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watts? foot-candles? Or simply: bright enough pendant?

Posted by fouramblues (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 5, 12 at 17:07

I've picked out a set of 3 pendants that will be spaced about 30" apart (from center) over my island, probably at about 36" over the surface, which is reflective quartz. I want as little visual obstruction here as possible, so have picked a clear glass shade, thus they are essentially omnidirectional. Each pendant takes one 60w A19 bulb. My architect says I need about 50-70 foot-candles for effective task lighting. The other task lighting will be cr4s, about 4ft behind me as I prep. The specs on my pendants say nothing about foot-candles. I just want to know if 3 essentially exposed 60w bulbs will give me good task lighting. (Also note that I don't want to be blinded by the reflection off the quartz.) TIA for any advice!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: watts? foot-candles? Or simply: bright enough pendant?

It depends on the bulbs installed. A standard A19 60W incandescent provides ~ 800 lumens.

There is a conversion formula from lumens to foot-candles which also takes into account the distance between the source and destination.


An easier approach which I use is to compute how many relatively diffuse light sources are required to achieve a desired lighting level in lumens per sq ft. For a work area like the kitchen ~ 35 lumens per sq ft.

Assuming relatively standard heights of ~ 8' to 10' ceilings, the formula works reasonably well.

RE: watts? foot-candles? Or simply: bright enough pendant?

Thanks again, davidtay! The average lighting in my kitchen will be ample without the pendants. So it's time to go back to the lighting store and see in practice, rather than theory, what I feel is good task lighting.

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