3 Minute Read

The Importance of Obtaining Photometric Lighting Layouts for Outdoor Lighting

When you are considering illuminating a large space, it requires a detailed and calculated design to ensure that the installed lighting fixtures provide the appropriate illumination across the space. So the question that arises is “how exactly do you properly plan out a large-scale lighting project to achieve your desired look and lighting levels?”

The answer is through a photometric lighting plan, which will be the topic of discussion in today’s post.  A quick note on photometric lighting layouts; if your supplier or contractor is unable to provide a lighting layout on a proposed project, it should be considered a MAJOR Red Flag.


What is Photometrics?

Photometry is the science of measuring the perceived power of a source of light. A photometric plan, also known as a photometric analysis or photometric lighting layout, is a way to view a proposed lighting solution and the foot-candles that can be expected to be achieved before installation. Simply put it is a computer simulation of light.

Photometric studies can digitally simulate both indoor and outdoor lighting designs. A photometric study can replicate the position, intensity, and color of any lighting design. The results show you the light and shadow distribution along with the contrast between light and dark zones in the space provided.

A photometric plan utilizes this photometric software to create an authentic visualization of what the proposed lighting layout will be based on the entered property blueprint. A photometric plan ensures that the proposed lighting layout aligns perfectly with your goals and allows you to digitally review your design and make adjustments as necessary, before installation. 




A photometric plan also has the ability to calculate the illumination levels, foot candle readings, and the distribution of light, among other critical information necessary for proper installation.


Stouch Lighting 3D Illumination Reference


Six Advantages of a Photometric Plan:

Photometry may be a complicated, technical science, but lighting designers have made it simple in its application. In any large or Commercial, Industrial, or Retail spaces that require major lighting, a photometric plan will serve to be advantageous in six ways to the clients, the architects, and lighting designers through:

  • Real-Time Modeling
  • Lighting Selection Optimization
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Enhanced Security
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Enhanced Customer Experience


Stouch Lighting modern photometric diagramming of shopping mall

Real-Time Modeling – With modern photometric diagramming, you can see what the proposed lighting system will look like before it is even installed. This eliminates any unwanted surprises once the final product has been put in place.


Optimize the lighting selection – With modern photometric diagramming, you can visualize the lighting effects in 3D space to confirm the brightness, intensity, and evenness of light distribution.


Stouch lighting 3D RENDERING & COLOR RENDERING of baseball field


Increase energy efficiency – With modern photometric diagramming, architects and lighting planners can analyze prospective lighting plans and provide the best alternative to be as energy-efficient as possible.


Enhanced Security – With modern photometric diagramming, lighting planners can now easily identify dark zones in the given space and install fixtures that help improve indoor and outdoor security.


Environmental Analysis – With modern photometric diagramming, lighting planners can easily visualize if adjacent properties and the surrounding area are over-illuminated prior to installation and make adjustments as required.


Enhance the Customer Experience – With modern photometric diagramming, building owners can now determine the best ambiance and mood of the room through a visual representation of the location, the type of furnishing, and light intensity in the space. 


Where Can We Use a Photometric Plan?

It is recommended that every customer require a photometric layout from their contractor or supplier. A photometric plan is particularly necessary anytime that your lighting project must adhere to specific codes, is being used for safety purposes, or on large properties. Some examples include:


Warehouses: Having a photometric analysis done before the construction of a warehouse will provide you with a comprehensive plan that gives you the best lighting solutions before you buy LED floodlights and hazardous lighting systems. A photometric lighting plan will allow you to  maintain a consistent lighting level throughout your warehouse.


Retail Spaces: A photometric analysis of any retail space such as a grocery store, department store, and convenience store can set a special lighting arrangement for new product areas by prioritizing the illumination of that area. A photometric lighting plan will allow you to maintain uniform lighting across the space so that the products are well highlighted and easily identifiable by customers.


stouch lighting photometric analysis of retail parking lot, with special lighting arrangement to comply with required codes


Parking: A photometric analysis of a commercial parking space will allow you to comply with the required codes for the minimum, maximum, and average light levels for the space. A photometric plan will also address all safety concerns and eliminates light trespass. 


Stouch Lighting Before and after photometric analysis

A lighting system that is too dim can be disappointing. That is why the proposed lighting system should be planned, visualized and mathematically calculated to meet the requirements and local lighting codes. Contact Stouch Lighting today to receive a design consultation from our team of lighting certified professionals to put together a well-designed photometric calculation that can help assist with proposing what type of luminaire is required for any new construction or interior/outdoor LED lighting layout.