Lux Level Requirements

It is important to ascertain that the lighting at commercial and industrial building spaces are at adequate and acceptable levels.

lux level requirements

A quick check with a lux level meter will promptly tell you how well-lit a user space is and if any additional lighting is required to bring it up to comfortable and functional level. This can be determined by referring to a table of lux level requirements for common user space as given below.

 

lux level requirements

“Use a Lux Level Meter (left) to determine the illuminance levels at areas of interest. As the models come in a variety of reading range, be sure to buy the suitable one for your task. Ensure that they are calibrated over time, and that readings are taken with the correct method, such as holding the sensor end at arm’s length from the body, to prevent stray light from reflecting off your body onto the sensor, which would yield an inaccurate reading…”

 
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An Overview

In the following table, we take a look at general acceptable lux levels for various work functions and typical user space. Hover over each row for easier line viewing.

Lux Level Work Activity and Function Example of User Area
20 – 80 Public walking Public parks and open-air carparks
100 – 140 Casual non-visual task Corridors, changing rooms, office restrooms
150 – 180 Some perception of detail Warehouses, stores, plant rooms, lift lobbies
200 – 240 Continuous occupation Entrance halls, dining rooms
250 – 300 Very easy visual task Public toilet, classrooms
300 – 400 Moderately easy visual task Private office, libraries, lecture theatres
500 – 600 Moderately difficult visual task Offices, laboratories, retail outlets
750 – 900 Difficult visual task Supermarkets, technical drawing offices
1000 – 1300 Very difficult visual task Operating theatres, polishing and painting plant
1500 – 1800 Extremely difficult visual task Assembly plants, inspection plants
> 2000 Exceptionally difficult visual task Precision assembly, fine work inspection
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Recommended Lux Level Requirements by the Industry

Going into more specific industries, the following is a list of working spaces and their recommended lux levels:

Educational Buildings

School and College

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Computer Room 300
Classroom and Tuition Centre 350
Technical Drawing Room 750

Museum and Science Centre

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
General Area and Corridor 150
Common Toilet and Restroom 200
Special Lighting for Paintings 300
Special Lighting for Sculptures 750

Commercial Buildings

Retail Shop and Outlet

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Sales Area and Premises 400
Gift Wrap Station 450
Cash Register Counter 500

Commercial Space and Office

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Lift Lobby 200
Corridor 300
Toilet and Restroom 150
Cafeteria 350
Plant Room (AHU, Genset etc.) 150
Store Room 180

Special Buildings

Hospital

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Lift Lobby 200
Corridor 250
Waiting Area and Lobby 300
Common Toilet and Restroom 250
Counselling Room 200
Breast-Feeding Room 200
Intensive Care Unit 300
High Dependency Unit 300
Isolation Room 300
Isolation Room – Ante Room 300
Delivery Suite – Labour Room 300
Operating Theatre 500
Operating Theatre – Air-Lock 300
CSSD/TSSU – Sterilisation Area 300
CSSD/TSSU – Packing Area 500
Patient Ward – Room 300
Patient Ward – Toilet 150
Conference Room 400
Catering Dept – Main Kitchen 400
Catering Dept – Beverage Kitchen 300
Catering Dept – Refuse Holding 150

Hotel and Restaurant

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Lift Lobby 150
Corridor 150
Common Toilet and Restroom 150
Bar 150
Bedroom 200
Conference Room 400
Exhibition Hall 500

Cinema, Concert Hall and Theatre

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Entrance Foyer 200
Auditorium 150
Toilet and Restroom 200
Dress Change 300
Make-Up Room 400

Residential Buildings

House, Apartments, Condominium and Residences

Area and User Space Recommended Lux Level
Living Room 200
Dining Room 250
Kitchen 250
Bedroom 180
Bathroom 150
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Please note that some of the figures given above for certain areas may deviate slightly from what is commonly accepted, and as such are my own interpretation of what constitutes comfortable lighting levels which takes into account interior design considerations, mood ambiance and other factors. For the purpose of design and calculations, this will be featured in another article.

Australian Standard – Recommended Lux Level Requirements

As a comparison, the recommended MINIMUM lux levels for various user space is given by the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1680.2.2 under Table 3.1 – Interior and Workspace Lighting. Kindly note that the following is a summary of the guideline for minimum illumination to suit the required task and purpose, and may be increased where deemed fit, subject to energy conservation requirements and other decision and design criteria:

Characteristics of Areas and Activities Examples Recommended Minimum Illumination (lux)
Interiors rarely visited where lighting is only required to aid movement and orientation Pass-though corridors and walkways; cable tunnels; indoor storage tanks 40
Areas of intermittent use for tasks of coarse detail Movement, orientation and tasks of coarse detail in areas such as change rooms, storage rooms, loading bays etc. 80
Areas that are continually used for tasks of coarse detail Simple tasks such as occasional reading of clearly printed documents for short periods or rough bench or machine work in areas such as waiting rooms and entrance halls etc. 160
Continuously occupied interiors used for ordinary tasks with high contrasts or large detail Food preparation areas; counters for transactions; school boards; medium woodworking 240
Areas where visual tasks are moderately difficult and include moderate detail (5 – 10 min arc or tolerances to 123µm) with low contrast Routine office tasks such as reading, typing and writing in office spaces or enquiry desks 320
Medium level inspection work such as fine woodwork or car assembly 400
Areas where visual tasks are difficult with small detail (3 – 5 min arc or tolerances to 25µm) with lower contrast Visually difficult tasks including most inspection tasks such as proofreading, fine machine work or fine painting 600
Areas where visual work are very difficult and involve very small detail (2 – 3 min arc) with very low contrast Very difficult tasks such as fine inspection, paint retouching or fine manufacture 800
Areas where visual work is extremely difficult with extremely small detail (1 – 2 min arc or tolerances below 25µm) with very low contrast Extremely difficult tasks that may require visual aids such as graphic arts inspection; hand tailoring; inspection of dark goods; extra-fine bench work etc. 1200
Areas where visual work is exceptionally difficult with exceptionally small detail (<1 min arc) with very low contrast Exceptionally difficult tasks where visual aids would be of advantage such as the assembly of minute mechanisms and jewellery and watchmaking 1600

 

For specific lighting applications on educational and training facilities, you may also refer in greater detail to the Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1680.2.3 (2008). Attention is drawn to Table D1 on Page 27. Click here to view or download a copy in pdf format.


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Bryan Wong Hon Yoon
6 years ago

Malaysia Standard – Any lux levels req?

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