Industrial lights are functional first and foremost. Aesthetics come second, though the simple elegance of pendant lamps has made them a common feature in modern décor.
What should you look for in industrial lighting?
Industrial lights should support whatever task is at hand. The best lighting fixtures allow you to turn the light to illuminate the space your working in. In the case of industrial buildings, industrial light fixtures will literally brighten the entire area. Whether this is lighting up a parking lot for everyone’s safety or illuminating the warehouse to minimize the chance of accidents, industrial lights have to meet the strict functional requirements of the job. Industrial strip lights need to give everyone in the area the same bright light without sharp shadows or glare.
Note that this can include environmental requirements. For example, street lamps must be able to withstand wind, rain, and hail. It doesn’t help anyone to be navigating a wet parking lot in the dark because the streetlamp couldn’t withstand the storm.
Energy efficiency is essential in industrial lighting. A warehouse with 100 or 1000 overhead lights is consuming quite a bit of power. Furthermore, the power bill comes out of the company’s bottom line, while you pay to replace every burned out or broken bulb. Paying twice as much for bulbs that use a third of the power is worth it. And high-efficiency bulbs will use far less power than conventional CFL bulbs. Combine energy-efficient lights with efficient ballasts and smart control centers, and you’ll dramatically reduce industrial utility bills without adversely affecting operations. Note that you can get this with new lights as well as retrofit kits that will plug into existing light fixtures in most buildings.
In the case of streetlights and other “safety” lighting, switching to more energy-efficient bulbs may allow you to go “green”. When you use the most energy-efficient LED bulbs on the market, you could install lights over emergency call boxes or at the edges of your parking lot and pathways without having to run expensive wiring. Instead, it could be powered by a modest solar panel.
The cost-benefit analysis of lighting purchases should include the expected operational life of the light bulbs and the fixtures. You can’t afford to constantly replace burned out bulbs, and the periodic dim or dark spaces are a safety hazard until it is addressed. This is why you should be willing to pay a little more for industrial lights that won’t break if bumped by a ladder or burn out after just a few months. This will dramatically reduce maintenance costs over time. Look for industrial lights that come with solid five-and ten-year warranties.
Industrial lights are regularly exposed to industrial hazards. There are applications where explosion proof lighting is necessary. Industrial facilities generally have a greater need for hazardous location lighting, as well. These lights must function perfectly even when the worst has happened. Nor can you tolerate lights that create a spark or fire hazard in their own right. Furthermore, industrial lights need to be able to function despite exposure to chemical fumes, impacts by ladders and forklifts, and often extreme heat and cold.
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