Manufacturing Areas – design considerations
Illuminating a manufacturing facility is a very complex lighting challenge because of the diversity of activities taking place and the typically long usage hours. This leads to many important considerations including light levels, energy efficiency and lamp management (using the fewest different light sources possible). Best practices for manufacturing, or production areas, include a comfortable level of background lighting (approximately 20 fc’s), coupled with task lighting directly above the specific work taking place, at a light level suitable for the work being performed (approximately 40-100 fc’s). Careful planning can often accomplish all of the above goals by using different light fixtures that all use the same lamp type. Additional economies can be achieved by incorporating occupancy controls.
The best ‘light source’ choice for a manufacturing area would be either fluorescent or LED. Both restrike instantly, have excellent color rendering, long life, negligible light depreciation and are energy efficient. US Energy Sciences has numerous, excellent luminaire choices using a fluorescent or LED light source, suitable for high bay applications (OHB, IHB, VHB), or task applications (FSL, VCT, FSH).
Tips & suggestions for better lighting design
Ceiling Heights – these vary widely and can loosely be categorized as high or low (15 ft up as high & less than 15 ft as low). Mounting heights 15 feet or higher generally require ‘high bay’ luminaires (OHB, IHB, VHB, MHW), while heights less than 15 feet are considered low bay fixture applications (FSL, VCT, FSH). Since plant activities vary greatly, fixtures should be suspended at a height that doesn’t interfere with normal activity, yet be as low as possible to maximize light levels underneath. The space above the fixtures will still capture reflected light and not be dark.
Controls – areas or production lines that are intermittently occupied can be an excellent source of energy savings with the use of occupancy sensors. With the use of either high/low, or on/off sensors, energy savings in excess of 50% can easily be achieved. Workspace
Environments – in areas where light output may excessively depreciate, use of enclosed luminaires (VHB, MHN, VCT, MHW) will greatly reduce the amount of maintenance needed to keep the fixtures working at their maximum light output.
Lamp Type – often overlooked are the improvements made to fluorescent lamps. At 50,000+ hours rated life, with 10% depreciation, the present day T8 & T5 fluorescent tubes offer a very inexpensive and energy efficient solution to many lighting applications.