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What does lux mean in lighting?

What does lux mean in lighting?

When it comes to lighting, there are various terms you need to learn to choose the right fixture for your home. 

So, what exactly is lux, and what role does it play in how we perceive and interact with our environment? This blog aims to explore what lux is, how it’s measured, and its impact on both our home and well-being.

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What is lux?

Lux is a unit of measurement that quantifies the intensity of light as perceived by the human eye in a specific area. This helps us understand how bright a light source appears in certain areas of the home.

This is defined as one lumen per square meter, measuring the amount of light that reflects onto a surface. Unlike lumens which measures raw light output, lux takes into account how light is distributed over an area and is perceived by the human eye. 

The same amount of lumens can produce different lux levels depending on how spread out the light is.

The significance of lux in everyday life

Understanding lux is beneficial for creating an ambient atmosphere in your home. Higher levels of lux reduce eye strain, whereas lower levels create a more relaxing environment.

Certain work environments, such as plants or labs, have specific lux requirements to enhance safety and reduce eye strain and fatigue. In public spaces, adequate lux levels ensure visibility and safety during dark hours. 

The role of lux in lighting design

The lux requirements of a space are determined when designing lighting for specific areas. 

This has to consider certain activities that will take place in the room to enhance efficiency. For example, a kitchen will require a higher level of lux for safety when cooking. 

Aesthetics also plays a role in lighting design. The level of lux chosen is often determined by the mood and atmosphere that is desired for the area. Lux can highlight certain architectural features or decor to accentuate the building. 

Energy efficiency is also taken into account when determining the amount of lux needed. Lower levels of lux can reduce energy consumption and environmental impact.

Measuring and adjusting lux levels

Measuring lux levels

Lux levels need to be measured using a lux meter. 

This quantifies the intensity of light in a given area, and the metres come in various options, such as hand-held devices for simple measurements to complex systems for detailed analysis. 

To measure lux, place the meter where the light's impact is most critical. Focus on areas where natural light combines with artificial lighting and take various readings at different times of the day for accuracy. 

Adjusting lux levels

If you require more levels of lux, you can add light sources, change the bulb type, or adjust and reposition the angles of the fixtures. 

You could also install dimmers to allow for dynamic changes in lux levels for different activities. In areas where natural lights illuminate the surface, blinds, curtains, or window screens can help manage lux. 

The impact of lux on health and well-being

When it comes to the impact of light on our health and well-being, our circadian rhythms are strongly influenced by light exposure. This regulates our sleep-wake cycles, and properly timed exposure to light can help sync these rhythms. 

Light exposure has also been shown to increase our mood and reduce symptoms of depression. This is especially beneficial in the winter months when natural light is scarce. 

For the elderly, adjusting lux levels can improve vision, reducing the chance of falls and accidents. 

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