Table 131 Recommended light levels for visual tasks

Guideline Illuminance


Building/Space Type (footcandles)

Commercial interiors

Art galleries 30-100

Banks 50-150

Hotels (rooms and lobbies) 10-50

Offices 30-100

-Average reading and writing 50-75

-Hallways 10-20

-Rooms with computers 20-50

Restaurants (dining areas) 20-50

Stores (general) 20-50

Merchandise 100-200

Institutional interiors

Auditoriums/assembly places 15-30

Hospitals (general areas) 10-15

Labs/treatment areas 50-100

Libraries 30-100

Schools 30-150

Industrial interiors

Ordinary tasks 50

Stockroom storage 30

Loading and unloading 20

Difficult tasks 100

Highly difficult tasks 200

Very difficult tasks 300-500

Most difficult tasks 500-1000


Building security 1-5 Floodlighting

(low/high brightness or surroundings) 5-30

Parking 1-5

with excessive brightness, glare and poor worker productivity.

If the IES tables are applied for each task ("Task Lighting"), a superior lighting system is constructed. For example, in an office with computers there should be up to 30 fc for ambient lighting. Small task lights on desks could provide the additional foot-candles needed to achieve a total illuminance of 50 to 75 fc for reading and writing. Task lighting techniques are discussed in greater detail in Section 13.3.

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