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May 27, 1950


Author Affiliations


Professor of Psychology, University of Minnesota.

JAMA. 1950;143(4):362-364. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.82910390006010

Increased consideration has been given to school lighting during recent years. School committees, superintendents, medical men and architects are in need of a ready source of information concerning the basic requirements of illumination for school buildings. It is natural to turn to pamphlets on recommended or standard practice. The recommendations in these pamphlets should not be accepted uncritically. For instance, the minimum intensity recommended in 19481 for schoolrooms is 30 foot candles, although it was only 15 footcandles in 1938.2 It is pertinent to ask, Why the 100 per cent increase in a ten year period? Are people being educated to accept higher and higher illumination intensities? All will agree, of course, that there should be sufficient light for adequate seeing.

In prescribing illumination for any school, one should coordinate the intensity and distribution of light with the decoration, i. e., paint. The purpose of this paper is