WMATA Metro Stations, Washington, USA | STR9® W

Washington’s WMATA Metro is one of the busiest metrorail system in the USA. Relighting its dim and crowded underground stations required a luminaire that could deliver exceptional lighting performance and reliably withstand the harsh environment of the trackbeds and rigorous cleaning procedures.

The STR9-W is GVA’s custom solution for the large-scale WMATA Metro project. The industrial luminaire delivers an outstanding 2000 lm/ft (300mm) and meets the strict requirements for color consistency. The aluminum body is compact and aesthetically pleasing but extremely rugged, built and tested to withstand years of intense vibrations, suction created by passing trains, accumulation of magnetic break dust, and pressure-washing treatment.

Three variations of the STR9® W were built for each of the beam distribution requirements (30°x30°, 10°x30°, and 60°x60°), each type with a distinct mounting bracket to ensure all luminaires were installed in the correct location. The STR9-W snaps onto custom rails so installation can be completed quickly, effortlessly, and without tools to best take advantage of the limited downtime of the trains.

Overall the project required more than 20,000 STR9® W luminaires to light Washington’s underground metro stations and the result is impossible to miss; each renovated station is, on average, 6 times brighter since the relighting. Commuters have been buzzing on social media about the improved visibility and safety as well as highlighted visual effects created by passing trains.


Lighting designer: Claude R. Engle Lighting Consultants

Electrical Contractor: M.C.Dean

Customer: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)