Evaluating Street Lighting Quality in Residential Areas by Combining Remote Sensing Tools and a Survey on Pedestrians’ Perceptions of Safety and Visual Comfort

Ming Liu, Baogang Zhang, Tong Luo, Yue Liu, Boris A. Portnov, Tamar Trop, Weili Jiao, Huichan Liu, Yiwei Li, Qingyuan Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The perceived quality of street lighting influences pedestrians’ perceptions of safety and visual comfort, as well as outdoors activities at night. This study explores the association between street lighting attributes, such as illuminance and wavelength, and pedestrians’ feeling of safety (FoS) and perceived lighting quality (PLQ) in eight residential districts in Dalian, China. To achieve this goal, we combine remote sensing technology with ground investigation. The ground research includes physical measurements of lighting attributes, such as intensity, color temperature, and glare, as well as survey evaluations of pedestrians’ perceptions of safety and visual comfort. We also analyze the influence of several environmental factors, such as traffic volumes and vegetation, while accounting for personal characteristics of the observers, such as gender and age. Findings from the remote sensing reveal that Dalian’s residential districts differ substantially by their nighttime light emissions, with high concentration of strong red band (i.e., long wavelength) emissions occurring in Zhongshan and Jinzhou, and strong blue band (i.e., short wavelength) emissions found in central Zhongshan. Results from the ground surveys further indicate that a satisfactory level of FoS reaches at the illumination levels of 5–17 lx, and that people feel safer if nighttime light is warm and uniform. From a multiple regression analysis, it is also found that illuminance and uniformity are the main factors affecting PLQ under conditions of low or high illuminance, while glare and color temperature play a more significant role under high illuminance. In addition, a satisfactory level of PLQ is found at illuminance levels of 25–35 lx and light color temperature of 4000 K–5500 K.

Original languageEnglish
Article number826
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by National Key Research and Development Program of China, grant number 2017YFE0125900 and The National Natural Science Foundation of China, grant number 52178067.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Feeling of safety (FoS)
  • Light spectra
  • Night light remote sensing
  • Perceived lighting quality (PLQ)
  • Public space lighting (PSL)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (all)


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