The days are at their shortest but that doesn’t always mean the work has slowed.
So how do you properly light a work site for work after sundown?
Improper lighting during industrial, construction and maintenance processes can be a real hazard. There are some situations that require work to be down outdoors after sundown that require you to consider bringing in your own lighting. There are several types of portable lighting available.
While most permanent or semi-permanent sites will have lighting built into them there are scenarios in many fields that require work to be done through the night to meet a deadline or avoid heavy traffic. Lighting is also a major consideration for repairs in small space and maintenance work where no lighting is available. For jobs like road construction, confined space entry, forestry, rail maintenance, and drilling, there is a need for a temporary light source as a matter of safety.
Outdoor lighting means little to no reflection
One of the primary considerations when setting up your indoor work space is that the light will inevitably reflect off walls and other surfaces compensating for a less powerful source and less harmful shadowing.
A few things to consider about your lighting choice are:
How often will the lighting need to be relocated?
Will the glare of the lights affect pedestrians and motorists?
Will the light be an issue for any nearby residential buildings?
Cost - which will vary depending on the type of light and the length of rental unless you plan to purchase lighting.
Make a Plan
Taking these things and others into consideration it is a good idea to make a lighting plan before you begin work. This will give you a better idea of what to rent and will improve efficiency of your preparation. It’s very possible that your local authority has standards to be followed when designing your lighting layouts.
Remember, you can’t predict a problem coming if you can’t see it.
In Canada, we measure our light in the metric LUX (or Lumens per Square Meter) though you may be working for someone who prefers the U.S. system of ‘foot-candles’ (Lumens per square foot). Different tasks will require different levels of light which can be measured with a light meter at the various work stations.
There are 4 main types of lighting available for construction sites depending on the requirements laid out in your lighting plan.
Portable light plant towers
A trailer pulled by a vehicle which has lighting poles built into it and is powered by a generator usually found inside of the trailer. This option is a simple and build in option for those project that may be moving on a daily basis. These lights are usually highly directed and quite powerful.
Balloon Light Towers
These lights come with our without their own power source and provide an evenly distributed and fairly glare free diffusion of light to a large area. They are like big glowing balloons.
You can also get the more ‘permanent style’ roadway lighting which is setup to be transported and usually is meant temporary sites which don’t move.
String lights and other plugin work lights
These lights can be great for smaller projects and even indoor ones which don’t require a ton of light and where an outlet is readily available.
A very useful thing to make use of is the lighting built into the equipment you are using. Often times the manufacturer will have considered the lighting needs of the user. This can range from headlights to console lighting to vehicle cabin lights.
If your doing confined space repairs or other detailed close up work where you only need to illuminate a small space directly in front of you, consider the humble headlamp. Investing in a powerful and durable headlamp can make your life a lot easier and safer.
Be safe and make sure your lighting is up to regulatory standards. If it isn’t and the work isn’t safe without light always wait until you can see everything necessary to do the job.
BUT let’s be honest, we would all work our best with this concert lighting, right?