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How many fluorescent lamps do I need to light my workshop properly?

Do you want to light a workshop with fluorescent lamps? If so, it is best to check the applicable regulations. This is because there are regulations regarding workplace lighting, with the aim of preventing accidents and eye fatigue.

Minimum light quantity for workplaces

Lighting standard NBN-EN 124 64-1 and standard NBN EN 124 64-2 prescribe the following minimum luminance levels (measured on the work surface or, in the absence of a work surface, measured at a height of 0.85 m):
  • 200 lux for refectories, changing rooms, agricultural activities, breweries and rough assembly work,
  • 300 lux for bakeries, machine work, medium-precision assembly work, fruit sorting, laundries, welding, garages, receptions, copy work, childcare, classrooms, auditoriums, sports halls,
  • 500 lux for first aid rooms, laboratories, control rooms, precision machine work, fine assembly work, car assembly, kitchens, slaughterhouses, product control, hairdressing salons, shoe factories, printing, weaving, woodworking, office work, meeting rooms
  • 750 lux for glass processing, material inspection, precision assembly, sewing, paint spraying, technical drawing,
  • 1000 lux for precision work, colour inspection, jewellery production, medical examination rooms.
  • In short: the more precise and accurate the work, the more light is needed.


The above luminance levels are measured on work surfaces. This is important for the placement of fluorescent lamps. Suppose there are fluorescent lights hanging in the middle of the room that give a light output of 500 lux at a workbench that is nearby. At another workbench that is 5 metres away in a corner, the light output may be much lower than 500 lux. So always ensure that lighting is matched to the position of the most important workstations.

Light colour

In workplaces, functional lighting is important. Ambient lighting is not necessary. Therefore, choose fluorescent lamps with a high colour temperature, which produce a cold white light. This improves visibility.