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Why Do Car Washes Have Colored Lights?

Car washes have colored LEDs to improve customer experience especially since humans, like insects, are drawn to light. This makes the perceived value of the wash better, as is the likelihood of returning for a repeat experience.

You have to understand that car washes are more or less an impulse buy and consumer impulse has been proven to be driven mainly by emotion, as such eliciting an emotional response from clients is very necessary. You have to understand that light and color play a massive role in moving your customers’ emotions and ensuring that they will always come back for more.

Most modern car washes these days have installed proper car wash lights since they are always looking for ways to provide their clients with great service.

Note that the appropriate lighting solutions in the workplace tend to also make it easier for workers to carry out their jobs well, particularly if it is a hand car wash or if the customer asks for very delicate detailing procedures. Also, note that good lightning guarantees increased visibility. With good lighting, car wash employees won’t miss any dirty spots because they can clearly see what they are doing.

Top Lighting to Consider for Your Car Wash Business

To get a better understanding of car wash lights, it helps to understand the best places these lights are needed. Owing to that, below are vital areas in a car wash where lighting is needed;

  1. High Bay Lights

This is one of the most important lights needed in a car wash. This light guarantees visibility and as such it is imperative you choose one that suits the size and structure of your car wash. You should consider round or long high bay lights if you have a car wash with 20-40ft ceilings.

You will find that the most popular options for car wash businesses are LEDs and T5 fluorescent tubes. Ensure to get one that accords your facility an even distribution of lights and will provide bright and uniform lighting for the individual who is washing or detailing the vehicle.

Don’t also forget that overhead lighting can create shadowed areas on vehicle exteriors. As such, you might want to consider other supplementary lighting, be it fixed or portable.

  1. Tubular Lighting

While you can still install and use high bay lighting if your car wash ceiling is lower than 15ft, note that the light source shouldn’t be so powerful. As such, it is recommended you take into account tubular lightings that will make the light more focused and direct.

You can find a wide array of tubes per light fitting to ensure you get the intended light output. Most often, modern car wash owners prefer to opt for more energy-efficient, longer-lasting LED tubes rather than fluorescents to keep costs lower. Aside from that, they can choose low-bay lighting.

  1. Low Bay Lighting

Ideally, a smaller car wash with a ceiling below 20ft wouldn’t need heavy high bay lights. Rather, you will have to take into account low bay lights that will effectively light up the detailing space. Have it in mind that the lower lumen output will be enough for the smaller car wash.

You only need around 20,000 lumens to generate a good amount of light and ensure good visibility. Nevertheless, most car washes tend to supplement low bay lighting with extra lighting when they need to clean the inside of your car.

  1. Cordless LED Lights

This sort of lighting ensures that car wash employees can have more control over light output and direction. Cordless LED car wash lights are known to come with a lot of lumens. While it is often lightweight, note that its compact design is ideal for car interior detailing, especially in a situation where the light has to be angled on door panels, footwalls, carpets, and so on.

  1. Under Hood Car Wash Lights

Cleaning car engines can really be a problem for car washes where there is inadequate light to that effect. Note that immediately the detailer pops the hood, it inhibits the effect of overhead lighting.

Most often, car washes go for LED work lights with 10,000 lumens that come with adjustable, telescopic tripod stands to make sure they can have good visibility in the engine area. You can also consider vertical lamps that move vertically to ensure that they can be angled directly to where the light is needed.

  1. Handheld Inspection Lighting

This particular lighting is useful especially to ensure that detailers can properly illuminate imperfections on paintwork and get rid of swirls on a car. Although it will most often depend on the make and model, you will find lights that are built with 5 different color temperatures and dimmer functions to modify the light color and intensity to align with the needs of the job.

  1. Automated Car Wash Color Lighting Effects

Automated car washes are not really expected to have the brightest light solutions. Nevertheless, Colored LED lighting can make the who process enjoyable and fashionable. Also, note that such lighting can draw a client’s attention to a car wash.

From pops of amber to a foam lava curtain, green to make soap dispensing glow, blue during the rinse waterfall, and red to simulate heat during drying, car washes can soothe the senses of the customer and keep them engaged all through each phase of the wash

  1. Exterior Lights

This is another very necessary lighting for car wash businesses, regardless of size or location. Always remember that adequate lighting creates a safer environment for clients while they wait. Most car washes tend to use LED canopy lights that come in “daylight white” colors and are known to be bright and welcoming at outdoor locations.

Also note that flat, linear high-bay lighting tends to work well outdoors with light output ranging from 12,000 to 40,000 lumens but will depend on the size and style of the light.


Car washes have colored LEDs particularly to improve customer experience because humans, like insects, are drawn to light. Most modern car washes these days have installed proper car wash lights as they are always looking for ways to provide their clients with great service.

Nevertheless, ensure to pay good attention to the number and type of car wash lights at the car wash because it can genuinely make a difference when it comes to customer retention.