Light it up

Agriculture.com Staff 10/02/2007 @ 9:00am

Relying on one type of light to be all things to each area of your shop may result in high energy costs. One of the biggest misconceptions about shop lighting is that it uses an insignificant amount of energy, says Craig Metz, vice president, EnSave, Inc.

"A good lighting design can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the life of the fixture compared to a conventional lighting design. When farmers make an effort to conserve energy, it adds up to a big reduction in energy use and pollution," Metz says.

Not only can energy costs be reduced but also frustration levels can be minimized, especially when working in a dimly lit corner.

There are a number of lighting choices such as high bay, low bay, T5 and T8 fluorescent. So how do you decide which type is best?

According to Bill Balfour, PFO Lighting, there are three things to consider when lighting a shop: ambient temperature, mounting height, and general vs. task lighting.

1. Ambient temperature. Even though fluorescent lighting is the most energy efficient, it doesn't do well in cold temperatures.

"If the ambient temperature is 40°F., T5 fluorescent lights will lose 75% of the output, and T8 fluorescent lights will lose 40% of their light output," says Balfour.

Metal halide lights are unaffected (to about -20°F.) because they are self-heating.

2. Mounting height. Balfour says a height of 8 to 14 feet can usually accommodate a T8 strip-type light (traditional channel fixture). A T8 high-bay fluorescent-type fixture is recommended for higher mounting (14 to 20 feet). For above 20 feet, he suggests a T5 high-bay fluorescent.

"The high-bay fluorescent fixtures have better reflectors to focus light down from a higher mounting position. In metal halide, I suggest a 250-watt fixture for mounting from 12 to 20 feet high, and 400-watt fixture above 20 feet," he says.

3. General vs. task lighting. How long will the lights be on at a time? For example, metal halides like to stay on and not be turned on and off. Balfour recommends you make general lighting sufficient for your needs and add task lights for specific locations where it's needed.

If possible, put banks of lights on separate switches. In doing so, you won't have to turn on all the lights just to grab something from one area of the shop. Also, have a separate breaker for lights in case a tool should trip a breaker.

A chart of the different types of lighting available for your shop can be viewed on the next page.

Relying on one type of light to be all things to each area of your shop may result in high energy costs. One of the biggest misconceptions about shop lighting is that it uses an insignificant amount of energy, says Craig Metz, vice president, EnSave, Inc.

Untitled Document

Product

CancelPost Comment
MORE FROM AGRICULTURE.COM STAFF more +

Farm and ranch risk management resources By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Government resources USDA Risk Management Agency Download free insurance program and…

Major types of crop insurance policies By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am Crop insurance for major field crops comes in two types: yield-based coverage that pays an…

Marketing 101 - Are options the right tool… By: 07/07/2010 @ 9:10am "If you are looking for a low risk way to protect yourself against prices moving either higher or…

MEDIA CENTERmore +
This container should display a .swf file. If not, you may need to upgrade your Flash player.
The Future of Livestock Production
Agriculture.com

FREE MEMBERSHIP!

CLOSE [X]