Careful planning work is required to solve lighting tasks. The necessary information about the properties of luminaires is given in light distribution curves, illumination and isolux diagrams. We provide the necessary knowledge on this page.
Light distribution curves specify in what direction and with what intensity a luminaire emits light. The luminous intensity value in candela (cd) for a given luminaire is obtained by multiplying the value in cd/klm read from the diagram by the total luminous flux in kilolumens (klm) of the lamps used in the luminaire.
The diagrams also show the half beam angles (solid line, C 180 - C 0° β = 28° and dotted line, C 270 - C 90° β = 92°).
The luminous intensity values are plotted on the vertical axis and the beam angles on the horizontal axis. In a polar representation, the diagram specifies what sections through the luminaire (C-levels) the curves refer to.
The façade to be illuminated has a height of 8 m (blue line) and a width of 18 m (red line). The High-performance floodlight 84 503 with flat beam light distribution has a half beam angle of 27° and 76°. At a distance of 16 m, the half beam angles cover the dimensions of the façade exactly. The parabola indicates the average degree of illuminance in lux. These values can be read off on the light distribution curve y-axis on the left. The average degree of illuminance on this reference surface is therefore 150 lx. Changes in the distance between the floodlights influence not only the average degree of illuminance but also the size of the illuminated surface. It must be noted that the diffuse light illuminates more than the previously calculated surface. The façade would still be well illuminated with a size of 10 x 22 m.
When planning pathway lighting, 1 lx is defined as the standard minimum degree of illuminance. Consequently, the 0.5-lx line in the isolux diagram is relevant for determining the luminaire spacing. This 0.5 lx must add up to 1 lx illuminance on the assessed surface to define the luminaire spacing. The result is a light point spacing of 6.5 m. During planning, local conditions like the colour and characteristics of the ground must also be considered. These factors have an enormous influence on the reflective behaviour of the light and can lead to a visually inadequate lighting impression even with a standard-compliant degree of illuminance. An illumination test at the installation site is therefore recommended for optimal planning results.
For luminaires with rotationally symmetrical light distribution, the isolux diagram shows one quarter of the total luminous intensity. The average degree of illuminance for a square situation should be 10 lx. About 20 lx is reached directly at the luminaire. In order to obtain an average of 10 lx, the minimum illuminance between two luminaires should be about 2 to 3 lx. In the diagram, the red circles indicate these values. Consequently, luminaire spacing is 19 m.
The same principle applies for asymmetrical light distribution. The luminaires are positioned along the edge of the square in a single arrangement and within the square in a double arrangement.