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Why lighting layouts are so important

February 7, 2019

Written By: Jordan Dahl, Product Development Engineer

You are ready to light that warehouse you’ve moved your business into. It is lit with old florescent lights and now you‘d like to retrofit with LED fixtures. How many will you need? How far do you space them for maximum safety and efficiency? What color temperature should you use? Well, this is when a lighting layout is critical.

A lighting layout is a visual representation of the resulting illuminance in a specific application and is based on specified lighting fixtures or natural light. Essentially, these layouts predict and quantify the distribution of light in any given application. Without one, it’s just an educated guess.  

Layouts are important for specifiers and customers because they verify that the quantity of luminaires specified for an application will provide an adequate amount of light to desired areas. Also taken into consideration when building lighting layouts are the intended human activity that will occur in a lighted area and the color temperature that best suits the area. For example, a “Loading and Unloading Platform” is specified by the IES lighting guide to have 200 lux, so that would be the target for a rough minimum displayed on the layout.

Lighting layouts allow manufacturers to provide proof that their products will meet the required specifications. Additionally, they can help differentiate manufacturers, so you know you are getting the best product for the application. Engineers can provide comparisons between various products to show how one fixture performs against another to ensure the ideal solution is chosen.  

In order to get the most accurate lighting layout, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Are drawings of the area/equipment available?
  • What can fixtures be mounted to?
  • Is there an existing lighting footprint that needs to be matched?
  • What is the target area to be illuminated?
  • Is there a desired illuminance target?

Now, you might be wondering if a custom lighting layout is required for every application? This can depend on how similar the application is to another application that a manufacturer has specified in the past. For example, there are hundreds of models of haul trucks that have been made over the years. Each haul truck has slightly different mounting locations for the headlights, taillights, etc., but groups of them are essentially the same from a lighting perspective. Manufacturers may be able to accurately specify an application using layouts that were completed previously for a similar application.

No matter what application you are lighting: warehouses, mining equipment, ports container cranes, sports stadiums or office buildings, don’t hesitate to ask your manufacturer for a lighting layout. Remember, the lights you choose will help all your other investments shine!

Are you in need of a lighting layout for your project? Request a custom layout from Phoenix now.

* Phoenix uses a program called AGi32 to create these simulations. Learn more about AGi32.