LED Lights for Public Parks and Recreation Areas
Discover how our Public Park Lighting can reduce costs, improve visibility, and increase public safety.
Public areas, such as parks, need to maintain a good illumination level at night to prevent crime and increase safety. In addition, LED public or parking light systems will improve the usability and aesthetics of the area.
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LED Public Area Lighting
From parks to waterfronts, public spaces are essential to urban life. The right lighting can transform these spaces into stunning visual experiences. Public parks and recreation areas should be fun, welcoming, and inspiring. LED lights can make these spaces safer and more inviting.
Lighting up a park properly at night is crucial because it creates a safe and enjoyable environment for all park goers. Of all design modification requests park officials get from patrons, illuminating the areas adequately is one of the most common.
It is easy to see why patrons request better lighting. If the lighting is bad, they can slip or fall and injure themselves. They won’t be able to spot suspicious characters from a distance and steer clear of dangerous situations. Poor park lighting may also encourage acts of vandalism like graffiti.
If a park is well lit, people will not hesitate to go for a jog – even if it's dark outside. Parents will play with their children on the playground and pet owners will walk their dogs on the paths. Activities are extended within the park because of the bright light generated by strategically placed light fixtures. There are no dark places or shadows where people can hide and everyone feels safe.
If there are more people in a public park participating in recreation activities, the perception of safety is increased and criminal activities are deterred. And if people feel that a specific park is safe at night, they are more likely to visit it, enhancing the positive perception of safety. Most experts agree that better lighting in parks and recreational areas is beneficial to the whole environment and community as it prevents crime and increases after-dark community activities.
Why LED Technology?
Lighting up public parks and recreational areas adequately can be a costly venture. This is why many public parks today are converting to LED technology. LEDs not only lower energy costs, they also lower lighting maintenance costs. Big parks like The Bicentennial Park in Australia and Central Park in New York have successfully converted to LED lighting and are reaping the benefits.
LEDs are a better option than conventional lighting systems such as compact fluorescents, metal halide lamps, and high pressure sodium lights – which were used to illuminate parks and recreation areas for a long time. They can provide lighting for extended hours and are not affected by extreme temperatures.
Because of their lower energy consumption, they help reduce energy costs. Their long lifespan also ensures you don’t have to worry about light maintenance costs or bulb replacement costs. You can focus park resources on other aspects of park maintenance such as beautification and cleanliness.
LED lighting can highlight the layout of public parks by emphasizing focal points such as walkways, building entrances, and gathering spaces. Here are four different sections of parks and recreation areas that are illuminated better by LEDs.
Human development experts agree on one thing: unstructured play is vital to a child's development. This type of play promotes physical activity, creativity, conflict management skills, and interpersonal skills. And one place where children can have unstructured play is the playground.
In many cases, the playground in the local park is the one that's easily accessible to families. In summer, it's not uncommon to see children with their families playing on playgrounds until after dark.
A well-lit public playground can extend play time throughout the year – even into fall and winter when it gets dark early. Hazards are plenty in playgrounds and adequate lighting lowers the chances of children getting hurt.
Because we know that all playgrounds are different, we provide custom lighting solutions to boost safety and visibility in and around playground areas.
Walkways and biking trails should always be properly illuminated to improve safety and security. LED lighting not only makes people feel safe as they take their evening stroll or ride their bicycles, it also changes the look of the space and enhances the aesthetics. LED lights can emphasize focal points like water fountains and beautiful ancient trees. Steps, ramps, and places with height differences are well-lit so people can easily see them.
When LED lights are installed in pathways and trails, they provide the best safety, enjoyment, and comfort for people visiting the park.
It is essential for any establishment to keep its parking lot safe – and public parks and recreational areas are not exempted. If the lighting in the parking lot is not sufficient the likelihood is that accidents will happen and personal security will be threatened.
During the day, parking lots are usually well illuminated by natural light. However, when nighttime comes, proper lighting is what determines if a parking lot is safe and whether there is clear visibility.
People usually avoid poorly-lit parking lots at night because they don't feel safe. Low security is the major cause of parking lot crime. In addition, if the lights are not bright, security cameras are unable to capture all the happenings in a parking lot. Accidents may simply occur because drivers are unable to see clearly.
Officials for public parks and recreational areas should consider installing lighting that is bright and also cost-effective in car parks. For instance, they can have a Flood light installed. If these lights are properly aimed and shielded, they will direct the light exactly where it is needed. In covered parking lots, canopy lights can be used instead of flood lights.
Players and athletes enjoy playing under bright, powerful lights. Each sporting activity usually has a central playing area where good light is crucial for the players to concentrate on the game. High-quality light with low glare is also vital for spectators who come to see the game.
Every sport that is played at night has its own lighting needs. For example, the light required in a tennis court is different from the light required in a basketball court. The sporting objects vary in size and players must clearly see the ball at all times, despite its speed or location.
Lighting installed on a sports ground requires a high level of robustness and flexibility, because training and competition need ideal lighting conditions. If the proper light fixtures are used, ideal visual conditions are ensured and chances of injury are minimized. The lights used should offer visual comfort, uniformity, and prevent obtrusive light.
Flood lights are typically used in sports grounds as they provide sufficient illumination for sporting activities, thanks to their high level of brightness. They can be installed on light towers to expand the range of light. With the right configurations, a sports ground may only need a few flood lights for adequate illumination, and cut down costs in the process.
Four Ways LEDs Benefit Public Parks and Recreational Areas
One of the biggest benefits of LED lighting is enhancing safety. People who visit a public park don't just look at its safety ratings, they also look at the lighting fixtures used. LED lighting can help enhance the perception of safety and boost park usage.
Public parks in some neighborhoods see a lot of gang activity and gang-related crimes, particularly during summer. Because of this, community leaders and local parks implemented a program called Summer Night Lights in Los Angeles to make sure that families and children are safe from violence in their homes and neighborhoods.
The Summer Night Lights program prolongs the nighttime operating hours for parks in troubled neighborhoods. The lights are kept on until midnight in summer and the program also sponsors family-oriented activities and nighttime movies 4 days a week.
Because of the program, crime rates in the parks have drastically gone down in summer months. Summer Night Lights has also become a countrywide model for lowering crime just by keeping the lights on a bit longer.
Well-lit parks and recreational areas give people that much-needed sense of security and they feel confident when they step out after sundown. Good lighting also improves visibility for cyclists and reduces the risk of accidents.
LED lighting consumes very little electricity and helps public parks to maximize their resources and implement cost-saving strategies.
Central Park Case Study
In New York City, The Department of Transportation is in charge of the biggest municipal lighting system in the United States, which includes 12,000 lights located in public parks. Back in 2009, the department started a pilot program in Central Park to test whether LED lights were good replacements for traditional 100W metal halide lights.
The findings of the program showed that LEDs lasted up to 3 times longer than the metal halide lights. They also created better visibility even though they had lower light intensity. Adopting LED technology saved the city approximately $95,000 in one year.
LEDs also have several other benefits that relate to energy efficiency. Because they only use a fraction of the electricity conventional lighting technologies use, solar panels can be used to power them. This means they can work well without being connected to the power grid.
LED park lighting fixtures are truly the best choice with regard to lighting a public park. The technology they use is superior to every other lighting technology in existence. The lifespan of LEDs is 75% longer than that of traditional lighting fixtures, something that makes them very cost-effective.
These light fixtures are highly durable and those designed for outdoor use are usually vandal-resistant. LEDs do not burn out like metal halides, high pressure sodium lamps, or compact fluorescents. Individual diodes may stop working as the lifespan of the bulb comes to an end.
LED light fixtures can be fitted with motion sensors or photocells and can be powered by solar. And while some people may complain about the issue of light pollution – with regard to outdoor lighting – this is really not a problem with LEDs as most park lighting setups can be organized in such a way that light pollution and light trespass are kept to a minimum and the desired level of brightness is maintained.
The lighting design of a public park can beautify the park and make it look peaceful and inviting at night. A lighting expert can create a customized lighting design and make use of special outdoor lighting effects and techniques to achieve consistent brightness through the well-orchestrated placement of unique outdoor light fixtures.
Well-designed lighting can improve the aesthetics of landmarks such as lake fronts, sea fronts, boardwalks, and promenades. The lights can create a beautiful ambience and add charm to the nighttime look of the space.
LED lighting can also be used to illuminate high-activity areas and walkways so that they become the center of pedestrian activity after the sun sets. The popularity of LEDs has also given landscape architects more opportunities to get creative. Some have transformed public parks located in city centers into amazing works of art. They have made the parks to become prominent civic landmarks which attract more tourists.
For example, the Phoenix Civic Space Park has a spectacular 145-foot sculpture of columns at its center that is lit up by LEDs at night. In Portland, Oregon, the Simon and Helen Director Park has a glass canopy that comes alive at night thanks to multi-color LED lights. These turn the park into a focal point during the night.
Public Parks and Recreation Areas Should Switch To LED
The ability to get together, enjoy the great outdoors, and create wonderful memories with family or friends plays an important role in our day-to-day lives. And as people become tired of being cooped up indoors, the need for more outdoor public spaces grows. LED lighting can help make public parks safe and energy-efficient and also give them unique designs.
If you own a park and still use conventional lighting systems to light up the area at night, right now is the best time to switch to LED technology. With its lower energy consumption, high lumen output, and eco-friendly features, good lighting doesn't get better than LED. When you install LED lights, you will not only decrease energy costs, you will also decrease light maintenance and replacement costs. LEDs will also transform your park into a hub for fun and relaxation – even when it gets dark.
LED products that are designed to give you the best value for your investment.
If you would like to illuminate a public park or a recreational area, give us a call and talk to one of our experts. Our products merge environmentally-friendly LED technology with unparalleled innovation to offer the lighting your outdoor space needs.