How Far Apart Should Bollard Lights Be Placed?
Bollard light spacing decisions are dependent on variables such as the use of the area being illuminated, other light sources available, bollard light optics, the light source lumens of the bollard light, and, of course, the customer’s preferences. Let’s explore these variables.
Bollard Light Spacing Site Requirements
How many footcandles (fc) of light are required for your application? IESNA recommends the light levels presented in the chart to the right. These are simply guidelines; local code requirements take precedence and may be different. Issues such as light trespass must also be taken into consideration. Most projects require 1 footcandle of light.
Other Light Sources
Are other light sources already providing some illumination? If so, the existing light may be sufficient and bollard lights can be added for ambiance. If the current lighting is insufficient, we can recommend different bollard lights that will add supplemental light, which is often the case if there are steps or stairs nearby. Access Fixtures has bollards for both kinds of applications.
Bollard Light Optics
As previously noted, bollard lights are available with louvers, reflectors, or Type V glass; the light distribution is different for each. If we compare performance using the same 15-watt Samsung LED array, we’ll see that the specialized cone reflector bollard light distributes over 1 fc of light in a seven-and-a-half-foot diameter, the louvered bollard light distributes 1 fc of light over a four-and-a-half-foot diameter, and the Type V bollard light distributes 1 fc of light over a twelve-foot diameter. If you’re trying to maintain 1 fc using the Type V glass bollards, you would want to keep the bollards under 24’ apart. Placing them farther apart may lead to dark spots with less than 1 fc of light.
Can using higher-wattage LEDs reduce the required number of bollards? The short answer: Sometimes. This will not work with optics like louvers. It will work, however, with some LED arrays when combined with Type V optics. Still, there are additional factors to consider. If the illuminated area has vehicles coming through, you will need to ensure the light from the bollard lights will not blind drivers. Also, using a higher wattage can increase the max/min variance of the area, which could create a potential safety hazard. The area must be evenly lit—preferably without blinding light.
What are the challenges of your facility? Are there code restrictions; power limitations; or area, architectural, environmental, or other considerations? Do you or your client have a bollard light style preference? One architect insisted on louvers for his design, even though it required more bollard lights; others wanted bollard lights that distribute very bright light. What kind of light do you want? Speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist about your requirements, and explore possible solutions.
Frequently used spacing for bollards in some common applications:
- Hospitals, offices, and residential walkways use tighter spacing—10′ to 15′
- Urban parks use medium spacing—15′ to 25′
- Sprawls and paths that define leisure areas with low foot traffic use wide spacing—30’+
It is important to note that these are just suggestions. Many individuals seeking bollard lights choose to space based on aesthetic preference rather than a specific amount of footcandles. Please be advised that the spacing of bollard lights ultimately comes down to personal choice.
Speak to an Access Fixtures Lighting Specialist about Choosing the Right Fixture
Access Fixtures is your factory-direct source for all light fixtures needed to suitably illuminate your property. If you have a lighting question, we will be glad to answer your questions. We want to make sure you get the exact fixture for your needs, your budget, and your goals. We are passionate about lighting and love what we do—we’ll get you an answer. To speak with an Access Fixtures lighting specialist, call (800) 468-9925.
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