It’s that age old problem that bites us when we least expect (and cruelly) during the final installation phase of a project. For all of us who specify and design lighting – glare is a real problem – the need to provide sufficient light onto an object with the minimal amount of discomfort to the user’s eyes.Arguably the best lighting is where the cast of light is seen and not the source. However, unless completely shielded – light will inevitably be bright at source and likely to shine glare into the eye. Spotlighting is an application where designers have to be particularly careful.
Top tips to minimise glare if a fixture isn’t concealed:
1. Ensure the beam angle of the fitting isn’t unnecessarily wide – This avoids
extraneous light hitting the eye and directs light only to where it is required.
2. Choose a lamp or source (typically an LED) that is recessed into the fitting. How? Use a baffled fixture – which has a short tube/cylinder construction (typically black) – by sinking the source deeper into the fitting the spill of light is minimised
3. Add a snoot – Odd word for another tube added onto the front of a spotlight. This deepens the source thus hiding it further – reducing the angle of light that may trouble users vision.
4. Add a honeycomb louvre – Some fixtures provide the option for this – simply hiding the source from the eye at a wider viewing angle.
5. Be aware of unprotected LED chips behind lenses – The current trend
toward the miniaturisation of fixtures utilising LED’s small proportions brings with it a potential downside. Maximum output is achieved if the bare LED is behind a lens but it’s very harsh to the eye and must be used with care.
Lastly – if in doubt – dim the fitting but that is only supplementary and not a fundamental fix.
When you specify and purchase lights from us – this advice is all part of the extra value service we offer all our clients. So if you wish to light your next project with total confidence – call us and we will be happy to help!