Angles for adjustable accent lights...

mkrallMarch 22, 2011

I've been studying lighting design and have come across just about no information on proper angles (or range of angle) for adjustable accent lights (whether in ceiling or track).

What I've found discussed is art lighting... 30deg. most common, 25deg. if wanting mild shadows from frames and/or bringing texture out on walls, 35deg for art work with heavy frames, so frames do not cause heavy shadows.

I've found nothing but non-detailed descriptions/lighting plans for use as dining table task light and/or centerpiece accent, cross-bowl-aimed sink lighting, penninsula/island task lighting, accent lighting for objects on horizontal surfaces, etc.

I've looked and called and written and have found so close to nothing, it's nearly the same. If you know about this topic, or know where detailed information about it is, I'd love to hear it.

Mike

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roadbike

I tend to go with what works in a given situation. Too many variables to be able to use a set formula.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 11:52AM
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mkrall

I understand that... put up a lot more track length than needed and position luminaires later. We've got no ability to do in-situ experimenting before the fact and recessed adjustable accents are what we prefer to use.

We know aiming angles and viewing angles need to be considered, have found cut-off angles for some luminaires but not all. It seems there is so much use of track and adjustable accent lighting, there has to be aiming information, either text or experiential, out there somewhere.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 4:29PM
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roadbike

I can't imagine the situation where you would need to put up more track than needed. I think you are over-analyzing a problem that is easily resolved at the site.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 6:54PM
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mkrall

How do you resolve the situation at the site?

Mike

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 1:46PM
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David

Have you tried putting a light on a tall tripod or some other mount to simulate how the final setup would look?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 1:10PM
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David

Have you tried putting a light on a tall tripod or some other mount to simulate how the final setup would look?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 2:01PM
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mkrall

David,

It is not a question of getting a luminaire we want to use and experimenting, though I understand the point of your advice... and over time, it's experiential knowledge.

We are a very-small-volume home designer/builder. We've had to include lighting design for a project in design phase. Sage Russell's book "Architecture of Light" was the point we switched over to marginal-competency. Working out detail is the largest obstacle.

We've worked through much of the adjustable-type task, accent, art/picture, wall lighting at a level of amount of FC required and proper positioning... i.e., luminaire, luminaire configuration (PAR#, wattage, beam-angle, aiming angle, +/- lenses, +/- louvers, +/- dimming). But it has been a serious struggle... available use-data is marginal in the extreme, so it's been by guess and by golly.

What a person finds is a description of a specific use, the nature of which is not transferable, even to the same specific with a different ceiling ht.

In some ways, David, it's lack of volume of specific instance a person can cross reference, and maybe that is a partial solution... find more (Where?). But there are luminaire/lamp realities not documented, also.

So, maybe a narrowed question... track/adjustable accent used as task lighting, two PAR lamps aimed down and in along the length of a dining table, missing a chandelier, and not used for centerpiece accent. For a person sitting at a table end, is it simply a matter of calculating luminaire/lamp cutoff then relating that to aiming angle and viewing position... that the table surface is then lit and sitting at an end doesn't have a view of the lamp?

Mike

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 2:21PM
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David

Unfortunately, there is little to go on in terms of publications.

The experimental approximation approach is probably the best thing to do in a hurry.

Or, you could use 3D ray tracing software to figure out if things are looking correct.

Clients would probably be more impressed.

I've included a link to a software title.

Here is a link that might be useful: lighting software

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:14PM
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David

The lighting design software title (LiveInterior) that I've been looking at is from belightsoft.com. I'm partial to titles that are designed for OS X.

Here is a link that might be useful: beLight

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 12:34PM
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mkrall

David,

I'm sorry I got distracted and lost the fact I was having a discussion here.

Thank you for the links. The OS-X software translates well in Linux. This may be a long-term useful tool for us.

Not that I've gotten all the questions answered but we are less spun-up with the topic.

Now I'm fighting another personal ignorance... proper fluorescent ballast type and control methods for dimming and non-dimming cove fixtures.

I don't know protocol here... should it be a different thread?

Mike

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 3:07PM
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David

Mike,

Certainly a new thread would be better.

There is the LED powercove from Phillips which is dimmable and connects directly to the AC input.

David

    Bookmark   April 12, 2011 at 4:45PM
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