Official PoE Sponsor of the 2017 Event


Smart Lighting and our Fear of the Dark

  • Session Number:T4 S4 P1
Thursday, March 02, 2017: 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM


Bob Parks
Executive Director
Smart Outdoor Lighting Alliance
United States


Cities across the globe are planning to convert street lighting to LED to save energy and reduce CO2. However most of will not choose to install smart controls or dim lighting late at night to meet recommended practices. Why? The public is afraid of the dark and cities are afraid of lawsuits. While current IES recommended practices allow communities to adapt lighting levels to match the quantity of traffic at a specific period of night, few know it is possible to dim and fewer choose to do so. The quantity of light has been associated with the amount of safety by the public since the beginning of electric light. Now plans to adjust lighting levels are inevitably met with assertions that it will decrease safety, but research does not support the claims. How can cities meet ambitious goals for energy and carbon reductions if changes to existing lighting policies are met with public resistance? This session will look at cities that have installed adaptive controls and dimmed lighting to IES recommended levels and review their results. We’ll compare their energy, cost and CO2 reductions with cities that chose to skip controls. We’ll also review the most current research available on the relationship of street lighting and safety. What will it take to change the public’s perception of light and safety and who should be providing the education to help them understand that safety is more than just bright lights?