Minimum Light Levels for Safety in School Areas

The illuminance levels in the table below are MINIMUMS for the safety of personnel. The levels should be maintained at any time the space is occupied and at any location within the space. Higher light levels may be required for efficient task performance.

This table is from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America’s (IESNA) publication Lighting For Educational Facilities (RP-3-00). The complete manual provides excellent information on lighting issues related to educational facilities.

Hazard Requiring Visual Detection

 

Slight Slight High High

Normal Activity Level

 

Low High Low High
Areas

Classrooms
Lounges
Small Offices
Dorm Rms
Washrooms
Large Classrooms
Parking Lots
Exterior
Walkways

Shops
Large Offices
Corridors
Drafting Rms
Lecture Rms
Locker Rms
Interior Sports
Bleachers

Stairs
Libraries
Reading Rms
Cafeterias
Pools
Kitchens

Boiler Rms
Auditoriums
Exits
Exitways
Labs

Minimum Footcandles 0.5 1.0 2.0 5.0
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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.