Lighting leading up to, and mounted on, public buildings should be designed for amenity and safety. In addition, good illumination provides a welcoming ambiance with clear visual cues to external signage, the whereabouts of thoroughfares and community facilities.
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Best Practice Advice
To help maximise accessibility, light levels should be appropriate for the application and with due attention paid to the consistency of lighting in the transition between areas.
Sudden changes in light level or illumination character can be disconcerting and disorientating, especially to those with visual impairments.
Lighting with a directional component can certainly bring an element of welcome definition to a lit scene.
However extreme care must be taken to ensure that any highlighting or spotlighting is done peripherally and sensitively, to avoid causing difficulties for the visually impaired.
In many situations, lighting can be fully exposed to the elements, making high IP rated luminaires essential. Therefore, it is particularly important that lighting is especially robust and requires little in the way of maintenance.
Moreover, for longevity and to minimise costs, the external finishes of luminaires should be highly resistant to degradation.
Different standards may be referenced dependant on the precise nature of the approach to a public building. For instance, BS EN 12464-2:2014 for general outdoor areas including car park spaces and BS 5489-1 Code of Practice for the Design of Road Lighting Part 1: Lighting of Roads and Public Amenity Areas
Codes of practice will generally specify values of horizontal illuminance. However, it should be noted that light on horizontal planes is a poor predictor of the impression of brightness perceived by users of the area.
Using a lighting control system can improve the quality of illumination as well as reduce energy consumption. Control systems allow the use of light in the required place, at the right time and in the optimum quantity. At Designplan we can provide control solutions for traditional switched applications and standalone luminaire operation, in addition to full networked systems utilising the DALI protocol.
PDF Lighting Guide
Our 24 page lighting guide identifies typical community and public applications, focusing on the principles of good lighting. We also examine the benefits of robust construction and lighting controls to reduce your cost of ownership and carbon footprint. To download your copy click on the button below.