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Best LED Tunnel Lighting – Design and Lighting Standard Explained

tunnel lighting design and standards

High Intensity Discharge (HID) lighting systems are no longer used in public road networks because of the use of light emitting diodes, or LEDs. The best tunnel lighting fixture for underground roads has been achieved by the use of LEDs.

We provide solutions for various tunnel lighting requirements and challenges at ProjectLights. tunnel light calculation can also be provided. Recent installations in many parts of the world have shown that LED tunnel flood lights are the perfect solution for tunnels and underpasses, which used to be dark and dingy.

In this article, we will tell you about some of the great features of our lights, which will help you make a good decision on whether or not to invest in a road tunnel lighting fixture. The quality of light and the cost of maintenance have been the main factors in the advocacy for the use of lights in tunnels.

Importance of tunnel lighting

The driver’s vision is one of the greatest challenges in lighting systems for tunnels. The lighting of tunnels and underpasses needs to be constant for safe passage. There are a number of tunnel lighting options.

Enclosed and durable floodlights are required for tunnel. Heavy traffic, weather, and climate fluctuations are to blame for the exposed tunnel fixture.

Lighting is the basis

tunnel flood lights

Light is the most fundamental thing. It makes sure that tunnel lighting is up to standard. The best lighting technology is better than the standards. Pedestrians have a greater sense of security in underground passages and traffic safety in tunnels can be improved with optimal glare reduction without flickering and continuous operation. Dark shadows don’t stand a chance in bright places.

Lighting for flexibility

It is certain that the future is digital. It is important that tunnel lighting be considered part of the network infrastructure landscape. The basic requirements are open standards and flexible structures. Tunnels are not like any other. Local conditions and needs are constantly changing and solutions must be adapted to them.


Traffic efficiency, noise reduction, and dust reduction are all achieved by tunnels. It is more important than ever to ensure that their effectiveness is not lost through inefficient operation. Light is needed in tunnels day and night. State-of-the-art lighting technology can reduce energy and CO2 emissions by up to 85%.

Tunnel lighting design & standards

Lux levels and brightness requirement of tunnel lights

tunnel requires different brightness levels

The tunnel can be divided into three illuminated areas if the total length is 1000m. The entrance has a bright area of 50 m. The area needs 100 lux for illumination. The area next to the bright one requires about 75 lux. The transition zone is the area between 70 and 100 m inside.

The light in the central part of the tunnel is not as strong as it should be. 150 lights may be required in a tunnel of this size. The tunnel’s entrances and exits can be used, but the rest can be placed in the middle.

With smart lighting controls and natural light, the brightness can be adjusted. The design of the tunnels will be the most important factor in determining lighting needs. Because not all tunnels are straight, we can design lighting that is tailored to your requirements.

One of the biggest challenges in lighting tunnels and underpasses is how to provide driver visibility 24/7. Safe passage through tunnels can be ensured by good tunnel floodlighting.

Symmetrical lighting for tunnel

Light is distributed symmetrically to the plane of the tunnel. Equal amounts of light are sent to each end of the tunnel. This system is typically used in the interior zone. It can be used in the entrance zone for tunnels with slow entry speeds or where there is not enough space above the road to install lighting.

Counterbeam lighting

Project light in the direction of the driver. This type is installed above the road and uses the photometric properties of the pavement. Can be used for entrance zones if there is sufficient space to install lighting above the road. Suitable for investment and running costs when the speed of entry is high.

The painting of the tunnel sidewalls should be noted as it affects the efficiency of the entire system. Light colors are preferred for painting. Dark or glossy paint is preferred. Given the type of lighting system and the characteristics of the tunnel, a single or multiple row of flood lights can be installed above the roadway.

Anti-glare tunnel lighting

anti glare tunnel lightsThe tunnel light lens uses a uniform progressive light throw design to create a balanced, anti-glare lighting pattern in the tunnel. Uniform and highly efficient light sources with custom beam patterns can be tried first with DIALux before a project is started. Using the principle of total reflection, the LED lens can be made wider or narrower.

Material of the lighting fixtures

The quality of light and the cost of maintenance are some of the factors that can be used to justify the use of tunnel lighting. In order to enhance their transportation networks and make public tunnel areas more attractive and safer for road users, several international cities have decided to invest in LEDs.

Most of the floodlights for tunnel are constructed with highly reliable materials such as aluminum alloy and stainless steel. Dust and water can be kept out of the lamps by the transparent lens. The structure allows the lamps to be used in hot environments. There are three main types of tunnel lights.

Types of LED tunnel lighting

For entrance

Tunnel lighting is adjusted based on signals from the probe. External luminance conditions can affect the light intensity of the reinforcement lights.

For exit

Tunnel lighting is adjusted according to sunrise and sunset. In day mode, the lights are as bright as permanent lighting, and in night mode, the lights are turned off.

For permanent illumination

Sunrise and sunset calculations and two day/night settings allow adjustment of tunnel lighting.

Smart LED lighting in tunnel

ProjectLights provides an intelligent control system that enables the regulation of light output and remote monitoring of luminaires, an important part of any tunnel lighting solution. As a result, moving around the tunnel becomes much easier.

In fact, tunnel lighting can be controlled via a dedicated interface to adjust the light intensity to suit the atmosphere; with LED light sources, it is possible to vary the amount of light entering and exiting the tunnel.

smart tunnel lighting fixtures

Solid state & intelligent LED tunnel lighting

The quality of its lighting has been improved over the years, which has led to the improvement of the light quality. In order to improve their traffic networks and to make public tunnel areas more attractive and safer, several international cities have decided to invest in light emitting diodes with solid state technology.

An intelligent control system for lighting in underground passages with an advantage that allows customers to easily manage the system remotely and installers to simplify installation and maintenance is available.

Strength of LED lighting for tunnel

High Intensity Discharge light sources are the mainstay for tunnel lighting. In tunnels and underground passages, high illuminance thresholds are required. Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium luminaires offer an attractive combination of tested mechanical construction, low cost, and high illumination for tunnel lighting systems. Our 100 to 200W LEDs can do the same job as the 800 to 1000W Metal Halide and High Pressure Sodium luminaires.

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The quality of light and the reduced effect on the rate of traffic are two of the major merits of our LED. The superior lighting is due to the fact that the LEDs offer superior color. Uniform lighting is provided by our light, unlike the High Intensity Discharge.

advance LED tunnel lighting system

The light-throw design of our tunnel lights is advanced and uses sophisticated optical modeling to produce balanced and even lighting in the tunnel. The uniform nature of the lights is due to the fact that they consist of individual module chips that are aggregate miniature array, highly efficient sources of light with custom beam patterns, and the lens on every single light can be installed in a wide or narrow beam angle.

It allows for light intensity adjustment near the entrance and exit, something that could not be achieved with high-pressure sodium or metal halide. Metal halides and high-pressure sodium fail more often than LEDs. Maintenance of the elevating vehicles is also reduced due to the fact that there are no power outages in the tunnel. Less maintenance is needed for elevating vehicles, which reduces the work of replacing lights and improves the safety and security of people’s lives.

Tunnel lighting requirement in different zones

tunnel entrance lightingEach phase of a tunnel lighting project has specific requirements and criteria that must be followed to provide a pleasant lighting effect. There is a noticeable difference between tunnel lighting and regular street lighting when drivers enter or leave the tunnel.

Each zone has its own lighting requirements, which are divided into five different zones.

1. Lighting for access zone

The approach area is designed to make it easier for drivers to see the tunnel entrance and to adjust their driving style to the brightness of the tunnel entrance. If the lighting design is not adjusted, the process of moving from the bright outside to the dark inside creates a visual contrast. Even if the conditions inside the tunnel are then visible, vision requires a certain amount of adaptation time. It is very dangerous for a moving driver to adapt quickly.

2. Threshold zone

Normally, the incidence of traffic accidents is higher in this section than in other sections of the tunnel, and it is also a rapidly changing section that changes from a normal driving environment to a special driving environment in the tunnel.

The key to lighting design in this threshold zone is how to eliminate the adverse effects of this changing section. The “black hole” visual phenomenon that occurs when drivers enter the tunnel during the daytime must be eliminated immediately. The guiding principle for lighting here is to not affect the driver’s vision.

3. Interior zone

Tunnel lighting affects driver vision. Drivers passed the threshold and completed the adaptation.

4. Transition zone

The transition zone is between the threshold and interior zones. The “black hole” problem can be solved by adjusting the brightness of the tunnel entrance. Reducing the brightness contrast is the only way to do this. When drivers enter the transition zone from the entrance during the day, tunnel lighting of different brightnesses should be rationally placed and installed to reduce the visual difference. Transition zones should have reduced brightness.

5. Exit zone

At night, when drivers exit a tunnel, they move from a dark area to a light area. At night, the bright light at the tunnel exit makes it difficult for drivers to see the road, making accidents more likely. This lighting design takes into account the dimming function and automatically dims the light according to the different daytime conditions outside the tunnel.

Advantages of LED tunnel lighting

  • Improve driver safety by meeting the highest tunnel safety standards.
  • Up to 90% reduction in energy use can be achieved with a fully linear tunnel lighting system.
  • Maintenance costs can be lowered with long-life LED and remote monitoring.
  • Predict operational expenses with reliable, high-quality LEDs.
  • Reducing downtime and CO2 emissions can be achieved by improving performance.
  • The new EU standards for guidance lighting make it necessary to keep traffic flowing.
  • Excellent color rendering of LED can be used to improve visual perception in tunnel.
  • Driver comfort can be improved with a LED white tunnel light.
  • Ensuring safe passage with lights that help drivers.
  • Control systems for tunnel lighting allow you to check the lighting of the road tunnel and make changes to it.

Why select our tunnel lighting fixtures?

It is tailored for you

customized lighting solution for tunnelsEvery tunnel has its own quirks. We offer lighting solutions for tunnels and underground passages that are flexible. All of them have the same experience gained in over 300 tunnel projects around the world.

Regardless of whether you are replacing lighting fixtures or completely renewing your lighting system, we offer the best solutions that take energy conservation and performance into consideration. Come in for a free consultation and we will create a detailed plan based on your current situation.

Free lighting consultation and support

ProjectLights can help you with your service. We can help you create a long-term lighting plan. We’ll give you the best advice.

With our commercial network in every region of Italy and in 50 countries around the world, we can serve all markets directly and provide our customers with efficient and targeted service. We can help you improve the efficiency of your lighting systems and speed up the return on your investment.

Common problems associated with tunnel lighting

In the tunnel, exhaust fumes from circulating vehicles are collected. The light from vehicle headlights is absorbed by the smoke, forming a curtain of light and reducing the distance between obstacles and the background. At the exit of the tunnel, there is a problem of reduced visibility.

The sudden appearance of a bright light source ahead creates a strong glare, making it impossible for the driver to see the road. A bright exit background must be illuminated in order for the driver to exit to see the small car in the shadow of the larger car in front of him.

Tunnel lighting can be divided into entrance lighting, interior lighting, and exit lighting. Illumination inside the tunnel is relatively low and cannot be compared to the outside. Entrance lighting should be gradually reduced and country-specific lighting should be set up.


Our tunnel lighting solutions are of the highest standards. Clear visibility can be provided by high lm output LEDs. It is possible to prevent fatigue in tunnels. Safe and comfortable passage can be provided by entrance zone lighting. Visibility is ensured.

Light systems that illuminate the roadway are required for tunnels and underpasses. Compared to discharge technology, ProjectLights’ LED floodlights offer high performance and lower energy and maintenance costs. Uniform and comfortable illumination is possible thanks to the control system. Permanent and reinforced lighting are available at tunnel entrances.

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