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Many people will call or email me about how many light fixtures does it take to light up a room or an area? And some will say that how much area does that particular fixture cover? And what I think a lot of people don't recognize is that there are many factors for properly determining the number of light fixtures you might need for a given project. Of course, if you have a very small room, it's very easy to see that you might only need a couple of light fixtures to light up that space. But when it comes to things like commercial spaces or offices you need to have a better idea with a fairly accurate estimate. There's more to just lighting a space than just plugging in lights and hoping that it's going to be okay. There are several factors to keep in mind when determining how much lighting you will need.

There are some basic things you need to know like the length and width and height of the room. But also you will need to know where you're going to mount the fixture. Are you going to drop it down from the ceiling or mount it right up on the ceiling? Will it be on a wall? If it's an office situation, do you have a grid ceiling or is it just an open ceiling environment? Another factor you need to have scoped out is the kinds of colors that you're going to have on the ceiling wall and floor. The reflective nature of these surfaces do play a part in how well the space is going to be lit. Obviously, if you have very dark walls there is going to be less reflectance and therefore the less footcandles in the space. If you have whites and lighter colors, that will lead to a brighter room overall. And speaking of footcandles, you need to have some idea of how much light you will need. This varies for many different types of tasks and there are recommended footcandles levels you will need at the workplane height. In other words, you're not going to light a space for someone who reads a lot at their desk the same way you would as general warehouse lighting. It all depends on what you're trying to do in that space. And of course, you need to have all the data on the light fixtures that you're going to use. That's typically provided by the manufacturer or by a distributor and that can help you determine how many light fixtures you might need.

My company provides an estimate for the number of light fixtures you will need as well as a lighting calculation that will show you the resulting footcandles for that configuration. We will accurately give you the information you need to not only determine the light fixtures but also the potential budget you may have for project. It's an easy process for those of you who just need a little help for most standard lighting projects. But it's good to keep in mind all the factors that you have to know in order to help you get the best possible lighting for the least amount of investment.
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