Paint Booth Lighting – A Complete Guide

K2ConceptsK2Concepts Posts: 13,336Administrator El Jefe
This guide will cover everything related to paint booth lighting from safety requirements, to cost savings options, to ways to improve visibility in a paint booth related to paint booth lighting, to what you want to ensure is correct about paint booth lights.

Paint Booth Lighting Safety Requirements

The most important thing to consider when evaluating paint booth lighting whether it be to add additional lights in an existing booth or to evaluate lights that maybe be being offered with a new paint booth is that they will meet proper paint booth safety requirements.

According to NFPA 33 (Click Here), the inside of a paint booth is considered a class I division one area. Practically speaking, this means that all electrical devices within a paint booth can have no potential for causing ignition of flammable substances. If you considering putting paint booth lighting in it must have all sources of electrical spark isolated completely from the interior of the paint booth. With pre-manufactured paint booths light will be classified as a class I division 2 light. A class I division 2 light is sealed and gasketed which prevents any flammable substances from being able to migrate and come in contact with an ignition source. This type of light is okay in a pre-manufactured paint booth because the actual electrical housing sits outside of paint booth and only the cover of the light and its bulbs will be exposed to the interior of the booth. Since the light will be sealed around the glass that faces the interior of the paint booth it is safe from being a potential source of ignition for flammable substances.

However, if you do not have a pre-manufactured paint booth and your lights will be inside a paint area where they can be exposed to flammable materials you will need to have a light that is class I Division 1 rated. A class I division 1 rated light is considered explosion proof, which prevents any potential risk for the light to ignite flammable materials. If you need further information related to rooms as a paint booth we will be posting a separate article shortly.

An additional safety requirement for paint booth lighting is that the light fixtures are tied into your paint booth control panel with a interconnect so that if a light fixtures glass is opened whether to perform maintenance or due to being bumped and accidentally opening the paint booth light cover the booth will not supply air to your spray gun which prevents flammable substances from being introduced into the booth when a potential ignition source is available.

Important Paint Booth Lighting Options

After you have ensured that the lighting in your paint booth meets proper safety requirements, the next thing to consider is options for your paint booth lighting. The options you select can help improve visibility and improve the amount of light you receive from the paint booth light as well as ensure that what you see inside the paint booth visually will match what you see in natural sunlight.

To ensure when your painting your product appears like it would in natural light you want to make sure your paint booth lighting has color corrected bulbs. Color corrected bulbs provide lighting that is equivalent to natural sunlight which will ensure that your product turns out uniform in appearance and has the finish quality that you need. In addition to color corrected bulbs, you may also want to consider reflective kits. A reflective kit for Paint booth lighting adds an additional 20% visibility by providing a reflective backing to the light which creates additional visibility from the same strength light.

You also want to consider the type of bulbs that the paint booth lighting will use. Two common options for paint booth lighting bulbs include LED or color corrected T8 lights. While older booth used other bulb styles like T12’s T8’s are most readily available. LED bulbs can provide significant cost savings related to the operations of your paint booth however they are more expensive initially. You can determine whether or not an LED light bulb may be better for your paint booth by running a simple calculator like this one here. (Click Here)

In addition, a final option to consider is how it is serviced. Paint booth lighting can either be inside accessed or have to be accessed from outside on top or next to the paint booth. Inside access paint booth lighting provides fast and effective change out of light bulbs and addressing issues that may occur with your lighting. Additionally inside access paint booth lighting allows you to not have to worry about leaving room for maintenance personnel to be able to get to the lighting fixtures on the outside of your booth. Finally inside access paint booth lighting will eliminate any risks that may occur for maintenance employees having to walk on your paint booth.

Paint Booth Lights Design Considerations

A final area to consider with your paint booth lighting is the design standards of the lighting. In particular, you want to check to see how many hours of use the ballasts are rated for. Ballasts can be expensive to replace and therefore you want to ensure they have a long serviceable life so that you are not prematurely having to do repair work on your paint booth lights.

A second consideration related to your paint booth lighting design is the number of lights you will have in your paint booth. Not having sufficient lighting can create issues in being able to achieve quality finishes their free of defects because without proper lighting an operator cannot tell when issues are occurring. So if you’re considering a new paint booth ensure that the number of lights being proposed is relatively comparable between different booths you may be considering. You also want to ensure the paint booth lighting is equally present throughout your booth. You want lights to be present around the operator’s knees around their head, and above as well at relatively equal intervals. Having an equal number of paint booth lights will prevent problems related to shadows which will ensure ideal finishes can be accomplished in your paint booth.

Ultimately ensuring you have enough lights, with proper options, and the right type of bulbs for your needs will ensure that your painters can provide high-quality finishes routinely.

Comments

  • WileECoyoteWileECoyote Posts: 6,392Member, Moderator, Business Ninja El Moderator
    I did ALOT of study on this subject. All good information, but just a few things to add...


    To ensure when your painting your product appears like it would in natural light you want to make sure your paint booth lighting has color corrected bulbs. Color corrected bulbs provide lighting that is equivalent to natural sunlight which will ensure that your product turns out uniform in appearance and has the finish quality that you need.

    5000K lights provide the best lighting for booths, the light is as close to pure white as you can get. Using color corrected bulbs gives you color matching capabilities, but that should be done OUTSIDE the booth. INSIDE the booth, you are looking for dirt nibs, runs and other issues. We tried other bulbs in the booth and they masked problems

    In addition to color corrected bulbs, you may also want to consider reflective kits. A reflective kit for Paint booth lighting adds an additional 20% visibility by providing a reflective backing to the light which creates additional visibility from the same strength light.

    We tried these kits and measured the light output from them. We actually found that the white backplate reflected more light.

    You also want to consider the type of bulbs that the paint booth lighting will use. Two common options for paint booth lighting bulbs include LED or color corrected T8 lights. While older booth used other bulb styles like T12’s T8’s are most readily available.

    LED is a much more cost effective option, but the "band" of light created by a fluorescent is much more useful when looking for imperfections. The points of light created by LED's are too small to show the issues.

    Lastly, we had a meter for measuring light intensity at the spot you were inspecting too (picture a meter used for shoots with models). The optimal amount of light needed to detect imperfections in clear was 90-125 foot candles. More or less than that was problematic, you would either be so dim that it was invisible, or so bright that it would flood out.

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