What’s new in the BS 5489 standard for road lighting in 2020?

What is BS 5489-1:2020 about?

BS 5489-1 is a revision of the British Standard for road lighting design. The full document title is’ Design of road lighting. Lighting of roads and public amenity areas. ‘and it provides guidance and recommendations that are intended to support the BS EN 13201 series and to assist designers of lighting systems in using that standard.

Who is BS 5489-1:2020 for?

The standard is produced to aid local authority lighting or highway professionals as well as professionals involved in lighting design or manufacture within the highway electrical sector. Users will be:

  • Electrical and mechanical engineers
  • Street Lighting design engineers
  • Surveyors and road construction planners 
  • Civil engineers
  • Town planners and local government authorities
  • Lighting manufacturers
  • Street Lighting design consultancies

Why should you use BS 5489-1:2020?

The document promotes a wider understanding of the lighting of roads and public amenity areas and gives guidance on the design decisions that need to be made. Rather than a prescriptive document, it makes essential recommendations to assist the design process and that will enable production of designs that are appropriate and justifiable.

BS 5489-1:2020 includes:

  • Recommendations on the general principles of road lighting and its aesthetic and technical aspects.
  • Guidance on operation and maintenance.
  • Guidance on means of minimising energy consumption and limiting the impact on the environment and adjacent property.
  • Recommendations for the design of lighting for all types of highway and public thoroughfares, including those specifically for pedestrians and cyclists, and for pedestrian subways and bridges.
  • Recommendations for the design of lighting for urban centres and public amenity areas.
  • Recommendations and guidance for lighting relating to smart cities.
  • Additional recommendations for lighting around aerodromes, railways, coastal waters, harbours and navigable waterways to minimise the possibility of the lighting interfering with these modes of transport.

NOTE: The lighting of vehicular tunnels and underpasses is covered in BS 5489-2.

How has BS 5489-1:2020 changed since the last update?

The principal changes compared to the 2013 edition are to align the standard with current best practice and with the BS EN 13201 series. New guidance is provided for lighting design when located within a “smart city” environment or when co-located with electric vehicle (EV) charging points.

For further information please refer to the websites detailed below, these may be of assistance when dealing with British Standards for highway lighting design:-


If you would like to discuss your street lighting design project or development site with us or how the BS 5489 Standard may affect the road lighting on your development site then please feel free to give us a call on 0118 321 5636. We will be more than happy to talk through the best lighting design approach and hopefully work with you to assist in gaining full planning permission and discharging your planning condition. Alternatively please send your enquiry to info@mma-consultancy.co.uk and we will get back to you as quickly as we possibly can.