Ecological Design Rules for Roadway Lighting

Currently, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) designs roadway lighting in agricultural areas to produce adequate pavement illumination per the Traffic Engineering Manual (TEM), which cites industry standard IES RP-8. Typically, designers give little or no consideration to light trespass during roadway lighting design. All ODOT lighting installations run dusk-to-dawn with no programmed dimming or light curfews. An upcoming addition to the TEM will address light trespass in agricultural areas by recommending a light trespass illuminance limit of 0.1 foot-candle on agricultural fields. The proposed research will focus on the effects that LED lighting has on wildlife in ecologically sensitive urban and rural areas. Limited but ongoing academic research suggests that the quantity and spectra of LED lighting have negative (and occasionally positive) effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. These effects can influence individual species and the overall ecosystem health. Lighting that illuminates the roadway pavement is engineered lighting. Industry standards provide design pavement illuminance values, and it is difficult to deviate from these established engineering standards without reasonable justification. Well-executed research targeting this issue can serve as such justification for ODOT roadway lighting design changes that relate to ecological effects. The goal of this research is to establish design rules for roadway lighting in ecologically sensitive urban and rural areas. Objectives include determining the effects of roadway lighting on various wildlife areas including what type of animals are affected by light and how do attributes of the site play a role in the effect?


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $601581
  • Contract Numbers:




  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    Ohio Department of Transportation

    Research Program
    1980 West Broad Street
    Columbus, OH  United States  43223
  • Project Managers:

    Nye, Kelly

  • Performing Organizations:

    Ohio State University, Columbus

    410 West Tenth Avenue
    Columbus, OH  United States  43210
  • Principal Investigators:

    Sullivan, Mazeika

  • Start Date: 20181210
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230210
  • Actual Completion Date: 20230210

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01687429
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Ohio Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 32376, 107310, 135772
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Nov 30 2018 12:50PM