Illuminating Facts About Facility Lighting

Illuminating Facts About Facility Lighting

When considering the types of lights to install in a facility, it’s important to determine where the lights will be placed, the type of traffic in a building, facility hours, the mix of building residents (students, patients, walk-ins), and sustainability/energy consumption.

Areas of priority for facility lighting are stairwells, exteriors, parking garages, or any areas where machinery is being used, advised Bobbi McLeod, Lumenal Lighting.

The dangers of poor facility lighting include security issues, personal safety issues, litigation opportunities due to injury or crime, added McLeod.

Large facilities, spread out over miles, may contain many types of lights, in buildings, and between buildings. With renovations and expansions, it’s difficult to remember the locations of hundreds or thousands of lights, including bulb sizes, and other components needed to maintain lights.

Many organizations are using facility management software to quickly locate equipment, artwork and other facility features in the field, support emergency preparedness, capture institutional knowledge, and accelerate onboarding new employees.

When facility lighting is not working properly, facilities managers and maintenance personnel are likely the first to notice outages. Their priority is to “change the lightbulb” and get their facility up and running again.

“The best time to install new upgraded lighting is before you have a problem. You will want to look at all areas inside and outside to determine what is best for your facility,” suggested Jon Puterbaugh, a Technician for City Facilities Management whose responsibilities include facility operation and maintenance.

It’s preferable to install new facility lighting during off-peak hours for the facility, but if the facility operates 24/7, then special arrangements should be made so proper lighting is still available while new lights are installed.

“Some of the most exciting technologies associated with facility lighting include daylight harvesting to conserve energy and color temperature selection depending on the day and the space. These innovations can improve the quality of life at a work facility,” said Heather Owens from Cundiff Engineering.

Some of the most exciting technologies associated with facility lighting include daylight harvesting to conserve energy and color temperature selection depending on the day and the space. These innovations can improve the quality of life at a work facility, said Heather Owens from Cundiff Engineering.

“Energy savings should be at the core of facility improvements,” said McLeod.

Facility lighting upgrades may include results such as a reduction in kilowatt-hours, energy cost savings, reduction in maintenance costs, utility rebates, and improved light quality.

Healthcare facilities managers face a slew of challenges including being aware of sensitive and sterile environments and minimizing installation interruptions to staff and patients. With their long operating hours and high-density electrical usage, special care should be given to what types of lights are most cost-effective in these environments.

One exciting development in the healthcare environment is tunable LED light fixtures that allow patients to choose varying light colors and intensities for different times of the day.

Brooke Bohme, the Director of Engineering at Children’s Health in Dallas, Texas, has leveraged her experience with critical building information to manage an in-house team who get down and dirty solving problems and doing challenging infrastructure upgrades, including lighting.

Being in a hospital environment with kids can be intense and stressful, so she’s happy to see things like LED lighting which kids can control with iPads -- making the environment more fun and engaging.

Appropriate lighting, without glare or shadows, can reduce eye fatigue and headaches and prevent workplace incidents by increasing the visibility of moving machinery and other safety hazards.

According to OSHA, in any dark area that does not have permanent or temporary lights, where lights are not working, or where lights are not readily accessible, the employer shall provide portable or emergency lights and ensure that employees do not enter those areas without such lights.

It’s clear that lighting is an important component of facility safety and facility management. While there are many options for what types of lighting work best in schools, hospitals and industrial settings, the fact is, once the lighting is installed, it’s the responsibility of the facilities management team to keep the lights up and running.

Facility teams can quickly locate lights requiring maintenance from their mobile devices using ARC Facilities.

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