Recommended lux levels

We have all experienced the sting in our eyes when we are in a dark room and then the light is turned on. Our eyes squint and we can’t keep them open. Eventually, we adjust.

Alternatively, when the light is turned off in a bright room, everything in the room seems dark. It takes some time for our eyes to adjust again to see in the darkness.

This effect also applies if there is light in the surrounding area.

The brighter the surrounding area the darker everything will look in the immediate area. What we could see clearly with 10 lux we would now need 20 lux to see.

Below is a guide of lux levels based on different environments.

Full Moon

Full moon as observed in Melbourne

0.1 lux

Facial Recognition

Minimum lux for facial recognition

2.5 Lux

Recommended lux for facial recognition

5 lux

Residence Single Family

Exterior doorways

8 lux

Bike & Walking Trails

Bike and walking trails away from a road

5 lux

Bike and walking trails near a road

10 lux


Sidewalks and footpaths for schools

10 lux

Parking for schools

30 lux


Trails and walkways for parks

6 lux

Likely loitering areas for parks

10 lux

Parking spaces for parks

30 lux

Intersections Zebra Crossings

Local intersection

18 lux

Major intersection

34 lux

Supermarket & Major Retail

Parking at supermarkets or large retail

30 lux

Hotels and Motels

Sidewalks and grounds at hotels and motels

10 lux

Parking at hotels and motels

30 lux

Fast Food Restaurants

General Parking at fast food restaurants

30 lux

Drive up window up to 9 meters

60 lux

Law Enforcement, Fire, Ambulance

and other Emergency Service Facilities

General parking and walkways

30 lux

Within 18 meters of all movement from pedestrians and vehicles

80 lux


Exterior walkways around senior facilities

50 lux

Residence Multi-Family Apartments / Multi Units Caravan Parks / Camping Grounds

Sidewalks and footpaths

10 lux

Common areas

30 lux

Common mailbox areas

100 lux

Guarded Facilities

Entrances near guarded facilities

100 lux

Building Sites

Sidewalks and footpaths

10 lux

High risk of theft areas

100 lux

Sporting Grounds

Sidewalks and footpaths

20  lux

Merchandising areas with lots of pedestrians

300 lux