Lighting Research Group

School of Architecture, the University of Sheffield

Group members


Steve Fotios

Chris Cheal

Jim Uttley

Yichong Mao

Demet Yesiltepe

Gavin Tolan

PhD students:

Shahab Gorjimahlabani

Aysheh Alshdaifat

Maan Balela

Nima Hafezparast Moadab

Scott Fox

Previous members:

Intisar Hussain Elgadra

Khalid Hamoodh

Chloe Robbins

Aleksandra Liachenko Monteiro

Choong Yew Chang

Hussain Qasem

Zeynep Keskin

Qi Yao

Holly Castleton

Deniz Atli

Naoya Hara

Jemima Unwin

Biao Yang


Next events

Academic Forum, 2023

LumeNet, EPFL, 2024

Previous events


March 2023

Gavin Tolan joined the group to provide technician support for ongoing projects, proving temporary cover while Chris is unavailable. Gavin has a PhD in Physics, working on the manufacture of photovoltaic cells, and also works as a physics tutor.

Three experiments were completed in recent months: these required a massive effort, so congratulations to Shahab and Nima and Aysheh for their dedication.  Aysheh's experiment measured alertness under different lighting conditions, with test sessions running through the evening until midnight, every week day, for five weeks. Her children are now able to see mum again. Nima investigated lighting conditions, distraction and cognitive work load using the scale model road scene, completing three 2-hour test sessions every day for several weeks so that he can compare changes in the results with time of day. Shahab carried out a field study of pedestrian reassurance, with about 60 participants being guided to test locations in groups and another 60 being isntructed to do this independly. It is easy to underestimate the effort involved in participant recruitment, scheduling and data collection until you have completed experiments such as these. 

We are a member of the LiveLabs consortium led by East Riding of Yorkshire, a several year project to promote sustainable road lighting.  

October 2022

In November we will be joined by a new researcher, Demet Yesiltepe, who was previously a researcher at Lancaster University. Demet has a background in active travel so was a good match for the SATURN project.


For road lighting researchers, the winter period can be busy with experimental work. Aysheh, Nima and Yichong are running experiments for the HAROLD and LightCAP projects, investigating the effects of lighting on alertness and attention. While these are laboratory-based experiments and could be run at any time of day or year, the alertness experiment in particular takes place in evenings to capture a specific period in circadian rhythm, and in October/November to match that used for the first experiment in that project.


Shahab is planning a third pedestrian reassurance study for early 2023. In these field studies the participants are asked to evaluate their feelings of safety at several specific locations. In previous work this has been accomplished either by leading small groups of participants to each location, or by directing individual participants to the locations  for evaluation at their preferred time. Both approaches have limitations. In this field study Shahab will use both approaches and compare the findings.


Maan is continuing his evaluation of cyclist flows in different levels of ambient light. One question is the choice of case and control hours that might be selected for such an analysis. For a sample of cities he has therefore determined odds ratios for all possible combinations of case and control hours: the resulting matrix shows some interesting trends. We are working with Stephan Voelker of Technical University Berlin to repeat this analysis for cycle counts in Berlin and plot these alongside photometric properties at each count location: this will help to establish the influence of lighting on cycling.


In the past couple of months Khalid and Intisar submitted their PhD theses. Khalid has attended his oral examination and was passed with minor corrections. Intisar is preparing for her viva in December. Scott is writing up his thesis on hazard detection for submission in early 2023.


LumeNet 2022 was held in Sheffield in September. It was a good event, good feedback from the attending students. A huge thanks to the visiting experts Allan Howard, Peter Boyce, Karin Smolders, John O’Hagan and Jens Christoffersen, and in particular to Stephan Voelker who fitted a flying visit into his busy schedule and to Kevin Houser who travelled the 8000 km from Oregon to be here. Members of the research group attended the 7th  International Conference On Traffic And Transport Psychology (ICTTP) in Gothenburg and Lux Europa in Prague. Conferences are an essential component for progress in research: a chance to see a broader range of work, a chance to defend your own work from criticism by others. We try to ensure all our PhD students have an opportunity to attend conferences. For those students working with limited research funding, one tenet of LumeNet is that it is free to attend, removing one barrier to attendance. LumeNet 2022 was sponsored by CIE-UK.

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