Industrial task lighting, by definition, is light that is needed for intricate procedure that require optimal illumination for safety and completion of tasks. Industrial task lights are needed is needed in many industrial environments that rely upon machining, assembly, molding, and even packaging.
Of course, a good number of these processes require a far greater amount of light than others. Building robots, for example, requires more foot candles you would need if you were putting auto parts together.
Some procedures also require optimal lumens output for safety purposes. Virtually all manufacturing operations that rely upon the use of heavy machinery for metal or plastic casting require superior lumens output and glare free lighting that will allow employees to monitor controls and to operate the equipment safely.
This is because both glare and shadows can pose serious risks to safety when working with materials at high temperatures and high pressures.
Industrial task lighting is found throughout the full spectrum of industries—particularly in factory work. Auto makers require these lights for the human-operated aspects of assembly. The robotics, computer, and microchip industries require the very best task lights that will allow workers to see small parts under magnification in order to assemble them correctly and quickly. The textile industry also uses these fixtures as well for cutting and stitching of clothing materials.
Factories are not the only places that industrial task lights are used. Although not as prevalent in warehouses, they are often needed in shipping and receiving departments in certain distribution centers. Depending on the materials being handled, tasks such as packaging and inventory management sometimes require better lighting than general overhead warehouse lighting provides.
While it may seem like an extra burden for warehouses to figure out where they will mount such lights, it really is not difficult at all. The actual physical form of many industrial task lighting fixtures is identical to those of other high bay and low bay ceiling lights. The difference lies in the higher wattage and lumens output. This make it very convenient for distribution centers to hang much needed, upgraded lighting fixtures, from the ceiling—immediately over work areas.
To be quite candid here, it will cost more to operate these fixtures than it will general room lights. Such is to be expected as the inevitable consequence of using lights that have higher wattage and lumens output. However, an operations increase of 30% or less is overcome by the profits generated by increased production and reduced liability risk for the safety hazards that invariably result from poor lighting conditions.
New technology has also reduced the additional costs of lamp replacement. Whereas it was once a rule of lighting that a higher wattage lamp it would not last as long and therefore require call for more frequent replacements, new pulse start metal halide fixtures have changed all of that. Lamps are more energy efficient and ensured with longer warranties—making them more reliable and dependable as long term investments.
For the foreseeable future, pulse start metal halide fixtures will continue to remain the mainstay of industrial task lighting. While fluorescent and LED lamps continue to evolve and promise better light at lower costs someday, neither yet can offer sufficient lumens for intricate tasks and procedures involving strict and tightly regulated safety protocols that require maximum visibility for success.