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Luminaires: Optics and Light Distribution


Learn how optics in luminaires allow different light distribution curves and understand the effect on glare and how to measure it.

Interested in lighting? Have you registered for your free account with the Ledvance Training Centre yet? It’s packed with training videos on all sorts of lighting topics, such as technology, products and applications, so it’s a fantastic resource if you’re interested in a career in lighting.

The bite-sized videos have got run times of between 8 and 24 minutes, so they’re ideal to fit in around your apprenticeship, too! You can even dip in and out of each video if you’re short on time. 

Why not take a look at the Luminaires: Optics and Light Distribution training video to learn how optics in luminaires allow different light distribution curves? The 14-minute video also covers the effect on glare and how to measure it. The training is broken down into the following sections:

  • Luminaires – optics and light distribution
  • Optical terms – the ways we modify light
  • Luminous intensity distribution
  • Spot/symmetric/asymmetric light distribution
  • Luminaire efficiency
  • Unified glare rating (UGR)
  • Standard deviation colour matching (SDCM)
  • MacAdam ellipses

The video starts with a brief introduction to luminaires, light distribution and optics before exploring the most common optical systems used with both LED for directional light and LED for flat panels.

It then explores the ways we modify light, such as reflection, transmission, refraction and absorption, and goes on to discuss luminous intensity, including the luminous intensity distribution body and luminous intensity distribution curves.

Examples of light distribution types (indoor) are then provided, such as direct lighting, general diffuse lighting and indirect lighting, with accompanying images to illustrate them. Spot, symmetric and asymmetric light distribution is then discussed along with the applications they lend themselves to, before examples of light distribution types (outdoor) are given.

The training goes on to mention luminaire efficiency and unified glare rating (UGR) along with the different types of glare – direct and reflected. The final slide goes into detail about standard deviation colour matching (SDCM) and MacAdam ellipses, including the importance of using LEDs with similar characteristics and what happens if the deviation is too large.

Visit the Ledvance Training Centre here to view the full list of training videos available. It takes just a minute to set up an account and then you’re free to explore the colourful world of light!

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