SSL luminaires must deliver reliable beam patterns in outdoor applications (MAGAZINE)

Luminaires for outdoor SSL applications such as street lights must deliver increasingly precise beam patterns to minimize light pollution and maximize efficiency by directing light to the appropriate area, says Maury Wright.

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LED-based lighting is quickly gaining market share in outdoor-lighting applications including street lights, and area lights in shopping plazas and parking lots. At the same time, environmental activists are raising concerns about light pollution. The directionality of LEDs should be a good match with the goal of directing light to the proper place such as a roadway and not allowing light to trespass upon homes along a road. But designing an SSL luminaire to deliver correct beam patterns is a formidable task that LED makers, optical specialists, and luminaire manufacturers are all striving to solve.

LEDs are gaining popularity in outdoor lighting for a few simple reasons. SSL luminaires are more energy efficient and have a longer life than legacy technologies such as high-pressure sodium (HPS). That advantage translates to energy and maintenance savings for municipalities. But the SSL makers are being challenged by those concerned about light pollution to also offer better light control.

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This article was published in the September/October 2010 issue of LEDs Magazine. To read the full version of this article, please visit our magazine page, where you can download FREE electronic PDF versions of all issues of LEDs Magazine. You can also request a print copy of LEDs Magazine (available by paid subscription) and sign up for our free weekly email newsletter.

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