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A guide to Education Lighting standards for building professionals

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A guide to Education Lighting standards for building professionals

What are the lighting requirements for educational facilities?

The CIBSE “Lighting Guide 5: Lighting for Education” (LG5) is a comprehensive guide to lighting education spaces used by building services engineers. This guide covers spaces such as teaching rooms, circulation spaces, lecture theatres as well as special-purpose rooms such as art rooms and sports halls.

The LG5 guide provides detailed guidance on lighting equipment and its positioning as well as other factors such as the decoration and finishes of rooms, sightlines, positioning of lighting controls and access doors.

The lighting is a vital element within these spaces, because of this it is recommended to be taken into account from the first stages of planning.

The Department for Education has created the following ‘Advice on standards for school premises’ guide using the LG5 guidance.

This guidance details, that for education lighting to be appropriate, attention needs to be paid to:

  • Achieving adequate light levels, including the lighting of teachers’ and pupils’ faces for good visual communication.
  • Giving priority to daylight in all teaching spaces, circulation, staff offices and social areas.
  • Providing adequate views to the outside or into the distance to ensure visual comfort and help avoid eye strain.
lighting in classroom
  • Providing lighting controls that are easy to use.
  • Providing means to control daylight and sunlight, to avoid glare, excessive internal illuminance and summertime overheating.
  • Providing external lighting to ensure safe pedestrian movement after dark.
  • Floodlighting outdoor sports areas.
  • Providing emergency lighting in areas accessible after dark.

Specific area light (lux) levels, uniformity ratios, glare ratings (UGR), colour rendition (Ra), and in some cases ingress protection (IP) requirements are also set within these standards.

For reference:

The lux level is the total amount of light falling onto a specified area.

A uniformity ratio is the ratio of the minimum lighting level to the average lighting level in a specified area.

Colour rendition is how the light source accurately ‘renders’ or shows the colours of an object.

Ingress protection refers to the level of protection offered by an electrical enclosure against solids and liquids. An IP rating is comprised of 2 numbers, the first referring to the protection against solid objects and the second referring to the protection against liquids.

As an example, typical classroom spaces require a 300-lux level, 0.6 uniformity, UGR19 and Ra 80. On the other hand, science and technology classrooms require a 500-lux level, 0.6 uniformity, UGR19 and an IP44 rating.

For more information on the differing needs and requirements of education spaces or for a closer look at our specialist Hilclare lighting and controls offering click here.

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