Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center

Using lighting patterns

The Outdoor Lighting Pattern Book has been developed to help bring a sense of purpose and design to the lighting choices we make. We must be aware that different lighting sources affect our appearance and the appearance of our surroundings differently. Increased light levels may improve our sense of security within a space but use more electricity, cost more, and add to the environmental costs of generating more electricity.
The goal
Each pattern begins with a page that summarizes basic site information and the performance of several lighting designs. The next page shows how the space is typically lighted and includes information about the performance of the lighting system. The remaining pages guide you through some lighting upgrades and redesigns. A panel of lighting design, application, and human factors experts evaluated each typical case, upgrade, and redesign for security, appearance, and cost.
Guide to designs
Typical designs represent lighting as it is found in many of our cities and towns. Upgrades are economical, improved lighting designs that use the electrical boxes, poles, and other lighting hardware found in the typical designs, where possible. Redesigns offer fresh lighting solutions not restricted by the locations of lighting hardware in the typical design.
Typical Typical School
Upgrade Upgraded School
Redesign Redesigned School


Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.
Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation
Northeast Utilities
Northern States Power Company

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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