Pedestrian Lighting Primer


The FHWA partnered with VHB to develop a new Pedestrian Lighting Primer to provide local and state transportation agencies with background on pedestrian safety in dark conditions—when more than 75 percent of fatal pedestrian crashes occur—and the potential benefits of lighting for both pedestrian safety and security. Effective pedestrian-scale lighting not only improves a pedestrian’s ability to see their own surroundings and detect possible hazards but also improves a driver’s ability to see pedestrians.

The primer presents a five-step process for lighting design, ranging from assessment of lighting needs to selection of design criteria, selection of equipment determination of control strategy, and design and verification. It concludes with an example scenario using the process in a real-world project application. The primer aligns with FHWA’s Safe System approach to reduce fatalities and injury for road users by proactively implementing proven safety countermeasures.

Access the full Pedestrian Lighting Primer on FHWA’s website.

Next to a pen, coffee cup, and notebook, an iPad on a desk features the Pedestrian Lighting Primer screen.


  • FHWA


  • Bikeway and Pedestrian Planning and Design

  • Pedestrian Safety Studies

  • Safety

  • Sidewalk Design

  • Transportation Planning and Design

Woman rides bicycle on green bike lane separated from cars.