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Maintaining Light Levels

Q. When de-lamping fixtures for energy efficiency, what are the methods of maintaining adequate light levels? A. The first part of maintaining light levels is to determine what is adequate and what is excessive. Adequate is defined by two components – customer preference and OSHA standards. As long as OSHA standards are met, adequate lighting is determined by preference although it is important to note unusually high lighting levels. In the case of unusually high lighting levels, setting expectations of lower light output (as well as providing an understanding of what is “standard”) is an important of part of long-term customer satisfaction and a way to avoid using less efficient high-output ballast replacements. After defining adequate lighting levels and setting reasonable expectations, two options are typically available: the aforementioned high-output ballasts and the preferred alternative, reflectors. High-output ballasts will safely overdrive the lamps to create higher light levels but consume more energy than standard ballasts. Reflectors are the ideal solution and project light emitted from the top half of the circular lamp back down into the workspace. This is good for dispersion as well as maximizing all usable lumens from the replacement fixture.