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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses1987-1991 (PC020404.01) ➔ Prism Light Guide Luminaires as an Alternative to Conventional Roadway and Pedestrian Luminaires


Related people/organizations

Scott J. Hershman (designer)
Robert Prouse (thesis advisor)
Sy Mayerson (thesis advisor)


June 1 1990


A conventional roadway luminaire is an optical assembly that houses a light source. The assembly is mounted on top of a pole tall enough to allow uniform illumination of the road surface. The surface area illuminated by a single luminaire increases proportionately with the pole height. Thus, taller standards often result in better uniformity and improved economy. The disadvantage of conventional roadway luminaires is that they locate the light source in top of the pole. Increased pole height makes the lamp less accessible, and as a result, more expensive to maintain.

With the advent of an inexpensive, easily formed linear prism film, it is possible to design a luminaire in which the pole functions as a prism light guide. This allows the source to be placed at the base of the pole, where it can be easily maintained and serviced. It is the author’s goal to design a family of prism light guide luminaires to replace conventional cut-off light fixtures. The validity of this design will be proven in this thesis through computer analysis and by comparison with existing luminaires. It will be demonstrated that prism light guides luminaires are equal to, and in many respects, superior to conventional roadway luminaires.



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