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Uniformity of Light And Safety - LRC's Guideline For Safety Enhancement

We live in a super innovative era where reputable institutions issue scientific guidelines for every field of life. In one of such developments, LRC(lighting research center) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has announced a new guideline for lighting. This guideline revolves around improving safety standards for parking lots. 

Researchers have drawn some interesting conclusions. They discovered that a uniform distribution of lighting is more important than light levels in outdoor LED installations. What does that mean? It means that more money and energy can be saved by optimizing light levels.

LEDs render directional and more uniform lighting, all courtesy of great optics, and beam control. In addition to that, LED lights have long been recognized for their great col or rendering, and uniform light distribution can enable SSL projects to operate at lower levels than the standard ones.

LRC documentGuide for Parking Lot Lighting: Maximizing Illuminance Uniformity to Promote Perceptions of Safety While Reducing Power Demand”  promotes a vehement implementation of safety standards for parking lots. Exterior lighting should render visibility so clear that people should not be afraid to use the space at night. The guide talks of researches done on the outdoor lighting area, and results of tests conducted on the RPI campus. 

The research model was based on the scale model of a parking lot. Taking the metrics of CCTs in the range of 2850–5800K and brightness ranging between 2.5–20 lx, the studies were conducted. It was revealed that with an average brightness/luminance of 2.5 lx, with 2:1 uniformity offers similar safety rating to the one lit at with a 15:1 uniformity ratio and an average brightness of 20 lx.

All of the studies helped build out some mathematical models to calculate the brightness needed. 

All the data the LRC team collected was fetched in the Parking Lot Lighting Safety Perception Calculator. 

Furthermore, when implemented in the Microsoft Excel file, the calculator will make the calculations easier and more accessible. 

John Bullough, director of transportation and safety lighting programs at the LRC, believes that this new approach can help evaluate the existing lighting designs to reduce the power consumption. Everyone should take advantage of uniformity. It helps reduce the electricity bills as well as light pollution.

You can download the guide in PDF form directly from the LRC website.

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