A public park is often a place to have a picnic and relax with the family on a nice day. A public skate park is more of a high energy spot where young people go to experiment with their abilities while on wheels. Of course, for this to work during the hours when people generally visit this location, careful consideration should be given to the matter of outdoor skate park lighting. Here are a few tips to help make designing this area easier.
1. Safety First
While other areas may have an equal focus on appearance and function in terms of lighting, safety is the biggest factor in outdoor skate park lighting. Since this is an area where many accidents can occur due to lack of visibility, it is important to make safety the top consideration when choosing solutions or planning the lighting layout. You want the illumination to be ample enough to provide the needed visibility for safety while still keeping in mind the possibility of light pollution. A good rule of thumb is to aim for around 10-20 footcandle at the horizontal plane to ensure the right mix of visibility and light pollution prevention.
2. Eliminate Shadows
Finding the right footcandle measurement is only a small part of the planning for this area of lighting. The matter of shadows should factor into the planning greatly since shadows can be prevalent in areas, such as ramps, rails, stairs, and pool spaces, which leads to dangerous conditions for skaters. Blind spots should be avoided so a lack of illumination isn’t the answer, but overly focused light spreads are also a problem since they create shadows. The solution is to look at lighting solutions that offer a wider beam of disbursement instead of a more focused scope, as well as looking at fixtures with diffusers and anti-glare elements.
3. Conduct a Photometric Study
Of course, the best way to prevent shadows and ensure proper footcandles needed is to perform a photometric study. This method allows you to have the layout of lighting solutions, as well as the solutions themselves, run through a simulation based on the specifications of that particular location to determine the best way to proceed in planning. This is a great planning tool because it allows you to plan and adjust the lighting in sections based on how each section works as a whole.
4. Use Lights to Communicate
Another great tip for lighting a skate park is to consider the fact that light can be used to communicate. Installing timers to flash the lights to indicate the park is closing is a great way to warn patrons to get ready to leave. Another option is to dim the lights or shut them off on automatic timers to signify the park is closed.
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