Lighting Standards for Meeting & Conference Rooms

You have an Extech light meter and you are tasked with optimizing lighting in meeting places at your facility. Maybe you're responding to complaints of a perpetually washed out projector screen--even though it uses a state of the art projector. Maybe you work at a hotel conference center and the 3rd party AV company can't quite get their equipment to "work right" in your facility.

Where do you start? Different rooms have different needs. Think about it...

  • Conference rooms for local meetings
  • Conference rooms with videoconferencing & projector presentation capabilities
  • Classrooms (and amphitheaters) for local presenters/meeting leaders
  • Classrooms with videoconferencing & projector presentation capabilities

Each of these has different meeting requirements, different communication dynamics at play, and different people to keep happy when it comes to lighting.Even within the same room, a presenter has different lighting needs than an audience member. An audience member's lighting may vary if a projection screen is or isn't being used.

Clearly, there are a range of factors to consider. We researched the web looking for a good set of standards for conference and meeting room lighting and came across an excellent resource that will help you optimize your meeting space's lighting with just the right amount of foot candles (fc or footcandles) throughout your conference rooms or classrooms.

We highly recommend the following document which originally provided design and construction criteria for conference rooms, videoconference rooms, classrooms and other multimedia rooms at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Jump to the bottom of page 9 where discussion on lighting systems begins. There are some great lighting guidelines for the following scenarios:

  • seating areas
  • presenter area/lectern/podium
  • conference room tables
  • seating, looking towards the projection screen
  • wall wash lighting
  • vertical and horizontal foot candles
  • dimmable or switched lighting controls
  • color temperature goals
  • directional lighting
  • downlights and luminaries that minimize light spill onto projectors
  • asymmetrical luminaries to direct light away from projection screens
  • adjustable pattern wall wash fixtures
  • lighting for markerboards

The list goes on. It's a great reference and you should keep it handy if you have a light meter in hand are tasked with optimizing lighting at an existing facility or need to provide input on a new construction!

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