Traffic signal luminance and visual discomfort at night

J. D. Bullough, P. R. Boyce, A. Bierman, C. M. Hunter, K. M. Conway, A. Nakata, M. G. Figueiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The visual discomfort from simulated traffic signals under nighttime viewing conditions was assessed. Discomfort increased with increasing signal luminance and decreasing viewing distance. Color identification of signals was very high for all signal colors and luminances studied. Red signals meeting luminous intensity specifications of ITE and specifications being drafted in Europe were unlikely to cause visual discomfort under the conditions tested. Green and yellow signals meeting ITE and European specifications were more likely to cause visual discomfort. Dimming signals using light-emitting diodes might be a feasible strategy for minimizing discomfort under some nighttime viewing conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-47
Number of pages6
JournalTransportation Research Record
Issue number1754
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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