How to Choose Good Lighting

Optimize the work efficiency is also the choice of a suitable lighting. All our tips to choose fixtures offering the best visual comfort and explanation of the standards and associated references.

What is a good lighting?

Lighting at work is intended to facilitate the execution of a task. We then speak of Visual performance. With a good level of illumination, the number of errors and accidents drop, Visual fatigue is reduced.The lighting must also ensure Visual comfort. In addition to the average level of illumination needed, must be taken to a goodquality of light emitted, a uniformity of illuminance, color renderingand the balance of brightness to avoid glare.

Effective lighting, to define the Visual requirements depending on the activity: Office,industry, mechanical precision, or even lab… Think to illuminate different areas, attendees, and the layout of the place. It must also take into account the quality of natural lighting and the induced energy consumption , while respecting the legislation in force and the specific standards *.

Direct, indirect lighting and natural light

The labour code specifies, through Decree No. 83-721, minimum lighting level for general lighting, on six large indoor and outdoor areas (areas, stairs, work area, warehouse, local blind…). Even if the premises are, to the extent possible, have natural light, there is no minimum level set by the law. Natural light cannot ensure continuous Visual comfort and lighting uniformity. Legislation and French standards advocate so installations mixing direct and indirect lighting of the premises and the work plan.

This double exposure, to get several luminaires. From the ceiling lighting (neon, built-in LED spotlights or ceiling light Tubes) is complemented by foot lamps, street lamps or wall lamps for indirect illumination. Some desk lamps are used to direct lighting of the work plan.Some lampposts allow double lighting : upwards, they indirectly illuminate down and their lower wall micro-perforated directly diffuses a light sifted on the work plan.

The comparative advantages of the three most used technologies

Incandescent bulbs are forced to disappear in favour of technologies less energy consuming. Here are the three most popular systems of our days for the lighting of working areas.

The LED technology (Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs) is ideal forpunctual lighting as a desk lamp or outdoor lighting. She brings all the light to read, to work on computer, to writing. Their longevity and theclear energy savings (up to 90% compared to conventional incandescent) compensate for a cold, white light and a high purchase price.

The fluorescent lamp, also called compact fluorescent light (CFL) or more simply fluo compact, is an adaptation of the classic industrial tube. She has the same benefits as the linear fluorescent tubes: excellent diffusion, homogeneous lighting close to the light of day, low glare, low heat emission and a consumption by up to 80% less than with one lamp incandescent. Mainly used in luminaires tertiary office, described as cold, fluorescent lamps allow, well laid out, excellent uniformity of illumination. They are also offered in warm shade.

Halogen has advantages: its very high brightness and the colour rendering. Its warm hue reminds the quality of light lamps incandescent. Disadvantages: low surface of illumination, the possible glare and heat. Its energy consumption is stronger than LED and CFL solutions.

The different measures of the lighting

The luminous flux is the amount of energy emitted by a light source in the form of visible radiation. Unit: Lumen (lm)

The illuminance measured the amount of light received by a surface. Unit: Lux (lx), 1 Lux = 1 Lumen / m2

The plan useful or work plan is the reference surface formed by a plan on which is normally work. In interior lighting, this plan is inherently horizontal and located at 0.85 meter above the ground.

The color temperature

It is characterized by the apparent color of the emitted light. Expressed in temperature degree KELVIN (TK), this allows to classify the lamps in “warm hue” TK < 3300 ° K (near warm light of classical incandescent lighting), ‘intermediate’ TK between 3300 ° and 5000 ° K (neutral white light),” cold hue ” TK > 5000 ° K (very white, bluish light). More the color temperature, the more the lighting level must be high. A general index of color in relation to the activity indicated in the application Decree.

* The links, standards and references

National Institute of research and security

French Association of lighting

AFNOR

AFNOR X 35-103: principles of Visual ergonomics applied to the lighting of workplaces.

AFNOR IN 12665: Terms of basis and criteria for the specification of illumination requirements.

The regulations in force

Decree No. 83-721 supplementing the Labour Code, in what concerns lighting of workplaces, and intended for business leaders.

The circular DRT No. 90/11 of 28 June 1990 on natural lighting and the view to the outside.The regulation is part of the Labour Code and applies to all premises assigned to the work and their dependencies, passages, stairs, circulation, deposits.

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