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Research shows that pedestrians feel safer in streets illuminated with white light

This research, carried out by the University of Granada and published in Safety Science magazine, has analysed the pedestrians’ perceived safety and well-being when walking by streets with particular illuminance types and levels.

Pedestrians feel safer in streets illuminated with white light than in those illuminated with yellowish lights (technically called ‘sodium-yellow’), even when the former are more polluting in certain aspects. One of the possible reasons is that this kind of light allows a better identification of human faces.

Those are the conclusions of multidisciplinary research carried out by scientists from the University of Granada (UGR) belonging to the departments of Civil Engineering and Social Psychology. The researchers analysed, among other variables, the pedestrians’ perceived safety and well-being when walking by streets with particular illuminance types and levels.

Pictures of white light and yellow light
A street illuminated with white light (LED lamps) and another one with sodium yellow light (High Pressure Sodium or HPS lamps)
Image: University of Granada