The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Research Advisory Committee (RAC) has selected the Lighting Research Center (LRC) Transportation Lighting project “Analysis of Energy Efficient Highway Lighting Retrofits” as a “Sweet Sixteen” High Value Research Project. This prestigious honor is awarded each year to a select group of high-profile and influential projects. The LRC research team included Mark Rea, John Bullough, Nicholas Skinner, and Jennifer Brons.
The project, funded by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and conducted through the Region 2 University Transportation Research Center (UTRC), compared light-emitting diode (LED) retrofit alternatives to existing high pressure sodium (HPS) lighting systems along a parkway (Southern State Parkway, Long Island) and an arterial roadway (Central Avenue, Albany County). The research team used photometric analyses to identify LED lighting systems that met light level criteria for each roadway type, and found several options that resulted in energy savings compared to the existing HPS systems. Energy and economic analyses confirmed that the initial investment could be paid back in terms of reduced operating costs, and that energy savings were larger for LED systems when compared to HPS systems that produced similar levels to those from the LED alternatives. Further energy cost savings could be expected with the use of adaptive lighting controls specified to take advantage of temporal nighttime traffic patterns.
The winning research projects will be presented by their sponsoring agencies at the 2017 AASHTO RAC/Transportation Research Board Representative Annual Meeting later this month. A list of the “Sweet Sixteen” High Value Research Projects is available at: http://research.transportation.org/Pages/SweetSixteen2017.aspx.
The full project report can be downloaded from the NYSDOT website at: https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/engineering/technical-services/trans-r-and-d-repository/C-14-12-Final%20Report_June%202015.pdf.