Where the ambient lighting is inadequate for the visual tasks to be performed at a workstation, task lighting can be installed in addition to the ambient lighting (EN 12464, Part 1) for such cases as the following:

  • special lighting requirements for individual workstations (extra illuminance, specific angle of incidence, color of light or luminance requirements)
  • problematical positioning of the workstation with inadequate illuminance available from the ambient lighting system
  • working with dark materials on a work surface with a high level of reflectance

The task lighting can be provided by table lights or free-standing luminaires positioned to beam light onto the work surface. Due attention must be paid to a uniform distributionof luminance within the interior and on the work surface as well as correct coordination of the color of light between ambient lighting and workstation lighting.

EN 12464, Part 8 lists the special requirements to be metby workstation lighting to meet the needs of the user while avoiding detrimental effects at the workstation and adjoining workstations, e.g. through direct glare. The DIN standard applies to offices and similar interiors.

In the interest of a uniform distribution of luminance at the workstation, the following Illuminance limits apply to additional workstation lighting as a factor of work surface Reflectance :

Work surface reflectance

Max. permissible average illuminance for additional workstation lighting measured at the main working plane


0.5 En

0.3 bis < 0.4

1.0 En

0.4 bis < 0.5

1.5 En

= 0.5

2.0 En

En = Service illuminance for ambient lighting pursuant to EN 12464, Part 2.
The standard also lists further requirements to be met relating to the luminance limit angle, color appearance and color rendition characteristics.