Your Complete Guide To Light Beam Angle From Spot Lights and Its Effects On Your Lighting Needs

March 10, 2021

Your Complete Guide To Light Beam Angle From Spot Lights and Its Effects On Your Lighting Needs

Have you ever tried entering a dimly lit place or building? You could end up bumping into things. It can be incredibly frustrating. This is why beam angles are quite important. They will determine how visible an area is. We all need proper lighting for homes and workplaces. However, you need to choose the right lighting, which is more than just the brightness of the bulbs. You also need to consider the functionality and efficiency. If you would like to optimize your lighting, you have to consider the beam angle.

So what is the beam angle? What are its role and importance when it comes to choosing the ideal lighting?

What is a Beam Angle?

The fact of the matter is that every light source creates a beam angle. It doesn’t matter what light source it is – a candle or a LED bulb, it creates a beam angle. But what is it exactly? A beam angle is the angle of light that spreads across the floor when the light source is turned on.  It is sometimes referred to as beam spread. Having the right kind of beam angle can create the right ambiance and visibility for your space.

what is a beam angle

The beam angle is the measurement of the light’s distribution. An A19 light bulb, or a standard light bulb, will have a beam of about 360 degrees, which means that the light shining from this bulb will surround the area. Some lighting types will have narrower beam angles, which create brighter lighting.

Beam Angle: What to Consider?

There are some things that you have to consider when determining your beam angle. These things will determine if you have the right beam angle for your home, office, or space. These factors include building type, number of light fixtures, types of lighting, the height of ceilings, height of fixtures, type of ambiance,and bulb type.

The Type of Building or Structure

It is important to take into consideration the structure where you plan to place the light fixtures. Not only will this tell you how many light fixtures you need, but also which beam angle. The height of your ceiling will affect the illumination and visibility of your beam angle. A building with high ceilings will need a beam angle, which is different from a retail store’s beam angle.

Number of Light Fixtures

For general lighting purposes, you need 70-foot candles per square foot. A foot-candle is the unit of illumination where a one-foot candle is equal to one lumen per square foot.

How to Compute for the Total Number of Light Fixtures

So, how many lumens will you need to light up a 20,000 square foot building? You will need 1.4 million-foot candles to light up that size of a building. This is computed by multiplying 20,000 by 70.

But to determine the number of total lumens you need, you have to multiply the total lumens 1.4 million by the constant 1.40, which is the sum of 0.75 (the light loss factor) and 0.65 (the coefficient of utilization).

1,400,000 x 1.40 = 1,960,000 lumens

Finally, you need to add your lumens total and additional lumens to get the total amount of lumens that you need for your entire space.

1,400,000 x 1,960,000 = 3,360,000 lumens

You need 3,360,000 lumens to light up a 20,000 square foot space. This is one consideration when determining your beam angle. You also need a lighting layout design plan, so you would know which areas need brighter lights and which ones need dimmer ones.

Types of Lighting

There are three types of lighting, and the type of lighting you need determines the beam angle as well. You have task-oriented lighting, accent lighting, and general lighting. Task-oriented lighting is used in areas that need to be well lit. These are areas where high productivity is required. Accent lighting highlights a space, room, area, or object. General lighting can make you feel safe and comfortable.

Height of Your Ceilings or Buildings

You need to know the height of the ceiling to make sure that your beam angles are overlapping. If you don’t, you may end up with areas that are too bright and other areas that are considerably dimmer. Overlapping beam angles will ensure that your space is fully lit up. This will help prevent injuries. A standard height ceiling of around 8.86 feet will need a wide beam of about 60 degrees or more. If your height is higher, you will need a narrower beam angle, which is less than 45 degrees. You have to consider the height of your ceiling to ensure that you have a bright workspace.

The Ambiance That You Want to Create

You also need to decide the kind of ambiance that you want to create. This is often determined by what kind of building it is and what it is going to use be used for. What kind of lighting will you need for your building? Do you need accent, task, or general lighting? What kind of color temperature will you need for your building? The bulbs’ color rendering index or CRI is also another huge consideration. CRI measures how well a light bulb will show an item’s true color. Are there items that will need to be on display? You would want to highlight these items so you need to choose the right kind of beam angle for them.

The Type of Bulb That You Need

Depending on the application, the bulb type you need will vary. In commercial settings with high ceilings, the higher the light fixtures, the narrower your beam angle will be. If you have lower ceilings, your beam angle will be wider. Take note that there isn’t a general standard bulb when it comes to suppliers. Take note of this when you choose the bulb type that is right for your needs and application.

There are different beam spreads: narrow, medium, and wide. The angles vary too: very narrow spot, narrow, spot, narrow flood, flood, wide flood, and very wide flood. When it comes to beam angle, you can get either our Adjustable Light Beam 9W or Adjustable Light Beam 12W. These premium quality spotlights can help you maximize your light beam angle options from a narrow 15° to a wider 60°. With these bulbs, you can get the lighting to look just right at the most optimal position.

Adjustable Light Beam 9W

These bulbs are LEDs, so they are perfect for task lighting and focusing on specific areas. They can emit light in one direction, so they are more energy-efficient. This makes LED bulbs better than incandescent bulbs, which are not as energy efficient. Incandescent bulbs send lights in all directions so they are perfect for general highlighting.

Choosing the Right Beam Angle for Home Use

Where do you need to put a light? That is the key factor to choosing your beam angle. You have to consider the height of the ceiling, the room dimension, and the number of fittings to help you determine the right beam angle that will shine the light to where it is needed. You can also combine beam angles to create layers of light. This will help create visual interest and create pockets of light designed for specific tasks like reading.

beam angle residential

In most homes, a standard beam angle of about 40 degrees for your ceiling fixture is all that you need to light up a room. This degree changes depending on the height of the ceiling and the number of other fixtures in a specific area. Your living room or lounge area might not require as much light. You would want a wider beam angle of about 60 degrees for your overhead lamps.

In areas with higher ceilings like your stairwells, you will want a narrower beam to illuminate the area properly. You would need a beam angle of about 25 degrees of the ceiling of about 3 meters or something narrower.

Choosing the Right Beam Angle for Commercial Use

When it comes to industrial or commercial lighting, the primary considerations include efficiency, effective task lighting, ceiling height, room dimensions, number of fixtures, and aesthetics. You would need narrower beam angles for most commercial settings. Businesses need accent lighting, and they have different lighting needs than residential buildings. They also have higher ceilings than regular homes.

beam angle commercial

To use beam angles for effective accent lighting, you need to match the beam spread to the size of the object that you need to illuminate. Most items would need about 10 to 30 degrees of beam angle. Commercial buildings would either need a floodlight or a spotlight.

But what is the difference between a floodlight and a spotlight?

The main difference between a floodlight and a spotlight is that the former often has a wide beam, while the latter has a narrower beam. Floodlights are perfect for driveways, warehouses, and parking lots; while spotlights are great for highlighting objects, displaying architectural details, and focusing on landscape features.

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