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How Much Light Do I Need?
This entry was posted on December 12, 2009.
One of the most common questions that facility and operation managers ask is “How much light do I need to properly illuminate my facility?”
Since 1958, the Illuminating Engineering Society has been publishing recommended illuminance levels for a multitude of tasks and facility types in table form. The published tables provide guidance for both generic tasks and hundreds of very specific tasks. In order to understand these tables, it’s best to start with an overview of how light is measured.
This article gives a brief explanation of how light is measured and provides a handy table that can be used to determine how much light is needed in various types of facilities. If after reading this, you have any questions about the quantity of light you should plan for in your lighting retrofit project, don't hesitate to contact us.
In the US, Illuminance is typically measured in foot-candles (fc). One foot-candle (or footcandle) is the illuminance on a one square foot surface of which there is a uniformly distributed flux of one lumen. A foot candle can also be defined as the amount of illumination the inside surface of an imaginary 1-foot radius sphere would receive if there were a uniform point source of one candela in the exact center of the sphere . You may also come across measurements taken in lux. In the lighting industry, we approximate 1 foot-candle to equal to 10 lux.
The table below can be used as a general guideline to determine how much light you need for your facility.
|Assembly/Packaging - Medium||50-70|
|Assembly/Packaging - Fine||75-100|
|Auto Service Garage||60-80|
|Cooler or Cold Storage Room||10-30|
|Engineering and Drafting||50-125|
|Gymnasium Lighting - Recreational||30|
|Gymnasium Lighting - Elementary or Club||50|
|Gymnasium Lighting - High School||80|
|Hockey - Recreational||20-50|
|Hockey - Professional||50-100|
|Horse Riding Arena||25-50|
|Machine Shop - Rough Detail||50-75|
|Machine Shop - Medium Detail||75-100|
|Machine Shop - Fine Detail||100-200|
|Manufacturing - Rough Detail||50-75|
|Manufacturing - Medium Detail||75-100|
|Manufacturing - Fine Detail||100-150|
|Retail - Average||50-80|
|Retail - Super Center||80-120|
|Swimming Pool - Recreational||50|
|Swimming Pool - Club||75|
|Swimming Pool - Tournament||100|
|Warehouse - Active||20-30|
|Warehouse - Inactive||15-20|
I hope this article has helped to answer how much light is needed in your facility. As always, our experts are happy to help guide you through your lighting retrofit. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.