Transform Your Space Using Functional Commercial Outdoor Lighting

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Outdoor lighting plays a pivotal role in creating a visually appealing and functional environment for commercial establishments. Whether you’re a restaurant owner, a retail store manager, or an event organizer, strategic lighting choices can enhance your business’s curb appeal and entice customers to step inside.

In this article, we will explore some creative and practical outdoor lighting ideas that will elevate your commercial space to new heights.

Looking for a sustainable and efficient lighting solution? PEC, a leading provider of energy-efficient solutions in North America, can transform your commercial space with their customized LED lighting systems. Don’t just change lightbulbs, transform your business. 

What Is Commercial Outdoor Lighting?

Commercial outdoor lighting refers to the lighting systems and fixtures designed for illuminating outdoor spaces in commercial settings. It encompasses the lighting used in various commercial environments such as office buildings, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, parking lots, sports facilities, public parks, and other outdoor areas associated with commercial establishments.

Unlock Efficiency And Transform Your Business With PEC

PEC offers more than just light bulb replacements. Our comprehensive suite of solutions, including HVAC smart motors, energy audits, energy monitoring, project management, and intelligent controls, seamlessly transforms your commercial environment. By selecting PEC, you unlock a myriad of benefits:
Reduce Energy Consumption: Our cutting-edge LED lighting systems significantly decrease energy usage, helping you save on utility costs while minimizing environmental impact.
Enhance Performance: PEC’s custom solutions address a wide range of performance challenges, improving productivity, safety, and overall operational efficiency.
Intelligent Control: Our intelligent control solutions empower you with advanced features and automation, giving you full control over your lighting and energy systems.
Customized Approach: We understand that every business is unique. That’s why we tailor our solutions to your specific needs, ensuring optimal lighting and energy efficiency for your commercial space.
Contact us now, and together we can make your lighting dreams a beautiful reality!

How Does Commercial Outdoor Lighting Work?

Commercial outdoor lighting encompasses an interplay of technology, design, and functionality to create visually appealing and practical lighting solutions for commercial spaces. The process involves several key components and considerations.

  • Lighting Fixtures: The selection of appropriate lighting fixtures is crucial in commercial outdoor lighting. High-quality fixtures designed for outdoor use and built to withstand the elements are essential. Floodlights, bollard lights, wall sconces, and pathway lights are common fixtures used in commercial outdoor lighting.
  • Light Sources: The choice of light sources significantly impacts the effectiveness and efficiency of commercial outdoor lighting. LED lights have become the preferred option due to their energy efficiency, long lifespan, and versatility in achieving different color temperatures.
  • Lighting Design: A well-thought-out lighting design is essential for commercial outdoor spaces. It involves considering the purpose of the area, desired ambiance, and architectural features to be highlighted. Properly placed lighting fixtures and the use of techniques like uplighting, downlighting, and accent lighting help create focal points, enhance safety and security, and contribute to the overall aesthetic appeal of the space. 

What Are The Benefits Of Commercial Outdoor Lighting?

Commercial outdoor lighting is an absolute game-changer for businesses, breathing life into their outdoor spaces and creating a delightful atmosphere. Let’s dive into the wonderful perks it brings:

Enhanced Safety

Adequate outdoor lighting is crucial for creating a safe and secure environment. Illuminated pathways, parking lots, and entry points provide clear visibility, reducing the risk of accidents and deterring potential criminal activity. Well-lit spaces instill a sense of security, ensuring that employees and customers feel comfortable even during evening hours.

Improved Aesthetics

Beyond its functional aspects, one of the significant benefits of commercial outdoor lighting lies in its ability to elevate the aesthetics of a space, imbuing it with a distinct human touch. The strategic placement and artistic design of outdoor lighting fixtures can transform a commercial environment into a captivating visual spectacle. Soft, warm lights can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere, while colorful and dynamic lighting arrangements can infuse energy and excitement. 

Extended Usability

Commercial outdoor lighting enables businesses to extend their operating hours and utilize outdoor spaces after sunset. This is especially beneficial for restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues, as well as retail establishments hosting evening events or promotions. By providing adequate lighting, businesses can continue to serve customers and generate revenue during evening hours.

Sense Of Community

Outdoor lighting in commercial spaces can foster a sense of community and connection. Well-lit gathering areas or outdoor seating encourage people to come together, socialize, and enjoy shared experiences. Additionally, public spaces illuminated with a warm and inviting glow can create a sense of belonging and encourage individuals to engage with their surroundings.

Energy Efficiency

Energy-efficient outdoor lighting solutions, such as LED fixtures, not only consume less power but also provide warm and inviting illumination that creates a comfortable ambiance for visitors. These environmentally conscious choices not only showcase a commitment to sustainability but also resonate with individuals who value businesses that prioritize the well-being of the planet.

Are There Any Downsides To Commercial Outdoor Lighting?

When it comes to commercial outdoor lighting, there are definitely some amazing advantages to enjoy. However, it’s equally important to keep in mind that there can be a few drawbacks as well. Let’s take a moment to consider these factors: 

  • Light Pollution: Poorly designed or excessive outdoor lighting can contribute to light pollution, affecting natural ecosystems and human health. Light pollution, also known as artificial light at night, is the excessive or inefficient use of artificial outdoor light, which disturbs the regular habits of animals, adds to the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, disrupts human sleep, and obscures the stars in the night sky.1
  • Glare and Light Trespass: Improperly positioned lighting fixtures or excessive brightness can cause glare, discomfort, and light trespass onto neighboring properties. Consideration of lighting angles and shielding can mitigate these issues.
  • Maintenance and Costs: Commercial outdoor lighting systems require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. Lamp replacements, fixture cleaning, and electrical inspections are necessary to maintain functionality and safety. Moreover, the initial investment in quality lighting fixtures and installation may pose a financial burden for some businesses.

What Are The Alternatives To Commercial Outdoor Lighting?

Here are a few intriguing alternatives worth considering:

  • Solar Lighting: Solar-powered lighting utilizes renewable energy from the sun, eliminating the need for electrical connections. It is a sustainable and cost-effective solution, especially in areas with ample sunlight.
  • Motion-Activated Lighting: Motion-activated lighting systems only illuminate an area when motion is detected, conserving energy and reducing light pollution. These systems are ideal for areas with intermittent foot traffic, such as parking lots, pathways, and entryways. When motion is sensed, the lights automatically switch on, providing visibility and security as needed.
  • Reflective Surfaces: Utilizing reflective surfaces, such as light-colored materials or coatings, can help optimize the use of available natural and artificial light. Light-colored walls, pavement, or roofing materials can bounce light around outdoor spaces, increasing overall brightness and reducing the reliance on artificial lighting.

Remember to evaluate your commercial space’s specific needs and requirements when considering alternatives to traditional outdoor lighting solutions.

Types Of Commercial Outdoor Lighting

Taking the time to understand the various types of commercial outdoor lighting options can really make a difference when it comes to making informed decisions for your commercial space. 


Floodlights provide broad and intense illumination, ideal for illuminating large areas such as parking lots or building facades.

Wall Packs

Wall packs are mounted on walls or ceilings and offer focused lighting for pathways, entrances, or perimeter lighting. They are often used for security lighting in commercial properties.

Area Lights

Area lights are a type of commercial outdoor lighting that emits directional light rays from within a defined boundary, typically a rectangle or circle. They are commonly used to recreate the illumination provided by fluorescent lights or to mimic the appearance of rectangular light sources.

Bollard Lights

Bollard lights are short, sturdy fixtures mounted on low posts. They are commonly used to mark boundaries, pathways, and parking areas while providing a low-level ambient lighting effect.


Streetlights are installed along roadways to provide visibility and safety for drivers and pedestrians. They come in various designs, including traditional high-pressure sodium (HPS) or modern LED fixtures. 

What Is The Best Color Temperature For Outdoor Lighting?

Choosing the right color temperature is crucial for creating the desired ambiance and functionality in outdoor spaces. Color temperature is measured in Kelvin (K), and different temperatures evoke different feelings and serve various purposes.

  • Warm White (2700K-3000K): This temperature range creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, suitable for outdoor dining areas or hotel exteriors.
  • Neutral White (400K-4500K): Neutral white provides a balanced and crisp light, often used for general outdoor lighting in commercial spaces.
  • Cool White (5000K-6000K): Cool white delivers a bright and vibrant light, perfect for enhancing security in parking lots or industrial areas.

Remember, the choice of color temperature depends on the specific requirements of your commercial space and the desired ambiance you want to create.

Exterior Lighting Performance And Power

Efficient performance and power management are critical aspects of commercial outdoor lighting systems. Consider the following factors when evaluating the performance and power requirements:

Performance Considerations

  • Lumen Output: Lumen output refers to the total amount of light emitted by a lighting fixture. Ensure that the lumen output meets the desired illumination levels for your outdoor space.
  • Uniformity: Uniform lighting distribution is essential to eliminate dark spots and ensure consistent illumination across the entire area.
  • Color Rendering Index (CRI): CRI measures the ability of a light source to accurately reveal the true colors of objects compared to a reference light source of the same color temperature. It measures the light source’s ability to render colors realistically, particularly in comparison to natural daylight.

Power Considerations

  • Energy Efficiency: Opt for energy-efficient lighting solutions to reduce power consumption and minimize environmental impact. LED lighting is a popular choice due to its high energy efficiency and long lifespan.
  • Control Systems: Implementing lighting control systems, such as motion sensors or timers, can further optimize energy usage by adjusting lighting levels based on occupancy or daylight availability.

Considerations For Commercial Outdoor Lighting Designs

When it comes to creating an outstanding commercial outdoor lighting system, meticulous planning and thoughtful consideration are essential. Let’s dive into some crucial factors that you should always bear in mind, as if we were sitting together, eager to create something truly remarkable:

Safety And Security

Prioritize lighting design that ensures the safety and security of customers, employees, and visitors. Adequate lighting levels and strategic placement of fixtures contribute to a sense of safety by ensuring visibility in walkways, parking areas, and entrances. Illuminating these areas helps deter potential criminal activities, as well as assists with surveillance and identification.


Outdoor lighting can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your commercial space. Consider architectural features, landscaping, and branding elements when designing the lighting layout. Aesthetics play a crucial role in commercial outdoor lighting designs as they have a direct impact on the human experience and perception of a space. Thoughtful and well-executed lighting design can create a welcoming and visually appealing environment that engages people emotionally. 

Maintenance And Accessibility

Accessibility ensures that lighting fixtures are easily reachable for maintenance tasks, such as lamp replacement or cleaning, reducing downtime and associated costs. Designing with maintenance in mind shows consideration for the maintenance personnel who will be responsible for keeping the lighting system in optimal condition. 

Additionally, prioritizing maintenance-friendly designs enhances the safety and well-being of the maintenance workers, reducing risks associated with working at heights or in challenging environments. 

Dark Sky Compliance

This prioritizes the preservation of the natural darkness of the night sky and the reduction of light pollution. By embracing dark sky principles, we aim to enhance the well-being and quality of wildlife within the surrounding environment. In addition to benefiting the environment and wildlife, minimizing light pollution also fosters healthier sleep patterns and a serene ambiance for nearby residents.

How To Choose The Right Functional Light For Your Outdoor Commercial Space?

Choosing the right functional light for your outdoor commercial space is crucial to ensure proper illumination and meet the specific needs of your business. Here are some key factors to consider when making your selection:

  • Identify Lighting Requirements: Determine the specific lighting requirements of your outdoor commercial space. Consider factors such as the purpose of the area, desired lighting levels, and any specific tasks or activities that will take place there.
  • Understand Lighting Types: Familiarize yourself with different lighting types suitable for outdoor use. Common options include floodlights, wall-mounted fixtures, bollard lights, pathway lights, and area lights. Each type has its own characteristics and is designed for specific purposes.
  • Consider Energy Efficiency: Opt for energy-efficient lighting solutions to minimize energy consumption and reduce operational costs. LED lights are a popular choice due to their high energy efficiency, long lifespan, and excellent lighting quality.
  • Evaluate Lighting Performance: Assess the performance features of the lighting fixtures you are considering. Look for attributes such as brightness levels, beam angles, color rendering capabilities (CRI), and color temperature options to ensure they meet your desired lighting goals.
  • Ensure Durability and Weather Resistance: Outdoor lighting fixtures should be durable and able to withstand various weather conditions. Choose fixtures made from high-quality materials that are corrosion-resistant and have appropriate IP (Ingress Protection) ratings to ensure longevity and reliability.
  • Consider Lighting Control Options: Determine if you require any specific lighting control options for your outdoor commercial space. This could include features like dimming capabilities, motion sensors, timers, or programmable control systems to enhance energy efficiency and customize lighting settings.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: If you’re unsure about the best lighting options for your outdoor commercial space, consult with lighting professionals or energy optimization experts. PEC stands out as the ultimate choice for all your lighting needs, boasting a remarkable track record of 8000+ projects successfully completed over the past 13 years. Our expertise extends to every state in the US and across Canada. You can’t go amiss with PEC.

Contact us today to discover how we can transform your outdoor lighting and optimize energy efficiency for your business.

Final Thoughts On Functional Outdoor Lighting Ideas for Commercial Spaces

Functional outdoor lighting has the power to transform a business’s exterior into an enchanting and captivating environment. By carefully considering factors such as purpose, safety, energy efficiency, and design, businesses can make informed decisions about their outdoor lighting choices.

The possibilities for illuminating commercial spaces are vast and exciting. Whether it’s using lighting to highlight architectural features, guide visitors along pathways, or create a specific ambiance, the right outdoor lighting can greatly enhance the overall appeal and success of a commercial establishment.

Get started with PEC, the premier energy optimization company in North America. Through our unwavering commitment, we have successfully conserved an impressive total of 2,395,673,024+ kilowatt-hours (kWh) and generated savings exceeding $227 million for our valued clientele. Take a bold step and reach out today to delve into the extraordinary possibilities that our visionary lighting solutions offer, enabling you to experience the profound transformation they can bring to your commercial setting.

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Frequently Asked Questions On Commercial Outdoor Lighting

How can outdoor lighting enhance the safety of commercial spaces?

Outdoor lighting plays a vital role in enhancing the safety of commercial spaces. Adequate and well-designed lighting systems contribute to a secure environment by minimizing the risk of accidents, deterring criminal activity, and ensuring clear visibility. Illuminating pathways, parking lots, and entrances reduce the chances of trips, slips, or falls, enhancing pedestrian safety. 

Are there any rebates or incentives available for energy-efficient lighting upgrades?

Yes, there are several rebates and incentives available for energy-efficient lighting upgrades. Many utility companies, both at the local and national levels, offer rebate programs to encourage businesses and homeowners to switch to more energy-efficient lighting solutions such as LED bulbs or fixtures. Check with your local authorities or energy providers for available programs.

What is the recommended maintenance routine for outdoor lighting fixtures?

Maintenance can include regular cleaning, inspection, and replacement of components as needed. Cleaning should be done periodically to remove dirt, dust, and other debris that can accumulate on the fixtures and reduce their effectiveness. 

Inspections should be conducted to check for any signs of damage, such as cracks, loose connections, or corrosion, and address them promptly. Additionally, it is important to check for proper voltage delivery on each light to ensure color consistency and detect any unseen electrical line issues.

What is the best lighting for commercial buildings?

LED lighting has become a popular choice due to its energy efficiency, long lifespan, and versatility in providing different levels of brightness and color temperatures. LED lights can significantly reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs while providing consistent and high-quality illumination. 

What are the different types of lighting fixtures used for commercial spaces?

Common lighting fixtures used in commercial spaces include recessed lighting, track lighting, flood lights, pendant lighting, high-bay & mid-bay luminaires, and landscape lighting. Each type offers unique design and functional characteristics, allowing businesses to create the desired ambiance and meet specific lighting requirements.

What is the most efficient lighting design for commercial spaces?

The most efficient lighting design for commercial spaces typically involves a combination of energy-efficient fixtures, smart controls, and natural light utilization. LED lighting is widely regarded as the most efficient choice due to its long lifespan, low energy consumption, and ability to produce directional light. 

Incorporating occupancy sensors and daylight harvesting systems can optimize energy usage by automatically adjusting lighting levels based on occupancy and available natural light. 


  1. MapMaker: Light Pollution. (n.d.).

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