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Positioning of Lights

Positioning of Lights

Where to position the lights in a new home or renovation is often a worry as once the wiring is in place it is expensive to make changes.
The following guidelines are based on practical rules of thumb and may be helpful in planning how to place your lights. 

For general lighting in the home downlights with the equivalent of a 100 Watt incandescent are a good choice.    The ideal solution is to use LED lighting with the same level of light output.  This can be an LED from 8 to 14 Watts depending on the design and efficiency of the fitting.  The light output should be 800 to 1000 Lumens.   These can save up to 80% of the power required for a conventional incandescent bulb. 

 For estimatimg the number required allow one downlight for every 4 square metres (40 square feet).
The spacing of these downlights should be about three quarters of the height of the ceiling, e.g. if the stud height is 2.4 meters then space the lights at 1.8 meters.  This is conservative, many lights will supply a spacing height ratio which will allow you to calculate the maximum spacing for the actual ceiling height

To find the spacing multiply the SHR by the height of the light.  eg 2.4 meter stud, SHR 1.25 the spacing would be 2.4 x 1,25 = 3.0 meters.

LED or Halogen lights are  used for lighting working areas such as kitchen, laundries and bathrooms because of the quality of light they produce. Halogen downlights are being phased out and sourcing bulbs will become more difficult in the future
The spacing of 50 watt halogen lights should be about half of the distance from the bench to the ceiling.  e.g. if this distance is 1.4 meters then the lights should be spaced about 0.7 meters apart, or half the distance from the floor to ceiling for general lighting.  This also applies to the LED equivalent

Highlighting a wall can make a room appear larger, or used in an entry can make the hall seem inviting.
LED with a light output of about 600Lumens are usually used and these are spaced about one quarter of the height of the wall out from the wall.  The lights are spaced about the same distance apart along the wall, and tilted to shine about one quarter of the way down the wall.
If a wall has an interesting texture, then grazing it with light is a popular option.  In this case the LED lights are fitted about 300mm out from the wall and spaced about 450mm apart along the wall.

Highlighting a painting is usually done with a tilting LED light.  The beam angle of the light would be no more than 40 degrees  The light output 450 to 600 Lumens.    If the light is recessed into the ceiling place it in line with the centre of the painting.   The distance out from the painting should be about two thirds of the distance from the centre of the painting to the ceiling. 
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