We’ve all been there. We’ve caught glimpses, or even stared, at an extremely bright light source. We see spots. “Wow,” we tell ourselves, “that is so bright, it must be exactly what I need for my project.”
We need to be careful, though: brightness can fool us. Brightness can actually undermine our vision and our ability to see around an area. When we look at something exceptionally bright, our pupils constrict and we lose visual acuity, which is the same thing that happens with a high glare light source. The true test of whether a particular light is right for your application isn’t to look at the light; it’s to look at what it’s lighting.
The Flashlight Test
Imagine yourself in the dark with a flashlight. Shine it directly in your face, and you can’t see anything. Worse, when you turn the light away from your face, your eyes need time to adjust in an effort to figure out what’s going on. Now, imagine, instead of shining the light in your face, you shine it at the ground, the walls, or whatever is around you. Now, you can see your surroundings.
You can conduct a similar test driving at night. We’ve all see the ultra bright high glare headlights out recently. An oncoming car with it’s high glare lights does not improve your vision (even though they are putting a lot of light on the ground). That stray light from their lights is hitting your eyes and reducing your vision. Once they pass your vision of the road actually improves because the source of the glare is gone. You can see better with less light and without that second set of headlights pointing in your direction.
This is the same mindset you should have when deciding a lighting strategy for your parking lot or outdoor application. It’s less about the way the actual light looks, and far more about what the light is illuminating, and how well you can see in that environment.
Coverage Over Brightness
While a bright light source can be attractive, we care more about the area its lighting being bright. That is, if we focus on coverage by engineering the optics and how they manage and deliver the light, we can deliver the desired results without necessarily needing the brightest lights available.
We emphasize low-glare, high-performance products and strategies that use precise light control to give you light where you need it, while also helping you meet lighting standards and uniformity requirements. This creates a pleasing, welcoming environment, which is exactly what quality lighting should do.
Contact us today to learn more or schedule a consultation.