Ultra-Violet Headlamp Technology for Nighttime Enhancement of Fluorescent Roadway Delineation and Pedestrian Visibility

Source: Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Center for Applied Research, Federal Highway Administration

Although the concept of ultra-violet headlamps has been in existence for some time, a new ultra-violet (UV) lamp technology developed in Sweden has given researchers new insights into the possibilities of its use. The prototype UV headlamps configured similarly to high beam headlamps and are intended for use with fluorescent traffic control devices. The headlamps emit UV radiation in the spectral range of 320-380 nm, which is invisible to the human eye. The short wavelength light emitted by the UV headlamps reacts with the fluorescent properties of objects it comes into contact with to produce long wavelengths of light or visible light. In order to improve the visibility of pavement markings, the markings would have to include a fluorescent component. The UV headlamps could potentially offer high beam performance of headlights without glare.

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