The Safety Benefits of a Commercial Lighting Upgrade
At some point, you’ve experienced that long day at the office where you had to stay a little bit later into the night. You’ve been at the office so long, in fact, that the cleaning crew has already come and gone. You finally wrap up your work and turn out all the office lights before heading to the front door. Even though you’ve walked through the parking lot thousands of times, you find yourself hesitating slightly before you open the door. The lights in the parking lot haven’t been upgraded in years and the dim, orange glow isn’t exactly instilling a sense of safety. Some parts of the parking lot are almost completely black. You take a minute to survey the parking lot as best you can and then take a very quick walk to your car with your keys out and ready to go.
Everyone can relate to that scenario and its why a consistent fear we find with our customers is that their poorly lit parking lot or garage is a ticking timebomb for a criminal act. Unfortunately, those customers’ assumptions are correct.
Over the past decade, numerous studies have been performed that all point to the same conclusion: parking lots and garages with inadequate lighting are more likely to have higher crime rates than those that are properly lit. The great news is that a commercial LED lighting upgrade or retrofit will not only vastly improve the safety of your parking lots and garages, but it will also save you a significant amount of money in a short period of time.
Is Your Parking Lot Attracting Nighttime Crime?
Is the lighting in your parking lots and garages, along with the additional security measures in place, enough to secure the safety of those parking in it? Have you received customer complaints or had problems reported in your parking lot that are taking place after dark and in the later hours of the evening? Have you reviewed financial statistics that show a decline in revenue when night falls because your parking lot is simply too dangerous to approach after the sun sets?
While it feels like common sense that a poorly lit parking lot or garage doesn’t necessarily instill a sense of safety for your patrons or employees, its always good to look at the research behind such issues.
In a study performed by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, an experiment on street lighting in New York City produced some firm data on just how much safer an outdoor area can be if upgraded to LED lighting. From the abstract of that study;
“Through a unique public partnership in New York City, temporary streetlights were randomly allocated to public housing developments from March through August 2016. We find evidence that communities that were assigned more lighting experienced sizable reductions in crime. After accounting for potential spatial spillovers, we find that the provision of streetlights led, at a minimum, to a 36 percent reduction in nighttime outdoor index crimes.”
The streetlights referred to in the University of Chicago Crime Lab study were replaced with LED lights. The fact that crime rates dropped by 36% is staggering evidence as to how effective proper lighting can be at deterring criminal activity. Although your business’ parking areas may not be in a high-crime area, such as those referenced in the study, the evidence is applicable in any circumstance. Simply reflect to how you felt in the scenario presented at the beginning of this article and you can understand the results of this study.
In another study conducted by the United States Department of Justice aimed at improving street lighting to reduce crime in residential areas, the study too pointed to the added safety benefits of upgrading street lighting choices to deter crime. The conclusion of the DOJ study surmised a similar outcome;
“It is clear that reductions in crime can be achieved by improvements in street lighting…. It is also clear that improved lighting can reduce crime during the day and at night. This suggests that improvements to lighting not only act as a situational deterrent to crime, but can also improve local community cohesion and pride, which in turn increases the willingness of residents to intervene in crime or cooperate with the police. Improved lighting will also send a message to potential offenders that the neighborhood no longer offers easy opportunities for crime.”
What is The Current Safety Factor of Your Parking Facility?
If you had to stop right now and give your parking lot or garage a safety rating of 1 being the worst and 10 being the best, where does your facility rank? How safe is your parking facility and if your parking facility is for a large retail business, how is that business doing after dark? Have you seen evidence of reduced revenue in later parts of the day or during daylight savings when it gets darker earlier?
If you were given the choice of making one single upgrade to your parking facility, regardless of cost, what would that upgrade be? Dollar-for-dollar there is no single upgrade that can have the impact of upgrading to LED lighting.
It’s Time for a Commercial LED Lighting Upgrade or Retrofit
If your business has not yet upgraded to LED lighting, now is the time to do so. In addition to the safety benefits that accompany an LED lighting upgrade or retrofit, there are several other factors to consider including:
- LED lights are up to 75% more efficient than other lights, significantly reducing your energy costs.
- WLS Lighting offers financing options on LED upgrades and retrofits which means you can use your immediately energy savings to pay for the project and be cashflow positive the first day following installation.
- LED lights last up to 5 times longer than conventional light bulbs. A top-tier, American made LED fixture installed by WLS Lighting typically lasts up to 100,000 hours which will lead to a staggering reduction in your maintenance costs.
- LED lighting spreads brighter light evenly over more area than other types of bulbs.
- Upgrading to LED is a green initiative which has a positive impact on the environment. Through a WLS Lighting installation, your business will be provided with a dashboard showing just how much money your LED upgrade or retrofit has saved you as well as different metrics as to the upgrade’s environmental impact
- There are countless rebates available that can help pay for the cost of the project. WLS handles all the research pertaining to those rebates so you can feel confident your business isn’t missing an opportunity.
Whether you own and manage the parking area attached to a large retail establishment, or you own the retail establishment, and the parking lot is an area of concern, a commercial LED lighting upgrade or retrofit will pay for itself within the first few years of implementation. Start a conversation with a WLS Lighting representative today by completing the contact form below and we’ll reach out soon!