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What is Work Plane

Horace He

Last Updated: December 26, 2023

What is Work Plane

Work plane refers to a specific surface or area where lighting is directed or measured. It serves as a reference point for determining the appropriate level of illuminance required for a particular task. A work plane is typically a horizontal plane situated at the nominal working height in an interior space.

The work plane helps determine the desired light levels for different tasks and areas within a space. By focusing the lighting on the work plane, designers can ensure that the illumination is adequate for the intended activities. Additionally, it is used to calculate illuminance and assess the contribution of different surfaces to the lighting conditions. It serves as a reference for determining the impact of various factors, such as external shading devices or configuration factors, on the lighting in a given space.

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The height of the work plane can vary depending on the specific application and is often defined by building regulations and professional lighting design associations. For example, in office settings where desk work is performed, the work plane height is typically assumed to be 0.85 meters (33.5 inches) in Europe and 0.76 meters (30 inches) in the USA.

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