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Photometric Analysis - What Is It and How Can It Save You Money?

When starting a new lighting project, the lighting design process involves a sequence of creative choices within a framework of the goals and objectives for a project, which may vary depending on the project specifics and personal approaches to design. Regardless of the application, the process should begin with project analysis, followed by the establishment of qualitative and quantitative objectives and, finally, equipment considerations.

Moreover, when we enter the lighting fixture selection phase, we get excited about the fixtures we will bring in for such a project. The imagination and creativity kick in. The light source and luminaire selection depend upon a number of factors: color requirements, both CCT and CRI; switching and dimming requirements; maintenance schedule, light source life and start-up time, and most importantly, the photometric distribution of the luminaires (visit our CCT and CRI blogs to learn more).

Thus, how do you ensure that you are acquiring the correct lighting fixtures for your project? Having a Photometric Analysis before buying or installing your luminaires for a specific area or project, helps architects and lighting designers to know if the light is enough for a space. It can confirm luminosity, strength, light evenness, and more. It also allows cost understanding and allows electrical needs to be designed to build the most efficient lighting design for your location.

In our previous articles, we’ve mentioned the common mistakes we make when purchasing lighting fixtures. This is a follow-up: how we can prevent some of these mistakes by doing a Photometric Analysis. Visit our last blog. Thus, stick around to learn more about a photometric analysis and how it can help you save time and money.

What is a Photometric Analysis?

Before we talk about the wonders this analysis does for your lighting project, we must understand what it is. It all boils down to the study of Photometry, which is the study of light as a whole. This concept was first introduced during the 1990s to study construction sites before work starts, using software simulations.

A Photometric Analysis focuses on how the light from the fixture surrounds the area of coverage. It is an incredible hack that allows light designers to visualize what space will look like with the fixtures that are going to be installed. Further, the analysis enables us to see the number of lumens a specific area needs for convenience.

Figure 1. Office space Photometric render showing lighting levels and CCT.

This analysis is done by virtual simulations on Photometric software, using the layout of the area. The results are presented in a 5-20 pages report containing accurate charts, locations, and angles. The PDF report also offers graphical images and lists of foot-candles at different location points in the ground.