The Applicability of High Intensity Sheeting on Overhead Highway Signs

Report No: 76-R3

Published in 1975

About the report:

This report summarizes (1) the findings of a research study on the applicability of using high intensity reflective sheeting on overhead signs, and (2) the implementation of recommendations evolving from these findings through elimination of the illumination on many overhead signs in Virginia. A survey was conducted to determine the percentage of overhead signs meeting the criteria, developed in the research, under which the illumination could be eliminated if they were refurbished with high intensity sheeting, and the plans of several proposed projects were reviewed to obtain an estimate of the percentage of signs on which lighting could be eliminated through the use of the high intensity material. Also, data were collected relative to the installation, energy and maintenance costs for lighting overhead signs. The study concluded that the illumination could be eliminated on approximately 45% of the existing signs and 50% of the proposed signs through the use of high intensity reflective materials. The benefits anticipated from the implementation of the program include enormous money and energy savings, a significant reduction in the exposure of maintenance personnel to hazardous working conditions, and improved services to the motorists.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • R. N. Robertson, J. D. Shelor

Last updated: January 29, 2024

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