Photometric Study Plan


Unnecessary and excessive site lighting can gave various adverse safety and environmental impacts. For instance, excessive lighting can lead to inefficient energy consumption. Also, it can create glare levels that can harm pedestrians and neighboring properties. Uneven lighting can affect the night vision of pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.

You can also experience these challenges when designing commercial or large spaces. Hence the need for a photometric plan when upgrading or installing new lighting.

A photometric analysis analyzes the lighting within an outdoor or indoor space. It shows how light leaves the fixtures and moves into the surrounding spaces. Also, it includes illumination levels and lighting fixtures levels. This helps electrical designers and architects determine whether the space has enough lighting.

But, when do you need a photometric plan for your project? Continue reading this blog to find out! First, let’s check out the benefits of having a photometric plan!

Benefits of a photometric analysis

Photometric plans visualize elements that can reduce the effectiveness of a lighting design. This includes objects like billings, tress, and so on. As a result, they come up with a detailed electrical design that benefits the project in various ways. Some of these benefits are;

  • Efficiency and Safety

Safety is an important factor to consider when designing lighting for commercial projects. The electrical design must maintain a safe night vision for drivers and pedestrians. As for efficiency, commercial spaces want to reduce the number of lighting fixtures. This will increase the building’s energy efficiency and improve its profitability. A photometric lighting study helps to reduce the number of fixtures needed for a project.

  • Lighting accuracy

When creating a lighting plan, designers start by assessing important project areas. Some of these areas are; landscape, layout, and architecture. This allows them to determine the amount of light emitted by each device. More importantly, it allows them to know the light intensity at certain distances. This accuracy is important in outdoor and parking lot lighting. It shows the power needed, the number of fixtures needed and the height of the fixtures.

  • Real-Time Modeling

With a modern photometric plan, you can easily see how the system will look before installation. Better still, you can observe any changes to the electrical design in real-time. Therefore, there will be no surprise once the lighting plan is finally implemented.

When is a photometric study needed?

Lighting designers create a photometric plan using a photometric software program. This program allows them to enter the space layout to adjust and design the lighting plan. Thus, clients and designers can make changes through simulation before the project commences. You’ll need this analysis in the following circumstances;

  • When installing new light fixtures

If you’re planning to install new lighting fixtures in a large space, this plan comes in handy. It visualizes how the fixtures will look like before the actual installation. This eliminates the guesswork and guides experts in the right way.

  • When planning lighting

A photometric lighting study determines the best lighting solution for your space. This is an important task when you’re planning to buy luminaires. Therefore, you can make procurements and choose the ideal fixtures for your project.

The plan also helps in ensuring the job site has uniform light distribution. This reduces eye strain caused by hot spots in the plan. For instance, it will prevent intense glares and low visual comfort in parking lots.

  • When you want to meet local codes

Most states, including California, require you to adhere to certain illumination standards. These guidelines are set to ensure there is lighting uniformity across the state. Some lighting codes prohibit light trespass into neighboring residential or commercial properties. The local authorities will fine you for any light passing past your property line. Thus, it’s important to have a photometric analysis before the project commences. In general, your lighting layout should be compliant with the local building department.

  • To visualize lighting before the project commences

Many building owners are upgrading their property by installing a new LED layout. The study envisions how the area will look like before the devices are installed. This eliminates the inconvenience of having to make modifications later. Also, this will prevent the owner from incurring additional costs.

Which projects require a photometric study?

The photometric technology evaluates solutions for lighting different outdoor and indoor spaces effectively. It determines the optimal lighting layout for a certain space. That said, here are some land uses that could use a photometric lighting study;

  • Commercial spaces like retail outlets, offices, plazas, and car dealerships.
  • Residential uses with 3 or more units, except on-street townhouses
  • Institutional facilities such as schools, hospitals, government facilities, and places of worship.
  • Employment uses like manufacturing, warehousing, processing, and fabrication facilities.
  • Outdoor spaces such as parking lots
  • Sports facilities and stadiums


Before you start any of the projects we’ve listed above, you’ll need a photometric plan. It will help you determine the perfect lighting solution for your project area. It provides an accurate approximation of the fixtures you’ll need and where to position them!

If you’re not a building professional, a photometric analysis may sound complicated. But, with the right assistance from lighting professionals, it’s quite simple. Contact Innodez Design & Engineering today! Our electrical designers will handle the entire lighting design for your projects.

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