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Light Requirements in Your Home

One of the key questions that we need to answer is how much light we need for different part of our home? Is 40 watts enough for your bedroom? How would your room area determine your light requirement?

To answer these questions, one must first understand the basics of lighting. 

Technically, any light we use in our homes is determined by 3 factors:

- Color: This is a measure of the "whiteness" of the light. You can understand more about it from here.

- Wattage: This is a measure of how much electricity would your light consumer or in simple terms, how much electricity bill you will end up paying. The higher the wattage, the more power light consumes.

- Lumens: This is a measure of the brightness of the light, the more the lumens, the brighter a light would be.

The starting point to select lights for different parts of your home should be deciding how many lumens you need. Each part of the house is different and hence lighting needs would be different for such areas. Areas like kitchen, bathroom etc. would need brighter light while living room, drawing room, bedroom etc. moderately bright light. Likewise, areas where we do specific "tasks" like reading table, dining table etc. would need higher brightness and hence higher lumens.

As a general thumb rule, one can use the following table:

Room

Lumens per. square feet

Kitchen

50-60

Bathroom

50-60

Study Tables

30-40

Rooms

20-30

Dining tables

30-40

Passageways

10-20

So, all you need to do is to multiply your room area with the lumens per square feet to determine the total lumens needed in that room. For instance, if your bedroom is of size 10 ft. x 20 ft., then light needed would be 10 x 20 = 200 sq. ft. x 20 lumens/sq. ft. = 400 lumens

The table above is just representative. The actual lighting needed would also depend upon factors like the amount of woodwork and furniture in your rooms, color of your furniture, color of your walls, and height of the ceiling. Generally, higher the ceiling, the more the lumens you would need. Similarly, darker walls and furniture shade would mean higher lumen requirement. 

After having determined the lumens requirement, the next step would be to select power of the light that would give you the desired lumens. This is a function of the choice of light type like old-fashioned "bulbs", the popular CFLs or the now trending LEDs, as each of these light types consume different power to give the same lumens. Or simply out, if your room needs 400 lumens, as shown in the above example, then, the equivalent power wattage of bulbs v/s. CFL v/s. LED would be very different. 

You can understand this clicking on the next article in this series.

 

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