Transportation Lighting Design

WSP offers a full spectrum of lighting services for roadways, bridges, tunnels and transit systems.

We bring experience in architecture, interior design, engineering and manufacturing to craft comprehensive solutions to lighting design challenges for transportation systems, streetscapes, parks, monuments and architectural interiors.

WSP recognizes that a highly visible transportation project can become an icon representing a community. We bring strong architectural skill to understanding the relationships between a luminaire’s distribution and its ability to accent, color and create appropriate contrast in a scene. Computer modeling helps the client visualize the design and eventually present it to the public.

Our engineers and specialty lighting architects apply the lighting industry's most advanced techniques and technology, successfully blending engineering, aesthetics and construction practices to provide consistently superior project solutions.

Our Philosophy

We believe that lighting should complement architectural form and provide proper illumination for the variety of tasks that will be done within that form. The design must meet energy regulations and the client’s budget. To succeed the design process must feature close collaboration among the architect, interior designer, landscape architect, engineer and lighting consultant. 

Zakim Bridge, Boston, Massachusetts

Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge - Boston, Massachussetts

For Independence Day, WSP added floodlighting of the towers in red and white and red filters to the permanent lighting on the bridge. 

Our Approach

WSP offers the flexibility and responsiveness of a small team with the resources of a large multi-disciplinary firm. Working with owners and consultants, we develop lighting strategies to reinforce our clients’ goals. With its background in architectural lighting design, fixture design and manufacturing, lighting computation, and construction support, WSP has been instrumental in the development of national and international standards for lighting design and engineering through membership and active participation on various committees, including the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the International Lighting Commission (Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage), the Federal Highway Administration, and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.


American Tobacco Trail Bridge - Durham, North Carolina


WSP lights the way in roadway illumination. Our designers help write standards on roadway lighting for the Illuminating Engineering Society and the National Fire Protection Association and run training programs on roadway lighting design and maintenance. We have initiated research using computer modeling and real-world testing.


Sakonnet River Bridge - Portsmouth and Tiverton, Rhode Island


Drawing on more than a century of experience with tunnels, WSP designs lighting systems (including emergency lighting and controls) for both transit and vehicular tunnels. In analyzing and designing these systems we consider the tunnel’s physical characteristics and orientation, its operational requirements, and its life cycle maintenance and operating costs.


Queen Creek Tunnel - Superior, Arizona


Our experience with large complex transportation systems, with renovation and new construction, and with architectural lighting enables us to design illumination for both surface and underground transit stations that become destinations in themselves. Our comprehensive approach to design makes the architecture visible while addressing safety on platforms and vertical transportation elements, and security throughout. We work with transportation agencies, architects and developers to create luminous environments that enhance rapid transit.

WSP’s services for transit systems include initial feasibility studies, preliminary designs, computer calculations and model images, mockups, flicker studies, contract document drawings and specifications, review of submittals, witnessing fixture testing, and review of the lighting installation.

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Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, New Jersey


WSP lights the passenger experience from curb to gate and back again. Proper illumination helps ensure that passengers connect with their flights safely and securely. Our lighting design distinguishes and enhances various uses and spaces, illuminating entries, circulation, lounges, dining areas and boarding gates. As airports become destinations in themselves, and increasingly compete for passengers, our lighting concepts reinforce the local airport’s brand.

We have shown that lighting can be decorative, with installations that have color-changing, dimming and other special effect capabilities. WSP designers have the experience to make lighting a visual display on its own, or to use it in a more supportive role to complement art installations.

Daylighting of airport terminal buildings, and views of the outdoors, promote a sense of well-being for the airport passenger. WSP design and modeling skills can create effective shading and control systems that support daylighting while saving energy.


Car Rental Facility - San Diego International Airport, California

Architectural Interiors

We believe that the best lighting design enhances architecture, complements its form, brings out its best features, and supports the myriad functions of a space.

We approach interior architectural design with program statements that recommend illuminance targets and then proceed to schematic design layouts, reflected ceiling plans, computer calculations, computer visualizations, special mounting details, a fixture schedule, catalog cuts, mockups, review of contractors’ submittals, and review of the lighting installation.

To supplement electric lighting, we analyze, model and recommend daylighting techniques for truly sustainable solutions. Our expertise extends to daylight responsive controls, shading devices, light shelves, fenestration, and finishes. Visualization with electronic modeling can support decision making when choosing among daylighting design strategies and techniques. Information can be presented both qualitatively and quantitatively, showing variations across the seasons and through an individual day. Use of a weather database for the project location ensures realistic results.

We also recommend, evaluate and document sustainable design measures that become essential parts of an integrated whole, and contribute to the documentation necessary to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. We offer expertise in exterior light pollution reduction, lighting energy conservation and management, interior lighting design and control, and innovative custom solutions.


Ragon Institute - Cambridge, Massachusetts


WSP works with local governments, citizen groups and developers to evaluate existing streetscapes and propose a variety of options for new ones. We consider the historical context in existing situations, types of uses existing and planned, scale of buildings and furnishings, materials of roads and facades, and traffic types and volume. We develop computer models, video visualizations, calculation methods, real-world tests, and user surveys to accurately depict and evaluate a street lighting installation. Our designers address all these issues while creating and documenting a lighting system truly integrated with the streetscape.


Cambridge, Massachusetts Streetscape Lighting