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How to distribute the light?

Published : 2020-02-19 10:05:27
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How to distribute the light?

How to properly distribute the light in a room?


The rooms in your home need a different kind of lighting. If you want to know how to calculate the light in a room, what type of light is better, what is the colour temperature and other interesting data to choose a good lighting in this post we will solve those doubts for you.

How much light does a room need?

The lighting of a room is very important and knowing how to choose the type of light you put is very interesting when choosing the bulb or lamp you want to buy.

Have you ever seen a lamp without knowing what light it gives? Maybe you've seen it but you don't know if it will fit as your next living room lamp. In this case, the normal thing is that you don't buy the lamp, you let yourself be advised or you end up choosing the wrong light and you don't have the lighting you want. Well, now let's explain the key points to calculate the light in each room.

Pendant Lights

The first thing is to keep in mind that lighting is subjective issue, a person feels more comfortable with a very powerful light and another person wants less light or is dazzled. Each person is a world and in the end we each need a different kind of light.

We want you to know when you see a lamp to know if you can place it in your home. So, we're going to briefly explain the two most important characteristics of the lighting provided by a lamp, the amount of light measured in lumens and the colour temperature of the light.

How do you measure the amount of light a room needs?

Light is measured in various units of measurement so let's focus on talking about the two measures that interest you right now, lumens and luxes.

What is a Lumen?

Lumens (lm.) are a standard measurement for luminous flux. What is luminous flux? is the measure of light you perceive with your eyes, perfect for comparing the light intensity of a lamp or bulb.

Lumens vary depending on many factors such as the angle of aperture or the distance to the light source. But they are a standard value and easy to buy between similar lamps.

A lamp with a bulb that is very far from the ground can emit 2,000 lm. as they are calculated according to the light given by a bulb or LED source.

What's a Lux?

A Lux (lx) helps to specify the area to be lighted which is where our second way of measuring light intensity comes in. To know exactly what light you need, we use lux. The measure lux is related to the lumen between square meters.

This measure relates the intensity of the light to the area that receives that light, making it easier for you to know how much light is needed to illuminate your room, since your 20m2 room is not the same as your neighbour’s 15m2 room or to give another example.

Lumens and luxes

Estimation of the light I need in a room

To calculate the light, you need we will make it easy, you just need to know the approximate size of the room to illuminate, to know how many lumens you will need.

This is because we are going to use the Lux formula, leaving the Lumens value as a function, since you are interested in knowing the necessary lumens. The luxes are provided in a table below.

Lux = Lumens / Square meter ——> Lumens = Luxes x Square meter

With this formula you can measure the lumens you need in a room, by entering the number of square meters of the room. You will be able to choose the exact bulb or lamp you need according to the lumens.

To measure the square meters, consider if you have bulky furniture that takes away useful meters. If so, you should estimate less square footage. In addition, dark decorative elements tend to reduce the perceived ambient light, while decoration in white shades reflects light more.

Quantity of light needed for each room

Here you can see a table with the Luxes we recommend for each stay. Please note that these are approximate values, so several values are given for each stay. This is done because each person wants a type of light according to their personal tastes.

Living Room Lighting: 100 – 250 Luxes

Dining table light: 350 – 500 Luxes

Light for Bedrooms: 50 – 150 Luxes

Kitchen Lighting: 200 – 300 Luxes

Bathroom Lighting: 150 – 200 Luxes

Hallway Lighting: 100 – 200 Luxes

Bathroom mirror light: 400 – 500 Luxes*

Study or reading table: 400 – 600 Luxes*

*As far as bathroom mirrors and study tables are concerned, it is only the surface of the table and the area near the mirror. It is not the amount of light for the whole room, but only the light for a very specific area of 1 m² or less.

Practical examples to calculate the light you need

1) To calculate the room light, we only should use the lux formula. If we have a room of 18 square meters, in the table you see that it should have at least 100 lux and at most 300 lux. Let's imagine you want something in between and you choose 200 lux.

Lumens = 200 Luxes x 18 m² ——> Lumens = 3.600 lm.

Now with this information of the lumens you need, you can choose a lamp that has approximately 3,600 lumens. If it has less, unless the light is well distributed and if it has more it can be focused or dimmed.

How to estimate the lighting you need?

2) Let's calculate the amount of light needed in an area of a room such as a dining table. We have a dining table 2 meters long and 1 meter wide. The normal would be to use 2m² in the formula.

But we recommend that you add a little more area in very specific areas, as you will normally want to have light in the chairs and area near the table so we will estimate 3 m². In the table you have the measure of 300-500 Luxes for dining tables. You want a lot of light to eat with good lighting, so you choose 500 Luxes as a reference.

Lumens = 500 Luxes x 3 m² ——> Lumens = 1.500 lm.

You will only have to choose a lamp that provides about 1,500 Lumens and if possible, with the shape of the table. If the table is rectangular or large, it is better to place ceiling strips or several lamps. On the contrary, if the table is square or circular, you can use lamps with a rounded shade.

How to estimate the lighting you need?

Additional issues that affect the type of lighting

When choosing the type of light, you can have a clear idea of the number of Lumens, but there are several factors that change the light you will need or prefer. These are data that all lighting products have bulbs and / or LED.

  •          The colour temperature of the light
  •          Light opening angle (Focused light)

What is the colour temperature in lighting?

         There are three types of light colour temperature, measured in Kelvin degrees. Looking at these three types of values you see in light bulbs and LED circuits:

  •          Warm light: Lighting with valence number of Lumens ores (2800ºK – 3500ºK)
  •          Neutral light: Lighting with values (3800ºK – 4500ºK)
  •          Cold light: Lighting with values (> 5000ºK)

How to estimate the lighting you need?

The warm light has a certain orange tone that is more comforting and invites you to relax, designed for living rooms and bedrooms. Neutral light is the should commonly use light in daily life and is suitable for any time of day and stay. A cold light has a slightly lighter tone, very similar to sunlight at midday, widely used in kitchens or study areas.

Lighting according to light beam angle

The light emitted by a lamp can be of two types depending on its degree of openness: ambient light or spotlight.
When you have a spotted light, you will have a specific point with a high lighting. It is usually placed to light parts of a wall, hallways and very specific areas of the rooms.
In contrast, ambient light creates a uniform light in large spaces such as the lighting of a room or an entire wall.

How to estimate the lighting you need?

You can easily identify which type of lamp you want by thinking about whether you need light in a space or not. For example, to light a painting it is better to use a directed light, but if in the end you decide on the whole wall, the lamp will have a greater opening angle or you will need more than one lamp. On the other hand, the main light in the room is better to be ambient light to fill every corner of the room with light

Summary: what do I have to do to calculate the light in a room

Although we have already explained it in detail, here is a brief summary:

  1.        You want to know the Lumens you need in a room. To calculate them is very simple, just use this formula:  Lumens = Luxes x Square meters.
  2.        What are the "Luxes"? The Lux is a way of measuring the light in an area, there is an explanatory table that relates the recommended luxes to the rooms above. In summary, 100 Luxes is dim light, 300 Luxes is sufficient light and 500 Luxes is strong light.
  3.        You know the m² of the room or corner of the room to be lit and the luxuries you prefer. Using the formula, you will get the number of Lumens you need.

In only 3 steps you can calculate the light you need in any space. You no longer have an excuse to buy a new lamp and have the lighting you need.

Although do not forget that the data of Luxes are approximate, besides that the Lumens can change according to angles of opening, distance of the object to illuminate of the lamp, etc. Therefore, take our data as a guide, being very useful to get an idea of what you need.

Frequently asked questions about the amount of light needed in a room

Now that you know the basics to be able to buy a lamp or to know which bulb you need; we are going to tell you some doubts you may have.

What if I have more than one lamp? How do I know how much light I need in the room?

When calculating the light in this case, you have to think that you need to achieve a lux value in the room in order to have good light. And you can reach the Lumens figure with one lamp or with the sum of the Lumens of several lamps.

For example, when using the Lux formula, you get a quantity of 4,000 lm. In this case you can put a main ceiling lamp of 3.200 lm. and two wall lights of 300lm.

The sum of all the lamps can be exactly the Lumens needed or you can exceed that amount since you will not always have all the lamps on.

The room is lit up and I think there is not enough light

However, as we have mentioned in the table, we are talking about approximate lux values, they are not exact data. If the light is dim you can increase the lighting of the room with some auxiliary lighting products such as wall lights, table lamps and floor lamps.

The number of Lumens I need seems too many

As in the previous case, you should consider the approximate value of this data. If you think the number of Lumens is excessive you can choose a lower value. It is possible that in the calculations you are counting the empty room and the square meters should be less than you have estimated.

I don't know how to measure the square feet of the room to be lit

In case your room is not a square or a rectangle easy to measure, you can calculate the area of square meters approximately. Bear in mind that the lamp you place should be designed to fill the whole room or the specific area you want with light.

Now the kind of light you need for a room doesn't have to be a problem, why don't you look around our store and give a different touch to your home lighting? Visit our online store

Written by Sergio L.

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