3 Steps to Speccing a Project
Whether you are speccing out and designing your own space or going through an interior or lighting designer, it is always important especially as an end-user to know what specs are going to be used in your project. Knowing what is going into your project will help you achieve two things, first is that you’ll have a little more creative freedom with regards to designing your space. Secondly you’ll have more control over how much you’ll be paying.
1. Understand Your Space
Depending on if it is a retail, commercial or residential space, each respective space employs their own fundamental design principles. Residential spaces allow for the most creativity, while retail and commercial spaces require a little more attention to detail as these are spaces dedicated to carrying out a specific set of tasks.
Once this has been established, it's time to fully map out the layout of your space, especially in relation to how much natural light is available. This will play a factor in the placement of the lights, furthermore it is also important to know the electrical wiring capabilities so you wont face compatibility issues during installation.
2. Choosing Light Output and Color Temperature
After you have successfully mapped out your space, and have chosen where you want your lights placed, the next step would be to choose the light output and color temperature. Light output is measured by lumens and generally dictates how strong the light is going to be from the source. The two things you need to consider here is how big of a space that specific light source is meant to illuminate, and how bright you want that space to be.
With respect to color temperature, the warmth or coolness of the light will also depend on the type of space you are lighting. In residential space for example anywhere between 2200-2700 kelvin would be ideal as it creates a warm and cozy atmosphere. Meanwhile for task oriented spaces, such as a kitchen would require somewhere between 3000-5000 kelvin. The same would also apply to an office space, or a task oriented space in a retail location.
3. Color Rendering Choice
The last step would be to choose the right Color Rendering Index (CRI) for your space. CRI refers to how close the light can display colors to that of sunlight. Click here to go more in depth on the Color Rendering Index. CRI is measured on a scale from 0-100, 100 meaning that the colors displayed under that light are exactly 1:1 to that of the sun.
In a residential space, a CRI of 70-80 will suffice for spaces dedicated to leisure and relaxation. And this same CRI would be suitable in a commercial or retail space in which ambient lighting is used. Task oriented spaces typically require a higher CRI to ensure accuracy of the completion of the task. Furthermore retail locations also utilise higher CRI bulbs in order to accurately and elaborately display their products.
After all these three things have been taken into consideration, yourself or your interior designer would be able to accurately spec your space in a manner that is not only cost effective, but also alleviates any compatibility issues during the installation process.