Electrical Safety

Lux in Lighting Design: A Guide to Lux Level Calculation

Planning on installing a new lighting system? Do you need brighter, more efficient lighting in your industrial or commercial building?

If yes, you must understand what impact lux level calculation has on a space. Using light fixtures with appropriate lux levels helps create a productive environment.  

To determine correct lux level requirements, you must understand what lux level is and how it is calculated. 

Table of Contents

What is Lux Level?

Lux is the standard unit for measuring light intensity. It is often referred to as illumination or illuminance in technical terms.

Lux level helps determine how much light intensity falls on a surface area, for instance, on floors or across walls.

Lumen is also a standardized unit that measures the total number of light packets emitted by a source, such as a filament bulb or fluorescent lamp.

Any specification in lux helps you determine how many lumens you need in the area you’re trying to illuminate. One lux to lumen per square meter tells you the total light output of a source. 

The total amount of light may also be termed as ‘luminous flux’ in commercial and industrial facilities.

What do you mean by lux level calculation?

Lumen to lux gives you the light intensity of a source, where one lux is one lumen per square meter. The features be measured with a light meter or you can get an estimate from a lighting specialist.

Based on your chosen light bulb or fitting, the area of the space, and the number of fittings required, you can calculate lux levels. A light fixture’s beam angle and pole height also impact lux levels of a particular space.

For instance, 1000 Lumens falling into a one square meter area, will properly illuminate this space at 1000 Lux. The same 1000 Lumens, spread across a ten square meter area, will have illuminance of only 100 Lux.

What lux level is considered dark?

Lux level readings between 0 to 10 lux usually means there’s less light illumination. Average outdoor lux levels can be less than 1/1000 lux on a dark night or up to 30,000 lux in direct sunlight.

Standard Lux Level Requirements for Common Spaces

Proper lighting has a great deal of impact on visual clarity, contrast sensitivity, and ocular functionality. Any light source, from an LED bulb to space lights, must ensure perfectly balanced illuminance.

For this reason, it’s essential to have a good understanding and pick light fixtures with proper illuminance at every technical and non-technical angle. Based on the work you want to perform, under specific conditions, you can determine lux levels for a wide variety of spaces.

For example, we need more lights with high luminous intensity for reading and writing versus walking and eating. Common spaces like stairways, driveways, and corridors generally require standard lighting of lux levels between 15 to 100.

Here’s a more detailed look:

  • Below 15 lux: Outdoor pathway, street and security lighting 

  • 15 to 100 lux: Indoor and outdoor lighting, carparks, stairwells, corridors, and storage areas

  • 100 to 250 lux: Sport and recreation, dining areas, workshops, cafes, and fitness centers 

Lux Level Requirements for Commercial & Industrial Space

Different types of lighting designs impact the working of commercial and industrial setups. For instance, low light levels are standard for common spaces like corridors or car parks. In contrast, high illumination levels are essential for industrial workshops. 

Commercial Spaces

Lights required for commercial spaces will significantly differ based on utility. The lighting intensity of a storeroom will always be lower than a workshop. Any commercial building or showroom should maintain 750 lux levels to brighten up the space.

Institutes and Schools

In the education sector, it’s important to use light fixtures having illuminance between 300 to 500 lux. This lux to lumens range is ideal for studying, reading, and writing. It offers appropriate illuminance and does not affect a student’s eyesight.

In spaces used by teachers and coordinators, consider using 700 lux level lighting fixtures. This range ensures students can view, focus, and grasp text on blackboards and pay close attention to their teachers.

Retail or Supermarket

Retail stores and supermarkets usually feature hanging lights or ceiling lamps, with intensities ranging anywhere from 200 to 500 lux. Modern lighting solutions recommend using LED lights to increase efficiency and visibility.

Healthcare Facilities

Proper lighting plays a vital role in the healthcare industry. From high buildings to brightly-lit rooms, medical centers need to be lit 24×7. At hospitals and medical clinics, standard 100 lux levels are required for doorway lighting and 200 lux levels for examination lighting.

Additionally, nursing stations require illuminance between 150 to 300 lux. For precision-based work, laboratory lighting requires around 750 to 1200 lux. Parts of a hospital, like the corridor or the wards, must feature night luminaries of 1 lux lighting arrangement.

What is the lux lighting level for different office spaces?

Office buildings may incorporate a wide range of lux levels, based on area per square foot, average lumens value, room size, and other factors. The following list covers several spaces inside an office and corresponding lumen requirements:

  • Single and open plan office: 400 lux 

  • Conference room: 300 lux

  • Training units: 500 lux

  • Internal corridor: 200 lux

  • Auditorium: 150-200 lux

  • Lounge and reception area: 100-200 lux

  • Open cubicles: 500 lux

Lux in Lighting Design: A Guide to Lux Level Calculation 1

Importance of Lux Level Calculation

With the advancement in the lighting sector, almost all LED lights feature high-intensity lux levels, offering brighter illuminance for extended periods. 

In lighting design, it’s important to understand lux calculation so you can avoid mishaps during an electrical installation. 

Additionally, using the right luminaires with appropriate lux levels will offer the following benefits:

  • Enhance the visibility of the space so that occupants can perform tasks without any interference 

  • Ensure industrial and commercial establishments meet standard regulatory electrical requirements

  • Reduce unnecessary power consumption with energy efficient lighting units to save on energy bills

  • Ensure uniform distribution of light in different spaces{commercial or industrial) at appropriate angles 

Though low lighting is preferred in general work conditions, there are still chances of a mishap. Improper task lighting impacts accuracy in intense detailing work, slowing down not just production runs but also delivery. 

To ensure necessary illumination levels for industrial and commercial lighting installations, you should consult an expert.

Key Takeaways

Need Electrical Assistance?

Whether you want to schedule routine maintenance or contract lux level testing services, Fix Electrical Contractors can help you with all kinds of electrical jobs.

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep your business running and provide solutions as per your project requirements. 

All testing is performed using calibrated and certified equipment to ensure electrical maintenance, upgrades, and installation are to the highest standard. 

Our team consists of licensed electricians who have experience dealing with large commercial or industrial installations.   

Contact us now.

Lux in Lighting Design: A Guide to Lux Level Calculation 1

Adrian Faull

Adrian Faull is the founder of Fix Electrical Contractors. He is proud to lead a team of qualified electricians and support team that are experts in the field, who will work with you to ensure you’re getting the best electrical solution for your needs.

Picture of Adrian Faull
Adrian Faull

Adrian Faull is the founder of Fix Electrical Contractors. He is proud to lead a team of qualified electricians and support team that are experts in the field, who will work with you to ensure you’re getting the best electrical solution for your needs.