Maximizing the Benefits of LED Lighting Through Understanding Light Distribution Patterns

October 22, 2023 by Chaim Gluck

In the world of lighting, the transition to LED technology has been a game-changer. Not only do LEDs offer significant energy efficiency and longevity, but they also provide a unique advantage: the ability to direct light uniformly where it's needed most, without any wasteful overspill. This remarkable attribute of LED lighting is a testament to how far lighting technology has come, and it has profound implications for various applications. In this blog post, we're going to explore the importance of understanding light distribution patterns when choosing the best LED fixtures for your specific needs.

The Essence of Light Distribution Patterns

Light distribution patterns refer to the way light spreads and covers a given area as it exits a lighting fixture. The pattern can vary significantly based on factors like fixture design, material selection, LED placement, and other defining characteristics. To make it simpler for consumers, the lighting industry has categorized these patterns into well-defined types. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) has classified various fixtures into five primary patterns, each designed for specific applications.

Light Distribution

1. Type III: Ideal for Wider Areas

Type III is one of the most popular light distribution patterns. It's characterized by a broad, oval pattern that emits light from a position along the perimeter of where illumination is needed. This pattern pushes light forward while also providing some backlight. You'll often find Type III fixtures on wall mounts or poles, delivering light where it's needed. Type III offers a wider 40-degree preferred lateral distribution width from one forward projecting light source. This pattern is best suited for illuminating medium-width roadways and general parking areas.

2. Type IV: Efficient Perimeter Lighting

Type IV distribution provides a flood pattern with a 60-degree lateral width. This semicircular light pattern is excellent for illuminating perimeters and mounting on the sides of buildings and walls. It primarily provides forward lighting with minimal backlighting, making it ideal for spaces where controlled illumination is crucial.

3. Type V: 360-Degree Symmetry

Type V distribution creates a circular pattern with an umbrella effect. This design is perfect for general work or task areas where you need uniform light in all directions. Type V offers an even, circular 360-degree symmetry of candlepower at all lateral angles, making it the go-to choice for center roadway and intersection mounting. It ensures efficient illumination all around the fixture.

Customizing Your Lighting Solution

Understanding these different light distribution patterns is essential for achieving the optimal amount of light where you need it most. By selecting the correct pattern, you can reduce the wattage size of the fixture, minimize the number of fixtures required, and ensure that you're meeting all your lighting requirements. This level of customization not only saves on energy consumption but also lowers labor and maintenance costs.

In conclusion, LED lighting has revolutionized the way we illuminate our spaces. The ability to control light distribution patterns is a powerful tool that can enhance energy efficiency and lighting performance. Whether it's Type III for broad coverage, Type IV for perimeter lighting, or Type V for uniform illumination in all directions, the right choice of light distribution pattern can make all the difference in your lighting project. It's not just about seeing the light; it's about controlling it precisely to meet your needs.

At, we offer a wide selection of top-rated, quality LED Area Lights to meet even your most demanding lighting requirements. We’re here to assist you with lighting layouts and selection. Give us a call or text us at: 847-675-3538, or email us at