Proper paint booth lighting plays a crucial role in achieving a quality paint job. There are many factors that go into creating a well-lit environment, including fixture quality, fixture location and type of light tube. The following are a few things to consider when it comes time to select your paint booth lighting.
1. T8 Energy-Efficient Light Tubes
T8 light tubes are much more energy-efficient and cost-effective than its predecessor, T12, which are no longer in production. If you have an old booth with T12 light fixtures, be sure to upgrade your booth to T8 fixtures, as you will no longer be able to purchase replacement T12 lights.
2. Color-Corrected Tubes
Purchasing color-corrected tubes is a good first step to achieve more accurately matched color when painting. In terms of color temperature, 5000 Kelvin is considered corrected, or near sunlight. GFS paint booths feature color-corrected light tubes, including T8 Flourescents, T8 LEDs and T5 High Beam lights, which all reach a temperature of 5000K.
3. Color Rendering Index (CRI)
The Color Rendering Index (CRI) measures lighting quality, on a scale of 0 to 100. The closer the number is to 100, the truer the color of light is. Higher CRI rated lamps should be used when quality or color matching is important. Higher CRI rated lamps tend to be less energy efficient than lamps with lower CRI rating but will emit light at more wavelengths.
4. Foot Candles
The brightness of a booth can be measured in foot-candles, which essentially are lumens per square foot. A candle is the intensity of light in a given direction. An ordinary wax candle has the luminous intensity of one foot-candle. The number of lamps per fixture, type of lamps (fluorescent or LED), booth height and type of wall panel (galvanized or white pre-coated) all affects the brightness of a booth. If a greater foot-candle intensity is desired, light quantity, placement, size and options such as reflectors can be added or adjusted.
5. Clear Tempered Lens
A clear tempered lens on the light fixture allows for clearer, more accurate lighting. Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than regular glass of equal size and thickness. It’s also much clearer than wire-reinforced glass, which was previously used in GFS paint booths.
6. Energy-Efficient Dual Ballasts
An energy-saving feature, six-tube dual ballast fixtures offer two levels of lighting. When less light is needed, such as during prep operations, you can save on energy costs by using half of the lights (three tubes). Full lighting can be easily restored for painting operations and detail work.
7. Inside-Accessible Fixtures
Depending on your shop and booth location, it may be difficult to get at the sides or top of the booth to replace light bulbs. Inside-accessible light fixtures swing open to the inside of the booth, allowing for much easier light replacement.
8. Class I Division II Electrical 3rd Party Listing
We cannot express enough the importance of code compliance when purchasing and installing a paint booth. In addition to the booth as a whole, certain booth components must comply with national, state and local regulations. When it comes to lighting, regulatory agencies require that booth light fixtures be approved for Class I, Division II, Groups A-D.