A Lumen is a unit of luminous flux, equal to the amount of light emitted per second in a unit solid angle of one steradian from a uniform source of one candela. In layman’s terms it’s the amount of light that is given out by a lamp, light fitting or LED tape.
Okay, what is Lux?
Lux is a standardised unit of measurement in relation to the amount of light level intensity, which is commonly referred to as illuminance or illumination at point of measurement. In other words, the amount of light that hits something at a distance from the light source.
Or put in another way, a Lumen measure how much light is being sent out from the light source and a Lux measures how much light is arriving at the object.
“Great,” you say, “thanks for those nerdy tips - so what?”
Most people don’t know, or care about Lux and Lumens, why should they? But, if you are in charge of lighting stuff up it becomes a lot more important.
Safe lighting levels have to be achieved in all work situations and locations for health and safety purposes including emergency lighting - but that is another story. Where stuff starts being more interesting is when lighting is used in a creative way in display situations.
Here at LUX, we carry out installation and maintenance of high end retail fashion brands who absolutely have to have their latest creations lit up in amazing ways.
If it’s on a shelf or in a window it needs to “POP” and look fantastic. This is where understanding Lumens and Lux is essential. Once you understand how to make the most out of the light you choose, it can transform how a product looks on the shelf from average to amazing!
As we say, “It’s not just about a light being on, it is about WHAT the light is on.”
What we mean by this is, as electrical engineers, it can often be accepted that a display lamp is simply working.
But that isn’t enough, a lamp should be working to it’s best potential, in a way that lights up an object fantastically.
You see, the lamp could be getting old, losing up to 40% of it’s Lumen output or changing colour from the original warm white to a dirty green or blue colour. It’s on, but it isn’t lighting up the object well.
Or, it could be working properly, but simply pointing in the wrong direction – so light is hitting the shelf instead of the product, or silhouetting the product instead of illuminating it.
So, if lights are directional, you need to make sure they are aimed at the object to ensure it is displayed as well as it can be.
Experienced lighting specialists understand how to use the classic combo of Lux and Lumens to achieve the best possible results, so that the original design of the store or sales area continues to look the way the designer intended it to be – so that objects on the shelf ‘POP’, enabling the visual merchandiser to do their job and helping sales staff to achieve their targets.
At LUX, we aren't just ‘electricians’. We’re lighting experts. We’re part of the VM team and part of the sales team, as well as the FM team. Our job is to look after the lighting so that they can get on with what they do best - displaying and selling great products.