What Is The Recommended Light Level For Cameras In a Parking Lot?

A member asks:

"What is the recommended light level for an open-air parking lot? The solution will use an IP camera system with no IR illumination."

If you are not using IR and want to maximize details, the light levels should be at least 10 lux, with 30 lux delivering 'day time like' quality even for poorer cameras.

Even with 'super' low light cameras, with single digit lux levels, gain control kicks up pretty high, increasing visible noise that decreases quality.

Typically, we see 3 - 5 lux as the most common light levels in parking lots (measured with a lux meter at the spots in between luminaires).

Our calculator shows the difference between day and night (at 3-5 lux). Notice how much worse the night image is:

For more details and analysis on this, see Michael Silva's Evaluating Your Parking Lot Lighting. A key excerpt:

"Published standards show that acceptable light levels in parking lots can range from a minimum of .5 fc [5 lux] (in low activity areas) to a high of 5 fc [53 lux] (for high activity areas where pedestrian security is a concern). For parking lot areas, Silva Consultants recommends an absolute minimum light level of 1 fc [10.7 lux] throughout the entire area, with 2 to 4 fc being more desirable."

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