Specification and guidelines for road lighting design

Submissions for this consultation is now closed. Please download the latest documents at the M30 Specification and guidelines for road lighting design resource page

Road lighting is a significant asset for all road authorities including the Transport Agency (through its Highways and Network Operations group).

To assist lighting asset owners, design consultants and suppliers capture the maximum benefits from newer lighting technologies, the Transport Agency has developed the M30 Specification and guidelines for road lighting design.

This document builds on the significant effort that Auckland Transport and Christchurch City Council have both put into this area of asset ownership and operation, particularly in the area of light emitting diode (LED) road lighting luminaires and associated equipment.

The NZ Transport Agency considers, based on the view of industry experts, that LED lighting is now proven and technically mature. Investment in LED is low risk.

Care is nevertheless needed when purchasing LED lighting equipment to ensure that it is of suitable quality and performance that meets the requirements of AS/NZS1158 and international best practice – hence this document.

Providing feedback

Use of this document in its current release form is strongly encouraged.

The document may be updated periodically during this interim release period.

The feedback period closed on 30 September 2014.

Questions and answers

Why do we need this new specification and guidelines for road lighting design?

The existing Transport Agency documents that serve a 'lighting design guide' purpose are out of date and specifically preclude LED as an option. Auckland Transport and Christchurch City Council had already produced 'design guides' to accommodate LED technology on their networks which were able to be used as a basis for M30. By taking those existing documents, by working collaboratively with their local authority authors and by including the supply industry in the M30 development process we have been able to deliver a specification and design guide that will be able to be used as a basis for lighting design for all roads.

Who developed the draft Specification and guidelines for road lighting design?

The specification and guidelines were developed by a working group set up by the Highways and Network Operations Traffic & Safety team. The working group included representatives from the Transport Agency, Auckland Transport, Christchurch City Council, lighting design consultants and lighting suppliers. Many of the members represent New Zealand on the AS/NZS 1158 Lighting Standards review panel.

What is the purpose of this document?

The aim of the M30 specification and guidelines document is to provide clear direction in lighting design and to encourage the uptake of newer more efficient and effective lighting technologies.

Overall, the intent of the document is to ensure that any road and public space lighting assets must 'maximise safety and energy efficiency while minimising whole of life costs and impacts on the environment'.

What is the scope of the guidelines?

This document sets out requirements for the lighting design brief, the technical performance, design, approval, reviews, and luminaire selection and installation requirements for the lighting of roads, cycle ways, footpaths, tunnels, underpasses, overpasses and bridges built as part of the State highway network or under Transport Agency control.

It has been specifically written for wider application including local authority roads.

What is the relationship between M30 and NZS 1158?

The AS/NZS 1158 series is a set of general standards giving definition of and values for various technical parameters used in the design of lighting schemes for roads and other public spaces. M30 expands on the standard by clearly defining those parameters considered appropriate for current road lighting design practice with a goal of achieving safe and energy efficient designs minimising whole of life costs.

It is also consistent with the current review of the AS/NZS 1158 series which is being undertaken to support the use of current lighting technologies, such as LED, which have emerged since the publication of the current standard.

What do the guidelines cover?

The document contains four parts:

  • general – relevant documents, asset ownership, equipment, asset economics, and environmental effects – giving a basis for all road lighting design.
  • design – lighting classification and subcategory selection, performance requirements, design documentation, and electrical reticulation aspects and quality assurance.
  • luminaire requirements – detailed luminaire attributes for acceptance, including a list of luminaires accepted for installation on the network.
  • construction and installation – installation and commissioning guidance.

The document refers to existing road lighting guidance information, and is consistent with and supports Transport Agency and RCA strategic documents, for example community outcomes, State highway asset management plan (SHAMP), RCA LTCCPs, activity management plans, asset management plans, strategies and policies.

Will these guidelines be mandatory?

Not necessarily. The Transport Agency is likely to classify them as a 'guideline' for all road lighting activity in which the Transport Agency invests. The Transport Agency would then expect them to be followed unless value for money is better served by not doing so.

The Highways and Network Operations group will adopt them as mandatory for state highway lighting designs.

Why is LED rapidly becoming the 'standard' for road lighting?

There are a number of reasons, including:

  • LED road lighting has now matured as a technology to where it can compete with or exceed the performance of the older high pressure sodium (HPS) system.
  • it offers the lowest whole of life costs in most instances
  • being a solid state system, its offers a level of controllability unmatched by other systems
  • the white light provided by LED road lighting offers additional safety benefits over other light sources (such as HPS).

What are the expected benefits for asset owners and network users?

As the guidelines are implemented, we expect to see the following benefits:

  • reduced energy costs associated with operation of road lighting
  • reduced maintenance costs
  • improved quality of amenity lighting
  • improved safety outcomes in high conflict areas, such as shopping streets
  • reduced waste light (glare and upward spill lighting) giving a clearer night sky.

Who is responsible for implementing the specification and guidelines?

These specification and guidelines will be applied by road controlling authorities (local councils and the Transport Agency's Highways and Network Operations group) and their supply chain (design consultants, lighting suppliers and installation contractors) when planning, designing, installing and maintaining road lighting assets.

When do the specification and guidelines come into effect?

The specification and guidelines may be used immediately. There may be minor amendments and additions, but these will not affect the core elements of the document.

Should a road controlling authority (RCA) be thinking about converting all their road lighting to LED?

Many RCAs are already doing so – especially when an existing installation uses an HPS light source. In many cases the longer term cost savings through energy and ongoing maintenance cost savings make the case for immediate conversion to LED road lighting compelling, regardless of how much useful life remains in the HPS installation. These RCAs are building a business case for an accelerated renewals programme to convert existing road lighting to LED. The Auckland Transport case for doing this has been included on the Road Efficiency Group (REG) website as a case study in best practice asset management.

Will the Transport Agency consider a request to invest in an accelerated road lighting renewals / LED conversion programme?

Yes it will. The business case needs to be sound but as discussed above the longer term cost savings make the case compelling in many instances.

Will there be any extra money to pay for an accelerated renewal / LED conversion programme?

No. However, the Transport Agency recognises that in many instance the case for LED conversion of an existing road lighting installation is compelling and is therefore working, with local government, to find a simple way to address the cashflow issues that arise for both the RCA and for the Transport Agency as co-investor.

Who do people contact if they have questions about the document?

Email any questions to: M30Feedback@nzta.govt.nz