Photometric analysis is the most precise and comprehensive approach to large-scale lighting projects, and it’s the most impressive weapon in a lighting expert’s arsenal. Light is inherently difficult to control, but modern lighting software makes it possible to accurately map a project space before fixture installation. Using this software, lighting providers can offer clients a full picture of what their project will look like following installation. It can also provide a point of discussion and project development for clients who want to improve their fixture layout or technology.
Photometric Analysis Offers Insight into Lights
Although lighting experts may understand how fixtures operate by feel, even the most experienced rely on diagramming software to set their projects up. Why the reliance on software? Consider what it can do for a parking lot project, for example:
1. Provide a precise measurement of how much light will be provided by a fixture. The diagramming software takes a 3D rendering of the environment, and in real time will display how a particular fixture will interact with the environment. Foot-candles
, which is the standard for measuring the perceived intensity of light, are computed for every square foot. This makes it simple to determine where the light will be brightest, and where additional light is needed.
2. Allow lighting experts to determine the height of parking lot lighting poles. It’s true that the type of fixture used in the project is the defining variable, but the height of the poles themselves should not be discounted. Raising or lowering the poles’ heights can greatly alter the appearance of the fixture, especially for fixtures that produce directional lighting.
3. Help property owners spot potential problems with security. Parking lots have to be planned for safety as well, and this may mean adding extra light to particular areas of concern. For instance, a part of the parking lot that is obscured by landscaping may be made safer with a better-conceived lighting plan.
4. Lower operating costs for property owners. There is more than one way to arrive at a desired lighting plan. A property owner may have an idea of what kind of lighting output they need, but it may be possible to achieve it with more efficient lighting. Diagramming software allows lighting designers to try out a variety of fixtures to find a combination that is both powerful enough and as efficient as possible.
5. Show property owners a perspective they haven’t seen before. Diagramming software allows designers to view the property from any angle, including a bird’s eye view that property owners rarely see for themselves. This can allow both property owners and designers to consider how light spreads through the area. This can be helpful for reducing the amount of light that extends beyond the parking lot edges.
There are many benefits to a proper photometric analysis, and when provided by a trusted lighting designer, it can bolster a project of any size or complexity.