New Lighting Guidelines Will Mean Big Changes in Design

The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), in its 9th edition of their authoritative lighting design manual, will have a significant impact on the way that lighting systems are now designed.
Photo: Brad Feinkonph

Instead of the traditional approach that was limited to "how many footcandles should be on the desks," the new standards emphasize other equally important aspects of lighting design such as lighting the walls, the color of the light and avoiding glare from shiny ceiling fixture louvers.
Gary Steffy of Gary Steffy Lighting Design, in the September 2000 issue of
Building Operating Management says, "We are particularly concerned about harsh glare from light louvers or specular reflectors."

Unfortunately, undesirable fixtures of this type have been used for so many years that they continue to be specified simply because of habit.

Clearly, school building committees and facilities managers should ask the architect:

+Will the design provide enough brightness on the upper walls. (Wall brightness is occupants' predominant way of judging if a space is cheery and welcoming.)

+Will the design avoid using excessively bright overhead fixtures?

+Will the design avoid very shiny (specular) louvers on the fixtures?

+Will the design avoid wall colors that are excessively dark?

The web address for IESNA's website is

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