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Car Wash Facilities LED Lights

If you are looking for fixtures that are waterproof and vapor-tight, you can opt for The Lighting Center’s LED car wash tunnel lighting fixtures. These fixtures are quite robust and are capable of holding their own against harsh weather conditions and environments.

Let us take an example. Imagine that you have a car wash service located in an area filled with traffic and brightly-colored neon lighting; how would you try to attract customers. One of the most effective ways to market your facility is to make use of high-quality lighting. With the right types of lighting fixtures, you will be able to attract customers and retain them as well. LED car wash lighting can be applied to almost everything ranging from the welcome sign to the car waxing lighting; you will magically transform your car wash and grow your business.

If you want to make your car wash facility stand out, it is recommended that you enlist the help of a lighting designer; they will choose the right lighting systems and make it safe, inviting, and profitable. In turn, repeated business is ensured, all while you are saving major chunks of money on low power consumption.

Features to Consider When Buying LED Car Wash Lights

List of wet locations by UL or ETL

ETL and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) continuously test different products so that they meet all the safety standards. Light fixtures that are made specifically for wet locations are marked. You need to understand that not all products that are wet-listed by UL can be dipped underwater. For a more accurate rating, you should go for an IP rating.

If you are looking for LED car wash lights for wet locations, they must be UL-listed. Also known as vapor-tight lights, they provide you with the right type of lighting, even in the roughest indoor conditions. These lights are fitted with specialized enclosures so that the internal parts are protected from moisture and vapor.

These types of lighting are perfect for areas where there are a lot of water drips, flows, and splashes because the wiring of these lighting are covered thoroughly. You need to ensure that the lights you buy are listed either by UL or ETL; otherwise, you will risk a shock-and-fire hazard.

What is the IP rating for car washes?

IP rating (Ingress Protection) is a protection rating against solid objects and water. Typically, the rating looks something like IP’XX’, where XX is denoted by two digits; the first digit represents protection against solid objects (like dust) and the second is for protection against liquids (like water).

It is important that the numbers are high; higher values represent better protection. At times, you might simply see an ‘X’ instead of a numerical value; this means that the product has not been tested for that rating.

The perfect lights for car wash facilities include IP65. IP67, and IP67. This means that the lights are made to withstand rough water jets and corrosion.

IP Rating- Second Digit
Digit Protection against
0 No protection at all
1 Water dripping vertically
2 Water dripping vertically with fixture tilted to 15°
3 Spraying water with fixture tilted to 60°
4 Splashing water
5 Water jets from a 6.3mm nozzle
6 Powerful water jets from a 12.5mm nozzle
7 Temporary immersion in 1m water
8 Continuous immersion in conditions stated by the manufacturer
9K Strong, high-temperature water jets

What should be the color rendering index (CRI) for car wash facilities?

 The CRI signifies the capability of a light source that makes the hues of any object appear. With a scale between 0-100, you should aim for light sources with a higher CRI number, since the light source will be better to show off the true colors of an object, as your eyes would see it in natural light conditions.


It is recommended that you opt for light sources with CRI 80 and higher. One of the reasons is that you and your customers need to see the true colors of the car. Your customers will definitely feel go when they see their vehicles shining in true colors.

What should be the foot candles and lumens for car washing facilities?

According to the definition, lumens are the amount of light that is discharged from a particular light source. The foot-candle is the measure of light that is being illuminated into an area. If you want your car wash to be well-lit, you need to:

  • The light needs to be uniform throughout the workspace so that the ambiance is safe and clean.
  • Each task needs to have adequate lighting.
  • If your car wash facility is located in less-populated areas, like residential zones, the light levels need to be minimum. On the other hand, facilities that are located in busy metropolitan areas need to be brighter.
    Foot-Candle Recommendations 

    Area Minimal Foot-Candle Level Standard Foot-Candle Level Brighter Foot-Candle Level
    Arches and Vacuum Bays 25 35 45
    Tunnels and Wash Bays 35 45 55
    Detailing Area 60 75 90


    The Advantages of LED Car Wash Lights

    High-quality lighting for car wash facilities

    Mostly, car wash facilities make use of these specialized lights to provide high illumination and well-rendered colors. When you are looking for LED lights for your car wash facility, the CRI needs to be at least 80, as mentioned above. These lights will prove especially useful because you will be able to see the true colors of the cars after the washing.

    Additionally, customers will be able to inspect more carefully to assess whether the washing job has indeed been done thoroughly.

    With the help of these lights, customers will be able to look into the cleaning details more closely. Specific areas will be highlighted and the aesthetics of the wash area will provide the vehicle with a cleaner look. These lights will also help your customers feel welcomed and safe.

    Better energy efficiency

    One of the best aspects of LED car wash lights is that they are highly energy-efficient. When compared to traditional sources of light, LED lighting systems provide the same amount and intensity of light; however, they use almost half the energy. Additionally, the light is produced instantly because there is no warm-up period.

    Car wash facilities can potentially save up to 80% of the total energy expenditure. Once you can minimize the total operating costs, you will be able to invest that funds on improving your facility even more than before.

    What about rebates and incentives?

    If your facility has adopted an energy-efficient lighting system, you will get incentives and rebates. Most utility companies and governments offer such incentives to facilities that make use of energy-efficient sources of light.

    Apart from reducing the initial costs, you will be given incentives if you make use of these specialized LED lights. All you need to do is ensure that the lighting system has been certified by Energy Star and DLC to qualify for the rebates.

    LED lights provide even light distribution

    Traditional light sources are not good enough for car wash facilities because they tend to burn brighter or lower than the required amount.

    In the case of LED lights, they have a multi-diode design so that your car wash facility has consistent lighting and an even spread. This way, all the shadows, and poorly-lit areas are eliminated. Overall, it also improves the safety and visibility of your facility.


    LED lights are directional

    In the case of lighting for car wash facilities, it can be quite easy for light to get directed into specific areas; this is because the light can be directed towards particular directions easily. If you want, you can aim into specific areas, reduce the light trespass, and enhance the overall efficiency. Since there are no ballasts involved, energy will not be wasted. If you do not use reflectors, more than half the amount of light by traditional light sources can go wasted.

    LED lights are safe for car wash facilities

    There is no question that handling the vehicles of others in a car wash can be a risky business. There is always a chance of the car driving out of sync in the washing bay or tunnel. Also, with the addition of distractions like cellphones and children in the car, the risk of someone getting hurt or your equipment getting damaged only increases.

    If you install LED lights that change colors in specific wash zones, the risk of customers getting hurt decreases significantly. They will understand which areas are the exit zones, where to put your car on neutral gear, etc. With the help of LED lighting strips, your customers will understand more clearly where the car placement needs to be, which will also minimize the risk of an accident. Additionally, all your dark spots will be lit up clearly, which will reduce the chances of theft and vandalism.

    LED lights are maintenance-free

    LED lights can last for more than 10,000-hours; during this time, car wash lights do not require a lot of maintenance. They are capable of operating throughout the day for the next 5-10 years, without the requirement of getting replaced. Additionally, the lumens value does not fall as well.

    LED lights for car wash facilities do not consist of parts that are fragile, like ballasts. Because of this, you save up significantly on new lights, transportation, and overall work and labor for several years. In short, you will increase the bottom line of your car wash business.

    These LED lights can withstand rough conditions

    LED lights for car wash facilities are made to stand against rough environments. Thanks to the strong structuring aspect, these lights are shatterproof. Most of them have housings made of aluminum and can withstand the rough conditions, especially in the washing areas where there is a lot of water splashing around.

    These lights can also withstand extreme humidity, corrosive detergents, high-pressure washers, and hot wax. Even rough weather should not present a problem for these lights. Even if you switch the LED lights on and off frequently, it should not present a problem.


    LED lights are known to be extremely versatile; in fact, you can install these lightings in areas where you could not put up traditional lighting. For instance, LED lights are great choices for signages, tunnel entry and exit points, application arches, etc.

    The Lighting Center's LED car wash lighting fixtures are designed to withstand the harsh environment of a car wash plus save energy and more. Shop for vapor tight and waterproof fixtures online....
    Last Updated: 04/11/2021

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