No single recommendation would be sufficient to close the gap between existing practice in
courtroom lighting and energy efficient practice. The problems are systemic, and thus the
solutions must also be applied systematically. The following suggestions attempt to cover
additional areas critical to overall success, including: design criteria, examples of design
strategies, energy efficient technology guidance, procurement and team selection, design process,
implementation practices, and education.
3.1 Criteria Revisions
This section contains specific suggestions as to how the design criteria could be revised to
improve both lighting quality and energy efficiency in courtroom lighting. It is important to
continue the coordination between the U.S. Courts Design Guide and the GSA P-100 Chapter 9 to
ensure consistency and avoid discrepancies or confusion. The technical basis for the lighting
criteria should be based on the IESNA Lighting Handbook, 9th edition, per Section 2.1.3.
3.1.1. U.S. Courts Design Guide
Table 4-4, "Heating Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) and Lighting," should
be revised to show more specific footcandle and lux requirements for the different task
areas in the courtroom (see Section 2.1.3). If it is not feasible to break out the separate
task areas in the existing table, provide a separate table for lighting guidance.
As a supplement to Table 4-4, additional detail should be provided in Chapter 4 to
explain more clearly the luminaire options.
Guidance on finishes (page 4-57) should be revised to specifically require high wall and
ceiling reflectances in courtrooms. As it stands, the guidance could be misinterpreted.
While there is a mention of light reflectance ("consider acoustics and light
reflectance"), there is also guidance to use hardwood veneer paneling. The interplay
and relationship between lighting perception, energy efficiency and the choice of the
color of wall, floor, and ceiling finishes should be more clearly defined.
The lighting guidance on pages 4-64 and 4-65 should be revised to include IESNA
design guidance. The "Lighting System" section should break out the critical issues in
a bulleted or listed format as found in Section 2.1.3 (e.g., (1) Appearance of Space and
desired, examples of design strategies could be added.
A commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability should be specifically called out
in this section, and references to complementary sections or resources should be
The "Lighting Levels" section on page 4-64 should be revised to show more specific
footcandle and lux requirements for the different task areas in the courtroom (similar to
The word "incandescent" in the "Lighting Controls" section should be replaced with the
word "dimming," to allow for the use of dimming compact fluorescent fixtures. Digital
controls should be added to the list of options, to allow use of the latest technology.