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Coefficient of Utilization

The fraction of a lamp’s luminous output that reaches the work plane.

A coefficient of utilization (CU) is a measure of the efficiency of a luminaire in transferring luminous energy to the working plane in a particular area. The CU is the ratio of luminous flux from a luminaire incident upon a work plane to that emitted by the lamps within the luminaire. As a ratio, the coefficient of utilization is unitless.

For example, some of the light emitted by a luminaire may exit away from the desired plane and is therefore wasted. A CU measures the light actually reaching the desired plane as a percentage of the total light produced by the fixture. The value for direct lighting varies from 0.2 to 0.5 while that of indirect lighting varies from 0.1 to 0.3.

Key Terms

coefficient utilization
cu
efficiency
luminaire
luminous energy
measure
particular area
plane
ratio luminous flux
varies

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Acronymn

CU

Synonymns

Coefficient of Utilization
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Last modified on December 2 2019
Content adapted from Wikipedia
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