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What Are Area Lights & Where Are They Used?
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What Are Area Lights & Where Are They Used?

Lighting designer Thomas Farin talks about the importance of light to the design process, saying “Light is the first element of design; without it, there is no color, form, or texture.”

Lighting controls not just what we see but how we see it. It can make a space seem intimate, mellow, exciting, or energizing. It lets you shape your space in a way that few other design disciplines can.

Today we’re going to take a look at area lights. Keep reading for an explanation of area lighting, what it is, and how you can use it for an indoor or outdoor commercial application.

What Are Area Lights?

Area lights are a type of lighting fixture that are used to illuminate a specific area or space, such as a parking lot, playground, or park. They provide a wider spread of light (beam spread) compared to traditional street lights, making them ideal for larger outdoor areas where a more uniform distribution of light is desired.

Features of Area Lights

  • Broad coverage: Area lights are designed to provide a wider spread of light, ensuring that more of the surrounding area is illuminated.
  • Energy-efficient: LED area lights are designed to be energy-efficient, using less power to provide the same amount of light as traditional street lights.
  • Durable: Made to withstand Mother Nature and extreme weather conditions while being damage resistant from impact or vandalism.
  • Attractive design: Modern area lights often have a sleek and attractive appearance, enhancing the look of the surrounding area.

Where are Area Lights Commonly Found?

  • Parking Lots: Area lights are commonly used to illuminate parking lots, providing better visibility and improved safety for drivers and pedestrians.
  • Parks and Playgrounds: Area lights are also often used in parks and playgrounds, providing a safer and more enjoyable environment for children and families.
  • Outdoor Event Spaces: Area lights are sometimes used in outdoor event spaces, such as concert venues and festivals, to provide adequate lighting for evening events.
  • Residential Areas: In residential areas, area lights may be used to illuminate sidewalks, bike paths, or other communal outdoor spaces.

They go on to outline some specifics like different qualities of shadows. They also offer some illustrations to show the impact that area lighting can have, illustrating the dramatic effect that focused lighting can have on an object or area.

parking lot area light on top of pole with blue sky in background

Types of Area Lighting

Area lighting can refer to many different types of light. The different types are usually defined by their light distribution, with some consideration of potential application as well.

Light distribution is considered the point at which light is exactly 50% of the luminosity of the source.

Types of area lighting can sometimes can in different shapes, as well. Let’s take a quick look at each to help give you a better idea of what kind of area lighting will best suit your needs.

Type 1

Type 1 area lighting casts symmetrical light for its light distribution pattern. Generally speaking, the width of a Type 1 area light fixture’s illumination is roughly equal to its height.

Type 1 area lighting tends to have an oval shape thanks to its symmetrical light distribution pattern.

Lighted sidewalks and border lighting are both good examples of Type 1 area lighting. Type 1 area lighting features bi-directional lighting and symmetrical lighting. This means Type 1 lights require less power than other types of area lighting.

Type 2

Type 2 area lights have a slightly wider area of lighting distribution. This makes it more suitable for slightly wider walkways, roads, or driveways than Type 1 lighting.

Type 2 area lighting can sometimes be used for situations that call for long, narrow lighting. This makes Type 2 area lighting appropriate for wide walkways and longer, thinner enclosed areas like a tunnel.

Type 2 area lighting tends to cover an area of around 25 degrees. Its shape is also similar to an oval, like Type 1.

Type 3

Type 3 area lighting is broad enough that it’s suitable for general outdoor application. It’s got a linear, directional light pattern, though, so it needs to be placed on the edge of whatever you’re illuminating.

Type 3 area lighting tends to be used for general outdoor applications like lighting a parking area or other wide outdoor space. Type 3 area lighting has a V-shaped directional light distribution at 40 degrees, though, with a much narrower light pattern on the sides.

You’ll need to take that into consideration and place the light accordingly.

Type 4

Type 4 area light fixtures have a semicircular lighting pattern that also has a directional light distribution pattern. This makes it ideal as security lighting or for being mounted on the wall. Type 4 area lighting has the same lighting intensity at 90 and 270 degrees.

Its ideal range is around 60 degrees, though.

Bonus tip: Type 4 area lighting is used for lighting up wider walkways and used to brighten areas up to 3.7 times its pole-mounting height.

Type 5

This type of area lighting boasts a full 360-degree lighting pattern. It has equal lighting distribution at all points and in all directions.

Type 5 area lights can also have a square pattern, though. the square Type 5 lighting pattern has the same lighting intensity at all of the cardinal points of a compass.

Type 5 area lights have the most even light distribution of all area light patterns. This means you need to place Type 5 area lights in the center of whatever you’re trying to light up, though. They’re a perfect choice for intersections or in parking areas where you have a lot of space to give you options on where to place your light source.

Area lights can give a space a whole new lease on life. They make it so you can actually use a space the way it’s intended. They also ensure you can use a space safely.

Considering how much illumination area lights call for and how much distance they need to cover, LED light fixtures are an ideal choice for area lights. They’re powerful enough that they can light up the area you need to illuminate.

They’re also durable enough to withstand outdoor conditions. So whether you’re looking to light a parking area or a construction site, a walkway, or the outside of an apartment building, try out LED lights the next time you need area lighting.

What are Post Top Area Lights?

Post top area lights are a type of outdoor lighting fixtures that are designed to be mounted on top of poles or posts. They are commonly used in various outdoor areas including parks, streets, parking lots, walkways, and more.

These lights provide bright and efficient lighting for a wide area, making them an ideal solution for improving the safety and visibility of outdoor spaces at night.

flood light mounted on pole

What are Flood Lights?

Flood lights are a type of outdoor lighting fixtures that are designed to produce bright and wide beams of light. They are typically used to illuminate large outdoor areas such as sports fields, parking lots, building exteriors, and more. Flood lights are often mounted on tall poles, building walls or act as landscape lights and can be adjusted to direct light in specific directions.

There are several types of flood lights, including LED flood lights, halogen flood lights, and metal halide flood lights. LED flood lights are highly energy-efficient and have a long lifespan, while halogen flood lights provide bright and warm light at a lower cost. Metal halide flood lights are often used in industrial and commercial applications due to their high luminosity and energy efficiency.

When choosing between flood lights and area lights, it’s important to consider the specific needs and requirements of the outdoor space and choose the type of light that best fits those needs.

Lighting and Supplies – Your Supplier for Area, Flood, Post Top Lights & More!

Lighting and Supplies is a wholesale distributor of area lights, parking lot lights, flood lights, and more. Whether you’re looking to light up a large outdoor space or a smaller area, we have the lighting solutions you need

Our residential and commercial lighting products are carefully selected to ensure that they are o the highest quality and provide the best value to our customers. Contact us today today to learn more about our lighting solutions and to place an order. Let Lighting and Supplies help you find the lights you need!

Call us at 888-325-4448 for immediate assistance or to get a quote on area lights.

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