courtroom staff can have access to the lighting controls. (More detail is provided on
lighting controls technology in Section 5.3.4 below.)
3.2.5. Lighting for Videoconferencing
While audiovisual presentations are quite common in courtrooms, videoconferencing and
filming with the use of cameras is less common. The lighting requirements for videotaping
and filming are considerably different than what is provided throughout the rest of this
report. For detailed information on this topic, guidance is provided from the IESNA in their
newly completed design guide entitled "Lighting for Videoconferencing" (IESNA DG-17).
Basic guidance is outlined here.
Vertical illumination is the most important lighting element for videoconferencing. 30-50
fc of vertical illuminance is necessary for videoconferencing. Keep in mind that there is a
ratio of approximately 2:1 between horizontal and vertical illuminance. This means that 50
vertical footcandles is often equivalent to 100 horizontal footcandles (the exact ratio
depends on the lighting design and photometric distribution of the fixtures). This would
double the energy consumption in these areas.
Contrast ratios are very important in lighting for cameras. Cameras will exaggerate
contrast, so it becomes important to ensure that the perimeter walls are dimmable, and to
minimize scallops on the walls by using linear fluorescent wall washing.
Lighting for videoconferencing would impact all aspects of the lighting design--including
increased costs for the equipment, the look and feel of the courtroom, and the energy
consumption. Therefore, permanently installed lighting for videoconferencing should only
be provided if it's deemed truly necessary based on the intended use of a particular
For infrequent videoconferencing or occasions when camera filming is necessary, consider
the option of using portable equipment that is employed only for the duration of the
proceedings. Television crews often provide their own lighting, but it will be necessary to
plan access to a large enough power supply. Another solution would be to install powered
track in the courtroom so that theatrical lighting fixtures could be added as necessary.
3.2.6. Courtroom Finishes
The reflectances of the surfaces in the courtroom are integrally related to the aesthetic
success of the courtroom and the energy efficiency issues as well. It is important to
understand the relationships between the variables to make informed decisions.
faces and evidence.
Darker finishes require more lighting and thus more wattage, which will make it
difficult (if not impossible) to meet energy code limits and will also add to the lighting
The use of wood finishes is traditional in courtrooms and contributes to the ambiance
and majesty of the space.