Lighting Principles & Terms In Spring TX

You’ll need to know about lighting terms and principles if you want to give your home energy-efficient lighting.

Light Quantity

  • Illumination- All light exists to provide illumination to space, which is how the light is distributed on horizontal surfaces.
  • Lumen- The light emitted from a lamp, measured in a specific unit. Around 1600 lumens are emitted from an incandescent lamp that uses 100-watts.
  • Footcandle- The illumination’s intensity is measured in footcandles. Scientifically speaking, illumination made by the distribution of a single lumen over an area of 1-square-foot is a footcandle. 30 to 50 footcandles are generally enough to illuminate a room in an office or home for work. 200 footcandles or more are needed in areas where detailed work needs to be performed without eyestrain or a decrease in inaccuracy. 5 to 20 footcandles are enough to walk around at night.

Energy Consumption

  • Efficacy- This is the ratio of produced light to consumed energy. Lumens per watt are used as a measurement for this, which is lumens divided by the energy consumption rate.

Light Quality

  • Color Temperature- The light source’s color is its temperature. Warm colors are ones like yellow and red, which can resemble a flame, while cool colors are ones like blue and green, which resemble the sky on an overcast day. Kelvin (K) is used to measure color temperature. Although colors are given the designation of cool, they actually have high Kelvin temperatures in the range of 3600 to 5500 K, while warm color temperatures have a lower range of around 2700 to 3000 K. Since the contrast of cool light is higher than warm light, it’s usually used for visual tasks. Living spaces often have warm light because they make clothing and skin tones look better. Most indoor areas and tasks are recommended to use a color temperature in the 2700 to 3600 K range.
  • Color Rendition- The appearance of a color when light is illuminating is a color rendition. Between the color temperature and rendition, rendition is seen as more of important quality. Multiple colors usually make up an object, rather than a single color. An object’s color may look different in light sources that have a certain color deficiency. The ability of a light source to render color in a similar manner to the sun is measured on a 1-100 scale called the CRI or Color Rendition Index. The illumination provided by an incandescent bulb that uses 100-watts is the base for the 100 value of the scale. Most indoor areas will generally use a light source that can produce a CRI value of 80 or more.
  • Glare- Someone might have difficulty seeing when a light source produces an excessive amount of brightness. Glare will usually happen when a dark background is behind a bright object. Glare will be produced when light reflects off a printed piece of paper, a computer screen, or a television. Fluorescent lamps are less likely to produce glare than incandescent lamps and other light sources that have intense, bright light. It’s all relative to where the object is being viewed and the placement of the light.

Lighting Uses

  • Ambient lighting- Ambient lighting gives the outdoor area enough light for safety and indoor areas enough light to perform regular activities.
  • Task lighting- This is used for tasks that need more like than what is generally emitted from a general light source. Bathroom mirrors, table lamps, and kitchen lights under the counters have task lighting.
  • Accent lighting- This is used to make an outdoor or indoor area look better by bringing out its good qualities and drawing attention to it.

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