Cree's LXV Outdoor Parking Garage Smart Lighting Series. This smart lighting system is integrates with the infrastructure system and user's smart phones to optimize navigation in and out of designated areas.
How can light improve way-finding in parking garages?
What: "In the U.S., there are more than 40,000 garages and surface parking lots...Parking is an inherently transient activity in which most drivers don’t think about parking until they’re in their vehicles headed to their destinations."

The problem: “American drivers waste 17 hours per year in a search for a space. Almost one-third of the drivers surveyed said they had been in a fight over a space in the previous year.”
Current Cree Product
The current Cree Parking Garage Lighting Series includes an area light, stairway light, and wall pack.
1. Wavemax Lens Technology

2. Raspberry Pi Sensor

3. Driver

Innovative Technologies in the Market
Phillips Lighting, a Cree competitor, is working on creating a “connected lighting enables a parking monitoring solution... The smart parking pilot builds on a connected lighting infrastructure by using sensors embeded in the light poles and cameras to monitor parking availability."
Real Time Vehicle Counting Technology  
Smartphone Vehicle Technology
We interviewed a range of users with parking garage lighting. We interviewed the manufacturers, architects, maintenance, and workers at our local shopping mall, which is considered to have a large, crowded, stressful parking garage experience.
Will K.
Google Forums Response
John R.
Rachel P.
Crab Tree Mall
Scottie's Exterior Maintenance
"Bad Signage. Always a  struggle trying to find my car if I come back to the deck from a different direction.”
“Parking garage lighting has not been very aesthetically pleasing.”
“I always call my mom when I leave at night because I’m afraid walking to my car alone”.      
“Lights are cleaned using a broom to brush off spider webs.”.      
On Site Analysis
We spent over 20 hours observing multiple parking garages throughout the Raleigh area. We observed during the morning, day, and night to completely understand the parking garage environment all times of the day.
“Lots of built up dirt on the lights and conduit."      
Uneven light distribution makes the environment feel unsafe. It also makes it difficult to see your car.
Signage is unclear and only visible in certain areas.
Affinity Mapping
Our studio used this design method to consolidate our research and come up with our main design criteria goals.
Design Criteria
Can be cleaned with broom. Rugged.
Cohesive design language. Modules that can be used in all the light family.
Experience makes users feel comfortable traveling to and from their transportation site.
Navigational cues for pedestrian.Visible day and night.
I sketched out different forms to brainstorm different ideas to met my main design criteria goals.
I built a quick full scale prototype and compared it to other Cree parking garage lights to get a better idea of the overall dimensions of the product.


Cree's LXV Outdoor Parking Garage Smart Lighting Series. This smart lighting system is integrates with the infrastructure system and user's smart phones to optimize navigation in and out of designated areas.
Exploded View
The new series includes similar components to the Cree IG Series.
The user can follow the lights directly back to their car
User outside parking garage.
Follow the lights in the stairway
This allows the user to walk and be aware of their surroundings.
Back to their car.

User Journey 1 Scenarios
1. Laura parks her car and saves her location via the smart app or automatically with her phone. Her custom color light directs her the optimally fastest way out to her location from the parking deck. When Laura returns from work, it is night time and she calls her mom so she feels safe. Wanting to be aware of her surroundings, she uses the smart app to connect to have the location show her where her car is.

2. A fire alarm goes off and users are panicked by the echoing noise. Cree's lighting solution points in the correct direction of how to quickly exit to the nearest stairwells to exit the parking garage.

3. Sam is running late to work at his shift at the hospital. Cree's area lights guide his car to the easiest available parking spot, an blinks to it's main spot.
StartResearchConcept DevelopmentFinal DesignEND