10+ Tips for Better Outdoor Lighting on Commercial Buildings

10+ Tips for Better Outdoor Lighting on Commercial Buildings

10+ Tips for Better Outdoor Lighting on Commercial Buildings

Outdoor lighting plays a crucial role in enhancing the aesthetics, safety, and security of commercial buildings. Well-designed and strategically placed lights not only create an inviting ambiance but also improve visibility, reducing the risk of accidents. Whether it’s a shopping center, office complex, or hotel, implementing effective outdoor lighting can have a significant impact on the overall appearance and functionality of a commercial space. In this article, we will explore ten essential tips to achieve better outdoor lighting on commercial buildings.

1.   Plan with Purpose

Before installing any outdoor lighting, develop a clear plan that aligns with the purpose and objectives of the commercial building. Determine the key areas that require illumination, such as entryways, parking lots, walkways, and signage.

2.   Focus on Safety

Ensure that all pathways, stairs, and entrances are well-lit to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of employees, customers, and visitors. Incorporate motion-sensor lights in high-traffic areas for enhanced security during late hours.

3.   Highlight Architectural Features

Use lighting techniques to accentuate the architectural elements of the building. Highlight unique facades, columns, or decorative elements with facade lighting or wall-washing techniques to create a visually appealing impact.

4.   Consider Energy Efficiency

Opt for energy-efficient lighting options like LED bulbs and fixtures to reduce electricity consumption and maintenance costs. LED lights are long-lasting, environmentally friendly, and provide excellent illumination.

5.   Embrace Light Layering

Implement a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to achieve a balanced and aesthetically pleasing outdoor lighting design. Layered lighting adds depth, highlights focal points, and creates a welcoming atmosphere.

6.   Use Proper Color Temperature

Select the appropriate color temperature for different areas. Warmer tones (around 2700k-3000K) are suitable for entrances and seating areas, while cooler tones (around 4000-5000K) work well for parking lots and high-visibility areas.

7.   Optimize Light Distribution

Ensure uniform light distribution throughout the outdoor spaces by strategically placing fixtures and adjusting their angles. Avoid excessive glare or dark spots, as they can detract from the overall visual appeal and safety.

8.   Implement Timer and Sensors

Integrate timers or sensors in lighting systems to automatically adjust brightness levels based on the time of day or presence of people. This not only saves energy but also improves convenience and security.

9.   Regular Maintenance

Establish a routine maintenance schedule to ensure that all lights are working properly and are free from obstructions. Replace any damaged or burnt-out bulbs promptly to maintain a consistent and reliable lighting scheme.

10.                  Consider Dark Sky Lighting

Adopt dark sky lighting principles to minimize light pollution and reduce the impact on the surrounding environment. Shield fixtures appropriately to prevent upward light spillage and preserve the natural beauty of the night sky.


Proper outdoor lighting is essential for commercial buildings to enhance safety, security, and visual appeal. By following these ten tips, you can create a well-lit environment that not only makes a positive impression but also improves the overall functionality of the space. Remember to plan with purpose, prioritize safety, and consider energy efficiency to achieve optimal results. With the right lighting design, your commercial building will stand out, attract customers, and create a memorable experience for all who visit.

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Hendrik Morella
June 2024