Facade lighting plays a pivotal role in transforming the visual appeal of buildings, turning them into stunning architectural masterpieces that captivate the eye. Among the various lighting techniques employed, LED linear wall washers emerge as indispensable tools for achieving the desired effect. These luminaires, strategically placed along the building’s exterior, create a mesmerizing wash of light that gracefully accentuates every architectural detail, curve, and texture.

By highlighting the unique features of a structure, LED linear wall washers breathe life into facades, unveiling their true beauty and creating a captivating ambiance. In this guide, we delve into the art of selecting the perfect linear wall washer for facade lighting, ensuring that every architectural gem shines with brilliance and allure.

how to choose LED linear wall washers?

  • Wattage

The power range of linear wall washers varies greatly, from 6W to 96W. In general, the most commonly used power ratings are 6W, 12W, 18W, 24W, and 36W. Higher power ratings are available but are relatively less commonly used. There are several factors to consider when choosing the appropriate wattage for linear wall washers.

  1. Determine the lighting requirements: Assess the desired lighting effect and the specific lighting goals for your facade. Consider whether you want a subtle wash of light or a more intense and vibrant illumination. Additionally, evaluate the size of the facade and the level of brightness required to achieve the desired visual impact.
  2. Consider the building’s scale: The scale of the building plays a role in determining the wattage needed. Larger buildings or expansive facades may require higher wattages to ensure sufficient light coverage and intensity. Smaller structures or areas with limited lighting requirements may be adequately served by lower wattage options.
  3. Evaluate the distance and placement: Assess the distance between the linear wall washers and the facade. The closer the fixtures are to the building, the lower the wattage needed to achieve the desired lighting effect. Conversely, if the fixtures are placed at a significant distance, higher wattages may be necessary to maintain proper brightness and coverage.
  4. Lighting calculations and simulation: Conduct lighting calculations or use lighting design software such as Dialux to simulate and visualize the anticipated lighting results. These tools can help determine the optimal wattage based on factors such as the beam angle, beam spread, and the desired illuminance levels for different areas of the facade.
  • Light Source

Linear wall washer lights are low-power light sources. For low-power light sources, Chinese brands are monopolistic, foreign brands are not competitive. When purchasing, it is important to inquire about both the LED chip manufacturer and the packaging manufacturer. Different packaging technologies from different manufacturers of the same brand can result in significant price differences. Generally, well-known domestic brands can meet application requirements.

When it comes to high-power light sources, foreign brands of LED chips still hold the palm, such as Osram’s 3030 light sources. Now, RGB and RGBW LED chips are the most popular selection. Soon, it is possible that eight-in-one chips may also extend from stage lighting applications to the field of linear wall washers.

In modern facade lighting design, it is generally required that linear wall washer lighting fixtures not only have color variation but also have changes in color temperature. The more variations in the light source, the more diverse the lighting effects can be displayed.

LED Light Sources of wall washers

3 in 1, 4 in 1 and 7 in 1 High-power multi color LED Light Sources

  • Beam Angle

When speaking of beam angle, things can get more complicated. It’s essentially about the optical system, which is also a measure of a manufacturer’s technical engineering level. Manufacturers who don’t pursue excellence often directly purchase suitable standard lenses from lens factories, with prices ranging from a few cents to a few dimes.

As for manufacturers who have the pursuit of excellence, they choose to develop custom lenses from lens factories. The difference lies in the angles compared to standard lenses available in the market. This allows them to claim themselves as professional manufacturers. Beam angles can vary from symmetrical options like 12 degrees, 24 degrees, and 40 degrees, to asymmetrical options like 10° x 60°, 15° x 30°, which produce elliptical light patterns. Evaluating the effectiveness of a linear wall washer’s optical system is subjective and it depends on the height and uniformity of the light pattern projected onto the wall.

120° Wide Flood Wall Washer

120° Wide Light Distribution Linear Wall Washer, suggest for 1 meter high projection.

Narrow Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer

Narrow Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer. Light Projection up to 7 meters.

Medium Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer

Medium Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer.

Elliptical Medium Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer

Elliptical Medium Beam High Power Linear Wall Washer

The above four projection distance diagrams are referenced from a manufacturer’s standard illustration. When choosing linear wall washer lighting fixtures, they can only serve as a reference. Sometimes, the insufficient projection distance of linear lighting fixtures is not due to inadequate power but often caused by poor optical lens design. Therefore, when selecting linear lighting fixtures, on-site testing for the actual projection height is highly recommended.

  • Application

The most common issue with linear wall washers, apart from their inherent technical limitations, is when the installation distance is too close to the illuminated objects. This can result in concentrated light spots and uneven transitions. Certain areas of the facade may receive excessive light, resulting in overexposure, while other areas may appear dim or shadowed. This can detract from the intended lighting design and create an unbalanced visual effect.

In addition, placing the linear wall washers too close to the illuminated objects can cause hotspots, where the light intensity becomes concentrated and overly bright. Hotspots can create harsh contrasts and glare, making it uncomfortable for viewers and diminishing the overall visual appeal of the facade.

An ideal projection distance is between 20cm and 60cm from the illuminated object. With a good lens design, the above-mentioned issue can be avoided.

Optical Lens for outdoor wall washers

What are the common control systems for linear wall washers?

There are several control systems available for linear wall washers in facade lighting. Here are some of the commonly used ones:

  1. DMX (Digital Multiplex): DMX is a widely used control protocol in the lighting industry. It allows for precise control of individual fixtures or groups of fixtures. With DMX, you can program and synchronize lighting sequences, adjust color, intensity, and timing, creating dynamic and visually engaging facade lighting displays.
  2. DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface): DALI is a digital lighting control system that provides two-way communication between the lighting fixtures and the control system. It enables individual control of fixtures, dimming capabilities, and the ability to create lighting scenes or presets. DALI is often used in architectural lighting projects, including facade lighting, due to its flexibility and ease of integration.
  3. Wireless Control Systems: Wireless control systems utilize wireless protocols such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Zigbee to communicate with the linear wall washers. These systems offer convenience and flexibility, allowing control from mobile devices or centralized control interfaces without the need for physical wiring. Wireless control systems are increasingly popular for their ease of installation and scalability.
  4. Building Automation Systems: Building automation systems, such as KNX or Lutron, provide comprehensive control over various building systems, including lighting. They offer integration capabilities, allowing the linear wall washers to be part of a larger automated ecosystem. Building automation systems provide centralized control, scheduling, and energy management features, enhancing the efficiency and coordination of facade lighting.

DMX and DALI are widely used in professional facade lighting installations, while wireless control systems are gaining popularity due to their convenience and ease of use which makes them widely used in residential lighting. These control systems enhance the facade lighting experience in several ways:

  • Precise Lighting Control: Control systems allow for precise adjustment of lighting parameters such as intensity, color, and timing. This level of control enables you to create stunning lighting effects, highlight architectural details, and evoke specific moods or atmospheres.
  • Dynamic Lighting Sequences: Control systems enable the creation of dynamic lighting sequences, where linear wall washers can transition between different colors, intensities, or effects. This capability adds movement, drama, and visual interest to the facade, captivating viewers and creating a memorable experience.
  • Synchronization and Coordination: Control systems facilitate the synchronization and coordination of multiple linear wall washers. This ensures a cohesive lighting design across the entire facade, allowing for seamless transitions and harmonious lighting effects.
  • Energy Efficiency: Control systems provide energy management features, such as dimming or scheduling, which help optimize energy consumption. By adjusting the lighting levels based on occupancy or time of day, control systems contribute to energy savings and reduce operational costs.
  • Remote Management and Monitoring: Many control systems offer remote management and monitoring capabilities. This allows for easy access to lighting controls, performance monitoring, and troubleshooting from a centralized location. Remote management simplifies maintenance tasks, ensures prompt response to issues, and minimizes downtime.

Conclusion

Selecting the right linear wall washer for facade lighting is crucial for enhancing architectural beauty and creating captivating lighting designs. Wattage, light source, beam angle, and application are four main factors to be taken into consideration when choosing the right linear wall washers for facade lighting. What’s more, consider your requirements, assess the building’s architecture, prioritize lighting design and effects, ensure quality and performance, prioritize energy efficiency, explore control options, and find a balance with your budget. By following these guidelines and consulting Luminouslite if needed, you can confidently choose a linear wall washer that creates a visually stunning facade lighting installation, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.