# Lighting

• posted on September 30, 2006, 11:10 pm
Greetings,
I'm in the planning stages of renovating a barn to be used as a wedding venue, with receptions to be held in the hay mow of the barn. I'm trying to determine how many light fixtures I will need and I'm wondering if there is some sort of calculation for figuring this out. The ceiling is 28' high in the center. I'm considering using several 3-tier chandeliers that have 28 60 watt bulbs, and are 55" high x 60" wide. I'm just not sure how many I need or how far apart I can space them, or if I'll need to have lights on the side walls, too. The sidewalls are 11.5' high, the barn is 32' wide by 80' long. I'm not sure if this is something I can calculate on my own to get a rough estimate or if I'll need to enlist the help of a professional.
Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!
-Cheryl
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• posted on October 1, 2006, 12:11 am
I know hay mows. That's what we called them too but around here they are called hay lofts. I have mowed a lot of hay back in them.
First thing I think of with all those bulbs and a little hay or straw laying around for atmosphere is fire. *BE VERY CAREFUL*
Old farm boy..

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• posted on October 1, 2006, 12:22 am
Thanks, Glen. Yes, I suppose it's a hay loft in some areas of the country. I hadn't thought about that.
This barn hasn't had hay in it in quite some time. By the time we have it completely renovated it'll be rewired, insulated, sheetrocked, painted, and have hardwood flooring. The only thing left will be the big cross timbers.
Thanks,
Cheryl
Glenn wrote:

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• posted on October 1, 2006, 12:38 am
Somewhat different than the first impression. I thought it was going to still look like a hay mow. I still wonder how many fire exits you can get out of an elevated mow though

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• posted on October 1, 2006, 12:32 am
Knowing how dry an old barn is and how miss-behaved party people can be, ie: drunk and try to hit one of the chandeliers with a shot glass, if I were the county, I would never issue the permit.
This is a disaster waiting to happen. Don't do it. If you do, get *lots* of liability insurance. The time will probably come when you will need it.
There was a party club around here that got on fire and killed over 100 people. The club owner is now broke and sitting in jail for 15 years. Just so you know. Your call.

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• posted on October 1, 2006, 7:33 am

Reception in the loft, bad idea. Buy some real good insurance. Hold it all in the ground area of the barn. Use general flourescent lighting. Pull the ladder to the loft.
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Jonny

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• posted on October 2, 2006, 6:32 pm
Ok, so although this barn would have French doors leading to a large deck in addition to a wide stairway leading to the lower level, you have made me pause to reconsider my options. I hadn't considered that the building would be more flamable due to it's age. Many old structures are renovated and given new life. The other thing that is a concern to me is handicap accessibility and lifts are pretty expensive.
So, even with the French doors and stairway, would you still consider this a fire trap?
The other option that I had been toying with was to build on the back of the property (40 acres with a river slicing through it on the diagonal.) There is a separate driveway off of the county road that leads back to the rear of the property. I'd have to put in a driveway, sewer, and electric, pour a slab, and all of that. I've been looking at barn kits, mainly from http://www.uhbarns.com /. I think I'll start putting together some costs along these lines.
Thanks,
Cheryl
Jonny wrote:

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• posted on October 2, 2006, 7:45 pm

32 wide by 80 long will hold a lot of people. Is the reception room going to be ONLY on the mow elevation? If so, how are you going to keep some kid from sneaking into the lower stalls to smoke and burning the place down?
I would want a deck, stressed to hold over 100 people, on EACH end of the mow and LOTS of doors opening OUT onto the deck. I would want the deck easily vacated via a stair or preferably a ramp. I would buy LOTS of insurance. I'm not really mean, just can see the big picture. I don't think you are.
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• posted on October 1, 2006, 4:42 pm

But to actually answer your question there are a bunch of places on the web with info. Good search would be "lighting planning lumens"
Like this one http://www.facilities.ufl.edu/cp/pdf/Lighting%20Illumination%20levels.pdf
You will need to take the number of lumens per bulb times 28 to get the light output for each chandelier and divide by the square footage to figure how many lumens per square foot. The 60w package I've got shows 830 lumens so that would be 23240 per fixture or 9 lumens / sq foot. Then it's a matter of figuring out how much light you need. Once you have the idea of how to figure it out you can look at how a room is lighted and do a rough calculation of the lumens/sq ft to compare. Example, an office is usually 4 tube flourescent fixtures which are around 11,000 lumens per fixture and ceiling tiles are 4' x 2'. Count fixtures, count tiles long by tiles wide and do the math.
I expect these chandeliers are pretty pricey so the light store folks should be able to help you out on this also.
Steve.
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• posted on October 2, 2006, 6:34 pm
Thanks, Steve.
This is the type of information I was hoping to find. And yes, these lights are pretty pricey.
-Cheryl
SteveF wrote:

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• posted on October 1, 2006, 5:15 pm
answer all your light level questions here:
I would guess you need to download the indoor lighting software, but area lighting may fit your situation better.
Perhaps you can use some hot rod lights with blinders or other disguise for the lumens and the chandeliers for pretty. A much bigger issue is changing the bulbs as required, this will not lend itself to grabbing a step ladder. ______________________________ Keep the whole world singing . . . . DanG (remove the sevens) snipped-for-privacy@7cox.net

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• posted on October 2, 2006, 6:35 pm
Thanks, DanG! I'll check it out.
-Cheryl DanG wrote:

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• posted on October 3, 2006, 6:41 pm
If all else fails, hire a lighting designer. If this is to be a money makeing operation then you want the place to really look good, not just meet minimums.
Richard Reid, LC Luminous Views
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