Washington: Do you feel your eyes strain due to the sudden stabs of brightness from street lights while driving at night?
Long drives at night are often irritating, distracting and even painful, say researchers from China and the Netherlands who have developed a way to evaluate the impact of glare caused by LED road lights.
They have created a model that can predict the level of discomfort experienced by drivers under various lighting conditions.
"We believe the lighting industry has an urgent need to update ways to reduce discomfort caused by LED road lights," said Yandan Lin, an associate professor at Fudan University in Shanghai.
In a bid to investigate the effects of LED streetlights on the discomfort experienced by drivers, the team devised a lab set-up to mimic visual conditions on the road.
The researchers painted the floors and walls of a room completely black.
They then positioned a collection of light sources around the room to simulate the illumination from an LED street lamp as it would appear to a driver.
They adjusted the light sources to create 72 different lighting conditions.
The volunteers were asked to rate their level of discomfort glare, ranging from "unnoticeable" to "unbearable".
"Glare has a strong effect on the normal visual function, causing a serious threat to safety. The accumulative effect of glare also threatens the physiological health of the human body," Lin said.
It is very important to reduce the glare on roadways, researchers concluded in the journal Optics Express.