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What are Footcandles?


Figuring out the new technology in LED Lighting can be confusing and frustrating compared to old lighting alternatives. Although those alternatives may have been easier to understand, and since the technology was limited and until LED Lighting was discovered, most people didn't look too much into it. With the constant improvement of LED Lighting technology, an old 60W Incandescent light can now be replaced with a 6-9W LED Light bulb and put out more light then before!

When deciding which LED lighting option is best for your application, a common term discussed to the customer is Footcandle; but what are footcandles and how many are you supposed to have? 

Footcandles Explained 

Even though it may be typical to pick out a replacement light bulb or fixture based on the wattage, it is no longer the correct way to find a replacement. For instance if you were to replace your 60W Incandescent Bulb with a 60W LED Bulb, you would end up with much more light than you originally had or expected, and it could even be too bright. The wattage only measures the amount of energy the fixture or bulb will use, so keep this in mind. 

The actual way to measure how much light the fixture of bulb produces is by lumens, however, the lumens produced might not always be equivalent to the lumens delivered! The way to measure footcandles to lumens is by knowing the footcandles on the area/surface. 

The Concept 

The concept of footcandles has been around before electricity itself, and is believed that in the days of using candles for light, a "standard" candle was created. The light thrown from the standard candle was then known as candlepower. Ever since these standards were determined, one footcandle has meant approximately one lumen per square foot. Take a look at the footcandle chart below.

Footcandle Conversion Chart

Nowadays in the lighting industry, footcandles are a very common term and unit of measurement to determine the amount of lighting that is ideal for an area to be achieving, and can help aide in the decision of which fixture or bulb is best for your application! 

 Which Fixture Is Right For You?

Although it can be very confusing, HTM Lighting Solutions has been professionally trained and certified to run photometric renderings for your application to determine the best fixture/bulb to use so that you are achieving the recommended footcandle levels. If you have any questions as to which option is best for you, always be sure to consult in a lighting expert to make sure you are getting the best final result, all while staying affordable and efficient.

150W LED Shoe Box Rendering

Questions or comments? We always have ears open to any new input and suggestions, as we enjoy learning from others and sharing knowledge. Contact us today for your complimentary quote on any project, or just to give some input, 813-649-8899 or 

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  • Mary S