Electrical Thumb Rules-Illumination-(Part-19).

Recommended Lighting Levels For Sports Areas  

Bowls 20 lux 50 lux 100 lux 150 lux
Tennis 50 lux 100 lux 150 lux 250 lux
Football 50 lux 100 lux 250 lux 450 lux
Cricket Outfield 50 lux 100 lux 250 lux 450 lux
Cricket Pitch 100 lux 200 lux 400 lux 600 lux
Hockey 50 lux 100 lux 250 lux 350 lux
Swimming 50 lux 100 lux 150 lux 250 lux


Industrial & Office Applications Lux Level

General Engineering Rough Work 160 lux
General Engineering Medium Work 400 lux
General Engineering Fine Work 800 lux
General Engineering Very Fine Work 1600 lux
Inspection Areas Rough Work 160 lux
Inspection Areas Medium Work 320 lux
Inspection Areas Sub Assemblies 400 lux
Inspection Areas Fine Work, electric & high precision mechanical 800 lux
Offices Entrance halls and receptions areas 160 lux
Offices Conference facilities, general offices, typing and filing 500 lux
Offices Computer and business machine operation 630 lux
Offices Drawing Offices 800 lux
Outdoor Areas Mechanical loading 10 lux
Outdoor Areas Manual loading 10 lux
Outdoor Areas Service station forecourts 160 lux
Warehousing Inactive storage 20 lux
Warehousing Loading bays and large materials storage 100 lux
Warehousing Small material storage, packing and dispatch 200 lux


Recommended Lighting Levels

Characteristics of Activity Representative Activity Illuminance (lux)
Interiors rarely used for visual tasks (no perception of detail) Cable tunnels, nighttime sidewalk, parking lots 50
Interiors with minimal demand for visual acuity (limited perception of detail) Corridors, changing rooms, loading bay 100 – 150
Interiors with low demand for visual acuity (some perception of detail) Foyers and entrances, dining rooms, warehouses, restrooms 200
Interior with some demand for visual acuity (frequently occupied spaces) Libraries, sports and assembly halls, teaching spaces, lecture theaters 300
Interior with moderate demand for visual acuity (some low contrast, color judgment tasks) Computer work, reading & writing, general offices, retail shops, kitchens 500
Interior with demand for good visual acuity (good color judgment, inviting interior) Drawing offices, chain stores, general electronics work 750
Interior with demand for superior visual acuity (accurate color judgment & low contrast) Detailed electronics assembly, drafting, cabinet making, supermarkets 1000
Interior with demand for maximum visual acuity (low contrast, optical aids & local lighting will be of advantage) Hand tailoring, precision assembly, detailed drafting, assembly of minute mechanisms 1500 -2000+


Interior Light Levels

Environment Required Light Level
 Storage Area / Plant Room (minimal movement of people) 150 – 200 Lux
 Construction Areas & Loading Bays (minimal perception of detail) 300 – 500 Lux
 Factories & Kitchens (higher perception of detail) 500 – 750 Lux
 Inspection, Welding, And Machinery (demanding work) 750 – 1000 Lux
 Electronics & Textile Production (repetitive detail) 1000 – 1500 Lux
 Technical Offices (accurate detail) 1500 – 3000 Lux
 Jewelers & Goldsmiths (precision detail) 3000 + Lux


Outdoor Light Levels

Environment Required Light Level
Very Bright Summer Day Up To 100,000 Lux
Overcast Summer Day 30,000 – 40,000 Lux
Floodlit Football Match 700 – 16,000 Lux
Shady Room In Daylight 250 – 300 Lux
Night Light On A Building 60 Lux
Night-Time Urban Street 10 Lux
Night-Time Car Park 1 Lux
Security Floodlights 700-1300 Lux
Shed Lights 150-300 Lux
Lamp Posts 120-180 Lux
Landscape Spotlights 120 Lux
Outdoor Path Lighting 100 Lux
Path lighting. 100 Lux
Landscape Lights 100-300 Lux
Garden lights 20 Lux


Illumination Level

Light levels as per IS 1944
Classification of Road Type of road illumination (lux)
Group A1 Important traffic routes carrying fast traffic 30
Group A2 Other main roads carrying mixed traffic, like main city streets, arterial roads, throughways etc 15
Group B1 Secondary roads with considerable traffic like principal local traffic routes, shopping streets etc 8
Group B2 Secondary roads with light traffic Important traffic routes carrying fast traffic 4


Illumination Level

Average Maintained Illuminance
High lux Medium lux Low lux
Major/Major 34 26 18
Major/Collector 29 22 15
Collector/Collector 24 18 12
Collector/Local 21 16 10
Local/Local 18 14 8


Interior Lighting Level

Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers CIBSE  Part 2 (2002)

Illuminance (lux) Activity Area
100 Casual seeing Corridors, changing rooms, stores
150 Some perception of detail Loading bays, switch rooms, plant rooms
200 Continuously occupied Foyers, entrance halls, dining rooms
300 Visual tasks moderately easy Libraries, sports halls, lecture theatres.
500 Visual tasks moderately difficult General offices, kitchens, laboratories, retail shops.
750 Visual tasks difficult Drawing offices, meat inspection, chain stores.
1000 Visual tasks very difficult General inspection, electronic assembly, paintwork, supermarkets.
1500 Visual tasks extremely difficult Fine work and inspection, precision assembly.
2000 Visual tasks exceptionally difficult Assembly of minute items, finished fabric inspection.


Illumination levels of Switch Yard

AS/NZS 1158.3.1

Switchyard area lighting targets Illuminance (lx)
HV areas including any overhead line road crossings and any access path zone type infrastructure 10
Non-HV areas and general open areas 5
Isolated areas such as back of buildings, corners of switchyards away from HV Equipment 2


Sub Station Light Levels


Environment Required Light Level
CONTROL ROOM / Switch gear Room 300
Battery Room 150
Communication Room 300
Offices/Engineers’ Room/Other Office Room 300
Toilet 100
Outdoor Switchyard area including road 30
Stairs 100
Corridor 100
Road within campus including colony area 30
Maintenance room 150
Any other spot where high level of illumination required 150
Dormitory & ‘C’ type quarters 150
Auxiliary Buildings like Pump room and other houses 150
ACDB- DCDB room/Store / Store Office 150
Conference room 300
Tiffin room/Kitchen 150
GIS Hall 150


Sub Station Light Levels


Environment Required Light Level
Control Room 350
PLCC Room 300
LT Room 150
Charger Room 150
Cable Gallery 150
Heating Plant 100
Battery Room 100
Computer Room 300
Entrance lobby 150
Corridor and landing 150
Conference and display 300
Rest Room 250
AHU Room 100
DG Set Building 150
Fire Fighting Pump House 150
Switchyard – Main equipment 50
Switchyard – general equipment and balance 30
Street/Road 30


Electrical Thumb Rules-Illumination-(Part-18).

Recommended Lighting Levels

IESNA Lighting Handbook

Type of activity Lighting
Public spaces with dark surroundings

30 Lux

Simple orientation for short temporary visits 50 Lux
Working spaces where visual tasks are only occasionally performed 100 Lux
Performance of visual tasks of high contrast or large scale 300 Lux
Performance of visual tasks of medium contrast or small size 500 Lux
Performance of visual tasks of low contrast or very small size 1000 Lux
Performance of visual tasks near threshold of person’s ability to recognize an image 3000-10000 Lux

                              Industries Recommended Levels of Illumination
Area And Task Lux Level
Paper Manufacturing
Beaters, grinding 30
Finishing, cutting 50
Hand Counting 70
Paper machine reel, inspection 100
Rewinder 150
Warehousing, Storage
Inactive 5
Rough Bulky 10
Medium 20
Fine 50
Clothing Manufacture
Receiving, storing, shipping, winding, measuring 30
Pattern making, trimming 50
Shops, making 100
Textile Mills – Cotton
Opening, mixing, picking 30
Carding and drawing 50
Slubbing, roving, spinning, spooling 50
Beaming and splashing on combo Gray goods 50
Denims 150
Gray goods (hand tuning) 150
Denims (rapid moving) 500
Automatic tying-in 150
Weaving 100
Drawing-in by hand 200
Machine Shops
Rough bench and machine work 50
Medium bench and machine work, ordinary automatic machines, rough grinding medium buffing and polishing 100
Fine bench and machine work, fine automatic machines, medium grinding, fine buffing and polishing 500
Extra-Fine bench and machine work, grinding fine work 1000

                                                Recommended Lighting Levels
                           International Standard Serial Number ISSN: 2278-6252
Area/task/ process Illuminance (lux)
Exterior circulating, walkways, stores, main entrances and exit roads, car parking, internal factory roads etc. 20-50
Boiler house, transformer yards, furnace rooms, entrances, corridors, stairs etc. 70-100
Circulation areas in industry, stores and stock rooms, canteen 100-150
Coarse work 200-300
Medium work 300-500
Fine work 500-1500
Very fine minute and precise work 1500-3000
Bale breaking, washing , Stock dyeing, tinting, Mixing, Blowing 200-300
Carding, drawing, roving 300-500
Spinning, doubling, reeling, winding 300-750
Warping 300-400
Sizing 400-500
Heading (drawing in) 750-1000
Weaving (plain gray fabrics) 200-300
Weaving (light colored) 300-750
Weaving (dark colored) 500-1000
Knitting 300-750
Dyeing 200- 450
Calendaring, chemical treatment 300-750
Grey cloth inspection 700-1000
Final inspection 1000-2000

                                              Recommended lighting levels
                                                    IESNA Lighting Handbook
Type of activity Lighting (Lux)
Public spaces with dark surroundings 30
Simple orientation for short temporary visits 50
Working spaces where visual tasks are only occasionally performed 100
Performance of visual tasks of high contrast or large scale 300
Performance of visual tasks of medium contrast or small size 500
Performance of visual tasks of low contrast or very small size 1000
Performance of visual tasks near threshold of person’s ability to recognize an image 3000-10000

                                Illuminance Values for Indoor Activities
                                                TABLE 10.4 IES
Public spaces with dark surroundings large area (lobby space) 20-30-50
Simple orientation for short temporary visits large area (lobby space) 50-75-100
Working spaces where visual tasks are only occasionally performed large area (lobby space) 100-150-200
Performance of visual tasks of high contrast or large size localized tasks 200-300-500
Performance of visual tasks of medium contrast or small size localized tasks 500-750-1000
Performance of visual tasks of low contrast or very small size localized tasks 1000-1500-2000 100
Performance of visual tasks of low contrast  or very small size over a prolonged period extremely difficult visual tasks 2000-3000-5000
Performance of very prolonged and exacting visual tasks extremely difficult visual tasks 5000-7500-10000
Performance of very special visual tasks of extremely low contrast extremely difficult visual tasks 10000-15000-20000

                                                           Lighting levels-Sports
Sports Illumination
National/ international     500 Lux
Regional/Local     200 Lux
Local/Training     75 Lux
National/ international   500 Lux
Regional/Local     300 Lux
Local/Training      200 Lux
National/ international    500 Lux
Regional/Local     200 Lux
Local/Training      100 Lux
National/ international    750 Lux
Regional/Local     500 Lux
Local/Training      300 Lux
Court lighting
Social Play 310 Lux
Club Competition 435 Lux
International 1250 Lux
National/Internal      750 Lux
Regional/Local     500 Lux
Local/Training     200 Lux

                                                           Lighting levels-Sports
                                             Australian Standard  AS 2560.2.6 – 1994
Sport Illumination Level
Baseball (International & National) 1500 lux
Baseball (AAA Standard) 750 lux
 Baseball (Club Competition) 250 lux
Recreational Level 50 lux
Amateur Level (Training) 50 lux
Amateur Level (Competition) 100 lux
Semi-Professional level (Training) 50 lux
Semi-Professional (match Practice) 100 lux
Semi-Professional (Competition) 200 lux
Professional level (Training) 100 lux
Professional level (Match practice) 200 lux
Professional level (Competition) 500 lux
For all sports the minimum for TV coverage. 1500 lux

                        Recommended Lighting Levels For Sports Areas 
Area Type Lux
Archery, indoor
General Area 25
Shooting Zone 50
Target (Vertical) 100
Recreational 300
Supervised Training 400
Club & County 400
National & International 500
Bowls, indoor
Practice 300
Club & County 400
National & International 500
Club & Supervised Training 500
Regional 750
National 1000
International 2000
Special Events 2000
Cricket, indoor
Recreational & Supervised Training 400
Club & County 500
Cycle Racing,
Training 300
Club 500
National & International 750
Equestrian, indoor
Practice & Training, show jumping 400
Practice & Training, Dressage 300
Competition Show Jumping 700
Competition Dressage) 500
Five-A-Side Football, indoor
Recreational & Supervised Training 300
Club & County 400
National & International 500
Handball, indoor
Recreational & Supervised Training 300
Club 400
County & National 500
International 750
Hockey, indoor
Recreational & Supervised Training 300
Club 400
County & National 500
International 750
Ice Rinks, Indoor
Hockey & Figure Skating Training 200
Hockey & Figure Skating Competition 750
Skating, Recreational 100
Lawn Tennis, indoor
Recreational 300
Practice & Club 400
County 500
National & International 750
Lawn Tennis, outdoor
Recreational 200
Club 300
County 400
National & International 500
Martial Arts, indoor
Supervised Training 300
Club 400
National 500
Netball, indoor
Recreational & Supervised Training 300
Club & County 400
National & International 500
Shooting, indoor
Target (Vertical) 1000
Shooting Zone 300
Snooker & Billiards
Recreational & Club 750
 National & International 1000
Recreational & Supervised Training 300
Club & County 400
 indoor National 500
International 750
Swimming, indoors
Recreational 200
Club & County 300
 National 500
 International 10000
 Table Tennis
Recreational 200
Club & County 300
National 500
International 750
Recreational 200
Training, Club & County 300
 National 500
International 750
Weight Training
Supervised Training 400
Sports Halls
Recreational 300
 Club & County 400-500
 National & International 500-750
Televised (vertical/normal to camera) 1000-2000
 Indoor Arenas
Maintenance of Area 100
General Lighting & Training 300
Competition 500
Spectator Viewed Events 900
Televised (vertical/normal to camera) 1000-2000

Electrical Thumb Rules-Illumination-(Part-17).


Lighting levels

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Building Lux
Areas common to most buildings
Entrance hall, lobby, waiting room 200
Enquiry desk 500
Corridor, passageway, stairs 100
Atria 50-200
Changing room, cloakroom, lavatory 100
Rest room 150
Canteen, cafeteria, dining room 200
Kitchen 300
Commercial offices  
General offices 500
Computer workstations 300-500
Conference rooms, executive offices 500
Computer and data preparation rooms 500
Filing room 300
Banks and building societies  
Counter, office area 500
Public area 300
Entrance halls 100
Reception, cashiers and porters’ desks 300
Bars, coffee bars, dining rooms, grill rooms, restaurants, lounges 50-200
Cloakrooms, baggage, rooms 100
Bedrooms 50-100
Bathrooms 150
Kitchen 150-300
Small retail outlets 500
Grocery/vegetable stores 500
Showrooms 1000
Covered arcades and malls 500-700
Fashion 500-750
Supermarket 750
Restaurant 200
Bookshop, chemist, jeweler 500
Superstore 1000
Electrical/furniture store 750
Arcades and malls 50-300
Places of public assembly
Cinema and theatre foyer 200
Booking office 300
Auditoria 100-150
Library 150-300
Museum art gallery 50-300
Lecture theatre 300
Church 100-300
School and College  
Computer Room 300
Classroom and Tuition Centre 350
Technical Drawing Room 750
Museum and Science Centre  
General Area and Corridor 150
Common Toilet and Restroom 200
Special Lighting for Paintings 300
Special Lighting for Sculptures 750
Retail Shop and Outlet  
Sales Area and Premises 400
Gift Wrap Station 450
Cash Register Counter 500
Commercial Space and Office  
Lift Lobby 200
Corridor 300
Toilet and Restroom 150
Cafeteria 350
Plant Room (AHU, Genset etc.) 150
Store Room 180
Lift Lobby 200
Corridor 250
Waiting Area and Lobby 300
Common Toilet and Restroom 250
Waiting rooms 200
Counseling Room 200
Breast-Feeding Room 200
Intensive Care Unit 300
High Dependency Unit 300
Isolation Room 300
Isolation Room – Ante Room 300
Delivery Suite – Labor Room 300
Simple examination room 300
Operating Theatre – Air-Lock 300
CSSD/TSSU – Sterilization Area 300
CSSD/TSSU – Packing Area 500
Patient Ward – Room 300
Patient Ward – Toilet 150
Operating theatre 1000
Conference Room 400
Catering Dept – Main Kitchen 400
Catering Dept – Beverage Kitchen 300
Catering Dept – Refuse Holding 150
Nursing Homes
Entrance lobbies 200
Lounges (communal) 300
Kitchens 300
Bathrooms 150
Toilets 100
Corridors 100
Staircases 100
Quiet / rest rooms 100
Dining rooms 200
Stores 100
Hotel and Restaurant  
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  
Entrance Foyer 200
Auditorium 150
Toilet and Restroom 200
Dress Change 300
Make-Up Room 400
Residential Buildings  
Living Room 200
Dining Room 250
Kitchen 250
Bedroom 180
Bathroom 150


Lighting Levels

Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE)

Area Illuminance (lux)
Lifts 100
Corridors and stairs 100
Toilets 100
Canteens 300
Mess rooms 150 – 300
Plant rooms 150 – 300
Store rooms 100


Recommended Lighting Levels

Singapore Standards SS 531-1 : 2006 (2013)

Type of area, task or activity Lux
Shipyards & Docks  
Shipyard area, storage areas 20
Short term handling of large units 20
Ship hull cleaning 50
Ship hull painting and welding 100
Mounting of electrical and mechanical components 200
Building Sites  
Clearance, excavation and loading 20
Construction areas, drain pipes mounting, auxiliary and storage tasks 50
Framework element mounting, light reinforcement work, wooden mould and framework mounting, electric piping and cabling 100
Element jointing, electrical machine and pipe mountings 200
Very Low Risk: Storage areas with occasional traffic in industrial outdoor 5
Low Risk: Occasionally used platforms and stairs in petrochemical industries 10
Medium Risk: Pre-Fabrication yards, Vehicle storage, Fuel storage 20
High Risk: Areas with pits / excavations, Valves, compressors area, regularly used staircase and platforms 50
Office Interior  
Filing, copying 300
Writing, reading, Data processing 500
Technical drawings 750
CAD work stations 500
Conf& Meeting rooms 500
Reception desk 300


Recommended Lighting Levels 


Area Lux
General Area
Entrance halls 100
Lounges 200
Circulation area and corridors 100
Stairs, escalators, travelators 150
Loading ramps/bays 150
Canteens 200
Rest rooms 100
Rooms for physical exercise 300
Cloakrooms, washrooms, bathrooms, toilets 200
Sick bay 500
Rooms for medical attention 500
Plant rooms, switch gear rooms 500
Dispatch packing handling areas 300
Control station 150
Agriculture building
Loading and operating of goods handling equipment and machinery 200
Building for livestock 50
Sick animal pens, calving stalls 200
Feed preparation, dairy, utensil washing 200
Preparation and baking 300
Finishing, glazing,decorating 500
Cement, concrete, & bricks industry
Drying 50
Preparation of materials,work on kilns and mixers 200
General machine work 300
Rough forms 300
Ceramics and glass industry
Drying 50
Preparation, general machine work 300
Enameling, rolling, pressing, shaping simple parts, glazing 300
Grinding, engraving, glass polishing, shaping precision parts, manufacture of glass instruments 750
Decorative work 500
Grinding of optical glass, crystal hand grinding and engraving, work on average goods 750
Precision work e.g decorative grinding, hand painting 1000
Manufacture of synthetic stones precious 1500
Chemicals, plastics and rubber industry
Remote operated processing installations 50
Processing installations with limited manual intervention 150
Constantly manned work places in processing installations 300
Precision measuring rooms, laboratories 500
Pharmaceutical production 500
Tire production 500
Color inspection 1000
Cutting, finishing, inspection 750
Electrical industry
Cable and wire manufacture 300
Wending -large coils 300
Wending-medium-sized coils 500
Wending-small Coils 750
Coil impregnating 300
Galvanizing 300
Assembly work-rough e.g. large transformers 300
Assembly work- medium e.g. switchboards 500
Assembly work- fine e.g. telephones 750
Assembly work-precision e.g. measuring equip. 1000
Assembly work-Electronic workshops, testing, adjusting 1500
Prayer Area, Mosques 300
Arrival and departure halls, baggage claim areas 200
Connecting areas, escalators, travelators 150
Information desks, check in desks 500
Customs and passport control desks 500
Waiting areas 200
Luggage store rooms 200
Security check areas 300
Air traffic control tower 500
Air traffic rooms 500
Testing and repair hangars 500
Engine test areas 500
Measuring areas in hangars 500
Platforms and passenger subways (underpasses) 50
Ticket hall and concourse 200
Ticket and luggage offices and counters 300
Waiting rooms 200
Health care premises
Waiting rooms 200
Corridors: during the day 200
Corridors: during the night 50
Day rooms 200
Staff office 500
Staff rooms 300
 Wards-General lighting 100
 Wards-Reading lighting 300
Wards-Simple examination 300
Examination and treatment 1000
Night lighting, observation lighting 5
Bathrooms and toilets for patients 200
Examination room general 500
Ear and eye examination 1000
Reading and Color vision test with vision charts 500
Scanners with image enhancers and television systems 50
Dialysis rooms 500
Dermatology rooms 500
Endoscopy rooms 300
Plaster rooms 500
Medical baths 300
Massage and radiotherapy 300
Pre-operation and recovery rooms 500
Operating theatre 1000
Intensive care- General lighting 100
Intensive care- Simple examinations 300
Intensive care-Examination and treatment 1000
Intensive care– Night watch 20
Dentists- General lighting 500
Dentists- At the patient 1000
Dentists- Operating cavity 5000
Dentists- White teeth matching 5000
Color inspection (laboratories) 1000
Sterilization rooms 300
Disinfection rooms 300
Autopsy rooms and mortuaries 500
Autopsy table and dissecting table 5000
Educational buildings
Play school room 300
Nursery class 300
Nursery craft room 300
Classrooms, tutorial rooms 300
Classroom for evening classes and adults education 500
Lecture hall 500
Black board 500
Demonstration table 500
Art and craft rooms 500
Art rooms in art schools 750
Technical drawing rooms 750
Practical rooms and laboratories 500
Teaching workshop 500
Music practice rooms 300
Computer practice rooms 500
Language laboratory 300
Preparation rooms and workshops 500
Student common rooms and assembly halls 200
Teachers rooms 300
Sports halls, gymnasiums and swimming pools 300
Public car parks (indoor)
In/out ramps 300
In/out ramps (at night)  75
Traffic lanes 75
Parking areas 75
Ticket office 300
Bookshelves 200
Reading area 500
Counters 500
Places of entertainment
Theatres & concert halls 200
Multipurpose halls 300
Practice rooms, dressing rooms 300
Museums (general) 300
Restaurants and hotels
Reception/cashier desk, porters desk 300
Kitchen 500
Restaurant, dining room, function room 200
Self-service restaurant 200
Buffet 300
Conference rooms 500
Corridors 100
Sales area small 300
Sales area large 500
Till area 500
Wrapper table 500


Illuminance values

As per IES

Area Type Lux
Corridors, Passageway 100
Lift 150
Stairs 150
Escalator 150
External Covered Ways 30
Entrance halls, lobbies, waiting rooms 150
Enquiry desk 500
Gate houses 300
Foods stores 150
General 500
Controlled entrance halls or  exit gate 150
Entrance and exit car park 30
Stores, stockyards 30
Industrial covered ways 50
Centre cafeterias, dining room 300
Consultant room, treatment areas 500
Medical stores 100
Rest room 150
Changing locker and cleaner’s room, cloakrooms lavatories 150
Rest rooms 150
Telecommunication board,switchboard rooms 500
Cordless switchboard 300
Apparatus rooms 150
Teteprinter rooms 500
Aircraft engine testing 750
Inspection and repairs (hanger) 500
External apron general 50
Pumps 300
Parking areas (interior) general repairs servicing 30
Greasing, pits washing, polishing 500
Exterior walkways and platforms 50
Exterior stairs and ladders 100
Retort house, oil gas plants, watergas plant purifier, indoor coke 100
Booster and exhauster houses 150
General 1000
Rough work e.g. counting rough Checking of stock parts 300
sub-assemblies 500
Fine work e.g. radio and telecommunication equipment, calibrated scales, precision mechanism, instruments 1000
Very fine work e.g. gauging and inspections of small intricate parts 1500
Minute work e.g. very small instruments 3000
Living rooms general 50
Casual reading 150
Sewing darningsrudies desk and protuged 300
Bedroom general 50
Bed lead kitchen 150
Bathrooms 100
Halls and landings 150
Stairs 100
Workshops 300
Garages 50
Athletics, basketball, bowls, judo 300
Hockey 700
General  Table special lighting 100
Top pool 500
Spectator areas 150
Club recreational 300
Changing rooms showers, lookers rooms 150
Club 300
Recreational 200
Ward unit bed heads general 30
General 150
Nurse station evening 300
Pharmacies dispensing bench 500
Shelves 150
Reception general 300
Enquiry desk 500
Laboratories 500
Operating theatre suits general 400
Operating area 30-50
X-ray department radio diagnostic and rooms fluoroscopy 500
Airport coach and railway station
Reception areas (desk),customs and immigration halls 500
Railway stations booking offices 500
Railway station parcel and left luggage offices counters 300
Circulation area 150
Waiting area 300
Assembly halls general 300
Teaching spaces general 300
Teaching spaces general 300
General where also used for further education 500
Chalkboard 500
Beedlework rooms 500
Laboratories 500
Workshop 300
Gymnasium 300
Music practice rooms 300
Exhibits insensitive to light 300
Light sensitive exhibits 150
Specially light sensitive exhibit 50
Shelves, book stack 150
Reading table 300
Reading rooms, newspaper and magazines 300
Reference libraries 500
Counters 500
Cataloging and sorting 500
Binding 500
Closed book store 100
Theatre and concert halls 100
Cinemas 50
Multipurpose 500
Conventional with counters 500
Conventional with wall display 500
Conventional with wall display 500
Self service 500
Supermarkets 500
Hypermarkets 500
General 500
Executive office 500
Computer rooms 500
Punch card rooms 750
Drawing offices drawing boards 750
Reference table and general 500
Print room 300
General office with mainly clerical task and typing office 500
Deep plan general offices 750
Business machine and typing 750
Filling room 300
Conference rooms 750
Aircraft Industry
Maintenance area 750
Inspection area 1000
Paint Shop 1000
Testing area 750
Instruments assembly 1500
Electrical assembly 1500
Explosives Manufacturing
Furnaces, Boiling Tanks, Driers 200
Mechanical furnaces, mechanical driers, generators 500
Paint Shop
Simple spraying 200
Fine finishing 500
Extra fine finishing 2000
Paint Manufacturing
Processing 200-500
Mix comparison 1000-2000
Electricity generating station
Boilers area 50
Cooling towers 50
Fuel handling 50
Storage tanks 10
Transformer yards 50
Turbine areas 50
Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Industry
Process areas
General process units
Pump rows, valves, manifolds 50
Heat exchangers 30
Maintenance platforms 10
Operating platforms 50
Cooling towers (equipment areas) 50
Furnaces 30
Ladders and stairs (inactive) 10
Ladders and stairs (active) 50
Gauge glassed 50
Instruments (on process units) 50
Compressor house 200
Separators 50
General area 10
Control rooms and houses
Ordinary control house 300
Instrument panel 300
Console 300
Back of panel 100
Central control house 500
Instrument panel 500
Console 500
Back of panel 100
Specialty process units
Electrolytic cell room 50
Electric furnace 50
Conveyors 20
Conveyor transfer points Change house 50
Locker room, shower 100
Lavatory 100
Clock house and entrance gatehouse Card rack and clock area 100
Entrance gate, inspection 150
General 50
Eating 300
Serving area 300
Food preparation 300
General, halls, etc. 100
Garage and firehouse
Storage and minor repairs 100
First aid room 700
Iron and Steel Industry
Open hearth
Stock yard 100
Charging floor, Pouring side , Slag pits 200
Control platforms 300
Mold yard 50
Kilns (operating area) 50
Extruders and mixers 200
Non process areas
Loading, unloading, and cooling
water pump houses
Pump area 50
General control area 150
Control panel 200
Boiler and air compressor plants
Indoor equipments 200
Outdoor equipments 50
Tank fields (where lighting is required)
Ladders and stairs 5
Gauging area 10
Manifold area 5
Loading racks
General area 50
Tank car 100
Tank trucks, loading point 100
Electrical substations and switch yards
Outdoor switch yards 20
General substation outdoor 20
Substation operating aisles 150
General substation indoor 50
Switch racks 50
Plant road lighting (where lighting is Required)
Frequent use (trucking) 4
Infrequent use 2
Plant parking lots Aircraft obstruction lighting 1
Laboratories Qualitative, quantitative and physical test 500
Research, experimental 500
Pilot plant, process and specialty 300
ASTM equipment knock test 300
Glassware, washrooms 300
Fume hoods 300
Stock rooms 150
Warehouse and stock rooms
Indoor bulk storage 50
Outdoor bulk storage 5
Large bin storage 50
Small bin storage 100
Small parts storage 200
Counter tops 300
Repair shop
Large fabrication 200
Bench and machine work 500
Craneway, aisles 150
Small machine 300
Sheet metal 200
Electrical 200
Instrument 300
Hot top 300
Hot top storage 100
Checker cellar 100
Buggy and door repair 300
Stripping yard 200
Scrap stockyard 100
Mixer building 300
Calcining building 100
Skull cracker 100
Rolling mills
Blooming, scabbing, hot strip Hot sheet 300
Cold strip, plate 300
Pipe, rod, tube, wire drawing 500
Merchant and sheared plate 300
Tin plate mills Tinning and galvanizing 500
Cold strip rolling 500
Motor room, machine room Inspection 1000
Black plate, bloom and billet chipping Tin plate and other bright surfaces 2000


Electrical Thumb Rules-Illumination-(Part-16).

Illumination Requirements per Building & Fire Codes

Walking Surface or Area Lighting Level (Lux) Lighting Level (Lux)
NFPA 1 & 101 IFC/IBC / ICC 
New stairways 10.8 10.8
Floors & other walking surfaces (not stairs) 10.8 10.8
Assembly areas during performances 2.2 2.2


Illumination Level

Lux Level Work Activity and Function Example of User Area
20 – 80 Public walking Public parks and open-air car parks
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


Illumination Level

Australian Standard AS/NZS 1680.2.2 under Table 3.1

Areas and Activities Examples 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 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 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 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 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 with very low contrast Exceptionally difficult tasks where visual aids would be of advantage such as the assembly of minute mechanisms and jewellery and watch making 1600


Illumination Level

Illuminance Example
Full moon overhead 1 lux
Family living room 50 lux
Hallway/toilet 80 lux
Very dark overcast day 100 lux
Sunrise or sunset on a clear day. Well lit office area 400 lux
Overcast day, typical TV studio lighting
Full daylight (not direct sun) 10000-25000 lux
Direct sunlight 32000-130,000 lux


Illumination Level

IS 3646 (PART-1) 1992

Types of interior or activity illuminance (lux)
Entrance Halls, Lobbies, Waiting Rooms 150-200-300
Inquiry desks  300-500-750
Gatehouses  150-200-300
 Circulation Areas
Lifts 50-100-150
Corridors, Passageway, stairs 50-100-150
 Escalator, travellators 100-150-200
Medical and First aid Centers
Consulting Rooms, Treatment Rooms 300-500-750
Rest Rooms 100-150-200
Medical stores 100-150-200
 Staff Rooms
 Changing, locker and cleaner Rooms, Cloakrooms, lavatories 50-100-150
 Rest Rooms 100-150-200
 Staff Restaurant
Canteens, cafeterias, dining rooms Mess rooms 150-200-300
Servery, vegetable preparation, washing-up area 200-300-500
Food preparation and cooking 300-500-750
 Food stores, cellars 100-150-200
Switchboard rooms 200-300-500
Telephone apparatus room 100-150-200
Telex room, post room  300-500-750
Reprographic room  200-300-500
Building Services
 Boiler houses General 50-100-150
Boiler front 100-150-200
 Boiler control room 200-300-500
Control rooms 200-300-500
Mechanical plant room 100-150-200
Electrical power supply and distribution Room 100-150-200
Store rooms 50-100-150
Car Parks
 Floors 5 to 20
 Ramps and Corners 30
Entrances and Exits 50-100-150
Control Booths 150-200-300
 Outdoor Car Parks 5-20 5 to 20
Ticket counters, checking, desks And Information desks 300-500-750
Departure lounges, other waiting Areas 150-200-300
 Baggage reclaim 150-200-300
 Baggage handling 50-100-150
 Customers and immigration halls  300-500-750
Concourse 150-200-300
Railway Stations
Ticket office 300-500-750
Information Office 300-500-750
Parcels office, left Luggage Office General 50-100-150
Counter  150-200-300
Waiting rooms 150-200-300
Concourse 150-200-300
Time table 150-200-300
Ticket Barriers  150-200-300
Platforms (covered) 30-50-100
Platforms (open) 20
 Ticket offices 300-500-750
Information offices  300-500-750
Concourse  150-200-300
Loading Areas 100-150-200
 Assembly Halls
General  200-300-500 3
Teaching Spaces
General  200-300-500
 Lecture Theatres
 General 200-300-500
Demonstration benches  300-500-750
Seminar Rooms  300-500-750
 Art Rooms 300-500-750
 Needlework Rooms  300-500-750
 Laboratories  300-500-750
Libraries 200-300-500
Music rooms  200-300-500
 Sport halls  200-300-500
 Workshops 200-300-500
Public rooms, Village Halls, Worship Halls 200-300-500
 Concert Halls, Cinemas and theatres
 Foyer 150-200-300
Booking Office 200-300-500
Auditorium 50-100-150
Dressing Rooms 200-300-500 
Projection Rooms 100-150-200
 Body of church 100-150-200
Pulpit, Lectern 200-300-500
 Choir Stalls 200-300-500
Alter, communion table, cancel 100-150-200
Vestries  100-150-200
 Organ 200-300-500
Anesthetic Rooms-General 200-300-500
Anesthetic Rooms-Local 750-1000-1500
 Consulting Area- General 200-300-500
 Consulting Area-Examination 750-1000-1500
Corridors-General 100-150-200
Ward corridors-Day, screened from bays  150-200-300
Ward corridors- Day, open to natural light 150-200-300
Ward corridors- Morning/evening 100-150-200
Ward corridors- Night 5 to 10
Cubicles- General  200-300-500
Cubicles-Treatment 750-1000-1500
Examination- General 200-300-500
Examination- Local inspection  750-1000-1500
 Intensive therapy-Bad head 30-50
 Intensive therapy- Circulation between bed ends 50-100-150
 Intensive therapy- Observation 200-300-500
 Intensive therapy- Local observation 750-1000-1500
 Intensive therapy- Staff base(day) 200-300-500
 Intensive therapy- Staff base(night) 30
 Laboratories-General 200-300-500
 Laboratories-Examination 300-500-750
Nurses stations- Morning/day/evening 200-300-500
Nurses stations- Night desks 30
Nurses stations-Night, medical trolleys 50-100-150
Operating theatres- General 300-500-750
Operating theatres-Local  10000 to 50000
Pathology department- General 200-300-500
Pathology department-Examination 300-500-750
Pathology department- Pharmacies 200-300-500
Pathology department-Reception/ inquiry 200-300-500
Pathology department-Recovery rooms 200-300-500
 Ward circulation-Day 50-100-150
 Ward circulation-Morning/evening 50-100-150
 Ward circulation-Night 3 to 5
Ward bed head-Morning/Evening 30-50
Ward bed head- Reading  100-150-200
Night- Adult 0.1-1
Night-Pediatric 1 to 5
Night-Psychiatric 5
X-ray Areas-General 150-200-300
X-ray Areas-Diagnostic 150-200-300
X-ray Areas-Operative 200-300-500
X-ray Areas- Process dark room 50
Surgeries-General 200-300-500
Surgeries-Waiting rooms  100-150-200
Dental Surgeries- Chair Special lighting Special lighting
Dental Surgeries-Laboratories 300-500-750
Consulting rooms- General 200-300-500
Consulting rooms- Desk 300-500-750
Consulting rooms-Examination 300-500-750
Consulting rooms-Ophthalmic wall & nearvision 300-500-750
Entrance Halls 50-100-150
 Reception, cashiers and porters Desks 200-300-500
 Bars, coffee base, dinning rooms, grill, rooms, restaurants, lounges 50-200
Cloak room 50-100-150 3
Bed room 30-50-100
 Bathroom 50-100-150
General 200-300-500 1
Counters 300-500-750
 Bookshelves 100-150-200
 Reading rooms 200-300-500
 Reading tables  200-300-500
Catalogues- Card 100-150-200
Catalogues- Microfiche/visual display units 100-150-200
Reference libraries- General 200-300-500
Reference libraries-Counters 300-500-750
Reference libraries- Bookshelves  100-150-200
Reference libraries- Study tables, carrels 300-500-750
Reference libraries- Map room 200-300-500
Display and exhibition- Exhibits insensitive to light 200-300-500
Library workrooms- Book repair and binding 300-500-750
Library workrooms- Catalogue and sorting 300-500-750
Library workrooms- Remote book stores 100-150-200
Museums and Art Galleries- Exhibits insensitive to light 200-300-500
Museums and Art Galleries- Light sensitive exhibits, for e.g., oil and temper paints, undyed leather, bone, Ivory, wood, etc 150
Museums and Art Galleries-  Extremely light sensitive exhibits ,For e.g., textiles, water colors, prints and drawing, skins, botanical specimens, etc 50
Museums and Art Galleries-  Conservation studies and workshops 300-500-750
Museums and Art Galleries- Multi-purpose sports hall 300-750
Inspection of farm products where Color is important 300-500-750
Other important tasks 200-300-500
 Farm workshops
 General 50-100-150
Workbench or machine 200-300-500
 Milk premises 50-100-150
Sick Animal Pets, Calf Nurseries  30-50-100
Other Firm and Horticulture Building 20-30-50
General plant
 Turbine houses (operating floor) 150-200-300
Boiler and turbine house basements 50-100-150
Boiler house, platforms, areas around Burners 50-100-150
Switch rooms, meter rooms, oil plant Rooms, HV substations (indoor) 100-150-200
 Control room  200-300-500
 Relay and telecommunication rooms 200-300-500
Diesel generator & compressor rooms 100-150-200
Pump houses, water treatment plant Houses 100-150-200
 Battery rooms, charges, rectifiers  50-100-150
Precipitator chambers, platforms, etc  50-100-150
Cable tunnels & basements, Circulating Water culverts & screen chamber 30-50-100
 Coal Plant-Conveyors, gantries, junction towers, Unloading hoppers, ash handling plants, Setting pits, dust hoppers 50-100-150
 Coal Plant-Other areas where operators may be Attendance 100-150-200
Nuclear Plants-Gas circulation bays, reactor area, boiler Platform, reactor charges and discharge 100-150-200
Structural steel Fabrication-General 200-300-500
 Structural steel Fabrication-Marking off 300-500-750
 Sheet Metal Works- Pressing, punching, shearing, stamping, spinning, folding 300-500-750
Bench work, scribing, inspection 500-750-1000
 Machine and tool shops-Rough bench and machine work 200-300-500
 Machine and tool shops- Medium bench and machine work 300-500-750
 Machine and tool shops-Fine bench and machine work  500-750-1000
 Machine and tool shops- Gauge rooms 750-1000-1500
 Die Sinking Shops-General  300-500-750
 Die Sinking Shops-Fine Works  1000-1500-2000
 Welding and soldering shops-Gas and arc welding, rough spot welding 200-300-500
 Welding and soldering shops-Medium soldering, brazing, spot welding  300-500-750
 Welding and soldering shops- Fine soldering , fine spot welding 750-1000-1500
Assembly Shops- Rough work for example, frame and heavy machine assembly 200-300-500
Medium work, for example , office Machinery assembly 300-500-750
 Fine work, for example, office machinery assembly 500-750-1000
Very fine work, for example, instrument assembly 750-1000-1500
 Minute work for example, watch making 1000-1500-2000
Inspection and Testing Shops
Coarse Work, for example, using go/on go gauge, inspection of large sub-assembly 300-500-750
Medium work for example, inspection of painted surfaces 500-750-1000
Fine work, for example, using calibrated scales, inspection of precision mechanism 750-1000-1500
 Very fine work, for example, inspection of small intricate parts 1000-1500-2000
 Minute work, for example, inspection of very small instruments 2000
Points Shops and Spray Booths- Dipping, rough spraying 00 200-300-5
Points Shops and Spray Booths-Preparation, ordinary painting, spraying & finishing 200-500-750
 Fine painting,. Spraying and finishing  500-750-1000
Inspection, retouching and matching 750-1000-1500
 Plating shops-Vats and baths 200-300-500
 Plating shops- Buffing, polishing burnishing 300-500-750
 Plating shops- Final buffing and polishing 500-750-1000
Electrical Equipment manufacture
 Manufacture of cables & insulated wires, winding, varnishing & immersion of coils, assembly of large machines, simple assembly work 200-300-500
 Medium assembly , for example Telephones, small motors 300-500-750
 Assembly of precision components for e.g., telecommunication equipment ,adjustment, inspection and calibration 750-1000-1500
Assembly of high precision parts 1000-1500-2000
Electronic Equipment Manufacture
Printed Circuit Board
 Silk Screening 300-500-75
 Hand insertion of components, soldering 500-750-1000
 Inspection  750-1000-1500
Assembly of wiring harness, clearing Harness , testing and calibration 500-750-1000
Chassis assembly 750-1000-1500
 Inspection and testing
 Soak test 150-200-300
Safety and functional tests  200-300-500
 Slaughter houses
 General 200-300-500
 Inspection 300-500-750
Canning, Preserving and Freezing 500-750-1000
Grading and sorting of raw materials  Preparation  300-500-750
 Canned and bottled goods Retorts  200-300-500
Automatic processes 150-200-300
 Labeling and packaging 200-300-500 3
 Frozen labeling
 Process area 200-300-500
Packaging and storage 200-300-500
 Bottling, Brewing & Distilling
Keg washing and handling, bottle  Washing 150-200-300
Keg inspection 200-300-500
Process area 200-300-500
 Bottle filling 500-750-1000
Edible oils and Fats Processing
Refining and Blending 200-300-500
Production  300-500-750
Mills-milling, Filtering and Packing 200-300-500
 General 200-300-500
Hand decorating, icing 300-500-75
Chocolate and Confectionery Manufacturer
 General  200-300-500
Automatic processes 150-200-300
 Hand decoration, inspection, wrapping and packing 300-500-750
Tobacco Processing
Material preparation, making and packing 300-500-750
 Hand processes 500-750-1000
Leather Manufacture-Cleaning, tanning and stretching, vats, cutting, fleshing, stuffing 200-300-500
 Finishing, scarfing 300-500-750
 Leather Work General  200-300-500
 Pressing, glazing  300-500-750
 Cutting, splitting, scarfing, sewing 500-750-1000
Clothing Manufacture
Preparation of cloth 200-300-500
 Cutting 500-750-1000
 Matching  500-750-1000
 Sewing  750-1000-1500
 Pressing 300-500-750
 Inspection  1000-1500-2000
 Hand tailoring  1000-1500-2000
Hosiery and Knitwear Manufacture
Flat bed knitting machines 300-500-750
Circular knitting machines  500-750-1000
 Lock stitch and over locking machine 750-1000-1500
Linking or running on 750-1000-1500
 Mending, hand finishing 1000-1500-3000
 Inspection 1000-1500-2000
Glove Manufacture
Sorting & grading 500-750-1000
Pressing, knitting, cutting  300-500-750
Sewing 500-750-1000
Inspection 1000-1500-2000
 Hat Manufacture
Stiffening, braiding, refining, forming, Sizing, pounding, ironing 200-300-500
 Cleaning, flanging, finishing 300-500-750
 Sewing 500-750-1000
 Inspection 1000-1500-2000 –
Boot and Shoe Manufacture Leather and Synthetics
 Sorting and Grading 750-1000-1500
Clicking, closing  750-1000-1500
Preparatory Operations 750-1000-1500
Cutting tables and pressure 1000-1500-2000
Bottom stock preparation, lasting, Bottoming finishing, show rooms 750-1000-1500
Washing, compounding, coating, drying Varnishing, vulcanizing 200-300-500
Lining, making and finishing 300-500-750
 Work stores  100-150-200
 Unpacking, sorting 150-200-300
 Large item storage  50-100-150
 Small item rack storage 200-300-500
Issue counter, records, storemans desk 300-500-750
Warehouses and bulk stores
Storage of goods where identification requires only limited preparation of details 50-100-150
 Storage of goods where identification 100-150-200
 Automatic high bay rack stores  Gangway 20
Control station 150-200-300
 Packing and dispatch  200-300-500
 Loading bays 100-150-200
 Cold stores
 General 200-300-500
Breakdown, make-up and dispatch 200-300-500
 Loading bays 100-150-200
General Offices  300-500-750
Deep plan General offices 500-750-1000
Offices Computer Work station  300-500-750
Offices- Conference Rooms, Executive Offices 300-500-750
 Computer and data preparation Rooms 300-500-750
Filling rooms 200-300-500
Drawing Offices-General  300-500-750
Drawing Offices- Drawing Board  500-750-1000
Print rooms 200-300-500
 Counter, office area  300-500-750
Banks and building societies- Public area  200-300-500
SERVICES Workshop  Garages
(Garages)Interior parking areas 20-30-50
(Garages) General repairs, servicing, washing, polishing 200-300-500
(Garages) Workbench 300-500-750
(Garages) Spray Booths  300-500-750
 External apron-General  30-50-100
Pump area (retail details )  200-300-500
 Workshop- General 200-300-500
 Workshop- Workbench 300-500-750
 Workshop-Counter 200-300-500
 Workshop- Stores 200-300-500
Commercial laundries- Receiving, sorting, washing, drying, Ironing, dispatch, dry-cleaning, bulk Machine work 200-300-500
Commercial laundries-Head ironing, pressing, mending, spotting, inspection 300-500-750
Commercial laundries-Launderettes 200-300-500
Commercial laundries-Walkways 30-50-100
Commercial laundries-Process areas 50-100-150
Small Shops with Counters 300-500-750
Small Self Service shops with island displays 300-500-750
 (Supper-Markets) , Hyper-Markets)General  300-500-750
(Supper-Markets) , Hyper-Markets)Checkout 300-500-750
(Supper-Markets) , Hyper-Markets)Showroom for large objects, for e.g. Cars, furniture 300-500-75
(Supper-Markets) , Hyper-Markets)Shopping precincts and arcades 100-150-200

Selection of Various Types of Inverter-(Part-3)

How to select Right Inverter

  • Before buying an inverter for, It is very important to understand what is the right inverter for our requirement for that we do understand the basics criteria of Inverter.
  • In order to make a good estimate of your power needs, you’ll need to take a look at all of the devices you plan on plugging into your new inverter.
  • If we only need to use one device at a time, then that’s the only one you’ll need to look at. However, you’ll need to add together the numbers from multiple devices (like an LCD screen and a video game system) if you plan on using them at the same time.

(A) Power Requirement:

  • One of the most important factors that we must know before buying an inverter is Power requirement.
  • Power requirement means all electrical appliances (like fan, tube lights, television,Pumps, CFL etc.), we want to run at the time of power failure. The power requirement is simply addition of the power consumed by various electrical equipments.
  • The thing we must understand that Inverter is not a Generator. Inverter has its own limitations. If power requirement is more than our estimation, then an inverter alone cannot create demands effectively.
  • High power inverter can run our refrigerator and air conditioners, but battery will not last more than few hours. Hence it better to estimate Inverter Load Carefully
  • The selection of correct size Inverter is very important, If we need to power small appliances like energy efficient light bulbs, we do not need to buy a 2000W power inverter because it will consume more power even in standby mode and work very inefficiently with small appliances. On the other hand, if we connect a coffee machine to a 150W inverter we will quickly blow a fuse, Therefore power estimation is important thing.
  • The size of Inverter depends on the watts (or amps) of what we want to run. It is recommend that we choose at least 10% to 20% more than our requirement.
  • Suppose you want 1No Fans, 1No Tube lights, 1No CFL and 1No television to operate at the time of power failure. Therefore the total power requirement to be (1×90 + 1×50 + 1×25 + 1×120) = 285 watts. Here Total Load is 285 watts.

(B) Surge Power (Starting Power):

  • Starting and running power requirement of all electric appliances are different.
  • Starting power of Electrical Equipment is several times greater than their normal working power.
  • An 18 Watts CFL takes around 25 Watts power to start and after few seconds it works on 18 Watts. Some appliances like Refrigerator, Washing Machine etc take almost double power to start as compared to the normal running power.
  • For example Gridding Machine have normal working power 1000W, their starting power is higher than 4000W, so inverters with continuous power 2000W are not suitable because their peak power is limited by 4000W.
  • For selecting right Inverter, Always take into account starting power requirements of your equipment, especially devices with electric motors, Electronics Choke, Capacity, inductive
  • The Size of the inverter should be chosen based on the power consumption of your load.
  • Resistive loads: All resistive loads like toaster, coffee maker, electric range, iron, Incandescent lamps, flood lighting. Laser Printers use Nichrome resistance wire in their heating
  • The Starting Power or Surge Power rating should be 6 times the Watt rating
  • Inductive Loads: All Inductive Load like induction motor, reciprocating pumps and compressors, refrigeration, air-conditioning, Oxygen Concentrators have more starting current.
  • The Starting current (LRA) should be 5 times the full load current (FLA).
  • Capacitive Loads: Switched Mode Power Supplies (SMPS), electronic equipment like battery chargers, computers, audio and video devices, radio etc.
  • The Starting Power or Surge Power rating should be  3  times the Watt rating
  • Microwaves :
  • The Initial power consummation by the microwave will be 2 times the cooking power.
  • A Water Supply Pump:
  • The starting surge can be 3 times the normal running rating of the pump
  • The inverter should, therefore, be sized adequately to withstand the high inrush current. 

 Starting Factor

Type of Device Starting Factor
Air conditioner 5
Refrigerator / Freezer 5
Air Compressor 4
Sump Pump / Well Pump / Submersible Pump 3
Dishwasher 3
Clothes Washer 3
Microwave 2
Furnace Fan 3
Industrial Motor 3
Portable Kerosene / Diesel Fuel Heater 3
Circular Saw 3
Bench Grinder 3
Incandescent / Halogen / Quartz Lamps 3
Laser Printer / Other Devices using Quartz Lamps for heating 4
Switched Mode Power Supplies 3
Photographic Strobe / Flash Lights 4

  (C) Rating (VA rating) of the inverter:

  • It stands for the Volt ampere rating. It is the voltage and current supplied by the inverter to the equipments.
  • If an inverter operates with 100% efficiency, then the power requirement of the electrical items and power supplied by inverter is same. But 100% or ideal conditions does not exist in real.  Most inverters have the efficiency range from 60 % to 80%. This efficiency is also called power factor of an inverter and is simply  the ratio of power required by the appliances to power supplied by an inverter. Power factor of most inverters ranges from 0.6 to 0.8.
  • Rating of inverter (VA) =Power consumed by equipments (watts) / Power factor (efficiency).
  • Power of inverter (VA) = 535/0.7 = 765 VA
  • In the market 800 VA inverters are available. So Size of an inverter with 800 VA.

 (D) Type of Battery

  • The performance and Life of an inverter depends on the battery Quality.
  • Battery stores the energy needed to run appliances during power cut.
  • There are three Type of Battery
  • Lead Acid Battery
  • Tubular Battery
  • Maintenance Free Battery
  • Normally high power Lead Acid batteries are used to power inverters.

 (E) Battery Capacity (Ah):

  • Capacity of a battery is expressed in terms of Ampere Hour (Ah). It is decide the back up hours of Inverter.
  • It indicates the rate of current a battery can supply for a given duration. If the capacity of a battery is 100 Ah, that battery can supply 100 Ampere current for 1 Hour or 1 Ampere Current for 100 Hrs
  • Battery capacity = Power requirement (watts) x Back up hours (hrs) / Battery Voltage (volts) x Battery Efficiency x No of Battery
  • Example: If Inverter Load is 390 Watt, We need 3 hours back up and Battery Voltage is 12V, Battery Efficiency is 90%
  • Battery Capacity = (390 x3) / 12×0.9×1 = 109 Ah
  • Therefore a battery capacity of 120 Ah.
  • In reality battery performance degrades with usage, so you are recommended to buy 5-10% higher capacity battery.
  • Therefore a battery with a capacity of 150 Ah is suitable for our requirement.
  • If we use series – parallel battery combination for backup is
  • Backup capacity(hours) = N series X Volts X Battery Ah X N parallel / (UPS capacity in VA)
  • Where, N series = no. of batteries in series and N parallel = no. of parallel battery banks

 (F) Backup Time (Hr):

  • Backup (hours) = Battery Ah X Battery Voltage X Inverter Efficiency / Total Load (Watt)

(G) Battery Voltage (12V, 24V or 48V):

  • We can choose Battery Voltage of 12V, 24Vor 48V for inverter. The selection is very important for Voltage drop and Cable size of Inverter.
  • To control load current within limit, as load increase, we should select higher size of Battery Voltage.
  • Let’s take example.
Watt Volt Amp Cable Resistance(Ω) Voltage Drop (V)
1000 12 83 0.01 0.8
2000 24 83 0.01 0.8
4000 48 83 0.01 0.8
  • As per above table, as the load increase, by selecting higher voltage,load current within limit.
  • Let’s take example of selecting different voltage for same load (Watt)
Watt Volt Amp Cable Resistance(Ω) Voltage Drop (V)
4200 12 350 0.01 3.50
4200 24 175 0.01 1.75
4200 48 87.5 0.01 0.88
  • At Higher Load (Watt), by selecting lower voltage (12V).The load current is high. The higher the current needs the bigger the components. High currents require large diameter cables and fuses, which are expensive and the entire system is not safe.
  • By only doubling the voltage we can get double the power (Watt) at the same current.
  • 12 Volt used to be a standard for extra low voltage power systems. Today, mostly systems are 24V or 48V and include a 230V AC inverter. This means the wiring of the house does not have to be different from any other grid-connected household and cabling cost is greatly reduced.
  • The Battery Cost for higher Voltage is not more for same rating of Battery. For 12KW Load, Instead of buying a battery which has a capacity of 1000AH at 12V, (12KWH) we can rearrange the battery as a 24V 500AH (12KWH) or 48V 250AH (12KWH). The total power available from the battery is exactly the same, but with lower losses in the cabling and inverter.
  • A higher volt inverter will be more expensive than a lower volt one, and for small setups, that extra expense is unnecessary.  If we are going to have high load demands, it makes more sense to go with a higher-volt inverter for a variety of reasons. 

(H) Battery Charger:

  • The battery capacity is limited to the size of the charger. Usually, the battery capacity should be no more than 12x the maximum charge current i.e. a 5A charger can only accommodate 60AH of batteries (5 x 12 =60).
  • If discharges are expected to be less frequent than once in every 10 days, We may use formula of 20x the maximum charge current.

(I) Discharge Rate:

  • Lead acid batteries have few Amps hour if the discharge rate is fast.
  • Generally, the lead acid battery discharge rate is slow. It is 20 hours.
  • At high discharge rate, the capacity of the battery drops steeply. Suppose the battery is 10 Ah and its discharge rate is 1C. One hour discharge of the battery at the rate of 1C (10 Amps in 1 hour), the capacity reduces to 5 Ah in one hour.
  • Suppose we want to run a load at 20 Amps for 1hour. Then the capacity of the battery is 20A x 1 Hour = 20Ah.
  • Keep discharge rate to maximum 80%. Then the battery capacity should be 20Ah / 0.8 = 25 Ah
  • So a 25 Ah battery can give 20 Amps current for 1 hour to run the load.
  • But it is better to drain the battery to 50% only then, 25 Ah / 0.5 = 50 Ah.
  • Hence it is better to use a 50Ah battery to run the load at 20 Amps per Hour to keep 50% charge in the battery.
Battery Capacity Hours of Discharge
100 20
90 10
87 8
83 6
80 5
70 3
60 2
50 1



Selection of Various Types of Inverter-(Part-2)

Comparison of Inverters: 

Comparison of Different Type of  Inverter

  Square Wave Stepped  Sine Wave Pure Sine Wave
Safety of Appliances Less Moderate High
Life of Appliances Less Moderate High
Battery Life Less Moderate High
Noise Level High Moderate Normal
Heat generation High Low Normal
Suitability for appliances No Not recommended for prolonged use Yes

How to Select Batteries for Inverter

  • Batter is the vital part of inverter. Performance and life of an inverter is greatly depends upon battery.
  • There are three types of batteries available in market.
  1. Flat Plate (Lead Acid ) Battery,
  2. Tubular Battery
  3. Maintenance Free Battery.
  • Without getting too much into details, all we can say is that Tubular Batteries are the best choice for inverters. They may cost slightly more than Flat Plate, but they will last longer.
  • Maintenance Free batteries may sound good, but they have lesser life (4-5 years as compared to 7-8 years of a tubular battery).
  • But the most important thing to run batteries for a longer time is to make sure that it is topped (filled) with distilled or RO water frequently and the fluid levels are maintained.

(1) Lead Acid Battery

  • Lead acid batteries known as “Automotive Battery”.
  • Lead-acid batteries are the oldest type of rechargeable battery. Most of the inverters batteries are lead acids battery of different types.
  • It is used for automotive purpose are termed as “High Cycle” lead acid batteries.
  • These batteries are designed to provide high current for a very short duration (To start the vehicles).


  • Automotive lead acid batteries are not designed to be regularly discharged by more than 25% of their rated capacity. Here the requirement of inverter is totally different.
  • Inverter requires “Deep Cycle” type batteries to provide continuous power which can be discharged at least 50% of their rated capacity.
  • Some good deep cycle batteries can be discharged over 80% of their capacity. Deep Cycle batteries have specially designed thick plates to withstand frequent charging and discharging.
  • Lead acid batteries require regular maintenance. You have to check the electrolyte level and require to be topped up on regular intervals. These batteries release poisonous gases during charging and discharging. If you don’t keep the batteries in a properly ventilated place, it can invite serious health problems.
  • We have to keep the terminals of normal lead acid batteries corrosion free by applying petroleum jelly or grease regularly.


  • This light weighed inverter battery.
  • Price is Economical and quite cost-effective
  • This is the most common type of inverter battery.
  • It is a rechargeable and generates a large amount of current.
  • Battery life is approximately 3-4 years.  


  • We need maintain it regularly, such checking the electrolyte level, topping up with distilled water etc.
  • Need well-ventilated place while installing a lead acid inverter battery.
  • Not Safer in use.


  • Suitable for small domestic Inverter.

  (2) Tubular Battery

  • This is the most popular and efficient among all types of inverter batteries.
  • Together with robust grid design, superb efficiency, long operational life and requirement of low maintenance tubular inverter battery is the most preferable choice of all.


  • This is the most popular segment of inverter batteries used in domestic and industrial applications.


  • Long life (5 Years)
  • High electrical efficiency.
  • Less Maintenance (Less number of water toppings)


  • Cost of tubular batteries can go up to double of a normal flat plate battery


  • Suitable for both domestic and industrial Inverter.

 (3) Maintenance Free Battery

  • As the name indicates there is no need of maintaining the batteries. No need of filling distilled water at regular intervals. This is possible because of a special type of electrolyte which need not be replenished.
  • Maintenance free batteries also called as sealed batteries and do not need any regular maintenance to function impeccably.
  • Apart from that other best feature is safety. Maintenance free batteries do not emit any poisonous or harmful gases.



  • It is costlier, But the money is worth to invest.
  • It is sealed lead acid batteries which do not require topping up or additional ventilation
  • They are more durable and safer than normal lead acid inverter battery.


  • Cost is very high as compared with normal lead acid batteries.
  • Life is comparatively low (3 To 4 Years)
  • Scrap value is not much more.


 Comparison of various types of Batteries 

Comparison of various types of Batteries
  Flat Plate Batteries Tubular Batteries Maintenance Free Batteries
  1 1 - Copy 1 - Copy (2)
Cost Low High High
Safety Low Low High
Efficiency Low High Medium
Maintenance High Medium Low
Water toppings High Medium Low
Releases harmful gases Yes Yes No
Ventilation requirement Yes Yes No
Scrap Value High High Low
Weight Low High Depend on the model.
Battery Life Span Low (  3 Yrs) High( 5 Yrs) Medium (3 to 4 Yrs)
Suitable For Low power cut areas as their designed cycle life is low.    

Selection of Various Types of Inverter-(Part-1)


  • In this modern society, electricity has vital role on the most daily activities for domestic and industrial utilization of electric power for operations.
  • An inverter is used to provide uninterrupted 220V AC supply to the load connected to its output socket. It provides constant AC supply at its output socket, even when the AC mains supply is not available.
  • There are many factors, which are affecting on selecting of the best inverter for our application

Block Diagram of Inverter:

  • Power inverter is a device that converts electrical power from DC form to AC form using electronic circuits. It is typical application is to convert battery voltage into conventional household AC voltage to use Equipments, when an AC power is not available.
  • There are two methods, in which the low voltage DC power is inserted into AC Power.
  • In First Method first is the conversion of the low voltage DC power to a high voltage DC source, an then It is the conversion of the high DC source to an AC waveform using pulse width modulation.
  • In Second method the outcome would be to first convert the low voltage DC power to AC, and then use a transformer to boost the voltage to 220 volts.
  • The widely used method in the current residential inverter is the second.
  • An Inverter not only converts the DC Voltage of battery to 220V V AC Signals but also charge the Battery when the AC mains are present.
  • The block diagram shown above is a simple depiction of the way an Inverter Works.

When the AC mains power supply is available.

  • When the Utility Company AC mains supply is available.
  • C Main Sensor: the AC sensor senses it and the 230V A.C supply feeds to the Relay and battery charger.
  • Relay or Change over Switch: AC main sensor activates a relay and this relay will directly pass the 230V AC mains supply to the Load.
  • Battery Charger: Battery Charger converts line A.C Voltage to DC Voltage and Charges the Battery even when A.C Power is available.
  • Battery: Battery is charged and it is stopped when it is full charged.

 When the AC mains power supply is not available.

  • When the AC mains power supply is not available.
  • Relay or Change over Switch: AC main sensor activates a relay and this relay will connected to battery in absent of the AC mains supply.
  • Battery: Battery is providing DC Power to Oscillator circuit through Relay.
  • Oscillator Circuit: An oscillator circuit inside the inverter use pulse width modulator to generate the 50Hz frequency required to generate AC supply by the inverter.
  • The battery DC supply is connected to the Oscillator. The flip-flop converts the incoming signal into signals with changing polarity such that in a two-signal with changing polarity.
  • The first is positive while the second is negative and vice versa. This process is repeated 50times per second to give an alternating signal with 50Hz frequency. This alternating signal is known as “MOS Drive Signal “.
  • Driver Circuit: The MOS drive signals are given to the base of driver transistor which separated into two different channels.
  • Amplifier Circuit: The transistors amplify the 50Hz MOS drive signal at their base to a sufficient level and output them from the emitter.
  • Inverter Transformer: The transformer used for this is a center-tapping which divides the primary into two equal sections.
  • This center-tapping is connected to the positive terminal of the battery. Two ends of the primary are connected to the negative terminal of the battery through switches S1 and S2.
  • MOSFETs or Transistors are used for the switching operation. These MOSFETs or Transistors are connected to the primary winding of the inverter transformer.
  • When these switching devices receive the MOS drive signal from the driver circuit, they start switching between ON & OFF states at a rate of 50 Hz. This switching action of the MOSFETs or Transistors creates a 50Hz current to the primary of the inverter transformer. This results in a 220V AC or 2300V AC (depending on the winding ratio of the inverter transformer) at the secondary or the inverter transformer. This secondary voltage is made available at the output socket of the inverter by a changeover relay.

 Type of Inverter

  • The inverters are classified by depending on their output
  • Sine wave
  • Modified sine wave
  • Square wave.

(1) Sine Wave Inverter:

  • In utility Company Sine wave generated by rotating AC machinery and sine waves is a natural product of rotating AC machinery.
  • Pure sine wave inverters provide an output same as a sine wave which is similar to the utility supplied grid power, hence Pure Sine Wave inverter produces a better and cleaner current

  • All commercial instruments are designed to run on pure sine wave. Characteristics of such devices are greatly depending upon the input wave shape. A change in wave shape will affect the performance and efficiency of the appliances.
  • Sine Wave guarantees by Sine way Inverter is pure so the equipment will work to its full specifications as per its design. Appliances like Motors, refrigerators, Ovens etc will generate full power on pure sine wave input only.
  • A few appliances, such as Toaster, light dimmers, and some battery chargers require a sine wave to work propellerly. Operation of these appliances in Square or stepped waves will considerably affect the life of such equipment due to the generation of heat.
  • Distortion in the sine wave creates humming noise in transformers, and audio devices
  • Some time we noticed that audio amplifiers, Televisions, Fluorescent lamps etc make noise on inverter power. This indicates that inverter output is not pure sine wave.
  • It is always advisable and recommended to go for a pure sine wave inverter for the safety and effective performance of your appliances.


  • Output voltage wave form is pure sine wave with very low harmonic distortion and clean power like utility-supplied electricity.
  • Inductive loads like microwave ovens and motors run faster, quieter and cooler.
  • Reduces audible and electrical noise in fans, fluorescent lights, audio amplifiers, TV, Game consoles, Fax, and answering machines.
  • This type of inverters will save your current bill compared to square wave inverters.
  • Prevents crashes in computers, weird print out, and glitches and noise in monitors.
  • Back up time will be better than square wave inverters.


  • Sine wave inverters are 2 to 3 times expensive compared to square wave and modified sine wave inverters.


  • More sensitive electrical or electronic items
  • Desktop computers, laptops, Laser printers, photocopiers,
  • Camera battery chargers, cell phone chargers,
  • Mixer,
  • Fluorescent lights with electronic ballasts ,
  • Digital clocks ,
  • Sewing machines with speed/microprocessor control ,
  • Medical equipment,
  • Small house hold water pumping motors, Drives etc.

(2) Modified Sine Wave:

  • A modified sine wave inverter has a waveform like a square wave, but with an extra step.
  • Modified sine wave is a simulation of the pure sine wave output when the inverter sharply drops or increases voltage to switch polarity. As a result, the output form closely matches pure sine wave but still has much greater distortions.
  • A modified sine wave inverter will work fine with most equipment, although the efficiency or power will be reduced with some.

  • The devices are usually about 70% efficient, so we can expect some significant power losses if we are using a modified sine wave inverter in your system.
  • Motors, such as refrigerator motor, pumps, fans etc will use more power from the inverter due to lower efficiency. Most motors will use about 20% more power.
  • Some fluorescent lights will not operate quite as bright, and some may buzz or make annoying humming noises.
  • Because the modified sine wave is noisier and rougher than a pure sine wave, clocks and timers may run faster or not work at all. They also have some parts of the wave that are not 50 Hz, which can make clocks run fast. Items such as bread makers and light dimmers may not work at all in many cases appliances that use electronic temperature controls will not control. The most common is on such things as variable speed drills will only have two speeds on and off.
  • The difference between Sine wave and modified Sine wave inverter is the cost. Sine wave is considerably more expensive. We can find it practical way from it .We can install a small Pure Sine Wave inverter for any “special need” and also a larger Modified Sine Wave inverter for the rest of our applications.


  • Cheaper than pure sine wave inverters
  • Output correction waveform; relatively stable; suitable for ordinary personal users with TV, fan, lamp, computer, hot pot etc.
  • Output wave form have a very low harmonic distortion compare to Square wave inverter


  • Lower efficiency than pure sine wave inverters.
  • Power Loss is more compared to sine wave inverter.
  • Modified Sine Wave output is not suitable for continuous long time operation of certain appliances with capacitive and electromagnetic devices such as a fridge, microwave oven and most kinds of motors, printers as well as capacitive fluorescent lights etc
  • Some fans with synchronous motors may slightly increase in speed (RPM) when powered by a modified sine wave inverter. This is not harmful to the fan or to the inverter.
  • Certain rechargers for small nickel-cadmium batteries can be damaged if plugged into a modified sine wave inverter


  • Some household appliances and power tools.
  • Inductive loads like micro ovens and motors.
  • Fans and fluorescent lights,
  • Audio amplifiers, TVs, game consoles, fax and answering machines.

 (3) Square Wave Inverter:

  • The Output wave form of the Inverter is like square.
  • This is old-fashioned and the cheapest inverters, but the hardest to use.
  • A square wave inverter will run simple things like tools with universal motors without a problem, but not much else.

  • The current we get from grid is neither square wave nor pure sine wave, it’s nearly sine wave. So, our electronic devices like fan and tube light will emit some buzz noise while operating in square wave current. In some rare cases, these square wave inverters have spoiled the speed control dimmers of ceiling fans.
  • In the form of square wave, The load voltage must be switched majorly from high voltage  to low Voltage, without  using  for an intermediate step of 0Volt.
  • The main reason for this fault is high voltage output. Normally, voltage output from square wave inverters is 230 volt to 290 volt, hence it is not recommended to sensitive electronic devices like computers.
  • They just flip the voltage from plus to minus creating a square waveform. They are not very efficient because the square wave has a lot of power in higher harmonics that cannot be used by many appliances. Synchronous motors, for example, use the 50Hz component and turn the rest of the frequencies into heat
  • Square wave inverters are seldom seen any more.


  • It is very cheap


  • Life of Application is less.
  • Speed control of some equipment is not possible
  • Voltage Variation is high.
  • Large 3rd and 5th harmonic components which burn power and severely cut down on the efficiency of devices


  • Low cost AC motor drives
  • Some electronic ballast for fluorescent lamps
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