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Manufacturing / Factory Facilities

In areas where work is carried out by machines, the lighting must be bright enough to guarantee the safety of the employees. The only areas that don’t need many foot candles are storage areas where machines and machine in-feeds are kept (5-10 foot candles are enough). However, areas with machines for printing and machines that process sheet metal need between 50-100 foot candles.

In industrial and manufacturing plants where large items are produced or assembled, 30 foot candles are sufficient. But in areas where fine products and materials are manufactured, 100 foot candles are needed.

These four questions can help you to assess whether the lighting in a machining facility is adequate.

1.       Are there shadows cast on the machines that may endanger the safety of the employees?
2.       Do employees experience visual strain when the lights are on?
3.       Are all machine parts visible to the workers?
4.       Can the lights operate for long periods without losing their brightness?

Two common problems related to machine lighting include contrast levels and odd angles. Big machines have different shapes and some of their features – like deep indentations and large levers – can hinder light beams from fully lighting up some areas.

Electrical professionals must install light fixtures that discharge light horizontally or powerful luminaries near the areas that cannot be illuminated by overhead fixtures. To ensure high contrast levels, industrial machines that print labels must have different types of lights: overhead lights (for general illumination), diffused light (to create an even background for reading codes) and infrared light (to neutralize components that contrast). 

Painting and Color Matching Facilities

These facilities have high lighting requirements because of the intricate nature of work carried out in them. But as with other locations, the activities performed in the spaces will dictate the foot candles required. Painting facilities support 100-150 foot candles and the lighting fixtures must be placed at a height of three feet. In areas where regular hand painting and simple spraying are done, 20-50 foot candles are enough. But in areas where fine hand painting and finishing are performed, between 50-500 foot candles are needed, depending on how complex the tasks are.

These six questions can help you to figure out whether the lighting in a facility is sufficient.

1.       Can workers read documents and labels without straining their eyes?
2.       Are colors easy to identify?
3.       Does the room have inconsistent lighting?
4.       Can machines and other equipment be operated safely in the space?
5.       Are workers affected by glare as they perform different tasks?
6.       Do the lighting conditions cause shadows or dark spots?

CRI (Color Rendering Index) and color temperature (which is measured in Kelvin) play a big role in painting and color matching facilities. These facilities should also have white walls, floors, and ceilings to enhance light reflection.

Lighting specialists should use the industrial lighting guidelines for companies that specialize in this work to ensure there is sufficient illumination for tasks to be performed effortlessly.


How much do you need?

The best and safest way to proceed is to run a software process called a light photometric. Using your layout and light locations, a photometric can simulate how your space will look when you convert over to LED lights. Purchasing a light meter or installing a light meter app on your smart phone will allow you to determine how much light you have now. MyLEDLightingGuide can provide you with a FREE photometric study before you purchase

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