Effects of dynamic street lighting on walking speed and reading perfomance: a full-scale laboratory study

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Dynamic lighting systems are introduced in urban outdoor environments with the objective to reduce energy use. Effects on pedestrians are not fully known. Previous studies have mainly used observer assessment (Viliunas et al., 2014), and focused on perceived personal safety (Haans & de Kort, 2012) or acceptance (Boomsma & Steg, 2013). In this study, performance (walking speed and reading) was assessed in a full-scale laboratory arranged as an outdoor environment with a 19m pathway and a luminaire (LED). A movement detector was placed 10m before the luminaire. Participants (N = 61) walked the pathway at slower speed if the lighting was dimed, although light levels increased to 100% when they passed the sensor, than if the light level was held constant at 100% (F(4, 212) = 6.67, p<0.001, ω2 = 0.01). Consistently, the visibility was rated lower in the dimed than in the constant condition (F(4, 240) = 2.53, p<0.05, ω2 = 0.01). Reading performance decreased with increased dimming (F(2, 120) = 33.89, p<0.001, ω2 = 0.08), but was not influenced by previous diming in the 100% condition. The results imply that the effect on pedestrians’ performance should be weighed against energy usage in the introduction of dynamic outdoor lighting.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Applied Psychology
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch
EventThe 11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology - Groningen, The Netherlands, Netherlands
Duration: 2015 Aug 242015 Aug 27


ConferenceThe 11th Biennial Conference on Environmental Psychology