An introduction to the application of lighting for roads
It must be said, that we take the lighting of our roads and motorways for granted, much the same as turning on a tap and expecting the rush of water.
In fact, when we occasionally stray on to an unlit country lane or a poorly lit urban street it can irritate and unnerve the ill prepared driver. Correctly lit roads can reduce accidents, reduce crime and the fear of crime, and by making areas accessible at night, promote the longer use of amenities and facilities.
These benefits come at a price and raise the questions, should we light, who are we lighting for and what do we hope to achieve? A study of traffic areas, motorised, pedestrian or a mix of the two, and the differing requirements will enable informed decisions to be made. The European Standard EN 13201 gives guidance on lighting requirements and environmental aspects for all road users.
We must also consider the impact of lighting on the environment in terms of sustainability. Lighting must serve the needs of the surrounding communities in a sympathetic and eco-friendly way, yet adapt to changes in demographics and usage patterns to maintain efficiency and effectiveness.