How much lighting does a building need? Full analysis and selection advice

1: Analysis of lighting requirements

The importance of lighting in a building cannot be overlooked. Not only does it provide a good visual environment, but it also has an important impact on the safety, comfort and functionality of a building. When carrying out a lighting requirements analysis we need to consider the following factors:

Building type, use and size  

Different types of buildings, such as residential, commercial buildings, office buildings or public facilities, have different lighting needs. The use and size will also affect the intensity and range of lighting requirements. For example, a large office building may require more lighting facilities, whereas a small residence may only require basic lighting.


Illuminance requirements

Illuminance is the intensity of light received in a given area and is usually expressed in lux (lux). Depending on the function and usage requirements of the area, we need to determine the level of illuminance required. For example, public areas may require a high level of illumination to provide a bright environment, while lounge areas require soft lighting.



Uniformity of lighting refers to the even distribution of light throughout a space. Good uniformity avoids differences in light and darkness and provides a pleasant visual experience. We need to ensure that lighting is laid out and installed in a way that achieves a high degree of uniformity.


Color temperature

Color temperature refers to the color characteristics of a light source and is usually expressed in Kelvin (K). Different colour temperatures of light can create different atmospheres and moods. For example, a higher colour temperature can improve concentration and focus and is suitable for use in the office, while a lower colour temperature can create a warm and cosy atmosphere and is suitable for use in the home environment.


2: Lighting design principles and considerations

When undertaking lighting design we should follow some basic principles and considerations to ensure the best possible lighting:


2.1 Lighting uniformity and consistency

Lighting design should seek to achieve uniform light distribution throughout the space and avoid differences in light and darkness. We can achieve uniformity of lighting by rationalising the arrangement of luminaires, selecting appropriate beam angles and adjusting illumination levels.


2.2 Lighting levels

Lighting design should consider the lighting needs of different functional areas and set different lighting levels according to the needs. For example, an office may require main lighting, local lighting for work areas and decorative lighting to meet different visual needs and create a comfortable environment.


2.3 Energy efficiency and conservation

When choosing lighting equipment, we should give priority to energy efficient luminaires such as LED lamps, which have a high energy efficiency and long life, significantly reducing energy consumption and maintenance costs compared to traditional luminaires.


2.4 Colour Reproduction Index (CRI)

The color rendering index is an indicator of a light source’s ability to reproduce the colour of an object. In places where accurate colour recognition is required, such as exhibition halls or commercial spaces, choosing a luminaire with a high CRI value will ensure true colour reproduction of the object.

2.5 Dimmable

Dimmable luminaires can adjust the light intensity to the needs of different scenes, providing more flexible lighting effects. This is important for locations where the light intensity and ambience needs to be adjusted, such as conference rooms, theatres or restaurants.

3: Common lighting fixture types and functions

In lighting design, common types of lighting fixtures include LED, fluorescent and halogen lamps. Each luminaire type has its own unique characteristics and applicable scenarios:

3.1 LED lamps

LED lamps have become mainstream in lighting with their high energy efficiency, long life and smaller size. LED lamps have high energy efficiency and are able to convert electrical energy into most light energy, reducing energy waste. They also have a long service life, reducing the cost of maintenance and replacement of luminaires. In addition, LED luminaires can be adjusted in colour temperature and colour reproduction index to meet different lighting needs.


3.2 Fluorescent lamps

Fluorescent luminaires have a high luminous efficiency and low energy consumption. They are suitable for locations where large areas need to be illuminated, such as offices, schools and commercial buildings. Fluorescent luminaires have a relatively long lifespan, but they suffer from mercury pollution to the environment and require attention to proper disposal.


3.3 Halogen lamps

Halogen luminaires have high illumination levels and good color reproduction. They are often used in locations where strong illumination and colour accentuation are required, such as commercial display areas and stage shows. However, halogen luminaires are relatively energy inefficient, have a short service life and need to be replaced regularly.


Depending on the lighting requirements and the characteristics of the scene, choosing the right type of luminaire can achieve better lighting and energy efficiency.

4: Lighting demand calculation and assessment

In order to determine the number of lighting luminaires required for a building, we can carry out lighting demand calculations and assessments. The following are some commonly used methods and guidelines for calculating lighting requirements:


4.1 Illuminance calculation

Depending on the function and usage requirements of the different areas, we can use the illuminance calculation formula to determine the level of illuminance required. Considering the uniformity of illuminance, we need to measure at different locations in the space and ensure that the light meets the minimum illuminance requirements.


4.2 Beam angle and luminaire arrangement

The beam angle and arrangement of the luminaire is crucial to the lighting effect. The beam angle and installation position are chosen to ensure that the illumination is evenly distributed and meets the illuminance requirements. Depending on the actual requirements, direct lighting, indirect lighting or a combination of lighting can be used.

4.3 Assessment of the efficiency of the lighting system

In addition to illuminance levels, the efficiency of the lighting system should also be assessed. The energy efficiency and beam output of the luminaire, as well as the control method and dimming performance of the lighting system, will affect energy consumption and maintenance costs.


By combining calculations and assessing lighting requirements, we can determine the number of lighting fixtures required for a building and ensure that they meet the lighting requirements.

5: Lighting energy efficiency and sustainability

Energy efficiency in lighting is an important trend in lighting design today and is of great importance for environmental protection and sustainability. The following are some ways of saving energy in lighting and recommendations for using LED luminaires:

5.1 Use of LED luminaires

LED luminaires are one of the most energy efficient lighting options available. Compared to conventional luminaires, LED luminaires are able to convert more electrical energy into light energy, reducing energy waste. Therefore, giving preference to LED luminaires in lighting design can significantly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.


5.2 Intelligent lighting control systems

Intelligent lighting control systems can adjust light intensity and brightness according to different times and usage requirements. By using technologies such as sensors, timers and automatic control, fine adjustment of lighting and optimisation of energy consumption can be achieved.


5.3 Natural light utilisation

The rational use of natural light can reduce the reliance on artificial lighting. Designers can maximise the use of natural light and reduce daytime lighting requirements through rational building layout, lighting design and window placement.

5.4 Energy management and monitoring

Regular monitoring and management of the energy consumption of lighting systems is key to energy conservation. Through the use of energy management systems and energy consumption monitoring equipment, the energy efficiency performance of lighting systems can be monitored in real time, potential energy saving opportunities can be identified and measures can be taken accordingly.


Understanding how many lighting fixtures a building need is crucial for creating well-lit and functional spaces. By analyzing the lighting requirements, considering factors such as the type of building, its purpose, and size, and applying the principles of lighting design, you can ensure optimal lighting performance. Additionally, calculating the lighting needs, evaluating energy efficiency, and adhering to relevant regulations and standards are essential for a safe and sustainable lighting system.


At KOSOOM, we offer a diverse range of lighting products, including indoor spotlights and linear pendant lights, designed to meet various lighting demands. Our brand is committed to providing high-quality and compliant lighting solutions that enhance the ambiance and functionality of your space. Whether it’s a commercial building, warehouse, or any other architectural project, we’re here to assist you in selecting the most suitable lighting scheme and fixtures.


Remember, proper lighting not only enhances visibility but also contributes to productivity, comfort, and energy savings. So, take the time to analyze your lighting needs, consult with professionals if necessary, and make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the right lighting fixtures for your building. Illuminate your space with KOSOOM and enjoy the benefits of well-designed lighting.



Q: How do I calculate how many light fixtures I need?

A: To calculate the number of light fixtures you need, you can follow these steps:


Determine the desired lighting level in the area. This is typically measured in foot candles or lux.

Measure the area of the space in square feet or square meters.

Find the recommended illuminance level for the type of space you’re lighting. This information can be obtained from lighting standards or guidelines.

Divide the desired lighting level by the recommended illuminance level to get the lighting ratio.

Multiply the lighting ratio by the area of the space. The result is the approximate number of light fixtures needed to achieve the desired lighting level.


Q: How many lights per square foot in a commercial building?

A: The number of lights per square foot in a commercial building can vary depending on several factors such as the type of space, the desired lighting level, and the lighting technology used. As a general guideline, commercial buildings often have a recommended lighting level range of 20-50 foot candles (200-500 lux). To determine the specific number of lights per square foot, you would need to calculate the lighting requirements based on the desired lighting level and the area of the space.


Q: How do you calculate lighting on a commercial building?

A: Calculating the lighting for a commercial building involves considering factors such as the type of space, the activities performed in the space, and the desired lighting level. Here’s a general approach to calculate lighting for a commercial building:


Determine the lighting requirements for each area based on the activities performed and the recommended lighting levels.

Measure the area of each space in square feet or square meters.

Calculate the total lighting load by multiplying the area of each space by the recommended lighting level.

Select appropriate light fixtures based on the lighting requirements and energy efficiency considerations.

Distribute the light fixtures evenly across the space, considering factors like the height of the ceiling and the light distribution characteristics of the fixtures.


Q: How do you calculate how many lights you need for a warehouse?

A: To calculate the number of lights needed for a warehouse, you can follow these steps:


Determine the desired lighting level for the warehouse. This can depend on the specific activities and safety requirements.

Measure the area of the warehouse in square feet or square meters.

Refer to lighting standards or guidelines to find the recommended illuminance level for warehouse spaces.

Divide the desired lighting level by the recommended illuminance level to get the lighting ratio.

Multiply the lighting ratio by the area of the warehouse. The result is the approximate number of lights needed to achieve the desired lighting level.


Q: How many LED lights do I need for a warehouse?

A: The number of LED lights needed for a warehouse depends on various factors such as the size of the warehouse, the desired lighting level, the light distribution characteristics of the LED fixtures, and the spacing between the fixtures. To determine the specific number of LED lights, you can follow the steps mentioned earlier for calculating lighting in a warehouse. However, it’s worth noting that LED lights generally provide higher efficiency and better light output, so you may require fewer LED lights compared to traditional lighting sources to achieve the same lighting level. Consulting with a lighting professional or engineer can help you determine the optimal number and placement of LED lights for your warehouse.


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