The National Lighting Bureau has added a study on lighting for pedestrian areas to the free publications it offers to promote better lighting. Pedestrian Friendly Outdoor Lighting, published by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), looks to establish success criteria for pedestrian lighting design and offer ways designers can satisfy those criteria by applying solid-state-lighting solutions.

The report presents findings and recommendations developed by closely monitoring the evolution of two major pedestrian-lighting projects, one in California at Stanford University, the other in upstate New York at Chautauqua Institution. Among the report’s recommendations, it points out that, “There is no glare metric that works reliably for pedestrian lighting, so full-scale mock-ups are an important step for gathering feedback from users.” Both of the projects researchers monitored  required multiple full-scale mock-ups.

Not every neighborhood is a candidate for pedestrian-friendly lighting, the researchers discovered, but they recommend that designers consider the following findings:  

  • Luminaires with less optical “punch” may provide a softer, more visually comfortable lighted environment.
  • When luminaire brightness can be controlled, neighborhoods may find lower-lumen-output luminaires to be acceptable and even preferred.
  • Luminaires that spread brightness over a larger luminous area reduce the perception of glare.
  • Luminaires delivering warmer-color light may be appropriate for older, more traditional-looking neighborhoods, especially if residents have been used to high-pressure-sodium or incandescent outdoor lighting.

The report includes resident and pedestrian observations and survey results, feedback of facility design and engineering professionals, lighting designers’ thoughts and observations, and input from researchers and scientists.

Pedestrian Friendly Outdoor Lighting is one of many publications available free from the National Lighting Bureau.