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Gradus step & aisle lighting

specification guidelines

The Building Regulations, British Standards and Cinema Exhibitors Association specifying the right Gradus product

The Building Regulations 2000 – Approved Document M

The Building Regulations and British Standards are designed to ensure the optimum specification of products through a combination of legislative requirements and guidance. The following extracts have been taken from The Building Regulations 2000 and British Standard BS8300:2009+A1:2010 and show how Gradus products can be used to help satisfy these requirements, and help achieve an inclusive environment in line with the Equality Act 2010. For further details on this or any other aspect of The Building Regulations and British Standards contact Gradus Technical Services on 01625 428922.

Approved documents are intended to provide guidance and much of the guidance in Approved Document M is based on BS8300:2009+A1:2010. The main points relating to stair and stepped access in Approved Document M are shown below, with supporting recommendations by Gradus shown in blue text.

Stepped Access

    • 1.27

      People with impaired sight risk tripping or losing their balance if there is no warning that steps provide a change in level. Use of a stair edging with LED lighting will make the steps highly visible when the ambient light levels are reduced.

    • 1.29

      Materials for treads should not present a slip hazard when the surface is wet. Gradus illuminated stair edgings are available with a range of slip-resistant inserts for interior use, both in dry conditions and where there is a risk of the steps becoming wet.


People should easily be able to appreciate where to place their feet by highlighting nosings and avoiding open risers. Use of a stair edging that contrasts with the surrounding tread/riser materials will help to clearly define the step edge in lit conditions. LED lighting will highlight the edge of the step when the general lighting is dimmed or off.

If light levels in an area are low, people entering the area from a well lit area will find it very difficult to see steps that are not fitted with step lighting.

Stair edging inserts should vary by 30 points in Light Reflectance Value (LRV) from the tread and riser materials, but less light will be reflected in low ambient light conditions, therefore the use of illuminated stair edgings will ensure the step remains visible when overhead lighting is dimmed or off.

Source: Building Regulations - Access to and use of buildings - Approved Document M - 2004 Edition Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.


Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. Code of practice.


Artificial lighting on a stepped access route

Each flight and landing of a stepped access route should be well illuminated, providing a clear distinction between each step and rise . The illuminance at tread level should be at least 100 lux.

Gradus provides a range of step and aisle lighting systems that in dark conditions, where light levels are below 100 lux on the step, will illuminate the edge of the step and provide a means of identifying the changes in level.

Permission to reproduce extracts from BS8300:2009+A1:2010 is granted by BSI. British Standards can be obtained in PDF or hard copy formats from the BSI online shop: www.bsigroup.com/shop or by contacting BSI Customer Services for hard copies only: Tel: +44 (0)20 8996 9001, Email: cservices@bsigroup.com.

Gradus Lighting Park Green Macclesfield Cheshire SK11 7LZ England UK Tel: 01625 428922 Fax: 01625 433949


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