L.P.A.G. – Service station & parking area lighting (Chapter 2)

Service stations are frequented by thousands of customers, day and night. It is thus essential that artificial lighting in these establishments be designed to minimise blinding glare to oncoming drivers in order to safeguard the drivers themselves and pedestrians.

Lighting should be High Pressure Sodium (HPS), Metal Halide (MH), or Fluorescent.

Pole mounted fixtures should have 400 watt maximum HPS or MH lamp in cutoff type fixtures. Horizontal lamp mounting and flat glass lens are preferred over vertical lamp mounting. ‘Sag’ or ‘drop’ lenses result in excessive glare and are not acceptable. Additional shielding of fixtures may be required to avoid fixture glare as viewed from adjacent residential properties. Fixtures should be in scale with the proposed pole height.

Fixtures mounted in service station canopies should be fully recessed, where feasible, and with flush or recessed diffusers. Where the underside of a canopy is sloping, fixtures should be of a type to permit aiming straight down. All fixtures shall be designed to control glare.

For automobile sales areas, illuminance should be a maximum of 70 foot-candles (755 lux) at ground level. Where adjacent to residential uses, illuminance should not exceed 0.1 foot-candle (1 lux) at 3 metres beyond property line. Where adjacent to commercial uses, illuminance should not exceed 0.2 foot-candle (3.5 lux) at 3 metres beyond property line.

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has established that an illumination level of 20 foot-candles (215 lux) is all that is needed for service station pump islands with dark surroundings, and 30 foot-candles (325 lux) for pump islands with bright surroundings. As a general rule, bright surroundings will refer to service stations located in a designated commercial area. If the service station is located in a rural or residential area, then the dark surroundings illumination level should apply.

Another rule of good lighting is “hide the source, light the subject”. In other words, avoid glare. Glare is always bad, and efforts should always be made to minimise it. Most new service station canopies employ light fixtures which produce an enormous amount of glare, made all the more worse because the light source used is the harsh (at these levels), bluish-white light of metal halide. Glare can be substantially reduced by using fixtures that are completely recessed up into the canopy so the bottom of each light fixture is flush with the ceiling of the canopy. This is so that light is restrained to no more than 85 degrees beyond the vertical plane. If the canopy is made of concrete or of any other solid material, then full cutoff fixtures should be utilised.

Lights should not be mounted on the top of the canopy, and the sides of the canopy should not be illuminated.

2.1 Parking Area Lighting

Parking lot lighting shall be designed to provide the minimum lighting necessary to ensure adequate vision and comfort in parking areas, and to reduce or eliminate glare and direct illumination onto adjacent properties or streets.

  • All lighting fixtures serving parking areas should be cutoff fixtures.
  • The minimum illumination level should be no more than 0.4 foot-candles (4.5 lux)