Lighting and contrasts

Key requirements

  • Consistent and even lighting along pathways, installations, car parking and set down areas, at vehicle and pedestrian conflicts, entrances to all buildings and facilities, customer interaction points and inside all buildings and to signage.
  • Consistent and even lighting (reflected downward - without pooling or providing glare).

If access to controls are required:

  • lighting installations located on firm, level, slip resistant ground surface, in both wet and dry conditions and space to approach the installation from both the front and side
  • space next to the installation for a person using a mobility aid to stop without obstructing the pathway
  • lighting installations connected to, but set back from the pathway
  • lighting installations designed with operative components, including controls, that can be reached by a person when standing or seated, used with a closed fist or open palm and incorporating raised tactile and Braille elements
  • shade and shelter over the lighting controls and any associated elements.
  • any portable lighting installations at a height suitable for use by a person when standing or seated and incorporating adequate leg clearance underneath.
  • Limited use of fluorescent tubing due to the noise created and possible interference to a person using a hearing aid.
  • Automated control systems with sensors to adjust artificial light when needed.
  • Portable lighting, lamp available upon request.
  • Appropriate lighting at customer interaction areas that does not create glare, to support a customer who may need to read customer service officers lips if required.
  • Use of a lighting system that can be linked to an emergency warning system to activate a visible emergency alarm, assisting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Effective emergency lighting to and at emergency exits and along paths of travel to nominated emergency assembly areas.
  • Optimal use of natural light where available, supplemented with artificial lights as needed.
  • Appropriate shading available for diffusing natural light when needed.
  • Effective contrasts between installations, fixtures, fittings, door frames and edges, furniture and other elements (in both internal and external locations) and background and adjacent surfaces.

Key access dimensions


An example of how to use lighting an contrast for a doorway.Figure 1: Lighting and contrast at a doorway

  1. Optimal us of natural light where available, supplemented with artificial lights as needed
  2. Contrast at door a minimum 50mm wide, 30% luminance
  3. Switches and controls 900 – 1100mm above floor level

  • A continuous accessible path of travel that is a minimum of 2000mm high (1980mm at doorways) and 1000mm wide.
  • Signage and operating instructions installed within appropriate ‘Zones for Viewing’ in accordance with Australian Standards.
  • Circulation around the lighting installation that allows for a person to approach from a variety of angles (minimum 800 x 1300mm).
  • Lighting installation connected to, but setback a minimum of 500mm from any pathway.
  • Appropriate reach ranges and controls in accordance with Australian Standards.
  • Minimum 30% luminance contrast between all installations, fixtures and fittings and background and adjacent surfaces.
  • Light switches 900 - 1100mm high.
  • General purpose outlets 600 – 1100mm high and not less than 500mm from any internal corners within accessible sanitary facilities.
  • Minimum 30mm x 30mm buttons or switches for lights.
  • Lighting at parking bays to be directed over any accessible bay from two directions.
  • Lighting installed to required lux levels in accordance with the range in Australian Standards.

Table 1: Relevant Australian Standards for lighting and contrasts

AS 1428.1 – 2009Design for access and mobility - General Requirements for Access - New Building Work
AS 1428.2 - 1992Design for access and mobility - Enhanced and Additional Requirements - Buildings and Facilities
AS/NZS 1428.4.1 - 2009Tactile Ground Surface Indicators for the Orientation of People with Vision Impairment
AS 4586 - 2013Slip Resistance Classification of New Pedestrian Surface Materials
AS/NZS 1158 Set:2010Lighting for Roads and Public Spaces
AS 1680 - 2009Interior Lighting - Safe Movement
Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standards 2010

Links to other relevant information