How to Install Parking Lot Lighting
Lighting provides a critical component to security in parking lots. Properly designed and installed lighting systems provide illumination that discourages intruders and provides a level of visibility that allows human or closed circuit camera observation of activities. Proper planning is critical because repositioning parking lot lights is difficult and costly. The installation process also involves several processes, some of which require professional implementation. Some of the light-installation process is done before the parking lot surface is installed.
Plan the placement of the light poles in the parking lot. All parts of the parking lot should be lit by at least two light poles. This prevents dark shadow areas that could occur on the side of a vehicle away from a single light source, according to the website Crime Wise. Light poles should also be at least 20 feet high to shine light downward, further decreasing shadows.
Install underground wires or conduits for electrical service to each light pole. Follow local building codes concerning buried electrical services. These cables run back to a power source that's usually inside a building.
Build foundations for the light pole installation. Depending on the type of light pole used, this may involve building a concrete pier or large post extending up from the ground. Anchor bolts are installed in the top of the concrete to bolt steel posts in place. Allow the concrete to completely cure before installing the posts. Wire installation and foundation work are commonly done before the parking lot is surfaced.
Mount the light poles on their foundations. This requires some sort of light crane or loader to set the pole upright and lift it onto the foundation. Fasten the pole in place by placing nuts and washers on the anchor bolts. This and all subsequent steps can be done after the parking lot is surfaced.
Connect the light circuit of the post to the cables installed in Step 2. This step is commonly done by a licensed electrician.
- Place light poles in areas where they pose the least hazard to traffic. Outer edges of the parking lot are best, though placing some poles in the parking area is generally necessary. In northern climates, place poles where they will interfere least with snow removal.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.
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