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How to light Pedestrian Crossings

Ensuring safe public spaces for all users

How to light Pedestrian Crossings

 Photometric requirements

It is important to light a pedestrian crossing so that approaching drivers can clearly see the pedestrians. Simply placing a luminaire right above a pedestrian crossing is not an appropriate solution. A visible contrast between the pedestrian crossing and the road surface must be created.
This is achieved by using an asymmetrical light distribution that provides a high vertical illuminance level on the pedestrian from the driver's position.
At the same time, the pedestrian crossing itself receives a high horizontal illuminance level so that it is visible from long distances.

CIE international recommendations or CEN Standards do not give precise lighting requirements but best practices in several European countries has led to the following minimum requirements for situations when road luminance is between 1 cd/m² and 2 cd/m²:

  • Average vertical illuminance on this axis of pedestrian crossing at a height of 1m: Ev ≥ 40 lux
  • Uniformity of vertical illuminance on lane in front of the driver (Ev min/Ev av): 0.20
  • Average horizontal illuminance on pedestrian crossing at ground level: Eh ≥ 80 lux
  • Uniformity of horizontal illuminance (Eh min/Eh av): 0.30


Light sources

Pedestrian crossings should be lit using a colour contrast between the regular road lighting and the pedestrian crossing area.
When the road is lit by luminaires using high-pressure sodium lamps for instance, white light is appropriate (CRI ≥ 65).
We recommend the use of cool white LEDs for this application. White light combined with a sharp asymmetrical light distribution provide a very efficient solution for lighting pedestrian crossings.


The luminaires chosen to light pedestrian crossings should have a high tightness level (at least IP 66) to maintain the initial performance for as long as possible throughout the lifetime of the installation.
At Schréder, we have developed specific optical systems with dedicated asymmetrical light distributions, called Zebra optics, for a wide range of our luminaires:






 Neos Zebra LED




They provide visual comfort for both motorists and pedestrian to help share the public space in a safer manner. They can dramatically reduce the frequency and the seriousness of accidents in critical zones such as school areas, heavy traffic roads or other dangerous situations.
The integration of these dedicated lighting distributions in the LensoFlex®2 range allows the use of the same luminaire for a whole street including the pedestrian crossings, ensuring an aesthetical consistency in the urban landscape.

Installation layout

The luminaires should be installed 1m from the pedestrian crossing at a height of 5m to 6m.
For a one-way traffic, one luminaire is able to light a pedestrian crossing for a 2 lane road (Fig. 1a).
For two-way traffic, a minimum of 2 luminaires is necessary to create a positive contrast for traffic in both directions (Fig. 1b).
For one-way traffic on a 3 lane road, two luminaires will be necessary, one at each side (Fig. 1c).

Fig. 1a

 Fig. 1b

 Fig. 1c

Example of a lighting installation for a pedestrian crossing

For this 2 lane road with traffic in both directions, a Neos Zebra LED was installed on each side of the pedestrian crossing.
The Neos Zebra are fitted with cool white LEDs to enhance the positive contrast between the pedestrians and the surrounding environment to substantially increase the attention of drivers and avoid accidents.

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