Advancing the effective use of light for society and the environment.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

New Outdoor Lighting Classification System in the Works
Photo: Outdoor lighting

Responding to a request by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the Lighting Research Center has prepared a new, proposed classification system for outdoor luminaires. The new system redefines light distributions for fixtures used in parking lots, roadways and other outdoor areas.

The current cutoff classification system, originally developed for roadway lighting applications in the early 1960s, does not meet today’s needs for increased control of glare, light trespass, and sky glow, says Michele McColgan, Ph.D., the LRC’s outdoor lighting expert. “The current system is ineffective in determining luminaire performance for general outdoor applications,” she says. In addition, some luminaire manufacturers have created their own classifications to promote the unique characteristics of their products—some of which have been accepted unofficially by the lighting industry. These manufacturer-specified classifications are not currently recognized by IESNA.

To develop the new system, the LRC’s task team summarized and compared the IESNA’s existing outdoor luminaire classifications. They identified deficiencies and discrepancies in the existing performance categories.

The LRC’s proposed system more accurately represents a luminaire’s performance and addresses the needs for a classification system that can be adapted for all types of outdoor lighting, says Dr. McColgan.

The new system will afford a useful way:

The IESNA’s board of directors will convene to review the proposed system and will offer its comments within the next few weeks.

About the LRC

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. Founded in 1988, the Lighting Research Center has built an international reputation as a trusted and reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. Its mission is to advance the effective use of light and create a positive legacy of change for society and the environment.



2005 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180 USA.

Rennselear Polytechnic Institute