While it is essential to keep up with the latest technology, safety of drivers is also that much important. Therefore, many states in America are introducing lighting standards that have to be maintained by owners of LED signage on the roads so as to make sure drivers can read the signs without the LED light glaring back at them and putting them at a risk of poor vision.
Twelve states, one being Puerto Rico, require LED billboards to alter its brightness depending on the light around it. For example, when the sun sets, the brightness reduces. This is possible because the technology used in LED billboards includes a light sensor that can adjust brightness, which has an added benefit of saving energy.
The president and CEO of the OAAA (Outdoor Advertising Association of America) recently pointed out that with the regulatory acceptance earned by digital billboards we can see that communities are trying to embrace the advances in technology while also looking into the safety against excessive brightness on the roads.
Colorado is one of the latest state that has joined these regulatory trends for billboard lighting standards and they allow the light to be measured by the following two metrics:
Foot candles: how much light comes from a lit object and hits an unlit object at a certain distance.
Nits: the density of light that an object emits.
The new lighting regulation in Colorado is as follows: digital billboards should not be more than 0.3 foot candles above ambient lighting. Following Colorado’s footsteps, Michigan, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Mexico and a few other states have adopted to the same standards. Arizona, West Virginia and Missouri also follow the same policy but their measurement methods are different. Mississippi and Delaware regulations require the LED brightness to be adjusted according to the surrounding light.
When legalizing such electronic signage to be used on busy highways, the regulation of the LED’s brightness is probably the most important safety aspect that should be implemented. If the LED sign is too bright it is a nuisance to public passing by and is also a negative reflection on the signage industry.