Lighting Research and Technology vol:47 issue:4 pages:470-482
In lighting calculations and simulations, the emission of a light source is conventionally modeled using the far-field luminous intensity distribution. However, the advent of luminaires including large arrays of LEDs with focusing optics creating narrow beams has made the traditional limiting photometric distance to reach far-field conditions less easy to determine. Furthermore, even correct far-field data can lead to erroneous predictions when illuminances are determined on a task surface which is positioned within the near-field region. A near-field representation could overcome these problems, but experimental validation for such LED arrays is lacking. This paper reports on near-field and far-field laboratory experiments using an array of two and five narrow-beam LEDs. A near-field approach makes discussions to determine the far-field photometric distance superfluous and leads to correct illuminances at any location with respect to the array, irrespective of the dimensions of the array and the beam angle of the individual components. Introducing the near-field representation of light sources in lighting design offers more accurate predictions when luminaires based on LED arrays with focusing optics are involved.