When working in a laboratory, lighting is a crucial element that allows you to do the work effectively. Lighting needs to be bright and efficient without being overly harsh to ensure a productive, safe working environment conducive to research efforts. Here are a few tips to help you find the best lighting for laboratories.
The two main types of lighting for this location are general lighting and task lighting. Let’s take a look at both to find tips for the best lighting for laboratories.
- The Illumination Engineering Society (IES) has put forth certain requirements for laboratory lighting that we can use as guidelines. The general suggestion for general lighting from IES is to be within a range of 50-70 foot candles. Obviously, this figure will change based on your location size, but this is a general guideline to help determine the amount of lumen output you should seek with general lighting solutions.
- When choosing general lighting, you want it to be bright enough to provide overall illumination, but not so bright that it is overpowering. A good way to think of general lighting is that it should be bright, but your task lighting should be brighter. It is key to balance the two lighting types out for a successful laboratory environment.
- For general lighting, you want to choose options that are high mounted for the most widespread illumination scope. A good choice would be recessed or surface mounted lighting. You want to avoid harshness so a diffuser lens should be part of the fixture for a laboratory setting. This will allow the light to be more evenly distributed and avoid shadows.
- Task lighting should be bright. This is the lighting that will be used directly over work spaces so visibility is key. You want this light to be brighter than your general lighting so whatever lumen output you have for your general lighting, consider opting for a slightly higher lumen output for this area.
- Lumen output is not the only way to ensure proper visibility with task lighting. The other thing that affects task lighting effectiveness is the proximity of the light to the workspace. For this type of lighting, choose lighting solutions that are easy to direct to one focal point, lower pendant mounted lights, or other lights that can be adjusted to move them closer to the work plane as needed.
- For task lighting, it is essential to find lighting solutions that are free from glare. A glare can greatly impact results or work ability so opt for glare reducing fixtures such as those with diffusers, reflectors, and LEDs which naturally have less glare.
When it comes to finding the best lighting for laboratories, there are many options on the market. Using these tips and focusing on the two types of lighting needs will help you narrow down the field to find the right solutions for your needs.
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