When it comes to lighting solutions, the goal is usually pretty simple. The intention of lighting is to provide ample illumination for visibility to perform tasks. When dealing with laboratory lighting, the matter of visibility is even more important to the tasks at hand. Here are a few tips regarding laboratory lighting to help you master this area of illumination.
1. General lighting should be recessed to avoid shadows
General lighting is the main source of lighting in the laboratory. It is typically placed overhead. While there are several fixture types you can choose, the best bet is to opt for recessed fixtures which are placed directly inside the ceiling. This will help eliminate shadows which may get in the way of productivity in the setting. It is also an easy to clean option. The great thing about recessed lighting is that it can be either compact fluorescent or LED, so you have some choices in terms of which solution is better suited to the location.
2. Focus your lumen output on task lighting
While general lighting is often seen as the most important in terms of lumen output and therefore should be the highest, in laboratory lighting you want to focus your lumen output on task lighting. Task lighting is any source of light that is directly aimed at a plane of vision where a specified task is being performed. If you use high lumen outputs on your general lighting and low lumen outputs on your task lighting, it defeats the purpose of task lighting. If you use super high lumens on both elements of lighting, it can be jarring and cause eye strain. A better solution is to use a sensible lumen output for your general lighting and then a slightly higher lumen output for task lighting to help create better balance.
3. Select vapor tight fixtures
Since some laboratories work with gases and chemicals which present their own unique challenge, you may need to consider vapor tight fixtures. These fixtures are safe against gases, vapors, and moisture to ensure the fixture isn’t accidentally damaged, or a potential hazard. Since some fixtures can experience not only malfunctions but actually shatter when exposed to certain elements such as gases or high temperatures, this is a great precaution against issues in this unique location.
4. Choose shatterproof bulbs
Even if you find the need for vapor tight fixtures isn’t necessary, shatterproof bulbs alone are worth the consideration. Shatterproof bulbs are designed so that even when they break, glass isn’t sent flying. In a laboratory setting where any outside variable can change the outcome and cause the study to begin all over again for an arcuate result, a shatterproof bulb is a smart investment.
5. Keep the color temperature consistent
Another matter to consider in this type of setting is the color temperature. The obvious choice for this area is to choose a cooler temperature over a warmer one with a higher CRI value to ensure a proper color rendering on anything being studied. Another good idea is to keep the color temperature consistent throughout the entire space. If task lighting and general lighting differ greatly in color, it can be quite jarring to the eyes.