Lighting of urban space – part 1

Over the years, many challenges have emerged that are responded to by urban lighting. The basic functions of lighting should be the fulfillment of the following slogans: “see and be seen” and “show”. In recent years, through the development of lighting technology, the importance of lighting has grown in importance, and it is now also intended to “come to life” and “entertain

“See and be seen”

Artificial light allows movement and ensures safety through visibility and signaling. It warns and alerts you about traffic, provides visibility of moving vehicles and pedestrians, and allows you to spot obstacles. From the beginning of the 20th century, along with the development of the automotive industry and changes in the shaping of cities through the construction of new communication routes, the need and knowledge about the use of artificial lighting in urban space began to increase. There are rules for designing and meeting lighting requirements. Lighting forms in the form of city lanterns began to dominate the city space.

The forms of modern lighting lanterns give designers a lot of possibilities, which they can use both to provide comfort to the users of a given area, as well as to create an appropriate impression and a positive reception of such a place. The rules for selecting a lantern depend on the requirements of the nature of the space, the investor and lighting standards. Responsible for the latter in the urban space (CEN). The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) has introduced the EN13201 standard, which is the basis for looking for answers on the fulfillment of lighting conditions in urban spaces.

The current standard consists of four parts:

1 – PKN-CEN / TR 13201-1: 2007

Title: Road lighting – Part 1: Selection of lighting classes

2 – PN-EN 13201-2: 2007

Title: Road lighting – Part 2: Lighting requirements

3 – PN-EN 13201-3: 2007

Title: Road lighting – Part 3: Calculation of lighting parameters

4 – PN-EN 13201-4: 2007

It should be noted that this standard not only describes the conditions that should prevail on roads, but also on pavements and places where pedestrians travel.


Many people associate the night, unlighted landscape with danger. This is due to the belief that an attacker may be lurking around “every corner”. In a survey conducted by German students in Stuttgart in 2001, it was found that 80% of public space users believe that “light” ensures safety. Artificial lighting is therefore becoming an indispensable factor ensuring the possibility of using the urban space after dark.

It ensures well-being and health. Makes space useful. That is why it is so important not only to choose the form of the lighting fixture, but also its appropriate technical parameters. The functionality of the lighting is expressed in ensuring the uniformity of the luminance of horizontal planes and creating favorable conditions for users. The economic aspects relate to both installation and operation. Therefore, an important role will be played by the positioning of the poles and their height, as well as the fixtures used, the very process of the lifetime of the light sources and their efficiency. When creating such lighting, all aspects included in photometric values, standards, guidelines and procedures will play a major role. This light has a more technical-counting expression. The Elmarco company has prepared a list for designers, which allows for the optimal selection of the height of the fixtures and their spacing.

By thinking about keeping you safe after dark, the lighting technology was aiming to create an environment close to daylight. The result of such reasoning is the lighting of streets, squares and parks implemented today, where the priority is to obtain the optimal lighting intensity. Lighting technology led to a situation where the areas of light around individual lanterns grew larger and larger until they finally merged to form a vast sea of light.

Boston – fot. G. Pęczek

The basic task of lighting is to implement the slogan “see and be seen”. This applies to both pedestrians and car traffic. The safety of users still seems to put other aspects into the background, which is why city lighting is usually associated with the light of street lamps accompanying communication routes. It is typical and common lighting that tries to serve safety in the most functional way. All determining factors are contained in a useful and economic framework.