Turning Archive

Re: Shop Lighting
Response To:
Re: Shop Lighting ()

The other major factor that most people do not take into consideration is the quality of the light.
When you stare directly into the sun your retina closes down because of the intensity of the light
source. When you install a direct line of sight light source your retina will adjust depending on intensity
of the light source. If you have lighter and darker work spaces exceeding 20% differential between the
light levels your retina will continue to adjust between these work areas each time you redirect your vision.
This can cause fatigue and headaches during the work day. The tendency is to purchase the fewest number
of luminaires to provide the level of lighting desired. This approach usually ends up with a poorly illuminated work space that has various light levels throughout the work space. Installing high levels of illumination (foot candles) can also be counterproductive. Depending on your age and the type of work task being preformed usually determines the foot candle level of illumination required in a work space.

As mentioned before in my prior post if you can utilize diffused lenses or indirect luminaires you will cut down on the glare coming off of the fixtures. The glare causes your retina to close down requiring higher
levels of illumination to see fine detail work. If your eyes retina is fully open you can read a newspaper using (1) foot candle of illumination. A low glare lighting system can allow your eyes retina to be fully
open and allow for lower levels of illumination and better work performance.

Using a larger number of smaller wattage fixtures in a work space is another approach that will usually provide a better quality lighting system. You could install (1) 50,000 watt luminaire in the center of your shop and light the entire area or you can install (50,000) 1 watt luminaires and have really nice lighting.
The solution is a number between 1 and 50,000, working every day in a poorly illuminated work space can
be counterproductive and lead to headaches and eye strain. Working in a quality illuminated work space will allow you to work longer and avoid headaches and eye strain and hopefully increase a persons creativity.

There are Apps that you can install on a smart phone that will measure foot candle levels in your work space. There are also a number of software programs that can also be used to assist in design layout and calculating illumination foot candle levels. Some of these programs can be accessed and used on the internet, or you can use basic formulas provided by the (IES) Illumination Engineering Society.

Painting your walls, ceilings and floors a lighter color is an additional way of improving the illumination in your work space. This will help disperse the light into your work space in different angles better utilizing the light before it gets absorbed by dark surfaces in the work space.

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