However, Chapter 9, Design Standards for U.S. Court Facilities, has not been similarly
updated and remains vague with respect to courtroom lighting. The guidance is consistent
with the USCDG and IESNA resources, but offers little advice about how to accomplish the
2.1.3. IESNA Lighting Handbook, 9th Edition
The IESNA Lighting Handbook provides the most specific guidelines for lighting in
courtrooms, and does provide explanations in the handbook on strategies to achieve the
criteria. A summary is provided here.
Visual tasks are listed and include reading, audiovisual (A/V) presentations, and video
and camera use.
Special considerations include low-glare luminaires, dimming with preset levels for
typical courtroom functions, and aesthetically appropriate luminaires to enhance the
dignity of the courtroom.
Color rendering is indicated as important because of evidence display.
Horizontal and vertical illuminance levels are referenced in Chapter 10.
Wall luminance must be reduced so it does not interfere with A/V presentations.
Judge, jury and attorneys must still be able to take notes during the A/V presentations.
Lighting control must be flexible and user friendly so it may easily accommodate the
variety of activities in the courtroom.
Design standards for lighting are synthesized in the Lighting Handbook in the Chapter 10
Lighting Design Guide. The Guide provides a matrix that prioritizes the design issues for
different spaces. Additional guidance on how to address these objectives can be found in a
courtroom design example in the IESNA publication entitled "Lighting for People: A
Guide to Designing Quality Lighting in the Built Environment." (IESNA DG-18) The
highest design priorities for courtrooms are as follows:
Appearance of Space and Luminaires
Color Appearance (and Color Contrast)
Light Distribution on the Task Plane (Uniformity)
Modeling of Faces or Objects
System Control and Flexibility
(10) Vertical Illuminance.