Author: LED Lamps

Reducing LED Spotlight Intensity with Neutral-Density (ND) Gels

led spotlight

Reducing LED Spotlight Intensity

Illuminating small spaces with bright lights can cause glare and unwanted blinding to occur. In studios and for lighting systems without dimmable features, operators may install accessories over the luminary to reduce brightness.

One of these accessories is called a neutral-density or ND filter. This lighting accessory typically comes in the following grades: 0.3 (ND3), 0.6 (ND6) and 0.9 (ND9). When used correctly, ND gels can improve lighting quality for the entire space – resulting in diffused effects.

Light Intensity vs Color Temperature

LED spotlights are known for their tight, powerful beams. When incorporated with other types of luminaries, the light could overpower other beams in the location. As a result, illumination could appear uneven. Operators may cover an LED spotlight with an ND gel, so that it does not ruin the illuminative characteristics of the entire lighting system.

Modern ND filters are constructed of colored sheets of polyester. Previously, the accessories were made out of dried gelatin. The issue with low-quality, gelatin-based ND gels is their tendency to melt when exposed to high temperatures. For mounting close to theatrical spotlights, this type of ND filter is not recommended.

Benefits and Applications

It is important to clarify that ND light gels are very effective in controlling light intensity – not color temperature. In application, an ND filter can be applied over a window, in order to reduce the intensity levels of natural sunlight entering the location.

An ND gel may have varying grades of filtering on the surface to accommodate partial dampening of the light beam. For example, when filming in extremely bright outdoor locations, an ND layer with a slightly darker tint in the upper section could actively filter sunny skies while allowing more light to pass in the lower section of the filter. This type of filtering accessory is called a graduated ND gel.

Improve Outdoor Signage Visibility with LED Spotlights

Outdoor Signage

Large and colorful outdoor signs are effective marketing tools for local businesses. When placed in a high-activity area, outdoor sgnage could catch thousands of “eyes” passing through the location.

To improve the effectiveness of outdoor signs, many businesses are installing LED spotlights near the signs to make them easier to see at night or during hazy conditions. Read on to understand how LED spotlights can boost business exposure (when used with an outdoor sign) and increase the value of roadside marketing campaigns.

24/7 Exposure

When paired with LED spotlights, outdoor signs receive 24/7 exposure. Even with the business closed, a well-lit sign can still serve as a landmark for people on the road. With other signs around, adding LED spotlights to your signage could help make it standout.

LEDs are reliable sources for outdoor signage lights. Designed for long periods of operation, a robust LED spotlight offers up to 50,000+ hours of operation. The luminary’s solid-state construction also increases performance during rough handling. For areas where outdoor signs are installed, this could include curious animals tampering with the light or pedestrians walking over the units (most LED spotlights are installed on the ground with the light head pointing toward the sign).

LED Spotlight Configurations

There are several ways to illuminate an outdoor signage. The most direct way is to point the LED spotlight at the sign. When using this configuration, it is important to maintain space between the sign and the luminary to prevent the creation of glare spots (usually associated with intense light beams hitting shiny surfaces). This also ensures the entire sign is lit up.

Another option includes installing lights that point straight up at the front of the sign. This configuration provides general illumination over the entire area. If the sign is very close to a walkway, this setup is not recommended, as people walking over the light could get blinded.

Recessed LED Lights For Commercial Spaces & Offices

Recessed LED Lights

Spotlights are rarely used in commercial facilities, with the exception of recessed led lights. Consisting of a can that is fitted into the ceiling, this type of luminary provides seamless illumination for everyday tasks around the office.

Sleek and Spacious Configurations

Recessed led lights offers a handful of advantages for workers in commercial buildings. The units create a spacious illusion in rooms, making the ceiling appear higher. Additionally, recessed lights installed at corners can make the location feel open. The lightweight luminaries do not require bulky mounts or support – when installed, the lights provide the impression that they’re floating or suspended in the air.

When it comes to uniform lighting configurations, the cans must be spaced apart evenly, both from the wall to the lights and from light to light. For instance, if one’s recessed lights are 4-6 feet away from the wall, they should also be 4-6 feet away from each other.

Things to Consider

There are some challenges associated with installing and operating recessed lighting systems that one should know about before incorporating them inside commercial buildings. Initially, installations are more complex, compared to standard luminaries. This is because the units must be fitted into the ceiling, which usually requires holes to be created before installation. Furthermore, help from experts or professionals might be needed for meticulous installations involving building insulation systems.

After installation, the luminaries cannot be moved. For offices, this could be an issue, since rearranging the layout of the area could affect lighting performance. To avoid such challenges, be sure to commit to a long-term configuration of the space before setting up recessed lights.

Lastly, maintaining the luminaries tend to be more troublesome than other types of lighting systems, due to their compact design. Fortunately, using LED bulbs can reduce frequency of maintenance, as the units come with extended lifespans of 50,000+ hours.