Lumens, Kelvin and Beam Angles: How to Light Your Business Premises

Have you ever gone through a supplier's catalogue and felt slightly bewildered by the bulbs on offer? In the good old days, when you wanted to buy lighting for your office or shop, all you had to worry about was how powerful you wanted the lighting to be and where you were going to position it. If you were forward thinking, you could even go for energy-efficient bulbs! But there again it wasn't too difficult as there was only one type of energy-saving bulbs.

Nowadays, we have a wonderful choice of light fittings, especially since LEDs have been available, as they have freed design which was no longer constrained by the size of the bulb.

If your business is customer facing, LEDs give you the opportunity to design just the right atmosphere: rigid and flexible strips, spotlights, battens,  downlights or signage, LEDs can do it all, and you can further customise your lighting by playing with lumens, kelvins and beam angles.

Lumens, for example, refer to the amount of light given by an LED bulb. The best value for you will depend on the type of surface considered and its use. For example, desks and task lighting will require higher lumens – plan on the basis of 500 lumens/m2. Floors will need less, about  200 lumens/m2, but if the space to light is a warehouse, you may need to increase that number to make it a safe working environment.

For retail shops, other considerations such as the mood you want to create are important. Bright lights may not make for the most pleasant shopping experience and are traditionally  associated to mass-market spaces such as supermarkets for example. So if you are trying to create a sophisticated, upmarket feel, it will be best achieved with lower lumens and accent lighting.

Kelvins are about how warm or cool a light appears to be and is another element to experiment with to create the perfect scheme. Cooler lighting will be best suited for working environments and reading, whereas warmer lights will give a more relaxed, intimate feel.

If you need high-colour rendering, i.e. an effect as close as possible to natural light, go for High CRI LEDs 90+.

With beam angles, you can control how focused the light will be. As you might expect, the smaller the angle, the stronger the light. A commonly-used bulb type like the GU10, for example, has a 40˚ beam angle. Recessed lights also have a narrow angle. For larger spaces, you will probably want a larger angle not to blind your customers and also keep your energy bill reasonable.

To light outside spaces, flood beams and wide flood beams are best – that means anything with an angle of 60˚ angle and more.

If you need help deciding how to light your business, contact us on (09) 972 0078 and we will be glad to advise on the best solution for you.

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