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LRC News

Winter 2011
National Lighting Product Information Program Releases Reports on Street Lighting Technologies

Outdoor street lightingThe LRC’s National Lighting Product Information Program (NLPIP) released its latest publication in February 2011, Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Local Roads, designed to provide objective performance information on streetlights for local roads in residential areas. This report followed a fall 2010 publication, Specifier Reports: Streetlights for Collector Roads.

Municipalities across the United States have applied for funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to replace their current streetlights with light-emitting diode (LED) and induction streetlights. LED and induction streetlights are often claimed to provide energy savings, better lighting uniformity and distribution, and lower maintenance costs compared with high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights and, as a result, are marketed as effective replacements for both new construction and retrofit applications. NLPIP’s reports provide objective data to help lighting specifiers analyze these claims and make informed decisions.

In both the collector road and local road evaluations, the luminaries analyzed by NLPIP were those recommended by manufacturer representatives as equivalent to the incumbent technology. In the case of collector roads, the incumbent technology is a 150-watt HPS luminaire with a Type III distribution. In the case of local roads, the incumbent technology is a 100-watt HPS luminaire with a Type II distribution.

Both evaluations showed similar results in that the tested LED streetlights required more poles per mile than the respective HPS base case to meet the roadway lighting criteria specified in the American National Standard Practice for Roadway Lighting, ANSI/ IESNA RP-8-00 (referred to as RP-8). As a result, the life cycle cost per mile was dominated by the installation cost of the poles. Only one of the tested LED streetlights in the local roads evaluation was able to provide pole spacing similar to the HPS base case.

The average power demand per mile of the LED streetlight layouts evaluated was lower than the power demand per mile for the HPS base case, but there was wide variation among the LED streetlights tested.

The complete reports are available online at

About the Lighting Research Center

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) is part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute of Troy, N.Y., and is the leading university-based research center devoted to lighting. The LRC offers the world's premier graduate education in lighting, including one- and two-year master's programs and a Ph.D. program. Since 1988 the LRC has built an international reputation as a reliable source for objective information about lighting technologies, applications, and products. The LRC also provides training programs for government agencies, utilities, contractors, lighting designers, and other lighting professionals. Visit

Contact:lrcnewsletter@rpi.eduPhotos & Graphics:Dennis Guyon
Editor:Mary CimoWeb Production:Dennis Guyon
Contributing Writers:Jennifer Taylor, Mary Cimo, Dennis Guyon
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