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LED Lighting Solutions for Car Dealerships

The 5+ year warranty-backed LED car dealership lighting options from MyLEDLightingGuide are improving car sales while reducing energy consumption by 75%, and more. Indoor and outdoor lighting for car dealerships offered.

There are many facets to car dealership lighting, which are very different from most ordinary industrial lighting requirements. With car dealerships, high-quality lighting can be the key to success in sales. With the internet democratizing information on auto pricing, a car dealer now has to do more than price their cars competitively.

Since a simple online research can reveal how much a car costs, a dealer has to focus their energy on the appearance of their cars. They have to exhibit alluring machines, shining like stars under showroom lights. The showroom's ambiance, exciting displays, and exclusive surroundings all have their part to play in ensuring that there is a sign on the dotted line. An auto dealer, therefore, has to go the whole nine yards on the display of the vehicle’s exterior and interior. The more flattering the light, the better, to accentuate the body, wheels, and trim.

The role of lighting in the car sales market, therefore, cannot be understated. Every lighting fixture installed in these premises has to conform to style continuity and quality lighting. Cars have exteriors that are highly reflective and colorful, and light brings out their best in shape, character, and form. Light can help build an emotional connection between the buyer and machine to encourage sales.

LED Outdoor Fixtures for Car Dealerships

LED Indoor Fixtures for Car Dealerships

Commercial LED Ceiling Lights

Uses of LED Lights in a Car Dealership

Auto Dealership Lighting

Shopper Enticement with LED Lights


Brilliantly Lit Exterior

Car buyers will naturally get drawn to car dealerships where cars are displayed under high-quality light which makes them shine in luxury. If your car yard is dark and gloomy, potential car buyers might feel insecure when visiting it.


Accentuating the Cars with Light

Your top-selling cars should have highlights on them brought on by accent lights placed strategically. Once the accent lights contrast with the dealership's ambient light, the cars will dazzle in their form and color, attracting more sales. There are LED accent lights available for both the outdoors and indoors that can be used as guides. These will direct the flow of traffic through your enterprise towards the showroom's key points of reference.


The Proper Balance of Illumination

A harsh bright light has the same adverse effects on your customers as dim light. They both create visual discomfort, repulsing a potential buyer. It is important for a car dealership to have a uniform level of illumination and a pleasant and inviting ambiance throughout. This can also go along way in saving energy costs because you will not use more light than required.



Boosting Efficiency and Productivity


Light That Mimics the Features of Daylight in Service Areas

A car dealership's service areas may have technicians and other specialists working on precision tasks for hours on end. Without high-quality lighting, they will not function at their best, thanks to eyestrain and overall employee discomfort. Proper lighting has been shown to boost productivity at work and enhance employee workplace satisfaction.


Automated Systems and Controls That Save On Energy

Lights in dealership premises are on for most of the day to enhance both security and sales. This, however, can make for a hefty energy bill. With an integrated light control system, lighting will be optimized and used at minimal levels unless when required at higher levels.

Occupancy and motion sensors can ensure lights are turned off when offices and other rooms are vacant. Outdoor and showroom dimmers can turn lights down to a 10% illumination level after 11 pm, when there is less traffic in the premises. This ensures that your premises’ security is top-notch and that energy is saved as well. Other lighting controls such as web-based wireless dimmers, daylight sensors, and timer sensors can also enhance energy savings.


Use of LED Car Dealership Lights

LED lighting works perfectly for every area of an auto dealership, bestowing its many advantages to every place it is installed in. These benefits include extreme durability, energy efficiency, fantastic CCT values, natural uniform lighting, low heat emissions, and low maintenance.

Car Dealership Lighting Demands

Dealer Showroom Lighting

The showroom is one of the most critical areas in a dealership. It is the space assigned for vehicles to attract and lure customers, leading to sales. The type of lighting installed in a showroom has a crucial role to play in this space. The light should shine down on the car, revealing its shape, color, texture, and style.

Buying a car is a sensory experience, and the pure sound of its doors opening and closing, the smell of its leather seats, or the glint of its paint can help seal the deal. Vehicles have highly polished and reflective exteriors and interior surfaces that are meant to exude luxury. Light is the best way to accentuate these aspects.

While a good sparkle works best, the reflection of a light fixture on a luxury car's bonnet does more harm than good. Most of your buyers have certainly browsed the internet for the specs of a car and compared their prices, so a visit to your showroom should give them the best experience of the brand they are after – and of your dealership as well.

High-quality lighting can help create that wow factor customers are after, which will reflect on the number of sales you make. Since vehicles are also expensive, high end, and highly-engineered products, ensure that your chosen luminaries measure up to the look and feel expected.

Light in a showroom should be comprised of both indirect and direct lighting and have the right color intensity, temperature, and color rendering index. The best practice is to use lighting fixtures that enhance color perception with a color rendering index of 90 or higher. The light source should also lessen glare to achieve the perfect visual effect.

The right amount of light will not only highlight the vehicles on sale but can help direct buyers to the newest models. High-quality lighting can also make the showroom more attractive, encouraging would-be buyers to linger and scrutinize the cars on sale for longer. Light sources that create the right ambiance can be used to motivate the buyers to buy.

For a long time showrooms relied on high wattage metal halide lamps that need a lot of maintenance and have a very short life. They also do not mesh well with light control systems that can help in saving energy. LED lights, on the other hand, last longer and easily integrate with advanced light control systems. They are also very energy efficient.

Light Fixtures for Showroom Lighting

Low bays


LED Low bay lighting is ideal for car dealerships, factory, and warehouse environments with low ceilings (12-20 ft from the floor). The fixtures are commonly mounted at a 9-meter height, and there are LED, fluorescent and HID low-bay light fixtures.

Low-bay lights use diffusers to cut down on harsh light reflections that can be caused by lights affixed on low ceilings. They create a pleasant, almost natural light even in tight spaces. LED low-bay retrofit lights are designed to directly replace older low-bay lamps easily and are affordable.

LED Panels and Troffers


Panels and LED Troffer perfectly replace fluorescent panels and are great for tight spaces. These light fixtures are ever-present in showrooms that need to showcase vehicles and products at their best. They also help create a professional environment and can be recessed into the ceiling or suspended. Panel light fixtures can also be surface mounted on a fitting kit where necessary.

Magnetic Strip Retrofit


Magnetic Strip Retrofit Kits perfectly replace fluorescent panels and are great for tight spaces. These strips replace the fluorescent bulbs and ballasts inside your existing fixture and install easily within minutes. These lights provide years of efficient trouble free lighting.

Service Area Lighting: LED Low and High Bay Fixtures

Car Repair Lighting

LED High bays

The ideal lighting fixtures for the service area should light up the space uniformly and brightly to assist the mechanics to manage their precision and visual tasks with ease. This lighting should also ensure the safety of workers.

All luminaires in a garage environment should have an ingress protection index of 65 and above since they could be exposed to humidity, wetness, or dust. The lights should also be bright enough to achieve the required minimum 500 lux which is recommended for such settings.

LED high-bay and low-bay lighting fixtures can be conveniently installed in all four sides of a service bay for ample illumination. LED lights with a higher CRI can be used in the engine bay area to provide good lighting for the service technicians as they work on vehicles’ engine compartments.

In days gone by, 400W HID high-bays were used for this purpose, but LED low-bay and high-bay lights offer more advantages. The high-wattage HID lights not only use up too much electricity but will also warm up the service area because they emit a lot of heat. They also have the disadvantage of lighting up spaces in a blob, causing shadows and dark spots due to their uneven lighting.

Vapor-proof light fixtures are also vital in the service area

Vapor-proof light fixtures – also known as waterproof lights – are used in areas that are dusty or wet and require frequent hose downs. They are impermeable to water and dust and can be rinsed out with water without any damage. With an IP rating of 66 or 67, they can be mounted or suspended from high ceilings.

Vapor-proof LEDs are made of high-quality aluminum alloys and are corrosion resistant. They also have polycarbonate lenses that can withstand corrosive cleaning agents or high heat without getting damaged. These hard-wearing, powerful lights not only offer uniform illumination, they drastically lower power usage.

Light Fixtures for Car Dealership Lots:  Parking Shoe Box Lights

The exterior of an automotive dealership will benefit significantly from LED car dealership lights. LED lighting provides focused unidirectional light that spreads evenly and can be directed to areas where it is required the most. With LED lights, you will have no dark spots that may create a feeling of uneasiness or encourage insecurity on your lot.

LED outdoor lights also have high CRI and CCT values making the bright colors on the vehicles pop and enticing buyers to purchase them. They directly replace HID lamps that use 70-90% more energy than LEDs.

LED Shoebox lighting is used in the outdoors where an intense broad scope of light is required. They have a variety of wattages, and these area lights can put out up to 80,000 lumens. 300-watt LED shoe-box lights can replace 2000-watt HID lamps and still emit a higher quality of light.

Older shoe-box lights had a rectangular box with a heat sink for heat dissipation from the bulb. This rectangular box looks like a shoe-box and that’s how the name came to be. Modern versions of shoe-box lights have adopted a sleeker look but still maintain that original shoe-box rectangular form.

LED shoe-box lights are as powerful as shoe-box lights can get and some deliver up to 200 lumens per watt and have a 0-10v dimming range for light control. They also have zone control systems that manage light output after taking into account the external conditions of light. There are integrated intelligent energy management systems, light dimmers, and motion sensors that are perfect for these light fixtures.

Vital Considerations for LED Car Dealership Lighting


The types of bulbs used in a car showroom have a profound effect on the way the cars look. A showroom is part shop and part theatre, designed with sales in mind. From iridium silver to ensign red, the tints and shades of the car color world are enormous. When a buyer sees a car with the color of their dreams, it can get them excited enough to make a purchase.

Whetting your buyers’ appetite for your vehicles can be an uphill task if you are using lighting that does the car colors little justice. Lighting fixtures with a poor color rendering index will display the colors of your cars wrongly and imperfectly, and not a single person will be attracted to them.


Color rendering index (CRI) describes how a particular source of light reveals an object's colors to the human eye. It is a measure of how the subtle variations in color are rendered by light. This scale ranges from 0 to 100 and the higher the CRI number, the better a light source is at color rendering.

LED Color Rendering Index (CRI)

If a light source has a CRI beyond 90, it is considered fantastic at color rendering. Such a light source can be used for tasks that require accurate color perception. A light with a mediocre CRI is therefore very ill-fitted for car dealership lighting. An ideal CRI here is 90 because the sales depend on the correct rendering of the vehicles’ colors.

The demand for LED car dealership lighting has grown in leaps and bounds not only because LEDs are very energy efficient but because of their almost perfect CRI. Some LEDs have an excellent CRI of 90-98, creating bright spaces with an almost natural daylight quality.

Older fluorescent bulbs, on the other hand, have a 62-80 CRI range. Their greatest weakness, however, was their magenta and green color spikes caused by the phosphor compound used to coat the tubes. That seedy green-tinged light does not go well with car dealership spaces.

Mercury vapor lamps, on the other hand, have long been used for outdoor lighting but have poor CRI values of 20 and objects lit by them often have a blue or green tinge. The improved versions of mercury vapor lamps have 40-60 CRI values, which are still very low for car dealerships.

Metal halide lamps are no better. They have higher CRI values but have the shortest lifespan of all HID lamps (6,000 to 15,000 hours) – so the bright light they put out is negated by their frequent replacement. These lamps are also multidirectional and are responsible for annoying light pollution, thanks to the glare they produce.

Sodium vapor lamps have very low CRI values of 20 to 30, and objects displayed under their light often have that confusing monotone to them. They have the worst color rendition of all HID and fluorescent bulbs.

Correlated Color Temperature

The correlated color temperature of a light source is the description of its light in terms of coolness or warmth. The color temperature of a light source is a visible color aesthetic calculated through the comparison of light emissions from a light source to those of a blackbody radiator (for lights with a CCT below 5000K) or a specific model of daylight (for lights with a CCT above 5000K).

Correlated color temperature is a measure used to describe the color temperature of lights that emit light through other processes other than thermal radiation like LED and fluorescents.

Color temperatures are measured in Kelvin (K) and should not be confused with heat temperatures.

They begin from a low of orange, to a yellow, to a white increasing gradually towards the bluish-whites when high. 

Color Temperature Logo

Color temperatures above 6000K are referred to as cool colors and are visible as bluish-white. Lower color temperatures are known as warm colors and are visible as reds, oranges, and yellows.

The sun's light as it crosses the sky from morning to evening has all the colors displayed on the color temperature scale. The changes visible in the sun's light are a result of the light's scatter patterns. The morning sun, for example, has a low CCT of 2000K to 3000K and is visible as reddish-orange light to warm-white. At the sun's brighest (noon), the CCT ranges from 5500K to 6500K and is visible as white or cool white color. The CCT drops back to lows of 1850K to 2000K in the evening, visible as reddish-orange shades.

A car dealership requires tunable CCT luminaires that are flexible, controllable, and adjustable. Why? Warm car colors look better at warm CCTs of 3000K while cool car colors look better under cool lighting of about 6000K. To be able to highlight all your vehicles’ colors in their best light when on display, you will need the ability to control and adjust your existing luminaires.

LED car dealership lights have CCT tunable options and are highly versatile compared to mercury vapor lamps’ – 6000K-6800K for clear bulbs and 4000K for bulbs coated with phosphor.

Metal halide lamps produce an intense white light that has a CCT of 4000K, but special use lamps can be designed to hit even higher CCTs. High-pressure sodium vapor lamps have a xenon and sodium mercury mix that give off an orange glow with CCTs of 2700K for white bulbs and 2000K for standard HPS lamps.

Besides enhancing the beauty of cars, color temperature, according to scientists, also influences workplace productivity. Studies show that cool light increases the productivity at work while daylight has multitudes of health benefits to the body. Natural-looking lighting can help to decrease depression and its symptoms, improve energy, mood, productivity, and alertness.

Car dealership spaces with limited access to daylight are therefore encouraged to use high CCT bulbs for enhanced workplace productivity in garages where technical tasks are carried out.

This kind of lighting will increase vitality, alertness and mental acuity, reducing daytime sleepiness and fatigue. A University of Greenwich research found out in a two-month study that workers under blue-enriched lighting had happier feelings and less strain. They were also more alert.

Blue-enriched light works on the melatonin the same way coffee does. It keeps people alert and is perfect for brainstorming spaces, where people need to stay fresh and invigorated. Warmer CCTs, on the other hand, create a comforting ambiance and calm and relax the users. Light temperatures should preferably change with the hour of the day, moving gradually from cool blues to warmer yellows as the day progresses.

Optimal Showroom Lighting

Programmable LED lighting whose CCT can be changed on demand is perfect for the car dealership environment. Accent lighting can utilize warm white colors of 2700K-3100K to make people feel at home in your dealership, and though they might not notice it, their wallets definitely will.

In a cozy space, a buyer is more likely to trust and therefore spend more. Warm whites are not effective in areas where the ambiance will affect productivity or in a showroom where the color temperature will affect color reproduction.

Cool white light, which is also referred to as 'daylight,’ has blue tints to it and a CCT of above 5000K. It brings to mind clear blue skies on a cloudless day. This lighting taps into the human virtues of freedom and happiness and increases energy in spaces, unlike warm white light.

Cool whites are very proficient at color reproduction, so they are perfect for car showrooms, since they make colors pop! They also enliven office buildings and retail spaces that lack or are short of natural daylight. But they can seem very bright in small spaces.

Neutral whites of 3900K to 4200K reproduce colors better than cool whites or warm whites in some instances. They are ideal for art, vehicle, or photography displays and for areas where detailed or high precision work is carried out. With the rapid technological advancement in the LED lighting field, color tunable LEDs can be precisely changed over the hour of the day or season or dialed in as required.

LightKelvin UsePerception
Cool whites5500-6000Garage, warehouse, and floodlights, display lightingBlue toned brightness, best suited for large open space and outdoor use
Neutral white4000 - 5000Showrooms, shops, entrance halls, bathrooms, stairs, corridors, outdoor seating areas, and office spacesBright light that does strain the eye
Warm whites2700 - 3500Restaurant lighting, living spacesWarm ambiance
Energy Efficiency LED Lighting for Car Dealerships


LED car dealership lighting has become the go-to lighting source for automotive dealerships because of its energy savings. Car showrooms require ample light as they are large spaces and lights are usually on all day and night for display purposes. This means that energy costs make up a large percentage of the operating costs of a car dealership.

LEDs are so energy efficient they use up to 80% less energy than conventional lighting bulbs. Since dealerships are dependent on foot traffic, under-lit spaces can be detrimental to business. Having enough light in the outdoors enhances the curb appeal and makes the company stand out and look more professional.

A large portion of the energy (almost 30%) HIDs emit is in the form of infrared energy. In terms of lighting efficiency, this is considered a waste of energy. As they age, most HIDs will also lose about 70% less of their visible light, sometimes after only 10,000 hours of operation.

HIDs also waste a lot of energy because they are inherently omnidirectional. This means that the bulbs are designed to disperse light in a 360° circle, half of the light emitted is lost to the environment.

To prevent light loss, most HID fixtures are fitted with reflectors that reflect or redirect the light, capturing some of the light dispersed away from the task area. This also means that there are added costs and design issues to be considered when installing HID light fixtures, because of the need for light reflectors.

Showrooms and other car dealership interiors have high ceilings that hold recessed can light fixtures with high wattage lamps. These 100W to 150W metal halide lamp fixtures can be retrofitted with 30W-60W mini LEDs with field-adjustable light output.

A dealership with these kinds of lights installed can adjust the LEDs field of output from a lower setting, adding increments till they find a lighting level that's most suitable for them. HIDs, on the other hand, can be manually dimmed via the use of different magnetic or electric ballasts but the whole process can alter their light's characteristics. These bulbs also tend to degrade faster when used with dimming controls.

LEDs are solid-state devices and have no ballasts or bulbs and will last anywhere from 50,000 to 200,000 working hours. This translates to 10 to 45 years of lighting up a business, 12 hours of the day.

LEDs are totally unlike HIDs and fluorescents that require frequent relamping schedules and maintenance. A typical HID bulb lasts a short 10,000 to 15,000 hours. With LEDs, the energy saving and low maintenance cost benefits will save your dealership thousands of dollars in the long run.

Glare Reduction

Glare Image

Glare causes visual discomfort and is produced by uncontrolled excessive brightness. Sensitivity to glare is very objective, and older people are more sensitive to it because of the aging of the eye. Discomfort glare is caused by the imbalance between a light's brightness and intensity and the brightness of its surroundings.

Discomfort glare in a showroom will have an adverse effect on your customers’ experience. To eliminate it, the placement of light fixtures should be carefully thought out. The use of LED lights that are evenly spread out with a good output can reduce glare in a showroom.

The unified glare rating (UGR) is used to calculate the amount of glare a luminaire is capable of producing. Its classification values are 5 to 40, and low values point to low glare. UGR takes into account all factors that provoke glare such as the luminance value of a light source and its angle. A light source with a UGR value of 19 and below is suitable for showroom lighting.

LED lights also have the advantage of being unidirectional lights, meaning that they produce less light pollution and direct their light to the intended areas. This not only improves visibility in the showroom but the ambiance and visual comfort as well.

The higher CCT that a LED light is capable of attaining has a bluish spectrum that can induce glare. LED lights for a showroom with high CCTs must have a sufficient CRI R9 value that produces balance in lighting, eliminating glare for enhanced visual comfort.

Top Benefits of LED Car Dealership Lights

Energy Efficiency

In 2014, more than 17,000 car dealerships in the U.S (on average) used up to 18% more energy than some commercial buildings utilized in a year. Lighting accounts for a massive 45% of the energy costs of a car dealership. The increased demand for vehicles and specifications has heated up the competition between car dealerships, sparking light wars, as each dealership tries to outshine the other. A lot of the light from traditional light sources is wasted in most dealerships lots, as it causes light pollution.

Lighting expenses are car dealerships’ third highest operating expenditure, and in 2006 the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) endorsed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), that calls for an annual 10% or higher energy reduction. Estimates by the EPA theorize that if car dealerships could take up this challenge, they would save at least $193 million and cut their greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons.

LEDs offer the highest energy saving potential to car dealerships since they produce light differently from other traditional bulbs. They do not have oxidative processes but instead use semiconductors to generate light. Light sources convert electric energy into visible and invisible radiant energy. Fluorescents and HIDs produce heat and UV radiation as part of their light making process. They also disperse their light multi-directionally, wasting much of it in their surroundings.

LEDs, on the other hand, make the most of the light they produce and direct it to places where it is required the most. This leads to better light distribution and reduced fixture installations. It also saves a lot in terms of energy costs without adversely affecting the quality and brightness of the light.

LED lights can contribute to the sustainability of car dealerships and the environment. Outdoor LED lights are available in cutoff designs to ensure that very little or no light escapes above the horizontal plane. This dramatically reduces light pollution, making them very environmentally-friendly.

Ease of Maintenance

The biggest disadvantage of LEDs is that they cost more initially than older bulb types. But they make up for this in various ways, including reduced relamping expenses and maintenance costs. They will lower lighting costs by up to 75%, and the upfront costs could be recovered in less than 2 years.

The optics, power supply, and thermal capabilities of LEDs give them significant advantages in terms of performance and longevity, compared to traditional bulbs.

Creating Great First Impressions

LEDs have fantastic CCT and CRI values, producing bright light with a daylight quality to it. They not only make cars look good but also add to the ambiance and glamour of a dealership. This can quickly translate to sales, making LED adoption a very good sales strategy. LEDs also come in beautiful contemporary designs and instantly change the look and feel of a car dealership.

Design Flexibility

LED lights do not consist of cumbersome and fragile bulbs or glass tubes so they can be custom fitted to any size required. They can also be installed in hard-to-reach areas, eliminating shadows and dark spots. Conventional bulbs, on the contrary, are clumsy and lack design flexibility.

All-Weather Lighting

Vapor-proof LED lights are ideal for outdoor areas like car dealership lots and withstand all weather conditions. LEDs by design perform better in cold environments so you will not have to worry about their degradation in winter or other severe weather, unlike conventional bulbs.

Light Control Capabilities

LEDs can operate at any range (0% to 100% of their rated light output) using dimming technology. This not only drives their energy efficiency higher but increases their lifespan, too. LEDs also have instant turn on and off mechanisms without any restrike times or warm up times.

Unlike traditional bulbs, they will not degrade when switched off and on continuously. And due to their design, they integrate well with intelligent light control features such as motion sensors and daylight sensors.

Sturdy in Build

These solid-state lights use semiconductor materials instead of brittle filaments or gas to produce light. LEDs are tiny chips in an epoxy enclosure and are sturdier and well adapted to harsh and hard use environments.

Reduce Your Operation and Maintenance Costs

Reducing auto dealership lighting costs becomes practical and sustainable with LED Lighting. With energy savings up to 75%, you can reduce a tremendous amount of energy consumption. Also reduce cost with longer lifespans, reduced maintenance costs, and even rebates. Adding controls to your outdoor lighting can even save you more money. Maybe you don't need your lights at 100% power at 3 am. But have them go to full power when motion is detected on the lot. A better experience for your customers and saving you even more money!

Better curb appeal when customers drive by

Dealerships rely heavily on foot traffic and drive by traffic, and without a quality automotive dealership lighting system; it can be impossible to make your property look appealing.To provoke interest in your lot, we will work with you to improve your car dealerships lighting design with LED lights to increase interest in every aspect.

LED Light Installations for Auto Dealers
Improved safety and security

Safety & security of both visitors and inventory at automotive dealerships is critical to keep potential liabilities and overhead down. Proper illumination acquired through proper design and car dealership LED lighting products allow for a secure lot that looks, feels, and is safe for everyone. With LED, it's possible. Just ask us how!

Successful Car Dealership Conversion to LED

LED Light Installations for Auto Dealers
LED Light Installations for Auto Dealers

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