Chapter 4: Courtrooms
In addition, the lighting control system should allow the intensity and type of
lighting to vary at the discretion of the presiding judge. This is particularly
applicable when adjustable incandescent lighting units are provided. A remote
means of dimming or extinguishing the lights should be provided.
Panelboards and conductors should be located in a service area outside the
courtroom. Circuit breaker panels must not be the only means to control lighting.
Access to the lighting controls is limited to court personnel. The controls must not
be accessible to witnesses, jurors, attorneys, litigants, and the public. Where this is
unavoidable, key-controlled light switches must be installed.
An over-ride switch must be located at the judge's bench and at the courtroom
deputy clerk station to allow instantaneous over-ride of all dimming controls in an
The following lighting controls can be specified, depending upon the size of the
courtroom, specific lighting arrangement, and lamp types:
A more complex lighting installation consisting of local, wall, box-type,
electronic, silicon-controlled rectifier (SCR) dimmers.
Remote electronic dimmers with pre-set lighting arrangements, for large
courtrooms with high ceilings.
Selected lighting fixtures within the courtroom must provide an uninterrupted
source of lighting in the event of a power outage. Standby power for emergency
lighting to the courtrooms must be provided by local battery back-up units
connected to an emergency generator. The judge's bench must not be spotlighted by
To permit orderly evacuation, emergency lighting facilities must maintain a
specified degree of illumination throughout the means of egress for 1-1/2 hours.
During that time, the FTC must not be less than one (11<~>lx). At the end of that
period, the illumination may decline to 0.6 FTC (6<~>lx). The judge's bench must
not have an emergency spotlight.