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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


Assessment of the Performance of Light-Emitting Diode Roadway Lighting Technology
Ronald B. Gibbons, Ph.D., Yingfeng “Eric” Li, Ph.D., P.E., and Jason E. Meyer
Year: 2015
VTRC No.: 16-R6
Abstract: This study, championed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Traffic Engineering Division, involved a thorough investigation of light-emitting diode (LED) roadway lighting technology by
testing six types of roadway luminaires (including housing and all components enclosed) in a laboratory environment and on the field over a 2-year period.

The results showed that LED luminaires exhibited superior lighting and related qualities compared to high-pressure sodium luminaires. Different photometric characteristics were found among LED
luminaires of different designs, indicating a careful selection considering light distribution and illuminance level is necessary for individual lighting applications. During the first 2 years of operation, the average light loss for the LED luminaires was 6% based on laboratory testing. The study also found that implementing LED technology systematically will result in a return on investment between 3.25 and 5.76 for different scenarios over a 25-year period due to savings in maintenance and energy consumption.

The study resulted in the VDOT LED Roadway Luminaire Specification document and developed recommendations relevant to VDOT’s implementation of LED technology.