Today (June 27th) is National Sunglasses Day! Although it is not a widely known ‘holiday’, sunglasses are certainly widely known to be an extremely helpful accessory. Every day, millions of people wear glasses with either tinted or polarized lenses that allow for better vision in intense sunlight. As well as enhancing our vision in the face of bright light, the specially engineered lenses also help protect our eyes from harmful ultra-violet (UV) rays that can cause permanent damage to our eyes and eyesight. Just as lenses are important in the design of sunglasses, they are equally important when it comes to designing a beautiful low-voltage landscape lighting system.
Lenses in Landscape Lighting
Colored Lenses – Applied to change the color of light. These dichroic glass filters are the easiest way of changing the color of light for your lighting system. They are ideal when a different theme or effect is needed for a holiday or special event lighting. Dichroic filters work by reflecting non-wanted colors back into the fixture while allowing desired colors to pass through. This results in a noticeable brightness reduction so, it’s always best to test a filter before specifying for an entire project.
Color Temperature Adjustment Lenses– Applied to change the natural color temperature of a fixture’s light output. Dichroic filters also work by reflecting non-wanted colors back into the fixture while allowing desired colors to pass through. This also results in a noticeable brightness reduction so, remember to test a filter before specifying for an entire project.
Frosted & Diffused Lenses– Applied to soften, diffuse edges and eliminate visual ‘hot spots’ in the light output. Even after meticulously planning a lighting system, some minor adjustments to the light outputs may still need to be made in the field. These lenses will also slightly reduce the light output of a fixture when used. Most of these lenses are designed to be simply inserted directly on top of a fixture’s light source (bulb or integrated LED).
Hex Louvre Lenses– Applied to minimize glare as you or others walk or pass by a lighting fixture. Glare can result from either the light source of a fixture being too visibly exposed or, the blinding reflection of light off of windows or other reflective objects. These lenses are also designed to be simply inserted inside the lens assembly, on top of the fixture’s light source. Other than a glare guard, these lenses are the next best option for preventing unwanted glare.