U.S. Courts Design Guide
The lighting of the courtroom should not only satisfy recommended lighting levels,
but also accommodate the future introduction of video recording, evidence display,
vertical footcandles (FTC) toward the front of the courtroom (judge, witness, jury)
and for highlighting (flag, U.S. seal).
Caution must be exercised when using excessively bright sources due to the
potential noise problem and temporary lamp failure caused by voltage drops.
The lighting system should have good color rendition and avoid bright spots on the
ceiling plane. Modulation of lighting levels should be used to distinguish courtroom
well and spectator areas.
General Lighting. Lighting levels in the courtroom vary. The lighting system
should range from a minimum of 40 FTC (430 lx) to a maximum of 75 FTC (800
lx). The system must be capable of dimming to accommodate the projection of
exhibits. The dimming level is determined by the video recording system's lowest
operable light level; however, to meet the safety code the level must not be lower
than 1 FTC (11<~>lx). See Table 4.4 for specific information regarding lighting
levels in the courtroom.
Lighting controls for the courtroom should accommodate the following conditions:
In use, fully occupied;
In use, no spectators;
Not in use; and
Use of a slide projector or other device requiring a dimmed or darkened