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Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Home > Design Needs > Design Basics > Lighting > Minimum Lighting Requirements

Minimum Lighting Requirements

Existing legislation and standards outline minimum lighting requirements for people who are sighted, but don’t provide definitive lighting levels for people with vision loss. In general, provide illumination that is 25 to 50 percent higher than the standard illumination levels specified for rooms and spaces by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. This recommendation is in line with other current guidelines, such as “Building Sight,” (.doc) published by the United Kingdom’s Royal National Institute of Blind People or the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped.

In addition, use the following lighting levels for specific locations:

Lighting levels (in Lux) required by various public spaces.
LocationLighting Level (in Lux)
Halls200
Inquiry/reception stations500
Circulation areas: corridors, elevators, stairs200
Lounges200 to 300
Kitchen and food preparation areas200 to 300
Offices, general lighting500
Computer workstations300 to 500

Note that some people will find enhanced illumination levels overly bright and may experience some vision loss due to the brightness. Lighting designers should allow users to control lighting intensity wherever possible.