Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center
    Volume 7 Issue 2
March 2003 (revised February 2007)    
candela - The Systeme International d'Unities (SI) of luminous intensity. One candela is one lumen per steradian. Formerly, candle. lumen (lm) - A unit measurement of the rate at which a lamp produces light. A lamp's light output rating expresses the total amount of light emitted in all directions per unit time. Ratings of initial light output provided by manufacturers express the total light output after 100 hours of operation. disability glare - A type of glare that causes a loss of visibility from stray light being scattered within the eye. discomfort glare - The sensation of annoyance or even pain induced by overly bright sources. illuminance - The amount of light (luminous flux) incident on a surface area. Illuminance is measured in footcandles (lumens/square foot) or lux (lumens/square meter). One footcandle equals 10.76 lux, although for convenience 10 lux commonly is used as the equivalent. glare - The sensation produced by luminances within the visual field that are sufficiently greater than the luminance to which the eyes are adapted, which causes annoyance, discomfort, or loss in visual performance and visibility. luminous flux - Luminous radiant power, measured in lumens. The overall light output of a lamp or luminaire. semicutoff luminaire - IESNA classification that describes a luminaire light distribution in which the candela per 1000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 50 (5%) at or above an angle of 90 above nadir, and 200 (20%) at or above a vertical angle of 80 above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. sky glow - Brightening of the sky caused by outdoor lighting and natural atmospheric and celestial factors. spill light - Light that falls outside of the area intended to be lighted. steradian (sr) - A unit of measure equal to the solid angle subtended at the center of a sphere by an area on the surface of the sphere equal to the square of the sphere radius. uplight - Light directed upward at greater than 90 above nadir. The source of uplight can be from a combination of direct uplight and reflected light. cutoff angle - The angle of light distribution from a luminaire, measured upward from nadir, between the vertical axis and the first line at which the bare source (lamp) is not visible. direct uplight - Light emitted upward by a luminaire. cutoff classification - The classification system of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) that describes the light distribution of anoutdoor luminiare. Cutoff classifications define the luminous intensity limits in two illumination zones that occur within the range of 80° to 180° above nadir. North America (IESNA) that describes the light distribution of an outdoor luminaire. Cutoff classifications define the luminous intensity limits in two illumination zones that occur within the range of 80 to 180 above nadir. cutoff luminaire - IESNA classification that describes a luminaire having a light distribution in which the candela per 1000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 25 (2.5%) at or above an angle of 90 above nadir, and 100 (10%) at or above a vertical angle of 80 above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. footcandle (fc) - A measure of illuminance in lumens per square foot. One footcandle equals 10.76 lux, although for convenience 10 lux commonly is used as the equivalent. fully shielded luminaire - A luminaire that emits no direct uplight, but which has no limitation on the intensity in the region between 80 and 90. light trespass - A undesirable condition in which exterior light is cast where it is not wanted. luminous intensity - The luminous flux on a small surface centered on and normal to the direction divided by the solid angle (in steradians) that the surface subtends at the source. Luminous intensity can be expressed in candelas or in lumens per steradian. lux (lx) - A measure of illuminance in lumens per square meter. One lux equals 0.093 footcandle. nadir - In the lighting discipline, nadir is the angle pointing directly downward from the luminaire, or 0. Nadir is opposite the zenith. noncutoff luminaire - IESNA classification that describes a luminaire light distribution in which there is no candela limitation in the zone above maximum candela. (See also cutoff classification and cutoff angle.) full cutoff luminaire - IESNA classification that describes a luminaire having a light distribution in which zero candela intensity occurs at or above an angle of 90 above nadir. Additionally, the candela per 1000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 100 (10%) at or above a vertical angle of 80 above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire. zenith - In the lighting discipline, zenith is the angle pointing directly upward from the luminaire, or 180. Zenith is opposite nadir. In astronomical usage, zenith is the highest point in the sky, directly above the observation point. fixture - A complete lighting unit consisting of lamp or lamps and the parts designed to distribute the light, position and protect the lamp(s), and connect the lamp(s) to the power supply. (Also referred to as luminaire.)
How is glare controlled?

The cutoff classifications of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) were developed to control glare. The IESNA full cutoff, cutoff, and semicutoff designations limit the intensity values in the glare zone. (See “What are the IESNA cutoff classifications?”) The Institution of Lighting Engineers (ILE) has suggested limits for glare for the different environmental zones, as shown in Table 4. In the table, the source intensity applies to each source in the potentially obtrusive direction, outside of the area being lit.

Table 4. Limits on glare for different environmental zones

Environmental
zone
Source intensity (kilocandela)

Before curfew After curfew

E1 0 0.0

E2 20 0.5

E3 30 1.0

E4 30 2.5

Source: ILE 2000

Glare and light trespass are of special concern when installing floodlights. The Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE) provides design guidelines on the siting and aiming of floodlights (CIE in press). One objective when the lighting is installed is to ensure that, to the extent practicable, direct view of the bright parts of the floodlights is prevented from positions of importance at eye-height on neighboring properties. Where possible, shielding should be considered. To determine the mounting height of luminaires, the CIE suggests the following considerations:

  • Higher mounting heights can often be more effective in controlling spill light, because floodlights with a more controlled light distribution (i.e., narrower beam) may be used, and the floodlights may be aimed in a more downward direction, making it easier to confine the light to the design area.
  • Lower mounting heights increase the spill light beyond the property boundaries. To illuminate the space satisfactorily, it is often necessary to use floodlights with a broader beam and to aim the floodlights in directions closer to the horizontal than would occur when using higher mounting heights.
  • Lower mounting heights make bright parts of the floodlights more visible from positions outside the property boundary, which can increase glare.

Figures 9 and 10 show how a higher mounting height compares to a lower mounting height for providing a given amount of light.

Figure 9. Floodlight at a higher mounting height with narrow beam angle, resulting in less spill light

Figure 10. Floodlight at a lower mounting height with wider beam angle, resulting in more spill light

Previous
Previous
2003 - 2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. All rights reserved. Next Next


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
LRC Intranet Web mail Lighting Research Center