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Tips For Choosing The Right LED Panel Diffuser

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Light behaves in relatively predictable, easy-to-understand ways — at least when it comes to relatively simple cases, such as room lighting! Photons travel in straight lines, ultimately bouncing off surfaces around the room before they arrive at your eyes. Since LEDs produce an intense amount of light from a tiny source, they can direct a large amount of light at one point and appear blinding.

Most LED light panels designed for home or office use deal with this problem through the use of diffusers. Diffuser panels scatter photons from the LED before they can reach your eyes, distributing the light more evenly throughout the room. Diffusers significantly impact a room's lighting, so these tips will help you choose the right diffuser for your application.

1. Understand Your Lighting Needs

The diffuser you use for your panels will shape your room's appearance more than other lighting decisions you make. Before you can choose the right diffusers for your application, you'll need to understand your lighting needs. Are you trying to replicate the appearance of office tube lights? Do you need bright lighting for delicate work or softer lighting for a more comfortable environment?

Your specific lighting goals should be the primary factor determining the type of diffuser you choose for your panels. In general, you should keep in mind how important it is to disguise the point-light nature of LEDs and how much light output you need. Since the light from the LEDs must pass through the diffuser panel, some amount of light is always lost.

2. Consider Glare and Distance Issues

Since LEDs produce such an intense light, glare can be a significant concern in some environments. For example, indoor gyms or stadiums may have highly reflective floors that can create noticeable glare issues. Likewise, any room with highly polished hardwood or vinyl flooring can also be a source of glare. In these cases, choosing a panel with a frosted diffuser to scatter more light is often the right choice.

On the other hand, creating a highly diffused light source may be less of a concern in spaces with high ceilings. If you are placing your lights far above the floor, more intensity may be necessary to provide adequate lighting.

3. Don't Ignore Aesthetics

While there are practical considerations to using a diffuser, aesthetics also have a role to play. An LED light panel with no diffuser will appear as a row of sharp, bright point lights, which many people find unattractive. Diffuser panels not only scatter light to more evenly distribute it around a room, but they also help to blend light from the panel and create the appearance of a single, continuous source.

If smooth lighting is essential to you, then be sure to choose panels with frosted diffusers that can adequately blend the individual LEDs. You may lose some light output with this type of panel, but you'll gain a more natural source of light.