How Many Lumens For Office Lighting? January 13, 2023 – Posted in: Lighting Information, Commercial Lighting, General Info

Getting the perfect lumens for your office lighting will make a tremendous difference in the long run. If the lights are too bright or too dim, you and your colleagues will struggle to remain productive and efficient. Running an evergreen business means that your services are available around the clock so your lights need to work well in the middle of the day and at the darkest point each night.

Typically, most offices will be fine with a maximum of 500 lumens per square meter (also known as lux) although you could scale down to a minimum of 300 lumens as recommended by IES office lighting standards. The guide below will provide more in-depth answers to this question.

Importance Of Office Lighting Luminance

How Many Lumens For Office Lighting

Lighting is vital to every aspect of an office, without good lighting nobody would be able to get any work done and frankly speaking poor lighting does have an effect on your employees too. Workers typically spend at least eight hours at work a day and many do work that is meticulous and eye straining. This is why it’s important to fix poor lighting ASAP. To learn more about the best office lighting for your eyes, see our post here.

Poor lighting in your space can lead to OSHA fines for violations and can even result in lower employee productivity. Even a typographical error is inevitable in poor lighting, but more often than not can be corrected without further ado. Multiple lighting errors can lead to the loss of business performance or worse. 

The appropriate lighting can minimize even small things such as typographical errors by making even the finest details of a document clearer.  Those can add up.

How Many Lumens For Office Lighting Chart

TypeApplication Foot Candles
OfficesAudio-Visual Areas20-50
OfficesConference Areas20-70
OfficesCorridors, Stairways20
OfficesGeneral and Private Offices50-100
OfficesLobbies, Lounges, & Reception Areas5-20
OfficesMail Sorting50-100
OfficesOff-set printing & duplicating areas20-50
OfficesSpaces with VDT’s75

Natural Brightness Matters

open office window

It’s difficult for anyone to determine the best lumens for a specific situation because each situation is completely unique. But In many cases, you’re office will have many windows to work with. As a result, the office space may be brighter during certain parts of the day than originally expected. When dealing with ground-level offices, we recommend using brighter lights to ensure the workspace is adequately lit.

In darker environments, 400 to 500 lumens per square meter should be enough for the office space. In any case, you need bright light sources, so pick lights with a rating of at least 300 lumens per square foot.

Regardless, the natural brightness of the workspace matters and you should try to incorporate it into your workspace.

How Bright Should Office Lighting Be?

Dialux Simulation

Besides getting the right lumens, it is essential to achieve the perfect lighting placement. If you have a 500 lumens light behind your cubicle, you may not be able to see your keyboard well because the light may be blocked by the wall of the cubicle. Typically, the workspace should have 500 lux of lighting. All direct surroundings should receive 300 lux of lighting.

If you’re feel your desk doesn’t have enough lux, a 1,000-lumen desk light should be enough to provide 500 lux in your immediate work area. We have a great guide on selecting the right fixture for your computer desk. Get the right placement to ensure every workspace in the office has enough light. Usually, overhead lights are best for managed workplaces although supplement lights may be needed in some cases.

Recommended Lumens For Your Office Lighting

In general, office managers should make sure that each workstation has at least 500 lumens for each square meter of space. Getting the perfect lighting will provide countless benefits besides allowing the worker to see everything sufficiently. An adequate lighting system will also guarantee that workers remain alert, energized, productive, and creative. Again, the United States General Services Administration recommends at least 500 lumens per square meter.

Get the perfect combination of ceiling fixtures, task lights, and proper layout to ensure your workers have enough light to excel for your business.

How Much Office Lighting Lux Is Recommended?

For lighting standard for office environments you want around 300 to 500 lux or 30 to 50 foot candles. This standard is set by the GSA (U.S. General Services Administration).