Trends in ... workplace lighting

Light: ‘The essential ingredient of vision’

“Light is what makes just about every other tool and process work to its maximum potential,” says Scott Field, director of industrial/public safety sales at Coast Products in Portland, OR. “Safety measures, protocols and equipment are well-defined in the workplace context because regulatory standards demand this. But light – the essential ingredient of vision – can make a world of difference in whether compliance actually works.”

So, what are lighting manufacturers doing to help safety pros’ efforts?

“The most innovative lighting designers and manufacturers are developing new ways to leverage lighting dynamics for improved safety on the job,” Field says. “Versatile positioning systems – e.g., swiveling/rotating light heads and magnetic mounts – allow work in tight spaces or hands-free. Advances in optical technology provide focusing systems that combine multiple high-quality beams into one device.”

Added Tami Klem-Marquardt, director of marketing for Eagleville, PA-based Streamlight Inc.: “The growing use of rechargeable flashlights offering dependable, always-on illumination gives today’s industrial professionals peace of mind that light will always be available in darkened work conditions and during catastrophic weather.

“For situations when a charging source is not available, multi-fuel flashlights that also accept disposable lithium or alkaline batteries can ensure light is available – even when the power is out.”

Field said advances in technology have raised the bar on what customers expect from lighting products. “Today, customers routinely ask about power systems. In particular, they want to know about rechargeable batteries that offer convenience, cost savings and improved environmental outcomes. There is no shortage of interest in maximizing all three of these concerns.

“Additionally, flashlight battery systems that also function as power banks are in high demand because they make it easier to work without slowing down. Across industries, workers want in-the-moment flexibility to power up their devices without going back to the wall.”

To safety pros in the market for lighting products, he offered some words of caution: “To neglect top-quality light is to neglect safety itself.”

Compiled with the assistance of the International Safety Equipment Association

Coming next month:

  • Respiratory protection
  • Safety signs/labels

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