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Improving driver safety: How to prevent streetlight glare in the new world of LED lighting
Date:7/18/2014

n past studies.

To investigate the effect of LED streetlights on the discomfort glare perceived by drivers, the team devised a laboratory set-up to mimic visual conditions on the road. The researchers painted the floors and walls of a room completely black, and then positioned a collection of light sources around the room to simulate the illumination from an LED streetlamp as it would appear to a driver on a dark road. The researchers adjusted the light sources to create 72 different lighting conditions, and volunteer observers were asked to rate their level of discomfort glare under each condition on a standard deBoer 9-point rating scale, ranging from "unnoticeable" to "unbearable."

The team was guided in the selection of test lighting conditions by previous work done on discomfort glare. "Although the characterization of discomfort glare for conventional light sources may not be applied to LEDs, the possible factors affecting discomfort glare may remain the same," Lin explained.

Lin and her colleagues systematically modified four lighting parameters in their experiments: the luminance (i.e., the luminous intensity of light per given area) of the LED lights, the background luminance, the apparent size of the LED lights from the perspective of the observers (measured by a parameter called solid angle), and the angle between the LEDs and the line of sight of the observers.

Based on the results, the team developed a model that related the four parameters mentioned above to the level of discomfort glare experienced by an observer. They validated the model with two additional experiments one carried out in the lab and one on the real roads.

The researchers found that the interaction between the LED luminance and the solid angle, which can be characterized by the amount of light hitting an observer's eyes (known as vertical illuminance) was the most significant factor affecting discomfort glare. To minimize discomfort,
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Contact: Angela Stark
astark@osa.org
202-416-1443
The Optical Society
Source:Eurekalert  

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