Why are standards important? They provide boundaries for designers; continuity for repetitive tasks; provide a baseline recommendation for HS&E and the legal system; improve product quality and indirectly productivity and probably most importantly, it educates “the great unwashed”. This has to be balanced with achieving an acceptably lit environment.
The issue is that prior to the computer calculation era, the lumen method of calculation was used and uniformity was generously dealt with. Calculations are now being done with computers, to an apparent degree of precision that is not supported by an appropriate level of accuracy in post installation measurements.
AS1680.1-2006, ‘Interior and workplace lighting - general principles and recommendations’
Provides general principles and recommendations for lighting building interiors to enhance the performance and comfort of those performing visual tasks. Deals with illuminating essential task details, using both artificial light and daylight, while controlling or excluding factors that might cause visual discomfort.
This standard sets out general principles and recommendations for the lighting of interiors of buildings for performance and comfort. It applies primarily to interiors in which specific visual tasks are undertaken and takes into account both electric lighting and daylight. The recommendations have the object of producing a visual environment in which essential task details are made easy to see and adverse factors which may cause visual discomfort are either excluded or appropriately controlled.
Recommendations for the lighting of particular interiors or activities are provided in the standards which comprise AS(/NZS)1680.2. Refer also to AS/NZS1680.0 for basic requirements for safe movement. The standard does not deal with lighting for the purposes of decoration, display, entertainment or sport.
NOTE: Attention is drawn to the AS(/NZS)2293 series of standards which set out requirements for the lighting necessary to alleviate panic and to permit safe evacuation of the building occupants should this be required in the event of loss of the normal lighting.