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What Is a Lighting Layout Calculator?
A lighting layout calculator is a simple estimation tool that determines the number of lights you might need – provided that you know the size of your space, the foot candle requirements, and the lumens developed by the fixture you would like to use.
How Accurate Will the Results Be if I Use a Lighting Layout Calculator?
The issue with simple lighting layout calculators is that they provide basic data: the number of fixtures you will need. They do not calculate or show where the lights should be located, the foot candle readings across the floor or how balanced the lighting will be. This calculation does not take into account any optic that might be installed on the fixture, which will greatly affect the light balance.
So, the calculator should be used as a rough estimate tool, and not as a tool that you should make a final decision based on.
When Does It Make Sense to Use an LED Lighting Layout Calculator?
Use a calculator if:
You are looking for a free, online tool to quickly calculate the number of fixtures you need.
You want quick, simple and immediate results.
You are looking for a count of fixtures based on a specific budget
You need a rough estimate on quantity and layout / configuration does not matter
There is no requirement to include specific light balance and shadows in your documentation
Use a lighting plan if:
You would like a professional lighting engineer to review your requirements
You need a calculated lighting plan that shows foot candle readings
You need to see how balanced the light levels are, and you care about reducing shadows.
You want to show aiming angles, and light positions in scale with your indoor or outdoor area
You’re looking for assurances that the lights you purchase will be the right choice
What Is a LED Lighting Layout Calculator?
An Indoor LED Lighting Layout Calculator is a software tool that allows you to enter room dimensions, fixture count and approximate foot candles you are hoping for and then calculates the number of fixtures you might need. It’s a starting point.
A better option is to create a lighting plan for the indoor space. The lighting plan will also provide you with the number of fixtures, but it will also visually detail where the lights should be installed or located, how bright the light will be on the floor or work plane, and how well balanced the light will be across the entire space.