Buildings Lighting Requirements in Residential and Commercial Settings

Residential properties have different recommendations for illumination based on the room or task that requires completion.


The primary measurements for residential lighting requirements are in footcandles and lux.


A footcandle measurement involves how many lumens are needed per square foot, while lux takes the same measure by each square meter.


Here is a look at the minimum recommended lighting levels for homes today.


Room or EnvironmentFootcandlesLux
Basements, Recreation Rooms, Enclosed Floors14150
Laundry Room19200
Hallway, Entryway, Transition Spaces330
Garage (General Environment)20200
Garage (Task Lighting, Workbench)931,000
Formal Dining Room19200
Reading Area, Writing Space, Library19200
Informal Dining Space9100
General Kitchen Area9100
Kitchen Stovetop and Cooktop Area29300
Kitchen Prep Spaces47500
Living Room330


Although any light bulb style or technology can provide this resource, the most efficient installation involves LEDs. Lower wattage requirements combine with equitable lux and footcandle ratings to create desirable residential spaces to use.


What Is the Overall Recommendation for Residential Lighting?


Local building codes, HOA rules, and other standards sometimes dictate a building's lighting requirements.


If you find that the recommended minimums aren't enough, the table below offers an updated reference that improves a building's lighting.


Room or EnvironmentFootcandlesLux
Bedrooms20 to 50215-538
Basements, Recreation Rooms, Enclosed Floors30323
Laundry Room20 to 100215 to 1,076
Bathrooms20 to 50215 to 538
Hallway, Entryway, Transition Spaces10 to 20108 to 215
Garage (General Environment)30323
Garage (Task Lighting, Workbench)1001,076
Formal Dining Room50 to 100538 to 1,076
Reading Area, Writing Space, Library50 to 100538 to 1,076
Informal Dining Space20 to 50215 to 538
General Kitchen Area20 to 50215 to 538
Kitchen Stovetop and Cooktop Area50 to 100538 to 1,076
Kitchen Prep Spaces50 to 100538 to 1,076
Living Room10 to 20108 to 215


The difference in lux is massive when comparing the minimum amount to a recommended level in many homes. That's why it is crucial to understand how much space is in each area to ensure an LED light bulb delivers an appropriate performance.


Commercial Building Lighting Needs


The recommended lighting levels for businesses depend on the purpose of the environment. Working in a warehouse is a different experience than putting together a retail display, which means the fixtures must meet specific minimums to provide safe and efficient lighting.


The average office space requires about 40 lumens per square foot. That's the same amount you'd want to have in a classroom, conference area, or department store.


Shops, showrooms, and grocery settings benefit with a boost to 50 lumens per square foot. By creating a better color rendering environment, the items it contains have more realism to the average person.


By understanding what a building needs, whether it's a residential or a commercial setting, it is easier to create a safer and more productive space. If you're looking for lighting options today, use this guide to think about the minimums you'd like to incorporate into those areas. 


Sign up to our newsletter to receive LEDVANCE product launches, company news and promotion and contest information straight to your inbox.