Illuminating Money – Industrial lighting
Similar to finding appropriate lighting for particular areas, like your home, it’s equally necessary to assess the type of activities you have inside and outside an industrial facility prior to doing some retrofit or designing the right amount of industrial lighting. The first thing to do is to check on places and areas in the facility that need lighting. It’s also helpful to be asking people on their impression of your industrial lighting: whether there’s too much light, or if there’s glare.
In addition, you can ask your lighting supplier to lend you a lighting meter to measure the amount of light in your facility. After which, you can compare your industrial lighting to nationally accepted recommendations. Daylight must also be taken into account when measuring levels of lighting. Overcast days and nights need adequate lighting that there might be a need to shift to another lighting system or delamping.
The Illuminating Engineering Society has the following recommendations of lighting levels for various activities: paint booths (150), corridors/stairways/restrooms (10-20), storage rooms (10-50), conference rooms (20-50), general offices (50-100), drafting/accounting (100-200), areas with VDTs (75), classrooms (50-75), cafeterias (50), gymnasiums (30-50), merchandising (30-150), manufacturing assembly (50-500), uncovered parking areas (1-2). For industrial lighting products, you can select from these fixtures: incandescent, emergency, fluorescent, inspection, wet damp and light carts.
Choosing the appropriate industrial lighting fixtures in your facility, however, doesn’t end there. You must also take into account the task of potentially saving energy and money out of lighting. Today, by using the best technology, a typical business ran in the U.S. can save 70-90 percent of energy used in industrial lighting systems without having to sacrifice quality of work and functions.
There’s much more to having an advanced industrial lighting system than its cost-effectiveness on energy. Eight case studies as reported by RMI (Rocky Mountain Institute) with the title “Greening the Building and the Bottom Line” stated an increase in productivity of the facility’s occupants by 16%. This involves the workers health and productivity.
Advanced industrial lighting today use high-frequency, electronic-ballast compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). CFLs use lesser energy compared to incandescent bulbs but the illumination produced is about the same. However, high-quality CFLs employ electronic devices called ballasts that boost their frequency to 20-40kHz. This not only eliminates flickering but allows the lamps to operate more efficiently saving cost and energy.
Whatever your choice of industrial lighting is, its best to count their productivity vis-à-vis utilization, and its effect on the workers and the environment.