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LED Lighting: What are Distribution Patterns?


There is more to efficient lighting than choosing the brightest fixtures or fixtures that fit into your budget.  It is best to correctly assess the area and identify where the light is needed. LED lighting has the advantage of being truly directional, unlike traditional fixtures. Safety and security are most often key factors.

Light distribution refers to the horizontal pattern it casts and amount of light that reaches certain vertical angles. There are different light distribution patterns to consider for unique lighting applications.  Each distribution pattern provides a unique lighting footprint or pattern to meet the needs of your application.

Let's consider outdoor lighting to demonstrate the importance of choosing the right pattern. There are five common distribution patterns, so what are they?


Type I

Type I works best for walkways, paths, and sidewalks, aimed at lighting the center of the pathway. The fixture should be placed in the center of the pathway with the light distributed in opposite directions. Mounting height should be approximately equal to the roadway width.


Type II

Type II is a wide, round pattern and works best for wide walkways, roadway entrances, or applications looking for narrow, long lighting applications. This fixture should be placed in the center of where light is needed and distributed in an oval shape around the fixture.  The width of the light pattern is approximately 1.5 times wider than mounting height.



Type III

Type III distribution provides a wide, round pattern and works best for roadway lighting and general parking areas.  Type III is typically placed on the side of an area and the light is pushed outward. The width of the light pattern on the ground is about 2.75 times wider than the mounting height of the fixture.


Type IV

Type IV distributions are a round semicircular patter that pushes light away from the fixture, with little light falling behind the fixture.  These fixtures are typically mounted on the side of buildings or walls, best for illuminating the perimeter of parking areas and businesses.  The width is about 2.75 times wider than mounting height of the fixture.



Type V

Type V distribution is the largest, most even pattern. It is circular with the same density of light pushed in all directions, typically mounted in the center of parking lots, roadways and intersections.



Choosing LED Lighting for Your Application

LED lighting has so many versatile applications that its benefits go well beyond directionality in outdoor locations. From safety to productivity to groundbreaking energy savings and payback, LEDs can solve your lighting problem and brighten your bottom line.

Talk to one of our LED lighting specialists for a free consultation, and find out how LED can impact your business:

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