Artificial Lighting

The Building Code of Australia in Part F4 Light and Ventilation and Part H1 Theatres, Stages and Public Halls, sets out the criteria for the provision of artificial lighting in various classes of occupancy as well as specific locations within a class. In most states around Australia it is incumbent on the building surveyor/ building certifier to nominate artificial lighting in the essential safety measures schedule/ determination.

Building Code of Australia

Artificial Lighting must be installed in all required stairways, passageways, ramps and basically to any area where insufficient natural light is provided or where occupation occurs at night time, artificial lighting is to be provided in accordance with clause F4.4 Artificial Lighting of the BCA. Artificial lighting must be installed to comply with AS/NZS 1680.0 Interior lighting – Safe movement and the building permit conditions.

Exemptions apply for certain building, where the artificial lighting provided can have a lesser level of illumination under clause F4.4, these are theatres, cinemas, museums, galleries, discotheques and nightclubs, where artificial lighting is less desirable.

Clause H.7 Aisle lights in theatres, requires in all assemble buildings (class 9b) aisle lighting to be provided to a floor that is stepped or included and lit when the general artificial lighting is dimmed.

The following photographs depict artificial lighting in an office environment.

The following is a part extract of clause I1.1 for an Essential Safety Measure (as appeared in BCA 2013) known as artificial lighting:

Table I1.4 Safety Measures – Artificial Lighting

Safety Measures BCA Provision for Determining Standard of Performance
Artificial lighting required to assist occupant movement and egress F4.4, H1.7

Essential Safety Measures Audit – Artificial Lighting

An essential safety measures auditor when performing as essential safety measures inspection must have a very good understanding of the BCA provisions for artificial lighting such as the areas nominated within buildings, the level of illumination required and whether the artificial lighting systems actually work. The auditor should source the essential safety measures schedule/ determination to ascertain any specific conditions required by the certifying building surveyor for artificial lighting to ensure fire safety compliance. A record of the artificial lighting inspection should be recorded in the building’s essential safety measures logbook to allow signing of the Annual Statement, Annual Certificate of Compliance, Annual Fire Safety Statement, Annual Maintenance Statement and Annual Occupiers Statement.