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Are there lighting requirements under the ADA?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | ADA |

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) creates numerous requirements that businesses need to follow. Many of them just have to do with accessibility and providing it to those with specific disabilities. For example, businesses need to have proper wheelchair ramps or elevators so that those with mobility limitations can still safely and efficiently move about the property.

But what about lighting? Are there requirements that the ADA creates for how lighting should be installed, arranged or utilized? Is this even an issue that could impact disability?

Lighting regulations

Yes, lighting does have a major impact because proper lighting can help to keep people safe. The ADA mandates that lighting shouldn’t cause glare and other vision issues, but it does need to be bright enough to provide proper illumination on ramps, stairs, walkways and other locations.

When it comes to positioning, the light fixtures should not impede people’s ability to move if they have certain disabilities – such as if they are in a wheelchair. Additionally, there are requirements for switches and other light controls so that people can reach them from a wheelchair. Buildings also need to have emergency lighting if there’s a power loss.

One important thing to remember is that blindness can be a disability. This doesn’t always mean complete blindness, but just a reduction. Proper illumination is very important for someone who has vision challenges, and they could be injured without it.

If your business is facing allegations that you have violated the lighting regulations or others under the ADA, sure you are well aware of your defense options.