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Practical advice on commercial lighting from LED retrofts to lighting design


Common light bulbs and LED upgrades for parking garages

Posted by Caitlin Ferrell on


2x4-vapor-tight-1Proper lighting is key in providing a positive tenant, guest, or shopper experience in any parking garage. In many respects, it's a first impression for the people visiting your facility and shouldn't be overlooked.

This lighting typically remains on 24/7, so it’s important to have long-life bulbs to avoid burnouts at the wrong time. Additionally, these 24/7 burn-time light fixtures present a quick payback on energy-efficient LED upgrades.

In short, parking garage lighting should provide security, improve visibility for both drivers and pedestrians, and be cost-effective.

If you're looking for tips to maintain the lighting in your garage, this article offers nine practical steps, from checklists to product selection.

Common parking garage light bulbsparking-garage-lighting-1

If you've noticed dark spots in your parking garage, a failed light bulb may be the culprit. Here are some of the most common light bulbs you'll find in your vapor tight and canopy fixtures.

Most parking garage lighting consists of overhead fluorescent lighting – typically 4' vapor tight fixtures that require fluorescent tubes (T8). You can find these fluorescent T8 tubes here:


Linear Fluorescent Tube (T8)

Technical Jargon:

  • Shape: T8 (1" diameter)
  • Base: Bi-pin (G13)
  • Length: 4 foot
  • Wattage: 28W to 32W

What are you looking for?

Buy T8 fluorescent tubes
Buy T8 LED tubes


Do you still have 1.5" diameter T12 fluorescent tubes? We have a variety of retrofit options for T12s that you can read more about here.

In some cases, there are square-shaped garage fixtures that use HID bulbs. These fixtures are able to project a lot of light a long way, but they aren’t as energy efficient as some LEDs. Again, retrofitting is always an option.


HID Light Bulb

Technical Jargon:

  • Shape: ED
  • Base: Medium (E26) or Mogul (E39)
  • Wattage: 175W

What are you looking for?

Buy HID light bulbs
Buy LED replacements for HID


HID lighting has an important list of pros and cons to consider and is also a common place our customers look to upgrade to LED lighting. 

Here's an excerpt from our post, 'HID to LED lighting retrofit in Bay Area parking garage yields 'night and day' difference' to help you understand some of the cons associated with HID lighting:

When customers tell us why they're looking to switch from HIDs, like metal halides, they typically talk about one of the following drawbacks.

1. HID color shifting

HID lamp types tend to color shift, putting out pink, green, or purple hues of light after a period of use.

2. HID lumen depreciation

HID lamps last as long as 20,000 hours or more, but their lumen output begins to depreciate after about 10,000 hours, gradually fading as it nears complete burnout.

3. HID energy efficiency

There are LED replacements for HID today that use as little as 25 percent of the wattage required to burn HID lamps. There are also T5 fluorescents that require significantly less energy for similar light levels.

If you're looking for replacement bulbs or a potential LED upgrade for your current bulbs, our lighting specialists are here to guide you. We can help you select the right product for spot replacements or help you plan out your next LED upgrade

Schedule a free lighting consultation with a Regency lighting specialist to troubleshoot and plan