Lighting for access roads and paths: everything you need to know
The lights on paths and access roads enhance visibility and make them safe for pedestrians and vehicles. We can achieve the right effect by using bollards, recessed spotlights and many other types of luminaires. LED technology is the perfect choice since it is robust and resistant, but also incredibly energy efficient.
In this article we will talk about...
- The importance of adequate lighting on access roads
- Types of roads
- Using lights to make roads stand out
- Adapted SECOM lights
The importance of adequate lighting on access roads
There are a number of factors to account for when we embark on outdoor lighting projects. Installations need to be robust and resistant to the elements and physical damage. They also need to have low energy consumption levels because we tend to use these lights for several hours a day. Access roads need to be clearly visible so that we can find them easily. Devices must also keep light pollution to a minimum.
All of the above mean that the output, colour temperature and technology of our luminaires define the characteristics of our lighting project. These factors determine energy efficiency, sustainability and duration, as well as demands on cleaning and maintenance.
The spaces addressed in this article do not need as many resources as motorways, highways and main roads. We do not need to use the same types of luminaires or bollards, or even as many of them. That said, we cannot simply rule out light in these spaces because they are key to all the activities that go on in and around them.
When we do lighting projects on access roads, paths, tracks and other similar roads, we tend to use bollards along the sides and spotlights on the walls. These are generally recessed or directional devices. We have to ensure we keep a standard distance between each device, avoid glare and deliver a homogeneous look.
We increasingly use luminaires with amber light to avoid light pollution. Amber light has proven to be less harmful to the environment than cold, white lights.
Types of roads
When it comes to access roads, there are a huge variety of types and locations ranging from farm tracks to private drives, gated community access and pedestrianised streets. There are also many kinds of smaller paths including promenades, bike lanes, paths in and around towns, and tracks in national parks.
Some routes are shared by vehicles and pedestrians. Some are very near cities or even in the very heart of a city. Others, meanwhile, are located in rural areas. This means it is very difficult to come up with a single generic criterion to suit all lighting projects.
Good lighting systems mean we can use paths, tracks and access roads for longer each day. They make us feel safe and minimise the chances of accidents.
We should, at the very least, install lights in the following places:
- entrances and exits to paths, tracks and access roads;
- tunnels and flyovers;
- bridges, particularly at entrances and exits;
- areas where people gather;
- transit areas and pedestrian crossings;
- on road signs displaying information for drivers and pedestrians.
Cleaning and maintenance are key. Therefore, investing in devices that require very few checks can help make savings in the long term.
Using lights to make roads stand out
As mentioned above, resistance levels are important. Devices need to be able to withstand extreme temperatures and they must not be affected by rain, wind or humidity. It is also key that luminaires can withstand sudden changes in temperature.
Protection levels are important and devices should have a minimum IP65 rating. With regards to physical damage, the lowest resistance level should be IK08 or the IK10 anti-vandalism rating.
When it comes to the colour of the light, warm temperatures are more common outdoors and tend to fall between 1700K and 3000K. The way in which luminaires are distributed is also important but lights needs to be consistent all along the road. We can use bollards with a 360º projection capacity, for example. These work very well along pathways next to parks or gardens. Another great option for tracks are 180º bollard lights.
Adapted SECOM lights
SECOM has a number of options for these projects, ranging from lights for tracks to lights for signs and many more. We need to keep in mind that we can choose between lights that are functional and others that also include decorative elements. Here are some examples:
- Ripa, RayBen. These modern luminaires are generally used in residential areas for pedestrian crossings, paths and access roads.
- Auris. These devices are used in parks, gardens and outdoor spaces in gated communities.
- Belel. An IP65 flexible LED strip light. This self-adhesive strip is flexible and it is used for decorative outdoor lighting.
All these options are manufactured using LED technology, meaning they are incredibly resistant and energy efficient. We need to avoid glare while providing sufficient light along routes and using the most appropriate output in each case. Devices need to project light downwards so that they do not obscure our view of the night sky.More in our blog