## leq - lae/sel - when to choose what? | brel & kjr

Energy parameters Leq (equivalent continuous noise level) and LAE/SEL (sound exposure level) are used in many measurement situations, the widely fluctuating display of an analog sound level meter makes it difficult to determine the correct sound level. But what is the difference between Leq and SEL and when do we use them?

Assessing a fluctuating noise level means getting a value for a level that is, in simple terms, the average level. Leqis defined as the steady sound pressure level which, over a given period of time, has the same total energy as the actual fluctuating noise. It is also known as the equivalent continuous sound level, or the time-averaged sound level.

An alternative energy parameter is the sound exposure level LAE (also known as SEL), a logarithmic measure of the sound exposure of a sound relative to a reference value. It is similar to the Leq as the total sound energy is integrated over the measurement period. However, instead of averaging over the measurement period, a reference duration of 1 second is used.

Leqcan be measured directly with a professional sound level meter, if an A-weighting filter is used. This is it is expressed as LAeq, the measurement of the equivalent continuous sound level using the A-weighted filter network.

Fluctuations in machinery noise can make it difficult to put a value on the noise level. It can be even more difficult if the machine has a complex working cycle. The reason for the measurement uncertainty is that the analogue sound level meter does not provide time constants which are of sufficient duration. However, this can be overcome by measuring the overall energy of the noise.

For relatively steady noises such as machinery noise, the reading can be taken when the display of the instrument has stabilized. With cyclical noise, the measurement period should include an integer number of cycles so that an Leqmeasurement effectively represents the true average SPL, having the same energy as the fluctuating sound.

In towns and dwellings, environmental noise produced by traffic, industry, etc., is measured to estimate annoyance caused by noise and thereby the degree of community reaction to be expected. In both cases, noise may vary considerably over the exposure period. Recordings of a time-varying RMS do not allow either direct comparison or simple rating of noise exposure. In such cases, the data analysis provided by analogue sound level meters is not sufficient.

Leqmeasurements for long-term exposure rating, require the selection of representative measurement periods. In the case of occupational noise exposure, this may be a whole working day, or alternatively parts of the day in which representative measurements of the entire working day can be made.

Similarly, community noise exposure can be assessed by measurement of Leqover a whole day, or by taking period Leqmeasurements of representative intervals within typical periods (for example, quiet periods during the daytime, rush hours, evening, night).

Transient Noise Leqmeasurements give us very useful results in many situations. However, an Leqmeasurement does not remove ambiguity in the case of transient noise, for example, from an aircraft fly-over or a vehicle pass-by.

These situations often result in wide variations from background noise to the maximum level and if only the maximum level is reported, information on the duration of the noise (an important feature for rating annoyance) is lost. This also makes it difficult to compare between rapid and slow events and to combine different events for noise prediction purposes.

Since Leqis an energy average, only the highest levels (from the maximum to, say, 15 to 20 dB below it) contribute significantly to the total energy. Hence, if a measurement begins and ends in the background noise, the resulting Leqwill depend on the measurement period, even though the total energy is the same.

In such a case, the use of an LAE (SEL) eliminates the influence of the measurement duration. Although the total sound energy is integrated over the measurement period as with Leq instead of then averaging this over the measurement period, a reference duration of 1 s is used.

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## what is acceptable noise levels in residential areas? - soundproof guide

No matter where a person lives in the world, being reasonably close to others means being respectful about noise levels. Those who live out in the country with no neighbors nearby can get away with much louder noises than those in the middle of a major city.

On the other end of things, when someone who lives in the country wants a certain level of quietness, it is much easier to reduce the noise level. In residential areas, and especially in city locations, there is a general buzz that is louder at all times.

What are some of the acceptable noise levels in residential areas? Theres no set answer in most cases, but people should always be aware of how much neighbors can hear when loud activities are happening.

Everyone has experienced seeing a neighbor set up something outside that looks like it is going to cause noise. Whether it be a small get together, all the way to fireworks, outdoor activities are always going to create more overall sound. That means people need to be much more aware of what they do, and at what time of day.

The best thing to do before any outdoor activity that might be particularly loud is to inform close neighbors. This will prepare them for anything on that particular day, and could help to avoid confrontation later on.

Taking something indoors is the best way to reduce sound from traveling all around the neighborhood. Even if the soundproofing in the room is less than ideal, it is going to provide some barrier for noise.

The limitations with an indoor activity are that space is usually not nearly as plentiful. Not only that, but certain things cant happen indoors. Grilling out, playing certain games, and even small fireworks are all impossible indoors. Its sometimes just not an alternative option.

Being indoors certainly helps, but what if the noise is still way too loud? This is when people look into soundproofing methods that are fairly affordable and can help keep sound from leaving or entering.

Dealing with an acceptable amount of noise in a residential area is sometimes easier said than done. Maybe a family needs things to stay extra quiet so that young children can sleep at certain times of the day.

Soundproofing material varies in price, and most people start with something very basic that is easy to put up and install. Things like soundproofing curtains, soundproofing blinds, acoustic foam, and more can easily be purchased at stores, or online. This helps to soundproof specific rooms, especially with walls facing the outside.

An entire home can be soundproofed, but keep in mind that it does cost money when going this route. A lot of people will consider this during new construction, especially if they know the area they are building the home.

Generally speaking, indoor residential areas tend to hang around 45 dB for sound. It jumps up to 55 dB for outdoor areas during the daytime in residential areas. This falls well under the 70 dB that is identified by many as the level where people can start to experience hearing loss if exposed over and over again. It might not seem like that would do so much damage, but it is a problem.

Fortunately, for that number to jump up, it usually only happens occasionally. Any explosion is going to jump over 70 dB, as well as the use of musical instruments. If theres a lot of screaming and yelling, it might temporarily jump above 70 dB, but nothing that will stay at that level for too long.

It is pretty common to keep that 70 dB threshold in mind when looking at noise levels in residential areas. Every person in the neighborhood should try to stay away from anything that will go above that threshold for too long. The more prolonged noises are above 70 dB, the more likely that complaints will start rolling.

This becomes a little tricky when looking at tasks such as using machinery or simply cutting the lawn. These machines can quickly get over 70 dB. The sound is deafening when close by. Make sure to pick the right time to do these activities, and try to stay in a position that isnt particularly close to neighbors.

It is also highly recommended to use ear protection when operating anything that goes over 70 dB. It might not seem like that big of a deal, but merely cutting grass for an hour or two at a time can leave ears ringing for quite a while after. Over years of this routine, it can start to do long term damage.

Again, the goal in any residential area is to avoid anything over 70 dB for long periods of time. The longer a person is exposed, the more problems it causes. This is particularly challenging for young children who are still developing.

Earplugs, headphones, and more are short term solutions for noises that might be temporary. Only if the sounds are a common occurrence should soundproofing really be looked into. It usually just does not make financial sense to soundproof an area for just 1-2 times out of the year.

A lot of cities have their own noise ordinances, which gives them the ability to take action if noise is getting out-of-control. Most officials are pretty lenient in the beginning, usually only issuing a warning in the beginning. Persistent high noise levels can ultimately lead to issued fines, and even a court date.

Each call to law enforcement out to check out a noise complaint is logged. People do not want to start causing too much trouble, because eventually, law enforcement must take action. It might just be a fine, but it is silly to get in trouble for being too loud. Get everything under control so that the cops are not showing up consistently.

Most will agree that talking to neighbors and generally keeping each other in mind is the best solution to controlling residential noise. Every person wants to have some fun and be loud from time to time, just like every person enjoys quiet time.

For the last number of years, I've Been dedicating a lot of time in soundproofing and helping people be able to soundproof their home, business, and vehicles. I also have a YouTube channel by the same name Soundproof Guide.

Part of having a soundproof room is soundproofing the ceiling. By ignoring the ceiling, you can get yourself in quite a bit of trouble overall. It's not something that you want to deal with by any...

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