I am building a game room and want very good lighting in at least the portion that will include the table tennis table. I would like 500 lux (46.5 foot candles) of light in this part of the room (at a 10' ceiling which is what I have). That part of the room is approximately 1/3 of the total 500 +/- sqr ft. So, if I understand this correctly, I need 46.5 * 500/3 = 7,750 lumens in that part of the room.

I am thinking of going with LED recessed cans or puck lights and if I went with 3 in a row (22' width room), I would need 2,580 lumens per light and if I went with 4 in a row, 1,900 lumens per light (approx). I have recessed cans in other parts of my house today at only 700 lumens each. Is it the case that a "standard" can or puck housing can be installed, then just utilize a much higher lumen bulb? Or is that not how it works? Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Are you basing your calculations on light bulbs which emit light in a sphere? Or are you using light which will be aimed e.g. By lenses? I ask because you mentioned LED, and those do not emit in a sphere naturally. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 19:20
  • Good question, I am going by the fact that the required lighting for table tennis tourney events is 500 lux at 10' (with no other specifics given)...so I simply ran with that to try to calculate the right kind of light/fixture. I would certainly prefer LED, but I am no expert, so could be convinced otherwise.
    – John
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 19:24
  • I just installed a bunch of 5000 lumen "lamps" they are a bit larger than a 100w lamp but produce light in a sphere, some corn lights have a set of led's on the bottom and although these don't look like light bulbs they do produce light in a sphere.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 22:14
  • I've been shopping for recessed light LED modules, and the brightest that are commonly available top out around 1400 lumens. I have seen some 1500 and 1600 advertised, but I think those claims are lightly exaggerated based on my testing.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 19:52

1 Answer 1


LED lamps are heat-sensitive, and have a high failure rate if confined in a fixture too small or with insufficient ventilation. Putting a large lamp in a small fixture will likely damage the lamp after a while, and possibly create a fire hazard (though the fixture itself might be designed to survive the higher heat output of incandescent lamps).

There are surface-mount LED light fixtures with built-in (non-replaceable) lamps of 2,700 lumnens and more, which might be a better choice. Also check the color temprature. The lamp referenced above is 5,000 K, a somewhat bluish-white. Other lamps have color temperatures from a reddish 3,000 K to actinic 6,000 K.

  • Yes, thanks. The surface mount looks like it may be the way to go. I will need to find a dim-able version as I don't want that much brightness when not playing. Also, I do want a fixture that is UL approved/rated and I don't think that one is. I will have to look into color temp - I don't know what would be optimal for this application.
    – John
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 19:28
  • Check your local hardware and electrical supply stores, where you can view the light color, as well as online: the links above were just meant to show the sort of items out there. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 20:56
  • Look for DLC listing this listing requires a 5 year warrenty, many of the cheap ones out there are not worth the time to put them in in my opinion. Problems with flicker to early driver failure are common with cheap lamps.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 22:20

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