Photometrics, photometric studies, and photometric analyses are different names for simulated lighting designs for projects being built or renovated. Their objective is to determine if a proposed plan will meet the specifications required for the project. In other words, photometrics allow lighting designers and architects to know if light levels are sufficient. Simulating the results in advance reveals whether or not a specific plan will work; it also allows the team and the customer to make changes via simulation before construction is begun.
Photometric analyses are a great way to view a proposed lighting solution and the light output over a given area prior to purchasing luminaires. Using photometric software, a property layout can be entered, designed, and adjusted. Lighting specialists are able to input poles, luminaires, buildings, trees, cars, and other items that may impact the direction of the light or the illumination of the property. The software then calculates light levels based on that data and provides a comprehensive layout. The results include footcandle measurements at given points across the property as well as average measurements for the property as a whole.
Photometrics Enable Lighting Designers to Meet the Objectives
Photometric analyses enable lighting specialists to make recommendations regarding the type and number of luminaires. Allowing a lighting specialist to create a lighting layout eliminates the guesswork. If one layout doesn’t work, the photometrics can easily be modified and re-evaluated. This helps solidify the lighting solution prior to the purchase of the luminaires, which helps avoid the cost and frustration of making layout changes in the field. With photometrics, customers can see the exact light they will be receiving prior to installation.
Common Examples of Photometric Study Applications
- Sports courts including tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball
- Parking lots
- Wall packs on building exteriors
- Pool areas
- Hockey rinks
- Projects to reduce energy use
- Budgeted projects
- Regulated projects required to meet light outputs
- Compliance requirements such as dark sky compliance
- Light trespass analysis
- Light technology comparisons
Photometrics and Sports Facilities
Sports facilities are one of the most common applications of photometric analyses, as the technology can effectively analyze light levels for single courts, full-sized stadiums, and everything in between. The layouts provide insight on the light levels across the entire area; they also determine whether or not the layout will meet the lighting specifications for a given sport or level of competition. For example, a tennis facility may have eight courts and require club-level lighting while limiting light trespass. A photometric analysis will ensure the lighting layout will meet the requirements and make the buying and installation process straightforward and stress-free.
Photometrics for Commercial Areas and Parking Lots
A photometric analysis is essential for commercial areas like parking lots and walkways. Code typically demands adherence to minimum, maximum, and mean light levels. Alleviating safety concerns and avoiding potential liabilities is well worth the bit of extra planning. It is impossible to guess which lighting technology will provide the best light for certain projects. Whether a parking lot is being lit by large flood lights mounted on poles, wall packs mounted to buildings, bollard lights mounted in the ground, or some combination of each (which is typical), a photometric analysis can help avoid putting any reliance on assumptions.
Photometric Studies and Light Trespass
Today, photometric analyses are being used to ensure that minimal or no light is trespassed on neighboring residential or commercial properties. In fact, many local codes now prohibit light trespass of even one footcandle. Many commercial, hospitality, and industrial photometric analyses now require analysis of light emitted out to zero footcandles. If light trespass is a concern, be sure to have a photometric study performed before construction begins.
Speak with a Lighting Specialist about a Photometric Analysis
At Access Fixtures, lighting layouts and photometric analyses are designed and analyzed by our lighting specialists. When you need help with a lighting project and need a lighting plan, call an Access Fixtures lighting specialist. Discuss your objectives and our team will work with you to develop a solution and confirm that the solution works by running a photometric analysis.
Actual Results May Differ from Photometric Results
The following applies to all photometric reports provided by Access Fixtures. Photometric reports generated by Access Fixtures use methods recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). Calculations used to prepare your report will be based on data provided by a third party. The accuracy of your photometric report is dependent on the accuracy of the data provided. End-user environment and application (including, but not limited to voltage, variation, and dirt accumulation) can cause actual photometric performance to differ from photometric calculations. The report will be provided without warranty as to accuracy, completeness, reliability, or otherwise. In no event will Access Fixtures be responsible for any loss resulting from any use of this report.