Sustainable development of road lighting its impact on the environment and effects of switching to LED light emitting diodes

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) and SSL (solid state lighting) are relatively new light sources, but are already widely applied for outdoor and road lighting. Despite this, there is little available information allowing planners and designers to evaluate and weigh different sustainability aspects of LED/SSL lighting when making decisions, especially when considering environmental or ecological aspects. However, artificial light in natural environments may have a significant impact on nocturnal animals.

Recently, a framework of sustainability indicators was proposed to enable a general evaluation or to highlight certain objectives when choosing LED lighting. The effects of road lighting and how the new framework handles ecological and environmental issues will be presented and discussed. Ecological effects of outdoor artificial light will be discussed. Effects of switching to LED light sources will be examined. Aspects that makes LED light different compared to traditional light sources will be discussed, as well as why (if) road planners prefers LED. What kind of aspects ecologists and decision-makers should consider when recommending road lighting if they want to minimize ecological impact will also be presented. For example: reducing illuminance levels, dimming possibilities, using cut-off luminaries and other kinds of measures.

Road planning, artificial light, ecological effects