4 Fundamentals of Light for Industrial Manufacturing
By Torrin Greathouse | March 24, 2016
The science behind light and lighting design is an expansive field; however, it is possible to narrow the field down to a few key fundamentals to keep in mind.
Target Light Level
Depending on the kind of facility you are designing, the light level requirements will differ quite a bit. The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America provides task-based guidelines to ensure that the proper level of illumination is available. For industrial manufacturing, this is a concern because, without the proper level of light, workers will not have the level of visibility needed to complete their work, causing quality to decline and increasing the risk of workplace injuries.
The efficiency of a lighting system is measured in lumen intensity per watt. In simpler terms, it is a measure of how much light is generated per watt of energy used. This is extremely important in ensuring that a facility is affordable to operate. Inefficient lighting systems drive up electricity usage for lighting and can even raise a facility's heating and cooling costs, because manybulbs waste electricitybygenerating heat rather than light. In industrial manufacturing facilities, where the cost of operating heavy machinery represents a huge expense, reducing operating costs becomes even more essential.
Quality of Illumination
Different lighting solutions for industrial manufacturing deliver vastly different levels of light quality. Two elements of light quality which have a major effect on the safety and productivity of your facility are glare and light pooling. Glare from fluorescent bulbs or badly designed daylighting can cause headaches and eye strain, damaging worker productivity. On the other hand, uneven light reduces visibility, particularly when it comes to edge detection. This makes working with heavy machinery even more dangerous, which is why research shows that facilities lit with diffused natural light experience significantly less workmen's compensation cases than buildings that use artificial light.
Color-correlated temperature measures the spectrum of light that a lighting system provides. The spectrum of light affects not only theappearance of a space, but also the health of building occupants. Excessive exposure to blue spectrum light, such as that produced by many LED bulbs, negatively affects a person's circadian rhythm and contributes to insomnia and seasonal affective disorder. Broad spectrum natural light on the other hand, is shown to aid in the prevention of rickets, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and some autoimmune diseases.