lighting systems
Lighting For Traffic

FHWA Lighting Systems Recommendations for Roadways and Temporary Work Zones

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) oversees the wide-scale implementation of lighting systems for streets, road construction, temporary work zones and railroad crossings across the US.

When it comes to work zones, defined as a non-permanent work site that takes place on the road or close to it, the guidelines set forth by the agency provide several tips for improving illumination and safety.

Illuminance Levels

Due to the presence of pedestrians and drivers around public work zones, operators cannot deploy extremely bright fixtures at the site. Furthermore, certain lighting systems, such as light towers, should not be pointed at angles exceeding 65 degrees. Failing to adhere to this recommendation may cause unwanted light spillage, resulting in the creation of glare or blinding (when light beams are directed at passing cars).

For dangerous and detailed tasks, including pothole filling, 216 lux of illumination is recommended by the FHWA. Moderately complex works, such as paving or milling, should be supplemented with a light source that is capable of providing 108 lux. Low-risk tasks, which includes sweeping, surveying and deployment of construction equipment, require at least 54 lux of illumination for temporary work zones.

Conditions for Non-Permanent Road Lighting

According to the FHWA, certain conditions must be met in order to validate the use of temporary lighting systems on roads. When fixed, existing lighting structures are not working or must be removed to make room for the task, regulators recommend deploying temporary fixtures.

Moreover, when safety barriers and pylons are obstructed, lamps should be utilized to illuminate the section of the road. In most cases, one can find temporary lighting systems at non-permanent roadway projects that are supplemented with detours. The fixtures are usually directed at signs and dangerous sections of the work zone. For comprehensive illumination, the FHWA recommends the use of portable light towers which can be found here http://www.larsonelectronics.com/c-189-light-towers.aspx