When it comes to choosing the lighting for your home or business, you’ll need to consider the style and the intensity of your lighting. This is where foot candles come in. 

What Are Foot Candles?

Primarily used in the United States, a foot candle of light is a unit that measures the brightness of a light source. 

If you think it’s difficult to understand “the amount of light required to fill a square foot with a single lumen of light,” you’re definitely not alone! Think of a foot candle as the equivalent of one lumen per square foot (with a similar intensity to a birthday candle).

To help you visualize the products you need, our team created a custom lighting layout element. Think of this tool as a foot candle chart and calculator – rolled into one!

Lower Light Levels

looking down the drive of an underground parking structure lit by wall mounted LED lighting

20-29 Foot Candles

(215 - 312 average lux)

  • Parking Garage
  • Inactive Warehouse
  • Restroom
  • Corridor
  • Storage
  • Break Room
  • Exterior Sales Lot
  • Receiving and Shipping Dock
  • Emergency Backup Lighting
Standing in the hallway of an office space looking through the floor to ceiling glass of a conference room lit by high end strip led lighting

30-39 Foot Candles

(323 - 419 average lux)

  • Large/Medium Item Warehouse
  • Outdoor Lean To
  • Simple Assembly
  • Conference Room
  • Elementary School Gymnasium
  • Laundry room
a young woman standing outside a stall lit by strip led lighting while calming a cow

40-49 Foot Candles

(430 - 527 average lux)

  • Classroom
  • Private Office
  • Residential Kitchen
  • Barn (basic tasks)
  • Small Item Warehouse
  • Bank Lobby
  • Department Store
  • Residential Garage

Most Common Light Levels

High school boys playing basketball in a gym lit with LED lighting

50-64 Foot Candles

(538 - 689 average lux)

  • High School Gymnasium
  • Commercial Kitchen
  • Automotive Service
  • Batting Cage
  • Grocery Store
  • Medium Item Assembly
  • Horse Competition Arena
  • NCAA Baseball Outfield (no broadcast)
man building a butchers block in a wood working shop

65-79 Foot Candles

(699- 853 average lux)

  • Hobby Shop
  • Woodworking
  • Autobody Work
  • Airplane Hangar
  • Fine Component Manufacturing
  • Big Box Store
  • Cabinet Making
  • Collegiate Football Field (regional broadcast NCAA)
Inside a large garage with an older classic ford mustang being worked on under bright LED strip lighting

80-95 Foot Candles

(861 - 1023 average lux)

  • Professional Shop
  • Paint Matching
  • Ice Hockey/ Ice Rink
  • Medical Exam Room
  • Aircraft Maintenance (detailed tasks)
  • Beer Drinking Garage that makes your friends jealous!

High End Light Levels

Indoor volleyball court well lit with 5 lamp high bay LED fixtures

96-120 Foot Candles

(1035 - 1292 average lux)

  • Very Detailed Woodworking
  • Complicated Assembly
  • Car Showroom
  • Collegiate Football Field (NCAA National Broadcast)
Looking up from the corner ground level at a soccer pitch lit with high bay led lights

121-150 Foot Candles

(1307 - 1614 average lux)

  • NCAA National Championship Site
  • Medical Facility
  • Museum Gallery
  • Machine Shop
a person wearing full protective gear standing in a paint booth pointing e paint gun at the camera. scene lit by very bright 6 lamp led lights

150-200 Foot Candles

(1615 - 2152 average lux)

  • Paint Spray Booth
  • Extremely Detailed Work
  • Film and Television Studios
  • Professional Sports Arena
a man covering his face to shield his eyes from very bright light.

200+ Foot Candles

(2152+ average lux)

  • High-Precision Machining
  • Inspection and Assembly (fine)
  • Operating Room
  • Specialized Applications

How to Choose Foot-Candles

When it comes to choosing LED lighting, you’ll need to consider the purpose of the space. Different environments necessitate varying levels of brightness to ensure optimal lighting conditions. Here are some guidelines to help you determine foot candles based on the purpose of the area:

A garage or shop will require more detail-oriented tasks. warehouse spaces or medical facilities, that number increases dramatically. 

Residential Spaces

Generally speaking, residential spaces require fewer foot-candles than commercial and industrial spaces. Since bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms are used for relaxing, they should utilize more ambient lighting for a cozier aesthetic. 10-20 foot candles often work well for areas like these. 

Commercial Spaces

Commercial spaces (like offices, retail stores, and educational institutions) require slightly brighter lighting for greater productivity and visibility. Lighting that’s too intense can be harsh and uninviting. Aim for approximately 30-50 foot candles to ensure a well-lit environment.

Industrial Spaces

Industrial settings can include workshops, warehouses, and factories. Due to their detailed, precision-focused tasks and safety requirements, they tend to require higher foot-candle levels. It's recommended to have lighting that’s at least 75-100 foot candles – but upwards of 200 foot candles for tasks that demand more specific tasks, like medical laboratories. 

Why Should You Choose LED Lights? 

Not only is LED lighting energy-efficient, but it’s also a long-lasting option that requires very little maintenance. This makes it an incredibly popular choice for residential, commercial, and industrial spaces alike. 

Choose Lumen Right for Your LED Needs

With our comprehensive selection of LED lighting options, you can create a custom lighting solution that suits all of your foot candle requirements: brightness, style, and affordability. 

Whether it’s for an office, garage, or industrial building, our foot candles chart simplifies your purchasing process. When you opt for Lumen Right’s LED lighting solutions, you’ve got products that are fully backed by our 10-year warranty. Discover the difference today!