Area Lights

Area lighting can refer to many different types of light. The different types are usually defined by their light distribution, with some thoughts of potential application as well.

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Light distribution is considered the point at which light is exactly fifty percent of the luminosity of the source. Area lighting can sometimes come in different shapes, as well. Here are some examples of the different types to help give you an idea of what kind of area lighting will best suit your needs.

Type I Light Distribution- Type I light distribution provides a wide, symmetrical light for fixtures located in the middle of a walkway. The width of the pattern it creates is about equal to the fixture’s height. Type I fixtures are good for sidewalks, narrow walkways, and border lighting.

Type II Light Distribution-Type II fixtures have a slightly wider distribution and are for installations where the fixture is placed at the edge of a wide path, alley, or roadway. These fixtures light an area up to 1.5 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture. If the fixture is 20 feet high, it will cast light up to 30 feet wide on the area below.

Type III Light Distribution-Type III light distribution casts light about 2.75 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture. Fixtures should be placed along the side of the area to be lit, allowing the light to project outward. A fixture with Type III distribution mounted to a 10-foot pole will cast light about 27.5 feet in width from the light source.

Type IV Light Distribution-Type IV light distribution fixtures are known as forward throw fixtures. Like Type III fixtures, these light fixtures will cast light 2.75 times wider than their height. But they will produce a more rounded distribution pattern that pushes the light outward, with little light falling behind the fixture. Fixture types for light throw are varied. For optimal forward throw light distribution, they’re best mounted on walls or used to illuminate specific areas.

Type V Light Distribution-Large spaces usually require Type V light fixtures. These fixtures distribute light evenly around all sides of the fixture, usually in a square or circular pattern.

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