Laboratory Lighting for Pharmaceuticals
Laboratories provide information to a broad range of industries and sectors of society. Proper lighting in a laboratory facilitates clearer results, error and hazard avoidance, improved communication, increased productivity, and enhanced employee health.
Optimizing laboratory lighting should focus on areas such as lighting efficiency, optimized area control for specific tasks, and backup systems for power interruption. Following these general guidelines allows laboratories to produce the best possible results in pharmaceutical research and production.
Laboratory Lighting in the Pharmaceuticals Field
Visual inspection is part of the development and production of pharmaceuticals. Dim lighting or glare creates the potential for missed defects and other human errors. The ideal brightness of lighting in pharmaceutical labs varies based on the application:
- 300 lux and up in sampling and dispensing booths
- 400 lux in production areas
- 500 lux or more in areas where visual cues are critical, such as inspection rooms
Specialty lighting is also necessary in pharmaceutical laboratories, such as sight glasses and explosion-proof lighting used for inspection within enclosed spaces that contain dangerous, toxic or explosive materials.
Laboratory Lighting Best Practices
Producing optimal lighting results in a pharmaceutical laboratory requires following an array of best practices. These best practices use effective lighting strategies and equipment to increase energy efficiency without sacrificing proper illumination requirements.
Natural and Artificial Light Integration
Besides being more energy efficient, integrating natural and artificial light is important for meeting beneficial for the health of employees. The recommendation of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is for facilities to provide sufficient natural light for employees as long as it does not interfere with proper facility functions.
Direct/Indirect Ambient Light
The use of direct/indirect ambient lighting that is parallel to work surfaces helps reduce glare, provides high contrast lighting, and increases vertical brightness. When benches or work surfaces are mobile, make use of alternative ambient lighting to eliminate unnecessary light vibration when moving benches and prevent wiring issues in lights attached to benches.
Increased flexibility and energy savings are two main benefits of task lighting. Separating task lighting from ambient lighting also allows users to target light on a specific task rather than requiring brighter light in the entire laboratory.
Lamps and Ballasts
Significant progress throughout the last several decades has produced more energy efficient lamps and ballasts. Evaluating lighting efficiency takes place on three levels, including lamp efficiency apart from ballasts, the combined efficiency of lamps and ballasts, and luminaire efficiency that does not relate to architectural space.
Daylight dimming offers a means of increasing lighting efficiency in a pharmaceutical lab. Daylight dimming senses the amount of illumination provided by natural lighting and reduces or dims artificial lighting in order to maintain balanced lighting and decreased energy use.
Lighting efficiency can also benefit from the use of strict zone control. This allows for general or task lighting control in areas of the lab that are in use while limiting or eliminating unnecessary lighting in unoccupied spaces.
Multiple levels of lighting allow users to enhance brightness for certain tasks or reduce it for tasks where additional brightness is not necessary. This is another means to save energy and provide better control of glare or dimness.
Additional considerations for overall energy efficiency may include automated technology that limits wasted light, such as:
- Occupancy sensors that turn off lights in unused areas.
- Lighting schedules that turn off all lights unless manually overridden. This is especially efficient for labs that do not operate around the clock.
It should be noted that these and other lighting innovations require light control calibration to prevent inadvertent automatic shut-off at a critical moment.
Balancing brightness on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces and providing variations in light color temperature should be considered for laboratory lighting. Uniformity in vertical lighting helps to reduce contrast and enhance visual acuity.
Pharmaceuticals Lighting from Papailias
Papailias can provide pharmaceutical clients with lighting solutions that are optimized for laboratory environments. We offer high-intensity LED lighting with optional glare-free and explosion-proof features, as well as various choices of sight glass lighting for enclosed environments.
Our products are vibration, heat, dust, and surface oil resistant for greater efficiency and longevity. Our lamps can operate continuously without transmitting heat into a vessel or sight glass. An extended lamp life of 35,000 hours helps save on maintenance and replacement costs. Custom optics from Papailias feature bright white light without yellow tints or hot spots, which is critical for visual inspection.