As LED lighting experts, we know that lighting design can be complex.
On this page we aim to remove some of that complexity with a series of easy-to-use lighting calculators.
Beam Angle & Lighting Spread Calculator
First up, you'll notice that most LED lights have a specified beam angle. This is the angle that light is emitted from the light bulb or fitting. A typical first question you may have is "how far will the light spread out in my room?"
For this calculation, all you need to know is the beam angle and the distance from the light. This gives you an idea of the maximum area covered by a light.
You will soon notice that some beam angles can cover a vast area. But a 10W light bulb and 100W flood light with the same beam angle will not light up an area in the same way. For this, you need to go at least one step further into the realm of lux and lumens.
Lighting Calculator - How Many Lights Required
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 guide below)
- The size of the room or outdoor area.
- The light output of the lights 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 next 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
|Lux Level||General Guide||Specific Examples|
|less than 15||Low-level Lighting||Outdoor pathway, street or security lighting.|
|15 to 100||Basic Lighting||For basic indoor & outdoor lighting, corridors, stairwells, storage areas, carparks.|
|100 to 250||General Lighting||Dining areas, workshops, indoor / outdoor entertainment, sport & recreation, cafes, etc.|
|250 to 600||Task Lighting||Kitchen countertop, office work desk, classrooms, factory work, professional sport, retail shops.|
|over 600||Intense Lighting||Detailed desktop or assembly work, competition grade indoor / outdoor sport.|
Example Light Levels Using The Calculator
Using the above lighting 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).
Light Spacing Calculator / Guides
Putting together what you have learned using these lighting calculators, you can now make logical light spacing decisions. More often than not, however, you will be guided by practical limitations, such as:
- The placement of existing ceiling cut-out locations for LED downlights.
- The location of roof trusses and beams for shed and workshop lighting (LED battens and LED high bays).
- The location of existing poles or other infrastructure for outdoor lights.
For most applications you will need some overlap to provide adequate lighting. Here are some examples:
LED Downlight Spacing
LED Downlight Spacing Calculator / Guide.
LED High Bay Warehouse Light Spacing
Warehouse Light Spacing Calculator / Guide.
Two More Online Lighting Calculators
If you've got your head around the above simplified lighting calculators, here are two more to play around with. The first calculator helps you understand the relationship between beam angle, lumens, distance, and lux.
For example, if you install an LED oyster light with 1,425 lumens and a 120˚ beam angle in your laundry, then you can expect about 202 lux at workbench height 1.5m from the ceiling.
This next lighting calculator lets you work backwards from a desired lighting level to the number of lights required.
For example, for a target illuminance of 80 lux in a horse arena (20m x 40m) using a 19000 lumen 200W LED flood light you would need to install about 4 lights.
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