A variety of government regulations impact the luminaire selection process for transit facilities:

NFPA 130 is a standard that specifies fire protection and life safety requirements for underground, surface, and elevated fixed guideway transit and passenger rail systems. This standard sets emergency lighting minimum foot-candles levels of 0.25 fc, as well as establishes component combustion requirements of low-smoke and zero halogen emissions. It also dictates that emergency lighting power circuits shall be protected from fires for at least 1 hour.

OSHA regulates safety and health for construction and maintenance within transit facilities. While any work is in progress, OSHA requires 5 foot-candles of illumination within tunnels, shafts, and general underground work areas. Note that this is 20 times higher foot-candles than regular emergency lighting requirements under NFPA 130 (above). Select luminaires that can be switched to meet both foot-candle levels, whether for normal operation or during maintenance / construction projects.

UL safety listing for wet locations is often required for transit facility lighting. This ensures safety against underground water exposure and washing of luminaires.

Transit projects can be impacted by both The Buy American Act of 1933, as well as the Buy America Act of 1983 (applies to mass transit only).

Both laws establish requirements for products to be made in the U.S. when certain Federal funding is utilized, even if passed from the U.S. government to the states, before funding a transit construction or renovation project. As referenced in FAR Subpart 25.2, the definitions below are the requirements to purchase construction materials for federally-funded projects. The supply of products must be “Domestic end products” that are manufactured in the U.S. These “Domestic end products” are defined in two categories:

Manufactured of 50% U.S. made components.

A component needs to be made in the U.S., but that component may have any percent of foreign sub?components.

Commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) item.

A COTS item is defined as an item that is of a type customarily used by the general public or by nongovernmental entities for purposes other than governmental purposes; and has been sold, leased or licensed, or offered for sale, lease or license, to the general public without modification. A COTS item must be manufactured in the U.S. and is exempt from the 50% content rule.

Harsh Environments

Transit stations and tunnels can be punishing environments for light fixtures. Additional certifications should be sought to insure your investment in light fixtures delivers the expected lifetime, and the fixtures don’t fail prematurely. This is critical to minimize the total cost of ownership for specified luiminaires.

ANSI-C136.31 establishes minimum vibration withstand capability for roadway, area, and transit facility luminaires, including vibration test methods. The types of vibration are limited to externally induced vibration including wind induced vibration and traffic induced vibration. ANSI-C136.31 does not address natural or catastrophic disasters. Most luminaires are tested to 1.5G forces, however, bridges and overpasses are tested to 3.0G. These tests require that the luminaire shall be capable of withstanding the prescribed vibration for 100,000 cycles in each plane.

High IP rating – The first digit in the ingress protection (IP) rating scale represents the level of protection against solids, dirt, and dust. The highest level of protection for the first digit is a 6, representing no ingress of dust. The second digit is protection from liquid ingress, including water. The highest value is a 9. For transit facilities, seek fixtures with an IP rating of IP68 or higher.

High IK rating – The highest impact rating on the IK scale is IK10. IK10 protects against the impact of a 5 kg (~ 11 lbs) mass dropped from 200 mm (~ 8 inches) above the impacted surface. This represents a 20 joules impact. For transit facilities seek fixtures with a high IK rating from IK07 to IK10.


The requirements for transit facilities don’t stop with regulations and harsh environment considerations. Other high levels of performance are also required in many projects. MIL-STD-461E standard establishes very low electromagnetic interference (low-EMI) requirements for electronic, electrical, and electromechanical equipment and subsystems. This standard is written by the US Department of Defense for military system procurement, however, many transit facilities also require very low levels of EMI, to prevent interference with various radio, cellular, wifi, and wireless control systems.


Seek luminaires with quick connects that ensure the IP rating is maintained, as well as provide fast and easy installation. In transit facility applications, the fixtures, cables, and any racking systems for cables should all be selected with fast and easy installation in mind. Both quick electrical disconnects as well as mechanical quick latches will help ensure fast installation and maintenance.


Selecting luminaires for transit facility applications can be complex, due to the long list of regulatory, harsh environment, high performance, and ease of installation goals.

You can simplify fixture selection by choosing luminaires with the highest ratings, thereby qualifying for most transit facility areas. Seek out luminaires with:

  • wet location UL safety listing,
  • IP68 ingress protection,
  • ANSI-C136.31 vibration resistance,
  • MIL-STD-461E low-EMI, and
  • IK07 impact rating.

These certifications will both minimize your total cost of ownership and simplify your fixture selection for a range of transit facility applications. A good example is the RTX fixture by G&G Industrial Lighting. The RTX employs a unique driverless technology that runs strings of LEDs using A/C line voltage. The power electronics eliminate weak-link, electrolytic capacitors and utilize integrated circuit (IC) chips to power the LEDs. The RTX driverless technology operates at 60 hertz rather than a high-frequency traditional driver, making it EMI-silent and meeting the MIL-STD-461E specification. G&G’s driverless technology also increases reliability and lifetime of the fixture, as the power electronics achieve a lifetime comparable to the L70 lifetime of the LEDs. G&G’s driverless technology thereby reduces driver replacement maintenance, labor costs and scheduled downtimes.

Another unique performance feature of the G&G RTX is the bi-level lighting that provides a single fixture solution to cover both normal NFPA 130 required illuminance levels of 0.25 fc, as well as increasing the bi-level light output to comply with the OSHA maintenance and construction requirement of 5.0 fc. This bi-level fixture eliminates the purchasing, installing, and removal of temporary work lights to achieve OSHA light levels for maintenance work, using just a simple switch on the fixture.

G&G also partners with cable and snake rack manufacturers to provide customers fire-rated solutions with quick connect installations. G&G offers a 10 year warranty on the RTX fixtures. G&G’s US manufacturing facility in New York State has ISO 9001 certification for quality manufacturing, that also meets BAA requirements. Additional information can be found at .