From Entrance to Exit: Choosing the Right LED Displays for Your Parking Facility

By strategically placing LED signage throughout its corridors, a parking facility can provide useful information, instructions, options or directions.

LED technology creates a clear list of benefits – including customer satisfaction and loyalty – but when it comes down to the drawing board, how do they know which displays actually fit the job?

The typical parking facility has four main points (or areas) to apply LED signage: streets, entrances, intersections and exits. Here are the considerations for choosing the right LED display for each point.

Seattle Center Parking

Streets – Seattle Center Parking Display

MSP Airport Parking

Entrance Plazas – MSP Parking Entrance

  • Which levels have space?
  • How many spaces are available at each level?
  • Which way should they turn after entering the facility?
  • Are there any special parking programs available?
  • How long can I park in a certain level?
  • Do I need a ticket?
  • When should I pay?
  • How much will it cost?

LED displays can answer all of these questions as the motorist rolls towards the entrance.

Simple LED digits can be installed on static signage to show space counts for each level. In addition, these displays can indicate if a certain level is open or full through the use of green or red color.

LED matrix displays can show more specific information – such as payment instructions, parking program promotions or advertisements. Depending on the viewing distance to the sign, an appropriate pixel pitch (8mm to 20mm) will allow for legible text and graphics.

Americana at Brand

Interior Guidance – Americana at Brand space count display

With system integration, drop-in digit displays or multi-level digit towers can provide real-time space counts individual garage levels or surface lots. Parking facilities commonly use smaller message centers to guide motorists to the nearest open spaces, elevators or exits. These applications reduce circulation congestion and keep traffic moving smoothly within the facility.

In addition, wayfinding displays can integrate with system data sources to provide more specific instructions based on current space availability, traffic and even weather conditions. These situational guidance instructions are commonly used by large parking facilities in airports or large metro locations with heavy traffic.

Boush Street Parking Garage Exit Plaza

Exit Plazas – Boush Street Parking Garage Exit Plaza

Full matrix, tri-color message centers are especially effective at communicating understandable instructions to exiting drivers. The tri-color capability allows the display to organize instructions and information in an easily-understandable format. Green text is used for affirmative, welcoming messages, red text can be used to display lane closures, and amber text can be used to display important instructions or alternate payment methods.

These displays can be manually controlled at the payment booth, or they can be integrated into the facility’s data system to organize multiple exit lanes depending on traffic volume and available payment options.

Exit plaza displays also offer an opportunity for the facility to display thank-you and courtesy messages to leave a lasting impression on its patrons.

LED displays can be painted with custom color specifications and can also be dropped-in to existing structures. This allows a parking facility to maintain its brand recognition and provide a sense of consistency throughout its corridors.

To connect displays to their data sources, facility managers must consider their options for the appropriate communication method. LED displays commonly communicate via Ethernet, RS422, or RS232 serial connections.

When considering their LED signage options, parking facility managers, architects, engineers and consultants have an abundance of useful information at their fingertips. By strategically applying LED signage, any parking facility can provide its patrons with top-notch service and keep them coming back time and time again.

For more information on the current parking display offerings from Daktronics, visit

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