Light Brightness Comparison

By NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

We were interested to see if foot candle measurements met established standards, and how brightness compared between different types of lights.

Measurement Strategy

We used the LT300 light meter to measure brightness of outdoor lights.


Light Meter

Measures visible light levels from various light sources. Can measure incident light (light falling on the meter itself) or reflected light (light being reflected from an object towards the light meter). Used to verify the proper installation and performance of lighting systems.


We found that all lights measured met established standards in foot candles. We also found that lights on shorter poles were brighter than lights on higher poles

Lessons Learned

When using a light meter, it is a good idea to test it ahead of time. We also learned to read the manual and understand what range of values would be relevant. The first time out, the meter gave inaccurate measurements and we had to repeat the task the following week with a different meter.


Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR)


DPR Facility