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LIGHT UP LARGE OUTDOOR AREAS

From car parks to manufacturing and infrastructure facilities, there are many large areas that need good lighting for the safety and security of people and goods.


Outdoor lighting goes towards making public and private spaces more habitable, protected and safe, and helps with the recognition of people and places. Surveillance and protection of assets cannot be achieved without effective lighting of areas. Providing clear visibility in outdoor spaces is one of the first conditions for keeping them monitored, especially in the evening and at night, either directly or via CCTV.

When natural light is absent or inadequate, artificial lighting systems are the best way to provide good visibility. To respond to the plurality of functions mentioned above, these lighting systems must be designed and installed with care and skill, taking advantage of the variety of products on offer (light sources, lighting devices, mechanical and optical components, system engineering), and meticulously selected for their technical performance and high quality.

There are many cases in which large areas, within or outside built-up areas, must have floodlighting capable of providing general illumination, with good uniformity and without glare. The most common examples are seaports, airports, railway stations, parking areas and car parks serving large commercial developments, sports facilities or other infrastructure for social uses. Production complexes (industrial buildings, construction sites, refineries, etc.) often have large open-air areas for production, storage, sorting of goods or semi-finished products, and for the transit and parking of vehicles for loading and unloading goods. For all these areas, the reference standard is the UNI EN “Lighting of workplaces. Part 2. Outdoor workplaces”.

 

SAFETY AND FUNCTIONALITY IN COMPLIANCE WITH STANDARDS

When work is carried out outdoors, the issue of safety is of particular importance, and is currently a hot topic. The production activity may be more or less unskilled but as it is carried out at night in lighting conditions that are significantly different from daylight certain difficulties may be encountered. There is always the risk of accidents in industrial production, but these must be prevented or at least minimised by assessing the possible causes together with the seriousness of the consequences. Poor vision can be the primary cause of accidents or an undeniable contributing factor to dangerous situations.

 

THE ASSESSMENT PARAMETERS

In brief, the photometric and colorimetric parameters covered by the above standards are:

· maintained average horizontal illuminance Ehmed ;

· uniformity of horizontal illuminances Uo = Ehmin/Ehmed ;

· Glare Rating (GR);

· colour rendering index Ra.

Keep in mind that the illuminance values Ehmed are those of the system’s operation at the time limit for maintenance operations, therefore they are lower values compared to those of calculation. In the absence of reliable data, the criterion of adhering to a 20% reduction must be adopted. To prevent glare, the GR index is used, the calculation of which is clearly explained in the standard mentioned above. The colour rendering index Ra is a parameter to be considered when the work or service operations are heavy duty or involve risks of damage or accidents. In these cases, indices of below 80 are not recommended.

 

NEW GENERATION FLOODLIGHTS

The recent spread of LED technology in the lighting sector has brought, in particular, about changes to the types of floodlight lighting devices. Their power, reliability, robustness and variety of optics makes them the most widely used fixtures for large areas. Floodlights are generally installed on masts of varying heights or on building fronts. The most suitable optics are then selected according to the installation height, size and shape of the area to be illuminated. The use of LED sources ensures a reduction in power consumption and long, continuous operation with low decay of the luminous flux. Today, the most advanced proposals include highly flexible groups of modular floodlights that ensure each installation can utilise power and flux as necessary. This flexibility is further refined by the DALI system for interconnecting the lighting devices, enabling the systems to be managed with partial switch on options and luminous flux adjustments.

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