Do you often get the impression your light is not dispersing as much light as it did when you first got it? Does the brightness of this lamp differ from one moment to the next, or from one room to another? If that’s the case, these variances might be caused by a reduction of light known as optical loss.

Learn more about the significance of optical loss, the factors that impact this depletion of light and ways to control this loss.

Definition of Optical Loss

An assessment of light reduction allows us to measure the decreased luminosity of a given light source.

Owing to several operational and environmental factors, the intensity of light is often affected by the course it takes between the lamp itself and the targeted surface. The end result may be quite different from what was anticipated.

When a lighting professional gives advice about a lighting solution or when he installs this system, he must consider various normal or abnormal conditions that might influence the reduction of light; he must then select the light system that offers the optimal amount of light.

Light Loss Factors Infographic

Factors that Impact Loss of Light

Line Voltage Fluctuations

Fluctuations of the electrical voltage that powers the light source are considered one of the main factors that influence the reduction of light. Indeed, when the voltage declines or increases, it influences the degree of light produced and may thus result in a variance of brightness.

Lamps and Ballasts in a System

When both lamps and ballasts work jointly in a single system, they will incur a loss of brightness; this is what is known as the ballast factor. This factor is actually the ratio of a lamp’s luminous flux powered by a ballast to this same lamp’s luminous flux powered by a related ballast; for instance, a 0.80 ballast factor would power 80% of a lamp’s lumens.

Operating Temperature

Temperature can also cause loss of luminosity. A lamp’s overly high or excessively low operating temperature as well the temperature of a given room are elements that may alter fluorescent lighting and reduce its luminous flux.

Lamp Depreciation

The wear and tear of a lamp will affect the amount of light radiated; for example, the colour of the lamp coating may fade or fluctuations of the electrical current may increase. These fluctuations transform ambient lighting in much the same way as the presence of impurities and dust particles in a lighting system.

In addition, as the lamp ages, a decline in lumens occurs. Over time, loss of brightness is to be expected.

How to Avoid Loss of Light?

While it is impossible to prevent certain types of deterioration such as inherent aging of a lamp, prevention of other forms of deterioration is feasible. Following are a few elements that can be controlled.

Light Depreciation Factors Infographic

Examine the Specifics of a Light

To maximize the output of a luminaire, a simple solution is to follow the specific guidelines as defined by the manufacturer; for example, use the lighting system in a space that conforms to the conditions stipulated as well as the ideal standard temperature settings.

Use Luminaires that Control the Accumulation of Dust

The IP65 standard was established for dusty and damp environments, both indoors and outdoors. The use of a luminaire that conforms to this standard helps decrease loss of light caused by accumulated dust and prevents the intrusion of contaminants inside the luminaire as well as its components.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance of lighting systems remains an effective way of offsetting decreased luminosity. Replacing a light bulb or a defective electrical component might even breathe a second wind in this system, and thus prevent the cost of replacing the item and give a room the bright light it deserves.

In the end, optical loss is a natural and unavoidable phenomenon. However, despite all the elements that might cause this loss of light, we need only keep them in mind and put preventive methods to good use in order to take full advantage of all-inclusive lighting.

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