IES Recommended Lighting Levels

Foot Candle Recommendations

The following selected foot-candle ranges represent the Illuminating Engineering Society’s (IES) current illuminance recommendations. Individual applications will determine exact foot-candle levels. Please refer to the IES Lighting Handbook for a more detailed evaluatio.

Industry
Airplane Manufacturing

Application
Drilling, riveting, screw fastening

Foot Candles
75

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Airplane Manufacturing

Application
Final Assembly, hangar

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Airplane Manufacturing

Application
Inspection

Foot Candles
50-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Airplane Manufacturing

Application
Welding

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Assembly

Application
Rough easy seeing

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Assembly

Application
Rough difficult seeing

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Assembly

Application
Medium

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Auditoriums

Application
Social Activities

Foot Candles
5-10

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Auditoriums

Application
Assembly Only

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Auditoriums

Application
Exhibitions

Foot Candles
15-25

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Automotive Manufacturing

Application
Frame Assembly

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Automotive Manufacturing

Application
Body & chassis assembly

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Automotive Manufacturing

Application
Body parts assembly

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Automotive Manufacturing

Application
Final Assembly, finishing, inspecting

Foot Candles
200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Banks

Application
Lobby General

Foot Candles
10-50

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Banks

Application
Writing Areas

Foot Candles
20-70

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Banks

Application
Teller Stations, Posting & Keypunch

Foot Candles
50-150

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Barber Shop

Application
Beauty Parlors

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Flat Panel

Industry
Chemical Works

Application
Chemical Works

Foot Candles
30

Recommended
Vapor Tight, Hazardous

Industry
Clothing Manufacturer

Application
Receiving, storing, shipping, winding, measuring

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Clothing Manufacturer

Application
Pattern making, trimming

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Clothing Manufacturer

Application
Shops, Marking

Foot Candles
50-200

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer, High Bay

Industry
Clothing Manufacturer

Application
Cutting, Pressing

Foot Candles
100-500

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer, High Bay

Industry
Clothing Manufacturer

Application
Sewing, Inspection

Foot Candles
200-500

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer, High Bay

Industry
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

Application
Impregnating

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Electrical Equipment Manufacturing

Application
Insulating coil winding, testing

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Food Service Facility

Application
Dining areas, cashier

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Troffer, Recessed

Industry
Food Service Facility

Application
Cleaning

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Food Service Facility

Application
Dining

Foot Candles
5-20

Recommended
Troffer, Recessed

Industry
Food Service Facility

Application
Food Displays

Foot Candles
30-100

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Food Service Facility

Application
Kitchen

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
IP65 High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Annealing Furnaces

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Cleaning

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Core Making

Foot Candles
50-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Inspection Fine

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Inspection Medium

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Molding

Foot Candles
50-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Foundries

Application
Pouring, Sorting

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay, Hazardous

Industry
Garages-Motor Vehicles

Application
Storage

Foot Candles
5

Recommended
Garage

Industry
Garages-Motor Vehicles

Application
Parking Garage

Foot Candles
10

Recommended
Garage, Strip

Industry
Garages-Motor Vehicles

Application
Service Garage

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Garage

Industry
Garages-Motor Vehicles

Application
Entrances

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Garages-Motor Vehicles

Application
Repair Area

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Gymnasiums

Application
Assemblies

Foot Candles
10

Recommended
Flat Panel, High Bay

Industry
Gymnasiums

Application
General Exercise & Recreation

Foot Candles
30

Recommended
Flat Panel, High Bay

Industry
Gymnasiums

Application
Exhibitions, Matches

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
Flat Panel, High Bay

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Rooms

Foot Candles
10-30

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Corridors

Foot Candles
5-30

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Emergency Rooms

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Operating Rooms

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hotels

Application
Bathrooms

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Hotels

Application
Bedrooms for Reading

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Decorative & Residential

Industry
Hotels

Application
Corridors, elevators and stairs

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Hotels

Application
Front Desk

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Hotels

Application
Linen Room: Sewing

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Hotels

Application
Linen Room: General

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Hotels

Application
Lobby: General Lighting

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Hotels

Application
Lobby: Reading and working areas

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Recessed, Flat Panel

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Stock, hot top, checker, cellar, calcining

Foot Candles
10-30

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Control platform, repairs, mixer building

Foot Candles
30

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Rolling mills

Foot Candles
30-50

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Shearing

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Tin Plate

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Motor Room, Machine Room

Foot Candles
30

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Iron & Steel Manufacturing

Application
Inspection

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
UFO, Hazardous, Flood

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Ordinary Reading, Stacks

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Book Repair and Binding

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Study & Notes, Cataloging

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Hospitals

Application
Card Files, Check Desk

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
Troffer, Flat Panel

Industry
Laundries

Application
Washing

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Laundries

Application
Ironing

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Machine Shops

Application
Rough Bench

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Machine Shops

Application
Medium Bench, Rough Grinding, Buffing

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Machine Shops

Application
Fine Bench and Work

Foot Candles
200-500

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Materials Handling

Application
Loading Trucking

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Materials Handling

Application
Picking Stock Classifying

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Materials Handling

Application
Wrapping, Packing, Labeling

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Offices

Application
Accounting

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Audio-Visual Areas

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Conference Areas

Foot Candles
20-70

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Corridors, Stairways

Foot Candles
20

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Drafting

Foot Candles
50-200

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
General and Private Offices

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Lobbies, Lounges, & Reception Areas

Foot Candles
5-20

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Mail Sorting

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Offices

Application
Off-set printing & duplicating areas

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer, High Bay

Industry
Offices

Application
Spaces with VDT’s

Foot Candles
75

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Paint Shop

Application
Spraying, Rubbing

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Paint Shop

Application
Hand Art, Stencil

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Paint Shop

Application
Fine Hand Painting & Finishing

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Paper Manufacturing

Application
Beaters, Grinding

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
UFO

Industry
Paper Manufacturing

Application
Finishing, Cutting

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
UFO

Industry
Paper Manufacturing

Application
Hand Counting

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
UFO

Industry
Paper Manufacturing

Application
Paper machine reel, Inspection

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
UFO

Industry
Paper Manufacturing

Application
Rewinder

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
UFO

Industry
Printing

Application
Welding

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Printing

Application
Color Inspecting

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Printing

Application
Presses

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Printing

Application
Proofreading

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Printing

Application
Proofreading

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Schools

Application
Reading

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Schools

Application
Typing

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Schools

Application
Demonstrations

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Schools

Application
Sewing

Foot Candles
20-100

Recommended
Flat Panel, Troffer

Industry
Sheet Metal Works

Application
General

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Sheet Metal Works

Application
Tin Plate Inspection

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Sheet Metal Works

Application
Galvanizing, Scribing

Foot Candles
100-200

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Stores

Application
Circulation Area Stockroom

Foot Candles
10-30

Recommended
Recessed

Industry
Stores

Application
Merchandising, Servicing

Foot Candles
30-100

Recommended
Recessed, Troffer

Industry
Stores

Application
Merchandising, Self-Servicing

Foot Candles
200

Recommended
Recessed, Troffer

Industry
Textile Mills

Application
Cotton Picking, Carding, Roving, Spinning

Foot Candles
50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Textile Mills

Application
Beaming & Slashing

Foot Candles
150

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Textile Mills

Application
Drawing

Foot Candles
200

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Textile Mills

Application
Others

Foot Candles
100

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Warehouse & Storage

Application
Inactive

Foot Candles
5-10

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Warehouse & Storage

Application
Active Rough Bulky

Foot Candles
10-20

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Warehouse & Storage

Application
Active Medium

Foot Candles
20

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Warehouse & Storage

Application
Active Fine

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay

Industry
Welding

Application
General

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay, Flood

Industry
Woodworking

Application
Sizing, planning, rough sanding, medium quality machine and bench work, gluing, veneering, cooperage

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay, Strip

Industry
Woodworking

Application
Fine bench and machine work, fine sanding and finishing

Foot Candles
50-100

Recommended
High Bay, Strip

Industry
Woodworking

Application
Rough sawing and bench work

Foot Candles
20-50

Recommended
High Bay, Strip

What is the Illuminating Engineering Society?

The IES is a community of lighting professionals with a mission to improve life through quality of light. Established in 1906, the Illuminating Engineering Society is the recognized technical and educational authority on illumination in nearly 60 countries. Through their American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited process, they publish and maintain the Lighting Library®, with over 100 standards written by subject matter experts in their technical committees. Today, the organization has over 8,000 members worldwide, including lighting designers, engineers, architects, educators, and researchers. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the IES and its impact on the lighting industry.

The IES is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the art and science of lighting. The organization is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of lighting and providing its members with the resources they need to design, build, and install lighting systems. The IES is also responsible for developing lighting standards, guidelines, and recommended practices. These documents are used by lighting professionals to ensure that their work meets the highest standards of quality and safety.

What does the IES Do?

The IES provides a wide range of resources and services to its members. One of the most important resources is its library of lighting-related documents. This library includes standards, recommended practices, and design guides, as well as research papers and technical reports. These documents are essential for anyone working in the lighting industry, as they provide guidance on everything from the design of lighting systems to the testing of lighting products.

The IES also offers a variety of educational programs and events. These programs include webinars, seminars, and conferences, which provide members with the opportunity to learn about the latest developments in lighting technology and design. The IES also offers certification programs for lighting professionals. These programs are designed to ensure that professionals have the knowledge and skills they need to design and install high-quality lighting systems.

The IES Mission

One of the key missions of the IES is to promote the development of energy-efficient and sustainable lighting solutions. This is achieved through the creation of standards, guidelines, and recommendations that help designers and engineers create lighting systems that are both effective and environmentally friendly.

One of the most important contributions of the IES to the field of lighting design is the publication of the Illuminating Engineering Society Handbook. This comprehensive resource is considered the definitive guide to lighting design and is used by professionals around the world. The Handbook covers topics such as lighting terminology, lighting design principles, lighting calculations, and lighting system maintenance.

In addition to the Handbook, the IES also publishes a number of other resources designed to help professionals stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in the field of lighting design. These resources include the IES Lighting Library, which contains a wealth of information on lighting science, technology, and design, and the IES Standards Library, which includes the latest industry standards and guidelines.