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How many light fixtures do I need? Here's some easy help.

When people are redesigning an area for new lighting, the question often comes up how many light fixtures do I need? It's simply a matter of several factors and some things you need to know ahead of time for your design. First and foremost, you need to know how many footcandles that you're going to need for the task that you're going to be doing underneath that light. Those are set up by the Illuminating Engineering Society on suggested footcandles for any number of different types of lighting tasks. We have a chart showing some of the basic ones and it's not an exhaustive list. You can get very detailed on how many footcandles you need. But in any case, you need to have an idea of how much light you're going to need for what you're going to be doing. The next most important thing is the light fixture that you're going to use. Because not only will the light fixture determine how much light you'll have on the surface, but it also will be the variable on the successful project. So with those two things in mind you can go on to the room dimensions, the reflectance of the walls and the floor. You will also have to take into account whether there's going to be obstructions in the way or if you're going to have a clear line of sight with all the fixtures in a regular pattern. You could let us run these numbers for you to get the proper result. And for a lot of people that's really more convenient for them. Various scenarios can be run depending on your budget and trying to maintain good lighting while spending the least amount of investment that you have to. But I would always warn people, it's best not to skimp on lighting because it's the one thing that makes the biggest difference in how productive people are. If they have enough light and they're not straining to see, you're going to have less mistakes and problems down the road. So a good lighting design does make a difference and these are just some of the factors that you need to consider to see what quantities you will need.

John Bolduan

Here's a few light fixture products for common lighting designs:

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