Educational Facility Lighting | Standards Michigan

Educational Facility Lighting

Illumination technologies provide a steady revenue stream to manufacturers who develop their markets through trade associations such as the IES. Manufacturers require a fair return on investment in order to continue innovation and therefore holds the strongest hand in the balanced standards development process administered by ANSI.


Educational Facility Lighting

April 9, 2020
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“Starry Night” / Vincent Van Gogh

The Illumination Engineering Society (IES) is one of the first names in non-profit trade associations whose illumination technology consensus products are referenced in design guidelines and construction contract projects for the US education facility industry.  We remind our colleagues that, at a clip of about $300 billion, the education facility industry is the largest non-residential building construction market in the United States providing a large market for all building industry disciplines.  IES membership has a significant manufacturer (i.e. Producer) representation and the quality and speed of its standardization activity reflects the success of that business model.*

We track developments in technical committees assembled and administered IES that set the standard of care for illumination technologies by coordinating their leading practice discovery with related consensus products developed by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA, whose interest lies in a level playing field for its member manufacturers), ASHRAE International. (whose interest lies in energy conservation), and NFPA International (whose interest lies in fire safety of lighting systems within building premises).  There are a number of other trade associations that are participants in research and open source standards for faster moving parts of the illumination science; not the least of which is the Vienna-based International Commission on Illumination.  We cover their products on other posts.

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standardization action can be characterized as multi-dimensioned — sensitive to the priorities of all the trade associations described above — and, as an identified User-Interest in the US standards system administered by the American National Standards Institute, aligns most closely with Standards Michigan raison d’être.

Today we find RP-3-13 American National Standard Practice on Lighting for Educational Facilities among several IES consensus products open for public comment:

IES Standards in Public Review

It is only one of several, and because illumination technology is such a large and challenging topic, it is our custom to deal with them in separate posts.  From the project prospectus:

This Recommended Practice was developed to enable architects, engineers, lighting designers, and other lighting decision makers to ensure that their lighting criteria are consistent with good current practice; to assist school and university staff in understanding the importance of the role that lighting plays in educational environments; and to facilitate conversations about lighting between school and university staff, architects, engineers, lighting designers and other designers. It addresses all levels of education, from preschool to university facilities.  The IES Lighting Handbook, 10th Edition and latest versions of other IES Recommended Practices should be consulted for guidance on lighting for other related spaces such as administration and sports, and strategies for daylighting, commissioning, and maintenance practices. 

Comments are due April 20th.

We encourage our colleagues to directly participate in the IES standards development process (CLICK HERE to get started).  We keep relevant parts of IES consensus product suite on the standing agenda of our twice monthly Power & ICT teleconferences; coordinated with the IEEE Education & Healthcare Facilities Committee.  See our CALENDAR for the next online meeting.


Issue: [13-80]

Category:  Architectural, Electrical, Energy

Colleagues: Mike Anthony, Jim Harvey, Steve Townsend

*Always a sensitive topic in technology governance, we expand upon this assertion in our ABOUT.  In short, it is far better to have developed a cadre of passionate experts writing codes, standards and regulations, than remote and less passionate legislators and their staff.



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