Luminance and Illuminance Recommendations for Road Lighting | Stealth Ventures

Luminance and Illuminance Recommendations for Road Lighting

Luminance and Illuminance Recommendations for Road Lighting



Choosing the proper road lighting solutions for your project is crucial for the safety and security of motorists and pedestrians. Our partner brand, Thorn Lighting, released guidelines for the luminance and illuminance of roadway light sources.

We know that lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood of a room and illuminating dark spaces. One of the most important roles of lighting, both in small-scale and large-scale settings is its ability to boost safety and security. At home and in commercial establishments, proper lighting can help us see better, preventing slip and fall accidents. 


On the road, infrastructure lighting and road luminance serve three core purposes: 

  • To allow road users, whether motor vehicles or pedestrians, to proceed safely
  • To make hazards more visible, allowing road users to orientate themselves
  • To improve the appearance of and highlight the surrounding environment


The first two purposes serve the role of infrastructure lighting in promoting safety and security for all users. To help achieve these, researchers, designers, and experts lay down luminance and illuminance recommendations, which outline the appropriate type, levels, colors, and other lighting characteristics for road lights. 


Our partner brand, Thorn Lighting, has laid down the factors to consider in designing lighting solutions for roadways. 


Hazard Identification

Proper lighting in hazardous areas like ramps, stairs, construction sites, etc. is required to prevent or minimize pedestrian hazards in roadways. High-risk areas should have accent lighting fixtures installed to allow passengers, motorists, and pedestrians to easily identify and avoid hazards that they may encounter on the road. 


It’s recommended that luminaires use high-efficiency LED systems since this option can cover more ground and is more cost-effective in terms of installation and maintenance. LED lights can last several years of use, saving resources and reducing energy consumption. Preferably, LED luminaires should have lumen maintenance of 70% at the end of useful life, which is at least 50,000 burning hours. 



Adequate illumination must be provided in key areas in roads and streets to allow motorists and pedestrians to navigate their way on the road. It helps assist them in finding their way to their destination points by highlighting decision-making areas, such as signages, maps, display panels, etc.


Safety and Security 

Passengers, motorists, and pedestrians become more confident in their travels with the presence of appropriate illuminance levels. When a roadway is well-lit, they are more assured of their safety and they can better spot and identify hazards they are approaching. Adequate roadway lighting must also be provided to enhance the security of transportation movement. 


To efficiently and effectively illuminate roads for pedestrians and motor vehicles, the color temperature of the LED lights should be cool white, specifically within 4000K to 5000K. Further, the rendering index should not be less than 70+/-5. 


Further, proper illuminance levels in roads and streets allow for better facial recognition, which enables the careful and accurate monitoring of security technologies and CCTV cameras. 


Access and Maintenance 

More than providing the proper illuminance and luminance lighting levels, it’s also important that lighting fixtures and fittings can easily be cleaned and maintained over their lifespan. Modern lighting fixtures are ideal for road lighting as they are durable, easy to install and replace, and can accommodate occasional maintenance and cleaning efforts. 


Lighting fixtures must have easily accessible switches, control gear, and electrical connections. Further, they need to meet the standard IP ratings and environmental friendliness requirements. 


Dimming functions and capabilities in road LEDs are also highly recommended to enhance energy savings, which should enable DALI & 1-10V DC interface dimming control. Programmable features are also recommended to allow dimming schedules to be pre-programmed prior to installation.


Factors to Consider to Choose the Most Suitable Lighting for Roadways 

For road lighting to promote the safety of motorists and pedestrians, it’s important to take these factors into account when choosing from the wide range of light sources available in the market. 


  • Energy efficiency – in terms of lumens per watt, installation, and effectiveness of the light source. 
  • Color rendering – the light color should be appropriate to its purpose. High activity areas should have higher color rendering index values. 
  • Color appearance – can be warm, intermediate, or cool 
  • Ratio of mesopic vision and scotopic/ photopic (S/P) vision


Browse infrastructure lighting selections from Stealth Ventures here


Road lighting, in order to fulfill its purpose of illuminating roadways and ensuring the safety of road users, should abide by the proper luminance and illuminance factors. These recommendations are highly important to consider when choosing a lighting source appropriate for road use. 


Stealth Ventures, the top provider of lighting fixtures, solutions, and services in the Philippines, has an array of infrastructure lighting products hailing from our partner brand, Thorn Lighting. Browse our collection and contact us to discuss how we can add value to your infrastructure project. 


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