How Many Lights Do I Need In My Shop? (With Examples)

Every shop will require light to highlight the store products. But since shops come in different shapes and sizes, you will need different types and numbers of lights to install in your shop for better visibility. Every corner must get proper brightness so that everyone gets a proper view.

You need about 0.5 watts of led light per square foot of area in your shop. For example, if your shop is about 200 sq. feet, you can use 200×0.5=100 watts of light. Thus, using 5-6 20-watts bulb should be enough. To find the perfect lighting, you can also use 70lumens/sq feet as a standard rule.

The number of lights may change based on the wattage and lumens. Several factors require consideration while deciding on the lights for your shop. This article will explain the importance and the number of lights according to the shop size. 

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What are the benefits of shop lights?

When you plan to have a shop, light is an important factor. 

You want customers to enter your shop and have a better look at all your products, especially the products over which you want to draw their attention.

Better visibility is the primary benefit of installing lights in a shop. 

There are various other reasons:


Safety is essential. 

You don’t want to hurt yourself while trying to watch for items, stumbling on them, or dropping them to the floor and damaging them. 

Besides, you will also be able to have a proper look at the product’s quality, price, expiry date, and other things. 

It will keep you safe from having low-quality and expired items. 

Aesthetic appeal

Light improves the aesthetic look of your shop. 

Designing your shop with different types of light and light fixtures can increase the style of your shop. 

It will attract consumers to your shop. 

A bright shop is quite welcoming and offers a sense of safety for your customers. 

The decoration and brightness of your shop say a lot about you. 


Lights can create a lot of comfort zones for the buyers visiting your shop.

An adequate amount of light at every corner of your shop reduces eye strain and is convenient for you and your buyers.

Besides, the clients feel free to move around and collect their required materials properly.


Shop lights can also provide enough security. 

You will learn about theft, vandalism, and intentional damage to your products. 

With enough lights, you can spot these incidents, reduce the chances of replacing and suffering loss, and catch the person responsible for such annoyance. 

How many lights do I need for a shop?

There are multiple shop sizes, and all will require different types and numbers of lights. 

There is no exact number of lights as the lumens and wattage vary in the different lights. 

If you choose lights with a lesser number of lumens, you may need more lights. 

If you choose bright lights with higher lumens, you need less light.

The number of lights you need for your shop depends on the size of your shop.

Table of different shop sizes and light types

Here is a table of the common shop sizes and the number of lights required:

Shop sizesNumber of lights required
250 square feet6 to 10 bulbs of 20 watts each
500 square feet12 to 15 bulbs of 20 watts each
1,000 square feet5 to 6 bulbs of 45 watts each
2,000 square feet10 to 20 bulbs of 45 watts each
2,500 square feet15 to 20 bulbs of 45 watts each

The number of lights may change depending on the shop type. 

For example, if the store is a grocery shop and 2,000 square feet, you need only 10 to 12 bulbs with 45 watts each. 

But if it is a bookstore-cum-library of the same size, you will require 32 bulbs of 45 watts each. 

It is because you might want to stay for a while and read the book, which is not required for grocery stores. 

Remember that these lights will also hold different wattages, starting from 1W and ending with 1 million watts.

You may need many lights if the wattage is low but fewer lights if the wattage is high. 

The lumens are different for various lights. 

You need to divide the number of lumens of each light by the total lumens needed for your shop to receive the right number of lights. 

The table I have shared gives you an approximate detail about the number of lights needed for various shop sizes. 

The next section will describe the calculation processes and the ways of choosing the exact number of lights for your shop. 

How do I calculate lumens for a shop?

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The amount of lumens your shop gets or needs is important when it comes to light. 

So, you need to calculate that and then decide on your shop’s light numbers and types.

If the visual work of your shop is very limited, you will require lower light levels for your shop. 

In shops where the tasks are performed in a very detailed version, the shop owner needs to install about 300-foot candles per square foot. 

Generally, a retail shop must have at least 50 to 70-foot candles per square foot. 

To measure the square footage of your shop, you need the following:

  • A measuring tape
  • A calculator 

Measure the length and width of each rectangular part of your shop. 

Then multiply the length and width to get the square foot of your shop. 

Add the square feet to all the sections together to receive a total of square feet.

Now, you must multiply the square footage with the light intensity in foot candles per square foot. 

For example, if your shop is nearly 1,800 square feet, you will need 30 lumens of light per square foot, which equals 54k lumens. 

Now, it is time to calculate the number of lights required. 

The incandescent and fluorescent lights have their lumen rating on their packaging. 

You must divide the lumen rating into the total number of lumens you need. 

For example, you have chosen fluorescent lights rated at 2,500 lumens each for your shop, which needs 54,000 lumens. 

So, you need to divide 2,500 by 54,000, equal to 21.6, and round off to 22 tubes. 

So, you will need 22 fluorescent lights for your 1,800 square feet shop. 

Tips: Try using a spotlight in your shop, especially if you wish to draw the attention of your customers to some specific products. 

Using lights only in the required areas can help reduce the number of lights and the cost. 

It also keeps the areas comfortable. 

Factors to consider while selecting lights for a shop

The shops install all types of light to make every space of their shops visible to the customers and highlight the store’s special products. 

The proper amount of lights allows the customers to:

  • Have a proper look at the key areas of your shop 
  • Sets a good ambiance
  • Draws customers’ attention which provokes them to shop longer

The following tips can help you know the type of lights, bulbs, and fixtures and how many you want.

Learn the type of store lights

When you think of adding lights to your shop, you must know the types of lights used for the different stores. 

You must know the four lighting strategies – decorative, accent, ambient, and task. 

  1. The decorative lights provide an aesthetic look to your shop. You can use it to highlight your shop and create an eye-catching display and lovely ambiance. 
  2. The accent lights are used to highlight a few specific products special in your shop. It increases the visibility and importance of the products. 
  3. Ambient light creates a proper ambiance in the overall areas of your shop. You can use chandeliers or simple pot lights.  
  4. Task lighting is for giving lights for specific tasks, like the transaction areas, fitting rooms, etc. 

Set an ambiance by selecting the right brightness and tone

Depending on the light’s brightness and tone, you can use too many or too few lights. 

When you search for lights, brightness is very important, which gets indicated by the lumens. 

The more lumens your bulb has, the more brightness it will provide. 

It is also best to note the color temperature or tone of the light type. 

You can understand that by the number of Kelvin present in the bulb. 

The more the Kelvin number, the cooler the tone of the bulbs. 

A low number means a warmer tone. 

Select the type of bulb

Now, you need to select the right bulb for your shop. 

Some shops may require at least 50 to 70 lumens per square foot. 

Find the size of your shop and the light needed. 

Get the bulb that provides the maximum lumens. 

That will allow you to have fewer lights and save you some money.

You can try three types of light that are best for any shop:

  • Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) – best for ambient and task lighting
  • Halogen bulbs or lamps – best for accent, task, and decorative lighting 
  • LED bulbs – best for all types of lighting in the booth and retain shops

Different light types have different wattages and lumens. 

Consider checking them while selecting the right type and number of lights for your shop.

Pick the right fixture

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You can use the lights mentioned above, like CFL, LED, and Halogen lights, along with several types of fixtures.

The retail stores combine the different fixtures and various bulbs to receive the right light for their shop. 

Some commonly used fixtures are:

  • Flush recessed
  • Exposed canister
  • Adjustable
  • Pendant
  • Eyeball down spot
  • Reel
  • Suspended luminary
  • Flush light panel
  • Surface mounted fixture

Beware of the texture

When you plan to install lights in your shop, the texture is a great concern. 

While designing your shop with lights, avoiding black ceilings and shiny surfaces would be best. 

These surfaces reflect the ceiling’s lights, which is very distracting and disorienting. 

For the best results, you should try matte finishes. 

That won’t reflect any light, give the required light, and make you comfortable. 

Final thoughts

Light plays a very important role in a shop. It creates better visibility, improves the aesthetic, draws the client’s attention, and creates a comfort zone. 

There are different types and sizes of shops, each of which has different demands regarding the types and number of lights. 

You can use CFIs, LEDs, and fluorescent lights in your shops. 

The number of lights depends on your shop size. 

You need to calculate the number of lumens needed by your shop and divide it by the number of lumens of the light you wish to install in your shop. 

You will get the number of lights for your shop.

If you want to avoid entering the calculation part, follow the table I shared. 

Those are the common shop sizes, so you can use the number of lights mentioned, provided your shop size is in the table. 


Are LED lights good for shops?

LED lights benefit any shop more than the other light types because of their durability, cost-effectiveness, and better lighting.

Besides, LEDs offer more lumens than other light fixtures, have high Color Rendering Index, or CRI, and are color-flexible. 

Reference: Calculate Lighting Fixture’s Beam Angle and Lumen, Lumens and the Lighting.

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Arthur Smith

Howdy! I am Arthur Smith, an electrical engineer who is extremely passionate about electronics. I have lived in different parts of the US and currently reside in Wisconsin. I am one of those rare children who knew what he wanted to study and do in life right from the start. I was a curious child who wanted to know how switches work and how the AC works, and I would always observe my dad whenever he would handle the wires and fix things around the house. I currently work as an electrical engineer at a reputed company and write for this blog. And I read loads of books or play video games in my free time.

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