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How do you make sure you pick the right optics for your projects?
Well, first of all, you need to know what constitutes a good optic.
A good optic is an optic that makes the object being illuminated easy to see.
A bad optic creates glare and unnecessary shadows which can irritate the eyes and makes the illuminated object hard to see.
Just look at the example below. Which fixture has good optics?
source: Jarvis Lighting XBEAM Canopy Light
The fixture on the left clearly misses the mark because it directs all of the light on the ground and does not illuminate the gas pump.
The one on the right, however, covers both the ground and the gas pump making the gas station more visible from afar and thus drawing more customers to the gas station.
The illustration below shows the useful and wasted light.
When choosing optics, you want to focus as much of the light in the right direction as possible to eliminate glare, light pollution and energy waste.
source: National Geographic
Another important consideration in picking optics is the application.
Optics for Indoor Applications
Some optics are good for indoor applications and are terrible for outdoor applications.
Generally, optics that spread out the light and minimize glare are good for indoor applications.
Indoors, you want the light to be soft and evenly distributed in the area.
Optics for Outdoor Applications
On the other hand, for outdoor applications, you want to pick optics that are well-directed and do not leak to the sky or anywhere you don’t want it to be. Glare is still not desirable outdoors, but it is a less critical factor.
Now that you know what makes a good optic and where to apply different optics, you can start delivering truly high quality lighting to your customers.