Chapter 14

The Optical Path

Of the original phenomena, light is the most enthralling.—Leonardo da Vinci

All luminaires are not created equal. Even those using the same lamp source can produce varying results in terms of efficiency and light output. The optical path, and everything in it, determines the amount of light a fixture collects from the lamp source and effectively uses. That includes the lamp, reflector, filters, patterns, effects, mirrors, lenses, and the exit glass (if any).

The most fundamental aspect of automated luminaire design is that of the lamp, reflector, and lens combination. Most everything else is secondary to the efficiency of the design. The selection of a lamp source is often a matter of choosing from what’s available ...

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