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An Architect with Lighting question

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arshia erani
An Architect with Lighting question
on Mar 4, 2014 at 11:52:16 pm

Hello. I have been trying to get a straight answer about this from lighting manufacturers and have not been able to get a logical response. I was hoping one of you pros can chime in with your two cents.

Assume two lights, 1- An LED strip light & 2- A Fluorescent Tube, with identical reflectors, housing, temperature. Also, assuming that both have the same LUMEN per Linear foot:

Q1- Will the brightness be the same at a distance of x feet away from the light source for both lights?
Q2- If Lumens are the same, could it be assumed that the lights will produce the same brightness (foot candles) on a surface (i.e. table) if they are mounted at the same distance on a ceiling?

To provide context, I am trying to specify LED strips instead of fluorescent tubes in a project. Thank you for your input.

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Bill Davis
Re: An Architect with Lighting question
on Mar 5, 2014 at 7:11:36 am


I would expect the blending of the light falling on the surface would be different.

Each LED is essentially a tiny spotlight. Depending on the spacing, you'd expect overlapping areas of intensity focused on where each led is aimed - with some falloff between the emitters.

The fluorescent tube, since the entire glass tube surface emits light evenly. won't have that characteristic.

The LED array would actually create significantly more light on the surface for the same power draw (LEDs are extremely efficient) - much more so than a Fluorescent tube.

It entirely depends on what you're lighting - how you can rig the emitters - any diffusion you can use with them - and the shadow pattern you're looking to create off the objects you're lighting.

In an architectural setting, for example, if you used the lights to illuminate foliage - and the shadows from your light placement were projected on a building wall, a fluorescent tube would be expected to create very soft edged diffuse shadows - while an LED strip light would likely produce a blended array of multiple "stepped" shadows - one for each LED in the array.

Some food for thought, anyway.

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Mark Suszko
Re: An Architect with Lighting question
on Mar 5, 2014 at 2:51:01 pm

Exactly. And adding a diffuser to the LED's to make them more like the flo, will reduce their total output.

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