UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


IEDE wins funding to research safe, comfortable street lighting

9 June 2015

street lighting

Peter Raynham, Senior Lecturer in Light and Lighting at IEDE, has been awarded EPSRC funding for the MERLIN-2 project. 

MERLIN-2 builds on the previous MERLIN (Mesopically Enhanced Road Lighting, Improving Night-Vision) project that has investigated the way people use streets at night in order to find out what they need to see to be able to safely and comfortably use the roads at night.

The MERLIN-2 project will validate proposals for new design criteria for residential roads established in the MERLIN project, these leading towards lower light levels than current practice, reducing the energy consumed by road lighting (and thus also CO2 emissions) whilst maintaining the visual benefits of road lighting. This will be done through further analysis of the MERLIN data, further experiments using the apparatus and methods established in MERLIN, and field studies in collaboration with local authorities.

MERLIN-2 is taking some of the key themes found by the previous project and studying them in detail so that more detailed lighting recommendations may be made. Key tasks to be carried out at UCL include:

  • Characterisation of  visual adaptation
  • Trip hazard avoidance behaviour
  • Interpersonal judgements

These activities will be complimented by parallel research being carried out by our partners, University of Sheffield.

The project is due to start this autumn and will run for 30 months.  The total full economic cost of the UCL part of the work is £333,500.