The aim of this work was to develop an easy and quick technique for characterizing various lighting situations, that is, single lamps or illuminated signs and to quantify impacts on small scales like streets, buildings and near areas. The method uses a DSLR-camera equipped with fisheye-lens and the software Sky Quality Camera, both commonly used as part of night sky imagery in the light pollution community, to obtain information about luminance and correlated colour temperature. As a difference to its usual build-up, observed light emitting sources were captured by pointing the camera towards analysed objects, that is, images were taken via vertical plane imaging with very short exposure times under one second. Results have proven that this technique provides a practical way to quantify the lighting efficacy in a certain place or area, as a quantitative analysis of the direct emission towards the observer and the illumination on surroundings, that is, street surfaces, sidewalks and buildings, was performed. When conducting lamp conversions, the method can be used to characterize the gradient of change and could be a useful tool for municipalities to find the optimal lighting solution. The paper shows examples of different lighting situations like single lamps of different types, also containing various luminaires, illuminated billboards or buildings and impacts of the lighting transition to LEDs in the city of Eisenstadt, Austria. The horizontal fisheye method is interdisciplinary applicable, for example, being suitable for lighting management, to sustainability and energy saving purposes.
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