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

About Jignesh.Parmar (B.E,Mtech,MIE,FIE,CEng)
Jignesh Parmar has completed M.Tech (Power System Control), B.E(Electrical). He is member of Institution of Engineers (MIE) and CEng,India. Membership No:M-1473586.He has more than 16 years experience in Transmission -Distribution-Electrical Energy theft detection-Electrical Maintenance-Electrical Projects (Planning-Designing-Technical Review-coordination -Execution). He is Presently associate with one of the leading business group as a Deputy Manager at Ahmedabad,India. He has published numbers of Technical Articles in “Electrical Mirror”, “Electrical India”, “Lighting India”,”Smart Energy”, “Industrial Electrix”(Australian Power Publications) Magazines. He is Freelancer Programmer of Advance Excel and design useful Excel base Electrical Programs as per IS, NEC, IEC,IEEE codes. He is Technical Blogger and Familiar with English, Hindi, Gujarati, French languages. He wants to Share his experience & Knowledge and help technical enthusiasts to find suitable solutions and updating themselves on various Engineering Topics.

5 Responses to Electrical Thumb Rules-Illumination-(Part-16).

  1. Muhammad Mohsin Ansari says:

    Can you send me selection of various types of Invert-er (Part-1)
    fabulous knowledge
    Thanking you,

    Best Regards,
    Dr. Engr. M.Mohsin Ansari

  2. shantilal parmar says:

    Dear Sir I am waiting for your reply to my question

  3. AZIZ PATHAN says:

    Thanks …. Very Importance note & information electrical field …

    I am MSETCL Sr.Operator
    Aurangabad MH

  4. hosam says:

    very good excellent and perfect

  5. Assif Sarwari says:

    Dear Electrical Notes & Articles,

    Thank you very much for sending the attached useful technical illumination information .

    Best regards


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