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Industrial Lighting: Dos and Don

Industrial facilities and commercial spaces require adequate lighting for safety, productivity, and employee comfort. Check out this post for a few key dos and don'ts. 


These tips can help you acheive a safe and productive work environment.

  • Do: Minimize glare with the right colours and the correct balance of matte and glossy finishes

According to the Canadian Centre For Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS):  “reflections of objects, shiny walls, and any light source (specifically windows and overhead lighting) all cause glare.” Workspaces with computers or other screens may also be susceptible to glare.

Glare can cause:

  • Eye discomfort
  • The user to move into an awkward position as they try to avoid having the glare in their eyes, which can result in aches and pain
  • Workplace accidents in areas where high amounts of precision are required, or when a hazard needs to be seen and reacted to quickly
  • Do: Optimize your lighting controls

Lighting controls can add efficiency, safety, and productivity to your workplace. There are a wide variety of lighting controls, like occupancy sensors, timers, or daylight sensors. The right combination of lighting controls should ensure that the lighting levels can be kept at the optimum levels year-round. Additionally, occupancy sensors can save energy when a space is not in use.

Larger industrial spaces can also benefit from lighting control systems, which are network-based. These lighting control systems can be controlled manually or automatically through a single central user interface.

  • Do: Factor in maintenance costs when relamping

When choosing the best type of lighting for your building, it’s important to factor in not just the up-front pricing, but the long-terms costs associated with maintenance and upkeep. In some cases, it can be more efficient in the long run to replace outdated fluorescent or metal halide lamps with LED ones which require less frequent replacements and aren’t as susceptible to dimming. This is especially true when lights are installed in difficult-to-access areas. Lifetime ratings on LED lights can give you an idea of the lamp’s lifespan.



Avoiding these pitfalls can minimize hazards, increase employee satisfaction, and save you money. 

  • Don’t: Confuse a light’s “Rated Life” with its “Lumen Maintenance Life”

These terms are so similar that they are easy to confuse. However, failing to understand the difference can result in the purchase of lamps that are dimming much too quickly only a few years into their supposedly long lifespans!

Rated Life is the median operational life of a lamp. The point of light failure is considered to be the end of the operational life.

Lumen Maintenance Life, however, refers to how long it takes a light to dim a certain percentage relative to its original brightness level.

Sounds tricky, right? Here’s an example: A light with a measure of L70 of 30 000 hours means that after 30 000 hours, the light will be 70% as bright as it was at the start. A light with an L90 of 30 000 hours would be 90% as bright as it was when you first purchased it after 30 000 hours.

  • Don’t: Forget to pay attention to beam width

Lights with beams that are too narrow or that are spaced too far apart can create an appealing and even hazardous atmosphere. It’s the indoor equivalent of the “zebra effect” that can occur with streetlights, wherein there are strips of dark spaces between pools of light. This can make it difficult for employees to see hazards, and can also cause eye strain as they must adjust to starkly different lighting levels within the same room. That’s why, in addition to brightness specifications, it’s key to ensure that your lights have a wide enough beam and are placed the correct distance apart.


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Armed with these do’s and don’ts, you’ll be ready to take on your lighting installation or relamping. Want to talk to an expert? Call us at 403-863-8529 or use our online contact form below.

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