Lighting of indoor workplaces
Since 2003, EU member countries have had a common standard for lighting planning of indoor workplaces. In the UK, these are summarised in the BS EN12464-1 published by the British Standard Institution. In January 2022, the new European version will come into force, the content of which we have summarised below.
The requirements in the standard mainly relate to the actual working area. The lighting outside of the working area shall then be adapted to the conditions that apply within the working area. In the new standard, the relationship between these is clearer.
The distribution of light around the workplace and within the room is extremely important for appearance and room perception. Here are some recommendations on suitable luminance ratios to create a good balance.
Good visual communication and recognition requires a sufficient level of brightness on objects and, above all, on people's faces. Therefore, the surfaces and "spaces" in which people move or work have to be sufficiently illuminated. This can be fulfilled by ensuring sufficient levels of average cylindrical illuminance.
Glare occurs when a part of the interior is significantly lighter than the room’s luminosity in general. In this position the eyes are exposed to a stronger light than what they are normally adapted to. The most common causes of glare are that the luminaires and window are seen directly or via reflections within the normal field of vision.
Design process for lighting systems
A lighting planning process often involves extensive work to meet the requirements of standards and to comply with the wishes of the client. The new standard contains a new chapter that provides advice and describes how to apply the requirements in lighting planning. The following points can serve as a guide for workflow.