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Car Wash Facilities LED Lighting

MyLEDLightingGuide's LED car wash tunnel lighting fixtures withstand harsh environments plus saves energy and more. Shop for vapor tight and waterproof fixtures.

Imagine a car wash trying to attract customers in a high traffic area filled with bright neon signs. One of the best marketing tools a facility can use is high-quality lighting. Lighting plays an important role in attracting and retaining customers. From the welcome sign to the car waxing lighting. LED car wash lighting can transform your car wash and help grow your business.

With the help of a lighting designer, you can choose the right lights to make your car wash facility stand out. You can make it inviting, safe, and profitable. Encourage repeat business while saving money with lower energy consumption.

Types of LED Car Wash Lights

Vapor Tight LED Lighting

LED vaportight lights are in the interior of the car wash, especially in the bay and tunnel area. They are excellent for automatic bays where equipment might block the overhead lighting. Car wash lights need to be vapor-tight and IP-rated. They need to be corrosion-proof and able to withstand high pressure water jets.

LED vapor tights are the most common type of lighting in self-serve washes and laser wash tunnels. LED tubes or panel lights enhance the interior and provide even light in the self-service bay.

Canopy Style LED Car Wash Lighting

Exterior lights in car wash facilities are LED bay-lights and LED canopy lights. They're for safety purposes. They give the car wash a safe and inviting atmosphere, especially when it gets dark. They are weatherproof and rated for outdoor use.

Car Dealership Office Lights

Some car washes are unattended. While others have offices with cashiers, bookkeepers and administrative staff. Office workers need good light to do work and have a comfortable work environment.

The best lights for office areas are modern LED-panel lights. Which replace old fluorescent technology found in office settings.

Features to Consider When Buying LED Car Wash Lights

UL (ETL) Listed for Wet Locations

UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and ETL tests products to guarantee they meet safety requirements. Light fixtures safe to use in wet locations are marked as such. An important to note that not all UL wet listed products can submerge in water. An IP rating would give you more accurate rating for that.

It’s imperative that LED car wash lights are UL listed for wet locations. These lights are also known as vapor tight lights. Vapor tight LED lights provide quality light in harsh conditions. The enclosures protect the internal parts from vapor and moisture.

These lights are suitable for wet areas where there's splashes, flows, or drips. They have their wiring enclosed. Ensure that you buy lights that are either UL listed or ETL listed, otherwise they will be a fire and shock hazard.

IP Rating for Car Washes

Ingress Protection or IP rating is the level of protection against solid objects and water. An IP rating is labeled IPXX where the ‘X’ represents 2 digits. The first digit specifies protection against solid objects like dust. The second digit specifies protection against liquids.

The higher the number, the higher the level of protection. In some cases, there may be an ‘X’ where a digit should be. That would mean that the product is not tested for that rating yet.

IP65, IP66, IP67 rated LED lights are ideal for car wash facilities. They are designed to resist corrosion and withstand powerful water jets.

IP65 Logo
IP Rating- Second Digit
DigitProtection against
0No protection at all
1Water dripping vertically
2Water dripping vertically with fixture tilted to 15°
3Spraying water with fixture tilted to 60°
4Splashing water
5Water jets from a 6.3mm nozzle
6Powerful water jets from a 12.5mm nozzle
7Temporary immersion in 1m water
8Continuous immersion in conditions stated by the manufacturer
9KStrong, high-temperature water jets

Color Rendering Index (CRI) for Car Washes

 

The Color Rendering Index tells us how well a light source makes the hues of objects appear. It is a scale with the numbers 0 to 100. The higher the number, the better the light source shows the object's colors, as the eye would see it under natural light.

A good CRI is 80 and above. It’s very important that LED car wash lights have a good CRI. Workers and customers can see the vehicles exactly as they appear. The customers feel good seeing their cars clean and gleaming in their actual colors.
LED Color Rendering Index (CRI)

Lumens and Foot Candles for Car Washes

 

A lumen is the measure of light discharged by a light source while a foot-candle is the measure of light illuminated onto an area. For car washes to be well-illuminated, they must:

 

  • Provide a clean and safe ambiance with uniform light throughout the workspaces
  • Provide adequate light for each task
  • Car wash facilities in less populated places like residential areas, should have minimal light levels. Brighter light is needed for facilities located in busy areas with other sources of light from businesses.
Foot-Candle Recommendations 

AreaMinimal Foot-Candle LevelStandard Foot-Candle LevelBrighter Foot-Candle Level
Arches and Vacuum Bays253545
Tunnels and Wash Bays354555
Detailing Area607590

 

The Advantages of LED Car Wash Lights

LED Car Wash Lighting
High-Quality Lighting

LED car wash lights provide high-quality illumination because they render colors well. Most LEDs have a good color rendering index (CRI) of 80 and above. They show cars in their real colors, which comes in handy when seeing the level of cleanliness. Customers can see how clean their cars are and identify any dirty spots.

These lights also direct customers’ attention to particular services. They highlight specific areas, for example, the detail area and the vacuum area. LEDs enhance the aesthetics of the wash area and give it a clean and modern look. The lighting also gives customers a safe and welcoming feeling.

High Energy Efficiency

The biggest benefit of LED car wash lights is their unrivalled energy efficiency. LEDs can produce the same amount of light as traditional systems (or more) and use much less energy. They do not have a warm-up period and produce instant light . Facilities can see up to 80% savings in energy. By reducing the total operating costs and a seeing a quick return on investment.

Incentives and Rebates

The government and utility companies offer rebates to businesses that adopt energy-efficient lighting. When a facility retrofits all its lights, it also gets rebates and incentives.

This reduces initial costs and gives them incentive to adopt LED technology. To qualify for rebates, fixtures should have certifications including DLC and Energy Star.

Even Light Distribution

Traditional lighting systems produce light that is either higher or lower than required in a particular area. The multi-diode design of LED car wash lights allows them to produce a consistent lighting pattern, there are no poorly lit areas or shadows. This improves visibility and safety in the facility.

Directional Light

With LED car wash lights, it’s easy for the light to be directed to specific areas, because their light is highly directional. It can be aimed at specific areas, enhancing light efficiency and reducing light trespass. The lights don’t need ballasts to work, electrical components that waste energy. Half of the light emitted by conventional lighting systems is wasted if reflectors are not used.

Safety

Handling vehicles is risky in a car wash, especially because the customers may not be familiar with the operations. They are likely to drive in or out of a tunnel or bay incorrectly. With possible distractions like children in the car and cellphones, the risk of damaging equipment or hurting someone is high.

Color changing LED lighting installed in wash zones can minimize this risk by helping the customers to know when they should go, stop, or put the car in neutral. LED lighting strips on the floor of the bay help customers to know where they should place their cars, thereby reducing accidents. LEDs offer uniform, high-quality light that eliminates dark spots. Because the facility is well-lit, vandalism and theft are less likely to happen.

Maintenance-Free

With the longest lifespan of all lighting systems (50,000-100,000 hours), LED car wash lights require little to no maintenance. They can operate for 24 hours a day for 5-10 years without getting replaced. They also retain most of their lumens during their lifespan because of the L70 rating.

LEDs have no fragile parts like ballasts that must be replaced often. This eliminates the huge costs of purchasing new lamps, transportation, repairs, and labor for many years. They help also increase the bottom line of a business.

Ability to Withstand Harsh Conditions

LED car wash lights have sturdy structures and are shatterproof. The housings are aluminum. They can withstand harsh conditions in car washes and don't corrode.

Hot wax, high pressure washes, corrosive detergents, and humidity are rough conditions. The lights endure extreme weather conditions. And dimming or frequent switching do not affect their useful life.

Versatility

LED car wash lights are versatile. They allow professionals to install lighting where they couldn’t with traditional technology. These areas include automatic and self-serve bays, vacuum canopies, application arches, tunnel entrances and exits, and signage. 

 

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