Lighting design is an intricate mix of science and art, and at the heart of it all is the concept of 'beam angle'. This simple yet vital element determines how light is dispersed from the source. To fully grasp its importance and utility, let's unravel nine aspects of the beam angle.
A beam angle is a measurement that describes the spread of light from the light source. In other words, it's the angle over which the light is distributed.
To illustrate this, imagine a 120-degree beam angle. This wide angle can spread light across a large room, given a sufficiently high ceiling. On the contrary, a beam angle less than 30° is narrow and is typically used to spotlight specific areas.
Whether you're designing a cozy reading nook or a retail space, the choice of beam angle can dramatically affect the ambiance and functionality of a room.
A beam angle chart is a handy tool that displays various beam angles and their corresponding spread of light. This chart can be incredibly helpful when selecting the right lighting fixture.
The chart categorizes beam angles using degrees, such as 10°, 60°, and 120°, and other terms like narrow, spot, wide, and wider. These categories follow the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) classification, which is widely accepted and used.
From very narrow (10° – 18°) to very wide (130° or more), this chart helps you visualize the spread of light from different beam angles (nema.org).
A 120-degree beam angle offers a wide light spread, making it an excellent choice for general lighting in large spaces. However, this large beam angle can also mean that the light is less intense, given that the same amount of light is distributed over a larger area.
This can be beneficial in settings where you want to avoid harsh lighting effects. Nevertheless, the height of the ceiling and the size of the space are crucial factors to consider when employing such wide beam angles.
A 40-degree beam angle strikes a balance between focus and spread. While it isn't as narrow as a spotlight, it offers more targeted lighting than wider angles.
This type of beam angle is perfect for accent lighting. It can highlight specific features or areas, such as artwork, a product display, or a work desk, without flooding the surrounding areas with light.
Besides the beam angle, lighting design also takes into account the field angle. While the beam angle indicates the area where the lamp emits at least half of its maximum luminous intensity, the field angle refers to the outer region in the light circle where the lamp emits up to one-tenth of its maximum luminous intensity (ies.org).
Understanding these two parameters' differences is essential to anticipate how much light is scattered outside the central beam.
Floodlights typically have wide beam angles. These are used to illuminate large areas, such as stages, driveways, or yards. A floodlight's beam angle can vary greatly, but it is typically around 120°.
Despite the wide coverage, it's essential to remember that the intensity of light decreases as you move away from the center of the beam. This quality makes floodlights ideal for providing ambient lighting over extensive areas.
While manufacturers typically provide the beam angle information, understanding how it's calculated can offer more insight.
Here's a simple trigonometric formula to calculate beam angles:
Beam Angle = 2* Tan-1 [Beam Spread / Light Distance]
The beam spread here refers to 50% of the total light output. Any light outside this concentrated center is termed 'spill light' or 'beam field'.
Choosing the right beam angle for your space is essential to achieve optimal illumination. It involves a careful assessment of your space's dimensions, the nature of tasks performed, and the desired ambiance.
For instance, a wider beam angle such as 100° or more is suitable for ambient lighting. On the other hand, a narrower beam angle of less than 60° is often used for task or accent lighting.
A study conducted by the Energy Efficiency Authority found that using narrower beam angles (around 30 degrees) in commercial buildings resulted in an average energy savings of 20% compared to wider beam angles. This translates to significant cost savings on electricity bills over time.
Before making your choice, consult the LED beam angle chart, consider the field angle, and if necessary, seek advice from a lighting professional. Remember, the goal is to create a well-lit space that is functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.
We have provided you with a comprehensive guide on beam angles in lighting. We intend to familiarize you with the basics so you can make informed decisions when selecting lighting for your building. Although beam angles may initially seem complex, they are actually quite straightforward once you understand the concept. For well-lit spaces, opt for wide beam angles, while narrow beam angles are ideal for emphasizing specific areas. Feel free to combine different beam angles to create desired lighting environment for your customers.
If you find the process of selecting beam angles overwhelming, our team of experts at Infralumin is here to assist you. We specialize in offering a wide range of lighting solutions for industrial and commercial buildings.
At Infralumin, we pride ourselves on our diverse selection of lighting solutions, which include LED Street Lights, LED Flood Lights, LED Lights for Sports and Stadiums, and LED Garden Lights. These options provide various beam angles to cater to your specific needs.
To receive a personalized quote for your bulk order of led lights, contact us now! We are committed to helping you find the perfect lighting solutions for your customers' space.