Lighting the Way
the delivered light to the work space rather than overall
light created by the light source.
LED and fluorescent lighting are commonly used in
industrial machines lights. When comparing the two technologies, the key measurement is delivered light to the
work space; not the number of lumens. Waldmann Light-
ing provides the example below that shows, based solely
on lumens, the fluorescent fixture would seem to be the
brighter light. The fluorescent fixture, however, has a
number of light loss factors including ballast factor, ambient fixture temperature, supply voltage variation, optical
factor, and fixture surface. The fluorescent fixture’s actual
delivered light ultimately falls well below the LED fixture.
Once the actual delivered light target has been established, next is to consider what fixture will meet the performance needs of the work space. Will the fixture be exposed
to metalworking fluids and lubricants? If so, an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 67 or greater is desired, according to
Kaminski. The first number reflects the level of protection
from solid objects or materials. The second number reflects
the level of protection from liquids. An IP67 rating means
the fixture is totally protected from dust and protected
against the effect of immersion up to 1 meter.
“If temperature extremes are a factor, contact the
manufacturer to determine the maximum temperature
ranges suitable for the ballast, driver, LEDs, and/or lamp,”
Know your lighting specs, and partner with a reputable supplier to stay ahead of the game.
As warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and repair shops become more advanced and efficient, the element of facility lighting can’t
be overlooked. Industrial machine lighting is a niche but
profitable segment, as different trades need proper lighting to get the job done right and safely. Inadequate light
or poor installation makes a job site unsafe, and lamp
failure results in downtime and production lost.
“The most common complaint about industrial machine lighting is it isn’t bright enough,” says Les Kaminski,
Technical Sales Manager for Wheeling, IL-based Wald-
mann Lighting. “Insufficient machine lighting can impact
safety, impede proper setup, and ultimately affect quality
Kaminski recommends using a light meter as close to
the area to be illuminated as possible. Light meter mea-
surements will be in either lumens or foot-candles. This
will establish a benchmark for the current light level that
is considered insufficient for the work area. Then, you can
establish a range requirement for replacement fixtures to
meet the illumination needs for the application.
There are three types of measurements — lumens, lux
and foot-candles — that will assist you recommending an
appropriate lighting fixture. Lumens measure the total
amount of light created by the light source. Lux and
foot-candles is a measure of the amount of light delivered to a
specific area. Manufacturers’ spec sheets typically list lux
in three ranges: minimum, maximum, and average. Use
the average lux to estimate the light delivered to a specific work area. Another common metric for fixtures is lux
per watt (lux/watt) of delivered light. Similar to miles per
gallon, lux per watt is a common measure when choosing an industrial machine light to determine efficiency.
Remember that the average lux on a spec sheet reflects
Power Consumption: 21W
Lumen Package: 1350
Average Lux: 273
Power Consumption: 36W
Lumen Package: 2900
Average Lux: 160
Lux/Watt: 4. 4
BY MIKE HOCKETT