If you asked anyone in the street what kind of outdoor lighting they thought would be most effective, they’d probably say it should be as bright as possible. Unfortunately, they’d be mistaken.
Although it’s counterintuitive, very bright light can actually create unsafe conditions while walking through an industrial area at night. Here are the problems overly bright light can cause for the safety of your workers and visitors, and why dim light is the preferred option.
Too Much Contrast and Light Can Actually Disable Your Vision
Think about working on your computer in the dark. Your monitor might be bright enough to see what you’re working on, but it can make it hard to see what’s in the rest of the room — even if the room isn’t anywhere near pitch black.
The same thing happens when you’re outdoors: you can see what’s in the lit area, but it’s tricky to see anything outside of that radius. Very bright light can prevent you from seeing all of your surroundings, especially when there’s glare from shiny surfaces. Navigating a parking lot can be difficult when there’s light reflecting off windshields, shiny paint, and the windows of buildings.
Another potential hazard created by bright light is shadows. Unless the area is entirely lit by floodlights, certain areas will naturally fall into comparative darkness. That leads to scenarios where would-be thieves can hide in the shadows to the side of cars, for example.
It’s true that the human eye adapts fairly quickly to light. But when it comes to the safety of your employees and guests, “fairly quick” isn’t good enough.
Industrial Outdoor Lighting and the Environment
When figuring out the right configuration and amount of light, many fail to take into consideration the environment immediately outside your own space. How are the streets lit? What about the alleys, or green spaces?
The areas outside of your industrial space might have much poorer lighting than your own. Outside of your heavily trafficked area, people may only have the occasional lamppost to light the way.
Again, the issue here is the creation of shadows. If your lighting is much brighter than your surroundings, it can create areas for no-gooders to lurk and put your people at risk.
If you’re building in an industrial area or need to upgrade your lighting, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Lean on CBMC’s lighting professionals to find the right lighting for your space. Get in touch, and start lighting your space the safe and efficient way.
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