Customer Service:
Mon - Fri: 8:30 am - 6 pm EST



American National Standard Practice for Office Lighting

Offices are designed to house working people engaged in thought and in multiple forms of communication -- written, visual, aural, electronic, and face-to-face. Office lighting should enable these workers to perform such tasks comfortably and effectively. This Standard Practice provides useful, practical guidance on the technical issues where current research and consensus opinion have advanced, including information on design elements that can produce both a productive and pleasant work environment. Following a brief introduction, the main sections of this Standard Practice are: the luminous environment (providing luminance variations that are interesting but not distracting); visual task considerations (matching the lighting with the worker's visual and psychological needs); task lighting (placing/lensing luminaries for minimum veiling reflections); the psychological effect of lighting in offices (identifying and influencing the worker's subjective impressions); ergonomics (designing work areas around human capabilities/limitations); economics and energy considerations (using manual/automatic controls, optical systems, and daylighting); lighting design considerations (everything from analysis to equipment choices); design issues for specific areas (including open-plan office space, private offices, and conference rooms); offices with visual display terminals (minimizing direct and reflected glare at computer terminals); emergency lighting (permitting accident-free building egress); and end user responsibility - maintenance (preserving established light levels with an effective service program). This Standard Practice also contains two Annexes concerned with illuminance selection, an extensive reference list, and suggested books and articles for further reading. The latest IESNA illuminance selection procedure/philosophy, based upon knowledge of the space, the occupant(s), and the task, is presented in Annex A. This perspective is to be used in conjunction with Annex B, which contains just those elements of the new IESNA Lighting Design Guide (from the IESNA Lighting Handbook, Ninth Edition) that directly apply to a quality visual environment in offices. Although initial cost concerns often limit office lighting design, the cumulative effect of an attempt to save money may well be to raise operating costs through diminished productivity. Even when high quality lighting is initially designed, it may fall victim to the "budget crunch" whenever lower quality luminaires are substituted during routine maintenance and/or the lighting layout is changed without fully considering the implications for the application at hand. Since the primary function of light in the office is to support work, the ultimate criteria for an office lighting solution is how well it facilitates work performance and user satisfaction. No matter how pleasing, or how well it conforms to a set of quantitative values, if a lighting design does not support the work, it has failed. [Note: RP-1-04 is an American National Standard.]

Content Provider
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America [IESNA]


As the voice of the U.S. standards and conformity assessment system, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) empowers its members and constituents to strengthen the U.S. marketplace position in the global economy while helping to assure the safety and health of consumers and the protection of the environment.