March 5, 2021
Outdoor Industrial Lighting: Key Considerations
The purpose of outdoor lighting is to enhance both safety and security, with a key focus on durability and robustness.
As you are aware, the purpose of outdoor lighting is to enhance both safety and security, with a key focus on durability and robustness. Whether you’re working on a building site installation that may contain machinery, motorised vehicles and contractors; or installing adequate lighting on a stairwell, outdoor lighting is essential for enabling quick and accurate work, safety and security and a good visual environment. Here, Red Arrow explores what you need to know…
Designed to illuminate pathways, entrances and outbuildings, external security lights are generally installed to deter intruders with bright and far-reaching illumination in areas that are otherwise hidden in darkness. However, it is well known that common causes of complaints to local authorities often involve exterior security lights. Well designed, installed and maintained, security lights can meet all UK requirements, but it’s important to be aware of the following:
- Glare – the uncomfortable brightness of a light source due to excessive contrast between bright and dark areas in the field of view, glare can impact negatively on safety. There can also be issues with glare where CCTV cameras are installed – the glare can cause ‘flares’ or ‘hot spots’ that can obscure the image, sometimes completely
- Light pollution – security lights should provide the minimum level of illumination necessary to light a building, without causing a nuisance to wildlife, pedestrians and neighbours
- Movement detectors – if poorly aimed, these will not only detect people on the property but also pedestrians on footpaths and animals, causing intermittent switching to create a nuisance and wasted energy
- Light overspill – don’t allow excessive bright light to spill over into neighbouring buildings and pavements, especially not into windows
Required for emergency situations when the main power supply is cut and normal electrical illumination fails, emergency lighting is designed to give a sufficiently high level of illumination to enable occupants to evacuate premises safely. Used as a general term, emergency lighting can be sub-divided into escape route, open area and high-risk task areas. However, every building has its own specific requirements of emergency illumination, so before an installation, consider the:
- Planning and design of the system
- Positioning of emergency lighting luminaires eg, changes of direction or level and points of emphasis, such as call points, fire alarm panels etc
- Periodic testing and maintenance
Red Arrow’s top tip: Escape route lighting can also be known as corridor emergency lighting and provides the safest and fastest route to a fire exit – and in accordance with BS5266, all escape routes must achieve a minimum of 1 lux on the centre line of the route. Products with IP65 rating are ideal for outdoor use or in industrial applications.
Typically used to illuminate stadiums, building sites, car parks and industrial areas – to name but a few – floodlights are useful for a wide range of applications to provide a large amount of light as economically as possible. They are also ideal for security and for high visibility in high-risk areas, such as traffic routes on industrial sites. Again, it’s vital to consider light pollution prior to installation, but for floodlighting industrial spaces, you should also:
- Determine the extent of the task area – will a PIR floodlight be more suitable for emitting light only when required?
- Assess the location of the floodlights – is illumination needed 24/7? Or would a floodlight equipped with a photocell light sensor avoid unnecessary energy consumption by automatically switching them off when not needed?
- Consider the type of light distribution required and how much light is needed
- Choose the light source and maintenance characteristics that suit the application
Red Arrow’s top tip: Floodlights are the all-rounder of outdoor lighting, ideal for virtually all external applications that require directional illumination over a defined area.
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