What is Delivered Light and How is it Calculated?

As an expert in lighting design, I'm excited to explore the concept of delivered light, a fundamental aspect of illuminating spaces effectively. Delivered light refers to the amount of light actually reaching a surface or area within a space, taking into account factors such as light output, fixture efficiency, and light distribution characteristics. Calculating delivered light involves several key parameters and considerations to ensure optimal lighting performance and energy efficiency.

At its core, the delivered light is influenced by the combination of several factors, including the light output of the lighting fixture, the efficiency of the luminaire, the mounting height and orientation of the fixture, and the characteristics of the surface or area being illuminated. To calculate delivered light accurately, designers must consider these factors and apply appropriate lighting calculation methods and formulas.

The primary parameter used to quantify delivered light is illuminance, measured in lux (lx) or footcandles (fc), which represents the amount of light incident on a surface. Illuminance is determined by dividing the luminous flux emitted by the lighting fixture by the area of the surface being illuminated. This calculation takes into account the light distribution characteristics of the fixture, such as beam angle, intensity distribution, and light loss factors, to estimate the illuminance levels at various points within the space.

To calculate delivered light, designers typically use photometric data provided by luminaire manufacturers, which includes information about the light output, distribution, and efficiency of the fixture. This data is often presented in photometric files or IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) files, which contain detailed measurements and specifications of the fixture's photometric properties.

Using photometric data, designers can perform lighting calculations using specialized software tools or lighting calculation formulas to predict illuminance levels at specific locations within a space. These calculations take into account factors such as luminaire spacing, mounting height, room geometry, and surface reflectance to determine the optimal placement and configuration of lighting fixtures for achieving desired illuminance levels.

In addition to illuminance, designers may also consider other metrics such as uniformity ratio, glare index, and lighting power density (LPD) to evaluate the quality and efficiency of the lighting design. Uniformity ratio measures the evenness of light distribution across a surface, while glare index assesses the potential for discomfort glare caused by excessive luminance ratios. Lighting power density quantifies the energy efficiency of the lighting design by expressing the total power consumption of lighting fixtures per unit area of the space.

By carefully analyzing these parameters and applying appropriate lighting calculation techniques, designers can optimize the lighting design to deliver adequate illuminance levels, uniform light distribution, and visual comfort while minimizing energy consumption and glare. This holistic approach ensures that the delivered light effectively meets the functional, aesthetic, and energy efficiency requirements of the space, resulting in well-lit and visually appealing environments for occupants.

In conclusion, delivered light is a crucial aspect of lighting design that encompasses the amount of light reaching a surface or area within a space. By considering factors such as light output, fixture efficiency, and light distribution characteristics, designers can calculate delivered light accurately using photometric data and lighting calculation methods. This allows for the optimization of illuminance levels, uniformity, and visual comfort while ensuring energy efficiency and lighting quality in architectural environments.

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