The lux meter is used to measure the intensity of light as a human eye would perceive it. As well as being an essential tool when designing and building spaces for human occupation and industry, lux meters are also used in the film and photography industry.
Poor lighting can cause a range of medical conditions including fatigue and headaches. Measuring light intensity for the human eye is important in meeting health and safety requirements in all areas that require human activity including hospitals, schools, libraries, manufacturing plants, offices and assembly lines. Measurements are taken of the light source as well as light reflected off surfaces.
How a lux meter works
The lux meter uses an integrated photodetector constructed from photovoltaic silicon photodiodes and filters. The meter is placed perpendicular to the light source as this angle provides the best spread of light. The lux meter then displays the measurement required to determine light intensity establishing whether it meets appropriate levels for the purpose of the area.
Measurements are taken in lux (lx) or footcandles – one footcandle equals 10.57 lux. Lux is equal to one lumen per square meter, measured against the output of a one foot (30cm) candle (10.76 lux). Lux meters read any form of light source including white LED light, fluorescent lighting, metal halide, high-pressure sodium and incandescent lighting.
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The human eye detects light waves at different levels of sensitivity according to the individual, and this variance is known as luminous flux. As an example of lux values, the amount of brightness on a clear night with no moon has been established at .002 lx, a family living room at 50 lx and daylight at 10,000 – 25,000 lx. To provide safe and effective work and living spaces, optimal lighting levels are determined for the type of industry or application to be performed in different spaces.
Conference room: 250 – 700
Packaging line: 150-300
Hotel guest room – 100-200
Hotel public areas – 220 – 1000
Retail window display 1500 – 3000
Hospital examination room 300 – 750
Hospital theatre – 750 – 1500
Introducing the lux meter
Lux meters are simple to use and come in a range of specifications appropriate to the purpose. Digital lux meters come automatically calibrated and are provide a quick reading, with measurements displayed on LCD screens. They provide spectral response close to CIE luminous spectral efficiency with measuring ranges starting at 200 lux to 20000 or higher according to need. Data logging can hold thousands of values and records and can be downloaded via USB, with some models providing wireless uploading functionality. The handheld lux meters are light and ergonomically designed for portability.
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Lux meters are used in any building design or space to measure light intensity for the purpose of creating a productive and pleasant environment for the occupiers. They are an essential tool anywhere that light is required. To measure light intensity and help create the most favourable lighting conditions in your workplace or building design, ask a specialist about the best lux meter for your requirements.