There are a number of Australian Standards that stipulate lux levels required for a particular space. The one used mainly for exterior lighting is AS1158. The lighting designer, in consultation with the client, will generally select a sub-category from here, which states the required average and minimum illuminance for the space. The lux values can have a very wide range. For example, a pathway may require 0.85 lux average, or as much as 10 lux average, depending on the risk of crime and pedestrian/cycle activity that occurs on the path. A good understanding of AS1158 will definitely assist in undertaking lighting design, and it should be referred to regularly throughout the project design process.
Another Australian Standard that is widely used is AS4282 – The control of the obtrusive effects of outdoor lighting. There have been many instances of a lighting design that complies with AS1158, which is then installed, and after a few weeks, local residents are complaining of stray light shining through their windows. Once the lights have been installed, it isn’t always an easy fix, so AS4282 compliance should address the parameters required to ensure spill light is not an issue. Again, close consultation throughout the design process to this standard is highly recommended.
There are also a number of newer lobby movements that are gaining traction in exterior lighting. Light pollution is the fastest growing pollutant in the world, and the International Dark Sky Alliance was founded with the principle that everyone working with outdoor lighting should be aware of how to mitigate the potential negative harmful effects of artificial light at night.
For more information on this, click here – Lighting Pollution– Part 1.
Finally, the light fitting selected for the project must itself go through a rigorous testing process. Thermal reports, electrical safety and EMC compliance are 3 of the most important certificates a light fitting must carry. Most reputable lighting manufacturers will undertake all the necessary testing. If they are unable to produce any of the above on request, be very wary of using the product.
Following the above will put you on the right course to designing an efficient, compliant, environmentally friendly lighting solution. Our team at Lighting & Electrical Distributors have significant experience and knowledge on all of the above, so should you have any questions, or would like any assistance, please don’t hesitate to get in contact.