Lighting is a crucial component to nighttime visibility that encompasses many different areas. Lighting from vehicle headlights is the first component in making the nighttime driving environment visible. In addition, roadway lighting also plays a significant role. Other applications of highway lighting that impact road uses include traffic signals, conspicuity enhanced traffic signs (flashing beacons or LEDs), overhead guide sign lighting, and in-pavement lighting.
TTI researchers are investigating many aspects of visibility and lighting as new technologies are developed and innovative applications are designed. For example, TTI researchers have evaluated the impact of overhead lighting and on-coming headlight glare on the legibility of traffic signs. TTI has also studied the impact of roadway lighting on pavement marking visibility. As the use of light emitting diodes (LEDs) increases, TTI is using its unique facilities and photometric measuring devices, including its Visibility Research Laboratory, to assess how to measure the reported improvements in visibility from adding LEDs to existing traffic control devices. Between staffing and state-of-the-art equipment, TTI is and will continue to remain one of the premiere leaders in transportation related lighting research.