueish tint that must be used carefully.   Gas stations and areas that want to draw lots of attention.   Has potential environmental issues.

However, we strongly recommend not to use higher color light than these. American Medical Association has warned against 5700K and 6500K. They state they are harmful to both humans and environment.

What are the different mount types for LED Parking Lot Lights?

A:Different LED lights mount in different ways. Here are some of the common types of mounting options for parking lot pole lights.

Slip Fit Mount

Slip Fit Mount LED Parking Lot Lights are the most common type of mount that slides over a standard light pole up to 2 3/8 inch. The head is adjustable, which makes it great mount type. It needs bolts to secure it to the pole.

Arm Mount

Arm mount are designed to fit any requirement of the LED light. They look the cleanest and can be bolted straight to a pole. There is no need of an adapter for the arm mount.

Flood Mount

Flood Mount lights have a wide side to side bracket that allows for full tilt up and down. These are commonly used on walls, roofs or for signage. They can also be used on wood telephone poles. They are typically too wide for metal poles.

Yoke Mount Another type of mount that is available is the yoke mount. It is highly functional for certain applications, but we do not always recommend it. The reason is that is hard for the yoke mount to support the light. Even the smaller lights are 12lbs and can go up above 35lbs, so yoke mounts can get strained. If going to a solid metal surface then its fine, but otherwise, use a wall mount bracket and slip fit light instead.

What size pole does a slip fit mount go over

A:a slip fit mount is designed to go over a tenon which is a round 2.38 inch(2 3/8") circular pole. The can fit from 2 to 2.38inch tubes. This is a lighting industry standard size.

Which is a photocell in a parking lot light?

A:Photocell is a dusk to dawn sensor ensuring the light turns off during the day. It is usually a 3 prong blue cap on the top of the light in standard voltage or yellow in high voltage. A black shorting bypass cap may be used to bypass the photocell for use with a timer or on off switch. NEMA also allows for 5 and 7 prong versions for additional features including dimming.

Do I need a photocell in a parking lot light?

A:Photocell is a dusk to dawn sensor and can ensure the lights are only on at night. If using with a digital timer that accounts for daylight savings and time of year, then the photocell is not needed. For basic timers it may be a good idea to use both as the photocell can still save energy and money.

We offer you the best LED lights for all kinds of industrial lighting especially parking lot lights. We can do so brighten up your parking lot now with our LED lights. AntLuxs LED Shoebox light provides high performance, long lifespan and energy savings for illuminating large commercial areas. The led shoebox pole light is the best choice for replacing existing HID metal halide and high pressure sodium fixture. This led pole light resists wetness, which focus on bad weather, salt mist resistant design. These led parking lot lights have created a new standard for led parking lot lighting and area street lighting.

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