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Photometric Analysis

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 present footcandle measurements at given points across the property as well as average measurements for the property as a whole.

These layouts allow 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 reevaluated. 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 projects in which a photometric analysis can be helpful:

  • Sports courts including tennis, baseball, basketball, soccer, and volleyball
  • Parking lots
  • Warehouses currently using T5HO
  • Restaurants
  • Wall packs on the exterior of a building or buildings
  • Walkways
  • 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

A perfect example of the benefits of photometric analysis was a hockey rink in New York. The rink was about to close due to high energy use and expense; they had been using thirty-six 1000w metal halide lamps. To survive financially, they needed an energy-efficient, cost-effective solution. Access Fixtures used a photometric analysis to determine that the rink could achieve sufficient light with eighteen 1000w pulse start metal halide lamps. We were able to reduce the rink’s energy use by over half and actually increase the light levels in the arena beyond previous levels.

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 specific 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.

Photometric analysis is essential for areas like parking lots. 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 (which is typical), photometric analysis can help avoid relying on assumptions. Photometric analysis even facilitates review of the light output and can calculate distribution of different lamp types in the same luminaire.

At Access Fixtures, lighting layouts and photometric analyses are designed and analyzed by lighting specialists. When you need help with a lighting project and need a lighting plan, call an Access Fixtures lighting specialist.

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.