Sodium-vapour lamps will continue to be the primary lighting type used on Malaysian roads and highways. According to Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, the whiter light emitting diode (LED) street lamps will only be used in certain applications, depending on requirement, as well as replacement for old street lamps, Bernama reports.

Experts are divided regarding the use of LEDs, especially from the technical aspects, he said. “Some experts say the current (yellow) lighting is more suitable for roads, while the LED (white light) is suitable for housing areas because it is brighter,” Fadillah explained.

“The current (yellow) lighting is more open and spacious, compared to LED lights that are more focused on one area,” he told reporters yesterday. Fadillah explained that evaluation based on a pilot installation of LED streetlights on stretches of the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR2) revealed that the lighting aspects were found to be less than ideal, especially during rainy conditions.

In related matters, he explained that street lights cannot be installed along the entire stretches of highways in the country because it involves significant cost as well as have a negative environmental impact. “If all roads had street lighting installed, it would incur a high level of fuel consumption, and this will produce carbon dioxide gas that will pollute the environment,” he said.

He added that the placement of street lighting on highways is only focused near ramps and exits or other areas with high traffic to avoid any possibility of an accident. “No country has highway lighting covering the entire route. In Malaysia, reflective strips are installed in areas with no street lighting present to warn motorists.”