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Guide to Australian Lighting Standards

The building and construction industry require projects to meet specific benchmarks to ensure the safety of workers and the community are always a priority. Lighting plays a major role in the construction of projects across all industries and sectors.

Globe style lights hanging down from ceiling

Standards for every project

Indoor and outdoor lighting have vastly different requirements based on the location and activity performed. From working in an office, to lighting a tunnel - projects should meet the benchmarks as stated in their relevant Standards. 

Here's a breakdown of some of the important Standards needed in a variety of scenarios: 

Emergency Lighting Standards 

When an emergency occurs, lighting Standards are essential to guide people towards the safest route to exit buildings or areas. The series AS/NZS 2293 sets requirements for lighting and exit signs for buildings. Part 1 specifies the system design, installation and operation of such lighting, Part 2 relates to routine service and maintenance, and Part 3 explores emergency luminaires and exit signs. 

Emergency evacuation lighting must be taken seriously, where builders should factor in the considerations as stated in AS/NZS 2293 to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of all users of the building. 

Outdoor Lighting Standards 

When it comes to outdoor lighting, there are many areas to consider based on unique purposes. AS/NZS 1158.0 gives an overview and introduction to lighting for roads and public spaces. The next section of this Standard gives guidance for lighting roads and public spaces for vehicular use and traffic. This includes two sections - the performance and design requirements, and a guide for the design, installation, operation and maintenance in these areas - AS/NZS 1158.1.1 and AS/NZS 1158.1.2 respectively. 

Tunnels and underpasses require specific design and performance requirements to ensure sufficient lighting levels are implemented. AS/NZS 1158.5 identifies the performance and design requirements to be used for lighting tunnels and underpasses. 

For lighting roads and public spaces for pedestrians, AS/NZS 1158.3.1 provides the performance and design requirements, assigning various levels of required performance based on an assessment. This assessment includes degree of activity, likeliness of crime and aesthetic appeal with great attention to adverse effects in nighttime environments. Pedestrian crossings also require sufficient lighting to proritise the safety of the pedestrian in all scenarios. Specific requirements to enhance visibility and safety of pedestrians are stated in AS/NZS 1158.4

You can find the entire AS/NZS 1158 series here to assist with outdoor lighting. 

Interior and Workplace Lighting Standards 

Interior and workplace lighting has an important place across all residential, commercial and industrial tasks and processes. 

The AS 1680 series provides minimum lighting requirements for specific interior tasks. The first Standard in the series, AS 1680.0 relates to the minimum requirements set for electrical lighting systems in public areas within buildings to assist with safe movement of people. This means creating an environment with sufficient lighting to ensure conditions are safe while people are performing their daily tasks. AS 1680.1 provides requirements for lighting the interior of buildings to enhance the performance and comfort to people who are performing visual tasks. In addition to this Standard, AS/NZS 1680.2.1 specifies lighting needed in areas of circulation or commonly used within buildings. 

When it comes to the workplace, there are important benchmarks that lighting should meet to assist employees with their workloads. Within interior offices, tasks can include screen-based activities, reading and writing. AS/NZS 1680.2.2 recommends specific lighting for offices and similar areas for tasks that frequently occur in such interior workplaces. 

Educational and training facilities also need lighting that provides the safest environment for the practitioner and patient or teacher and student. To provide appropriate lighting in these scenarios, AS/NZS 1680.2.3 sets out the recommendations to create an environment that allows for great visual conditions. 

AS/NZS1680.2.4 helps to set out recommendations for lighting to assist with industrial tasks and processes within buildings. With industrial activities, certain tasks (e.g. tasks in hazardous areas) must meet specific regulations in which lighting equipment must be used. 

Working within hospitals and conducting medical tasks requires specific lighting levels to create an optimal visual environment. Certain tasks such as clinical observation, treatment and care, as well as visual examination of biological solutions and pathology specimens in medical laboratories should follow the recommendations as stated in AS/NZS 1680.2.5

The remaining Standards within this series, AS/NZS 1680.3 and AS/NZS 1680.4 specifies requirements for laboratory conditions, procedures and instrumentation for making photometric measurements on luminaires for interior and workplace lighting as well as describes the causes of light loss in indoor electric lighting systems, from environmental, operating and age-related conditions, and recommends procedures for estimating maintenance factors for use in design calculations, respectively. 

To view all interior and workplace lighting Standards within the AS/NZS 1680 series, click here

Sports Lighting Standards 

When participating in a variety of sports, Standards play an important role in providing the lighting needed to ensure a safe game. AS 2560.1 provides requirements for indoor and outdoor lighting for sport. It includes general principles for sports lighting, methods for assessing and measuring light installations and descriptions for suitable lighting equipment. More specifically related to indoor sports, AS 2560.2.2 sets out recommendations for indoor sports centres where mutiple sports are played in the one place. When it comes to outdoor sports, AS/NZS 4282 assists with stating requirements to control the negative or noticeable effects of outdoor lighting. 

Certain sports require specific lighting, for example, swimming. AS 2560.2.5 provides the recommendations for the lighting of indoor and outdoor swimming pools which relate to both competitive and recreational use including swimming, diving and water polo. There are also minimum safety requirements stated in AS/NZS 60598.2.18 for fixed luminaires used in water or in contact with water including swimming pools, garden pools and fountains. 

You can also find specific Standards related to sports within the AS 2560.2 series including: 

Discover the AS 2560.2 series here for all sporting specific Standards. 

Overall performance & other lighting Standards requirements 

There are also many Standards that relate to the overall performance, specific requirements and compatibility. Here's an overview of these: 

  • AS/NZS 3827.1 - Lighting system performance - Accuracies and tolerances; Overview and general recommendations 

  • AS/NZS 4783 Part 1 and Part 2 - Performance of electrical lighting equipment - Ballasts for fluorescent lamps; Method of measurement to determine energy consumption and performance of ballasts lamp circuits, and Energy labelling and minimum energy performance Standards requirements, respectively 

  • AS/NZS 60598 series - Luminaires; General requirements and Particular requirements  

  • AS/NZS 60968 and AS/NZS 60969 - Self ballasted lamps for general lighting services; Safety requirements, and Performance requirements, respectively 

  • AS/NZS 61000 series - Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) 


While this guide can assist in many areas of Australian lighting Standards, it is not a complete buyers guide - rather a great starting point. For more information regarding the Standards you and your business need, contact our Customer Support team.

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