DSIR 12/180a

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Experimental low level lighting of motorways

Date range1959
LocationNational Archives (see all files stored here)
CatalogueSee entry
File baseSeries DSIR, subseries DSIR 12


Description of an experiment carried out in the late 1950s to try a less intrusive type of lighting that had been suggested for motorways. RRL scientists lined a runway (standing in as a motorway carriageway) with strip lights, mounted vertically on poles two to three feet high, angled forwards so that motorists would not be able to see the source of light and thus not be distracted or blinded by it. The lights were extremely frequent, perhaps every twenty feet.

The experimenters were pleased with the even lighting across the road's surface and the lack of obtrusive high-mast lighting columns. However, the idea was never taken up because motor vehicles are not transparent, and therefore every passing vehicle plunged the rest of the carriageway into darkness as it obscured the low-level light source. The scientists had not, apparently, considered this possibility.

People with camera copies

None known.