How many downlights do I need for my kitchen?

If you're looking for the short answer to this, you could install one downlight per square metre, leaving one metre spacing's between each downlight and a distance of half a metre from the walls. This would generally get you the correct results. But this is more of a question of how many downlights per square metre? And does not account for other variables.

The one downlight per square metre formula usually provides sufficient lux levels for the majority of installations. Many contractors and installers have used this method successfully for many years and adapted it to different room shapes and applications. But LED downlighting technology has surpassed halogen, you can get LED downlighters that are much brighter than 50W GU10 halogens and 50W MR16 halogens. You can use brighter downlights with wider beam angles and spread them out further. Rather than cramming lots of downlights together, you can install fewer. This look better and saves you money on buy downlights and installing them.

For example if you have a brighter LED downlight such as the Halers H4 Pro 700, it has a 700-750 lumen output and wide 55 degree beam angle. You could easily space these 1.5 metres apart and 0.75 metres from the walls.

However, rooms are used for different purposes and require different levels of brightness (lux). For example; in a kitchen it would be better to have a higher lux level to allow you to see what you are doing better. For kitchens we recommend an average of 300 lux. Whereas in a lounge were you are only watching TV, you may only require an average of 150 lux.

For some unknown reason there are no industry set recommendations for lux levels in homes. Specific lux levels are only used for commercial buildings, for example an office should be set at a minimum of 500 lux. Anything else you read on the internet etc. is a matter of opinion not fact.

As there are many variables to consider with lighting design, ranging from obvious ones such as the brightness (lumen output) of the downlight you want to install; to more complicated ones like maintenance and reflectance factors, we offer a lighting design service to take away the guessing and make it more accurate. We charge a fee of £20+VAT per room, our lighting design service is available here, place your order online and we'll get in touch with you to obtain all the information we need.

Alternatively, feel free to email details of your project including your room dimensions, plans, drawings and any information you have. We can then send a link for payment. Our £20+VAT charge is per room, not per building. If you have a large property with lots of rooms, please contact us for a quotation. Some room types are quick and easy to, but some rooms with apex ceilings or awkward shapes take considerably longer for us to do.

We can then provide you with your own personal lighting plan, using our lighting design software and done by our dedicated Relux and Dialux qualified lighting designer. He's hungry for work, so please do get in touch, no matter if you've got a small bathroom or an entire warehouse. If you have a commercial property we can also arrange for site visits, energy saving advice and cost of ownership analysis. We usually do this in partnership with one of our commercial lighting manufacturers such as Venture Lighting or Ansell Lighting who specialise in site visits.

We're happy to make recommendations for the best downlights to use, and advise you on the advantages of using energy saving downlights which will also help you to comply with the latest Building Regulations.

If you don't want a lighting design and just need a bit more guidance, click here  to view our 'how many downlights' article which has tables from Aurora Lighting. It shows you what lux levels you will achieve with some of their best selling downlights with various room sizes.

Or follow this link to view our latest range of kitchen downlights and lighting here.


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