Service Garage Lighting
Properly lighting a service garage includes fixtures that provide bright lighting with little shadows with excellent quality Color Rendition. The good Color rendition and bright light is extremely important to mechanics and service technicians to be able to see depth and colors to effectively work on vehicles.
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High Bay Lighting
Linear Fluorescent High Bays
Low Bay Lights
Choosing Service Garage Lighting
Much of the decision of fixtures is based on what type of servicing is done at the garage. If there is an excess of dirt and diesel fumes in the garage, we would lean more towards an enclosed fixture with a lens. This protects the reflector and the bulb from losing its light levels. A number of fixtures are available with protective lenses including traditional High Bay fixtures with lenses and several other styles of Garage Lighters.
Properly lighting a service garage includes fixtures that provide bright lighting with little shadows with excellent quality color rendition. Excellent color rendition and bright light is extremely important to mechanics and service technicians. They need to be able to see depth and colors to effectively work on vehicles. Bright light levels for this purpose would be considered to be 70+ foot candles at the level the work is to be performed. Excellent color rendition would be 70+ CRI which means the colors being rendered by the light are 70% or better on a color rendering index. The decision of what type of lighting fixtures to use is in large part based on how clean the service area is. A service area for cars will be much cleaner than a location that services diesel trucks or tractors. In clean service area it is possible to use open lamps and increase the light output of the lamps with reflectors.
If the service area has dirt and/or diesel fumes, open lamps get coated with dirt and reflectors quickly lose their reflective quality. In dirtier environments a fixture with a single lamp that can be easily wiped off or a fixture with enclosed lamps is a superior choice. Cleaner service garages enable the use of open style fixtures. Appropriate styles are channel type strip light fixtures or linear fluorescent high bay fixtures which are similar to strip lights but have 4+ lamps and incorporate the use of reflectors for additional efficacy. Both types of fixtures are a staple in the latest effort to save energy while maintaining light levels.
The types of light fixtures that work in dirty environments work in clean too. Service garages with dirty environments require the use of an enclosed fixture and preferably one that does not rely on a reflector to enhance light levels. An enclosed fixture protects the bulb from losing its light levels. Reflectors are never effective in dirty environments as they do not stay clean and quickly lose their reflective ability, reducing light levels and efficacy. The most frequently used luminaires with an optional lens and no reliance on a reflector are low bay luminaires or high bay luminaires.
While the choice of fixture might predetermine the lighting technology, understanding the lighting technology will also influence the choice of fixture. While everybody prefers energy efficient, durable, long lasting lighting technology with great color rendering capabilities, unfortunately it isn’t that simple. With each technology there are tradeoffs. Choosing the correct lighting technology is a matter of understanding the limitations and practical function of each technology, as well as the installation cost and annual operating expense. Other important considerations include color rendering, foot candle levels required, glare reduction and maintenance.
For additional information view our Service Garage Lighting white paper.