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Lighting/Design of Systems

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Lighting on roads in the United Kingdom is designed in accordance to a document known as TD 34/07 Design of Road Lighting for the Strategic Motorway and All Purpose Trunk Road Network. This document refers designers to all the relevant parts of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges and all relevant British and BS EN Standards.


The primary purpose of road lighting is to reduce accidents, with other benefits of encouraging walking and cycling, improving journey ambience and reducing community severance.

Deciding on a new lighting scheme will primarily need to consider the expected darkness injury accident savings, which is considered to be 10% on motorways and All Purpose Dual Carriageways, or 12.5% on All Purpose Single Carriageways. Figures for non trunk roads are not stated in the standard, but are generally considered to be higher due to the increased numbers of non motorised users on non trunk roads.

In considering the cost benefit of a new scheme, the following costs need to be assessed.

  • Design and Construction
  • Annual maintenance over the life of the installation
  • Energy changes over the life of the installation
  • Decommissioning and disposal at end of life

The first two are relatively easy to predict, but fluctuations in energy supply costs has made the third very difficult to assess and stricter guidelines on disposal of hazardous materials will give more significance to the last element, especially considering Construction Design Management regulations (CDM), that requires designers to consider how maintenance and removal is undertaken.

Design Manual for Roads and Bridges

Although DMRB is for Motorways and Trunk Roads, it is considered to be a best practice document for most other roads.

  • TD 34/07 Outlines the design objectives and procedures for lighting.
  • TA 49/07 Sets out the procedure for appraisal of new and replacement lighting.
  • TD 23/99 Outlines the inspection and maintenance requirements.

British Standards and BS EN Standards

  • BS EN 12767: Passive safety of support structures for road equipment – requirements and test methods.
  • BS EN 13201-2: Road lighting – Part 2: Performance requirements.
  • BS 5489-1: Code of practice for the design of road lighting – Part 1: Lighting of roads and public amenity areas.
  • BS 5489-2: Code of practice for the design of road lighting – Part 2: Lighting of tunnels.
  • BS EN 60529: Specification for degrees of protection provided by enclosures (IP code).

Note: BS & BS EN Standards are not available online free of charge

Institute of Lighting Engineers

The institute offers more information on design and standards through their technical pages and offer information on training courses, institute events and the Sector Scheme for Highway Electrical Engineers

Further reading


Design Manual for Roads and Bridges

Lighting Design Software

Original Author(s): Haydn1971

Lighting/Design of Systems
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