Building standards technical handbook 2020: domestic

The building standards technical handbooks provide guidance on achieving the standards set in the Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004. This handbook applies to a building warrant submitted on or after 1 March 2021 and to building work which does not require a warrant commenced from that date.

6.5 Artificial and display lighting

Mandatory Standard

Standard 6.5

Every building must be designed and constructed in such a way that the artificial or display lighting installed is energy efficient and is capable of being controlled to achieve optimum energy efficiency.


This standard does not apply to:

  1. process and emergency lighting components in a building, or

  2. alterations in dwellings or a building ancillary to a dwelling.

6.5.0 Introduction

Artificial lighting can account for a substantial proportion of the electricity used within a building. Appropriate lighting design (including use of natural daylight) can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and running costs, and can also reduce internal heat gains.

Conversions - in the case of conversions, as specified in regulation 4, the building as converted shall meet the requirements of this standard in so far as is reasonably practicable, and in no case be worse than before the conversion (regulation 12, schedule 6).

6.5.1 Fixed lighting

Guidance on the efficiency of fixed internal and external lighting is given in the Domestic Building Services Compliance Guide for Scotland .

The document replicates guidance published in support of building standards elsewhere in the UK and supports standardisation of the specification and expected performance of fixed building services throughout the UK. The guidance applies to new systems and replacement, in whole or in part, of existing systems. It also addresses improvement work to existing systems as a consequence of replacing components.

Common Areas of domestic buildings - controls to enable the safe use of lighting in common areas such as corridors, stairs and other circulation areas, are identified in guidance to Section 4.

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