Converting Lumens to Lux
One of our most common lighting questions is "how many lights will I need?" To answer this question, you need to know three things:
- The intensity of light required (see our lux-level guide below)
- The size of the room or outdoor area.
- The light output of the LED lights or ceiling fan with light you would like to use.
The total light output of a light bulb or fitting is specified in lumens. You can find this specification for most LED lights - but be aware that low-quality brands (not the ones we sell!) can grossly exaggerate this figure.
Light intensity, on the other hand, is measured in lux. One lux is one lumen per square metre. Lux can be measured with a light meter, or you can estimate it using some of the lighting calculators on this page.
This is where our lumens to lux lighting calculator comes in. You can enter the lumens of your chosen light bulb or fitting, the area of the space, and then estimate the number of fittings required. Our lighting calculator will display the average light intensity produced (lux).
To interpret these results, you need to understand what kind of lux levels would suit your property. Please see our summary guide below.
Light Levels (Lux) By Application
|less than 15
|Outdoor pathway, street or security lighting.
|15 to 100
|For basic indoor & outdoor lighting, corridors, stairwells, storage areas, carparks.
|100 to 250
|Dining areas, workshops, indoor / outdoor entertainment, sport & recreation, cafes, etc.
|250 to 600
|Kitchen countertop, office work desk, classrooms, factory work, professional sport, retail shops.
|Detailed desktop or assembly work, competition grade indoor / outdoor sport.
Example Light Levels Using The Calculator
Using the above calculator, here are some example results with our most popular LED lights. See if you can replicate them or adjust them for your own lighting needs:
- Living & Dining Room: 45m² lit with 8 of our LED downlights at 850 lumens each for an average 151 Lux.
- Commercial Office: 100m² lit with 12 of our 1200 x 300 LED panel lights at 3,200 lumens each for an average 384 Lux.
- Warehouse: 400m² lit with 5 of our LED High Bays at 16,000 lumens each for an average 200 Lux.
Please Note: the above is a rough calculation method only. By definition, it cannot take into account other factors, such us:
- Light spill-over to surrounding rooms,
- The reflectivity of nearby surfaces (eg. dark walls and floors absorb light),
- The layout of the space (light levels will be more intense the closer you are to each light, and less intense as you move further away).
Lux Level at a Certain Distance From a Light
To calculate the lux level at a certain distance from a given light, you can use the following calculator instead. For this calculation you will also need to know the beam angle of the light.
For example, an MR16 downlight bulb with 500 lumens and a 60˚ beam angle above your kitchen bench would produce about 264 lux at a bench height 1.5m from the ceiling.
Want to conduct a more detailed analysis? See these additonal resources: