To ensure a facility receives the correct quality and quantity of light, regular maintenance is required. Periodic maintenance provides a range of benefits from a cleaner and brighter workplace to a higher level of security and productivity. There are a number of strategies that are recommended by lighting experts which will increase the efficiency and savings associated with commercial lighting system operation.
A popular choice for managers who are looking to maximise the effectiveness of their lighting system while controlling costs is regular lamp replacement. It is possible to have workers replace the bulbs as they burn out, or managers can schedule the replacement of all lamps in a set group of fixtures. This could be one floor at a time or one area of the floor at a time. It is important that the relamp strategy being used suits the needs of the facility.
There are many reasons why managers should look at lamp replacement. One of the reasons is that there is a loss of worker productivity as the lamp changer moves around the facility. Research has shown that work will often slow down or stop completely when there is a light fixture that is opened.
When scheduling lamp replacements, managers will need to determine which areas are the most vulnerable to disruptions. These should be the first candidates when it comes to starting this practice.
Keeping It Clean
There are many facilities that neglect the importance of cleaning lenses and light reflecting surfaces. Most light maintenance budgets will not include funds for the cleaning of light fixtures which is necessary to maintain the desired light levels. One of the simple ways to ensure lights are clean is to have the in-house staff clean the lenses and reflecting surfaces when they change the lamps. New building regulations have created cleaner office spaces which is why cleaning when changing lamps is sufficient in most cases.
It is best to use a soft cotton cloth to clean the surfaces, but the cleaner needs to remember to turn it as each face can become dirty quickly. If you have a problem with static electricity, a small amount of anti-static solution should be placed in the rinse water. An inexpensive anti-static solution will be a laundry fabric softener.
If you outsource your lighting maintenance, there are a range of improvements that you could benefit from. Lighting management companies will generally clean the fixtures as they change the lamp. Outsourcing the maintenance will also free the in-house staff for higher priority tasks. Hiring a management company also reduces accidents as their employees will use lift equipment and you will not have to worry about storing lamps or have to worry about the costs of recycling.
Targeting High Costs
When you track lamp usage, you can locate problems such as vibrations or high voltage. This can shorten the life of a halogen and incandescent bulb. When handling the bulbs, workers should also take care not to touch the envelope as the skin oils left on the glass surface will cause uneven stress when the build is used.
Screw-base-type CFL or compact fluorescent lamps offer a major advantage when compared to other lamps. These lamps offer a long life of up to 10,000 hours which will reduce the costs of labour significantly. They also do not require an external ballast and can be used in the same sockets as an incandescent lamp.
Of course, there are some areas where you need to have incandescent lights which include halogen lamps. In these cases, managers have a number of strategies for extending the lamps life. The manager could use 130-volt rated lamps which are good for any higher-than-average voltage. They can also be set to a dimmer control which can feed to a group of incandescent fixtures.
When it comes to improving the maintenance of lighting systems and the reduction of the associated labour costs, maintenance and engineering managers have many reasonable options. The challenge they face is determining which of these options will help them achieve the goals of their organization while improving productivity.