Is there such a thing as a minimum level of lighting while doing work on panels and other such work?. The last few places I've been to, the panel or whatever has been installed in the darkest place possible in the building and usually there are no recepts even near the thing. Even with a trouble light on, I still find it hard to do some tasks in panels. One thing that does annoy me, is that any lighting that is installed near a panel, normally ends up with you between the light source and the object being worked upon, ending up with a big black shadow over the work area.
I think that the minimum light required is going to vary from person to person and tend to increase as we age. I used to always read Tom Block's columns in "Flying". In one article he mentioned how much more light he needed in the cockpit before he retired as a US Airways captain than in his earlier days. His vision would've had to be good or he couldn't have kept his 1st Class Medical, but he still needed more light on the instruments. Joe
Re: Minimum Safe Lighting Level?#150774 11/16/0511:04 AM11/16/0511:04 AM
Oddly enough, we are required to provide light for indoor panels (110.26D), but nothing is said about outdoor locations- which sometimes get dark :-).
Even so, nothing is said about what is enough light, or the quality of the light. As Trumpy has observed, you often end up blocking any light that there is- and customers / archetects seem to delight in placing panels in the darkest corners possible! (At least they can't put them in the clothes closets anymore!)
Lighting is a realtive matter; in general, I would say that it ought to met the folowing criteria: -Be similar to the lighting in the vicinity (so your eyes aren't forced to continualyy adjust); -Be at least bright enough to read a newspaper by; -Be somewhat diffuse or indirect, as from a fluorescent strip light; and, -Be essentially white, so that color perception is not affected.
Now that's all fine, but I am not aware of there being any rule. Some power pedestals, such as those used at trailer parks, actually have a light mounted on them. This might be a good idea.
I have also maintained that every panel ought to have an convenience outlet near it. I will usually install one. But again, there is no "rule" as such.
Joe, A tad off-topic but, Being a Helicopter pilot myself, I know what you mean. The instrument panel in the majority of aircraft I've flown have a back-light in each meter, however, only in really dark conditions can you see the real effect of the back-lighting. John, I think that building designers and Architects have a duty to provide us with an adequate source of artificial lighting for when we work on panels and other equipment. After all, they are usually the ones that have the say where the panel is sited, during the drawing of the building plans. I'm not talking a heap of expensive lighting here, just one fluorescent strip, perhaps suspended from the ceiling above the panel.
I'm thrilled if they provide enough ambient lighting in the room to safely get to the panel and the convenience outlet nearby. My eyes require alot more light (small fission reaction) than I could reasonably expect someone to build into the room. That's why I let my flight medical lapse several years ago but decided to get back into skydiving. If I'm going to fly into something, at least be responsible enough to not have a plane attached.
Re: Minimum Safe Lighting Level?#150777 11/21/0501:43 AM11/21/0501:43 AM
Worked at a power station with poor lighting in panels. We bought in a heap of peltz led headlamps. worked a treat with the head band fitting around the hard hat, very light weight and the 3 AAA batteries lasting 24hrs or more.