What Is The Difference Between Parabolic and Prismatic Lenses

By Matthew | Updated on May 24, 2021

The difference between parabolic and prismatic lenses is the shapes on the light covers which cause different diffusions in a space. 

Starter To Parabolic and Prismatic

What is the goal of most all light diffusers? It is to create an optimal efficient workspace spreading or diffusing harsh light though out the room. Since everyone has a different opinion about the lighting in a room, which means there isn’t one solution to every office.

There are two common styles of workspace lighting prismatic and parabolic. Although some say one can yield a better or more efficient result then the other.

Prismatic Lenses

Let’s start with Prismatic. 

Prismatic refers to the pattern of prism-like shapes with triangular bases. Each pattern on the light cover are used to disperse light into a spectrum and distribute the concentrated light source over a larger surface area. 

Prismatic plastic lenses take the glare off the light source. The light distribution is uneven compared to other light solutions.

Clear Truss Shaped Prism Acrylic flat sheet

Prismatic light cover example from Fluorolite Plastics

The most commonplace that you find these prismatic light diffusers are usually in recessed light fixtures. 

If you are in the office look up most of the time you find these flat sheets. The diffuser spreads the light around evenly through space. 

Let’s look at Parabolic Light Diffusers now.

Parabolic Lenses

Parabolic refers to the likeness of “parabola, a conic section created from the intersection of a right circular conical surface. Usually, you will find that louvers or the cover over the lights, use parabolic design to concentrate the light.

People sometimes complain about the output of uneven distribution of light in a prismatic fixture in a parabolic louver. 

The use of the louvers is to reduce the brightness and glare of bare bulbs. the parabola design helps to bring the light down from the source evenly. 

If you are curious about anything else check out the other blogs featuring amazing design ideas, lighting, and diffuser, or the difference between all light covers.

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