Author Topic: How much light do you have in your lab?  (Read 1507 times)

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Offline Karel

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How much light do you have in your lab?
« on: January 26, 2020, 11:56:05 am »
In my lab I have barely 500 Lux on my workbench (after sunset and all office lights switched on).

For a normal office, 500 Lux is the minimum as required by the law (at least in my country) but researchers say it should be changed to at least 1000 Lux.
For electronic labs on the other hand, the minimum should be 2000 Lux according to regulations.

p.s. We are talking about the overal lighting, not including any additional lighting installed on your desk or workbench.

I have eaten the major part of all the bread I will eat in my life, so my eyes need more light... :(
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2020, 04:17:17 pm »
The normal bedroom light (LED) plus 5 x 5W cold white spotlights (switchable remotely) plus a desk light that's bright enough to use for aircraft landings. Lighting is switched on and off as I need it but the main light I use is the 1m x 1.5m window as I prefer to work by daylight.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Online SilverSolder

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2020, 04:25:45 pm »

I have a 2-tube fluorescent desk lamp on an articulating arm, which I can move into the perfect position for whatever I'm working on.  I couldn't do without it.  I haven't measured the light output - might have a go later today and report back.







 

Online ebastler

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2020, 04:31:50 pm »
p.s. We are talking about the overal lighting, not including any additional lighting installed on your desk or workbench.

Why would you discount those? I would assume that the recommended lighting levels for workplaces, which you have quoted in your post, do refer to light level at the actual workbench, i.e. including local light sources?

(That being said, there are also general recommendations against too much contrast between bright and dark areas of your workplace, so relying entirely on local spotlights is probably not the way to go...)
 

Offline Karel

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2020, 05:10:56 pm »
... the main light I use is the 1m x 1.5m window as I prefer to work by daylight.

And your boss accepts that? I assume that in Germany during the winter there's no daylight for eight hours plus the lunch break...
 

Offline Karel

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2020, 05:15:20 pm »
p.s. We are talking about the overal lighting, not including any additional lighting installed on your desk or workbench.

Why would you discount those? I would assume that the recommended lighting levels for workplaces, which you have quoted in your post, do refer to light level at the actual workbench, i.e. including local light sources?

(That being said, there are also general recommendations against too much contrast between bright and dark areas of your workplace, so relying entirely on local spotlights is probably not the way to go...)

Because ideally, light should be diffuse and should come from many directions. For example, nearby spotlights can give annoying reflections on shiny surfaces which can cause eye strain.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2020, 05:16:37 pm »
In my lab I have barely 500 Lux on my workbench (after sunset and all office lights switched on).

For a normal office, 500 Lux is the minimum as required by the law (at least in my country) but researchers say it should be changed to at least 1000 Lux.
For electronic labs on the other hand, the minimum should be 2000 Lux according to regulations.

2000 lux sounds pretty high to me for indoors lighting. I wouldn't feel comfortable with it for extended periods of time. But yeah depends on whether it's the overall light level or just at the workbenches.

I don't have a proper luxmeter, but using the light sensor of my phone - I have ~300-400 lx in my office room for general lighting at night time. But for bench work, I have additional lights that give me ~2500 lx at the workbench.


 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2020, 05:30:40 pm »
With the room light plus a pair of bench lights I achieve 900 lux.

The bench is on the side of a window, thus in the daytime I might add 100 to 300 additional lux.
Measured with a proper, although low cost lux meter.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 05:32:11 pm by schmitt trigger »
 

Offline richnormand

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2020, 05:42:19 pm »
My bench is in the basement.

Surround light from the ceiling gives me 350 lux or so.

The Luxo lamp with LED spot light in it gives me about 1100 lux (including ceiling lights) for working and soldering on over 3/4 of the bench area.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 02:57:58 am by richnormand »
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Offline james_s

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2020, 06:14:35 pm »
In my lab I have barely 500 Lux on my workbench (after sunset and all office lights switched on).

For a normal office, 500 Lux is the minimum as required by the law (at least in my country) but researchers say it should be changed to at least 1000 Lux.
For electronic labs on the other hand, the minimum should be 2000 Lux according to regulations.

p.s. We are talking about the overal lighting, not including any additional lighting installed on your desk or workbench.

I have eaten the major part of all the bread I will eat in my life, so my eyes need more light... :(

That's bizarre, they require offices to be 500 lux? My office where I work my day job is around 350 lux and that's too bright for me, I much prefer subdued lighting for working at a computer. 500 lux would be nice for task work where I need to see closely what I'm doing but that sounds obnoxiously bright to be sitting under all day. 1000 lux would be dreadful. At former jobs we had fluorescent lights and one of the first things I've always done is remove the tubes from the one over my desk, where I am now is all LED so I can't do that.

My office/lab/project room at home is around 300 lux with the light on and then I have a quite bright work light mounted under the shelf over my workbench. Normally when I'm in there working I turn off the main room light and just have the bench illuminated, the spray from that is enough to see around the room so I don't trip on anything. Additional light just competes with the displays on my scope and other instruments and adds reflection and eyestrain. I've never liked high ambient light levels indoors. When I'm working at a computer ideally I like a dark room with just enough diffuse light that I can see to not bump into things. The display makes its own light so having a brightly lit room is unnecessary and distracting.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 06:18:19 pm by james_s »
 

Online SilverSolder

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2020, 06:35:50 pm »
I just checked the lab area with a good quality light meter:   250 lux ambient light.  This is subjectively pretty bright to me (white ceiling, white walls, light carpet).

The desk work lamp is 18" wide, with 2x fluorescent tubes, on an articulating arm.  It casts 1300 lux of daylight over a wide area on the workbench when 24" off the table;  because it is so long, it doesn't tend to cast shadows (light from many directions).  It can get much closer if something really needs to be lit up - 8000 lux at 5"!   8)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 06:38:44 pm by SilverSolder »
 

Offline richnormand

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2020, 06:52:35 pm »


@James_s
"My office where I work my day job is around 350 lux and that's too bright for me"

Ever since my cataract operation (both eyes) I agree with you. I find that I am much more light sensitive now and that 350 lux is ample light for the general surroundings.
Blue and near UV light sensitivity is out of this world, like getting your 20 years old eyes again...

REPAIR, RENEW, REUSE, RECYCLE, REDUCE, REPURPOSE....
 

Offline m98

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2020, 08:12:00 pm »
... the main light I use is the 1m x 1.5m window as I prefer to work by daylight.
And your boss accepts that? I assume that in Germany during the winter there's no daylight for eight hours plus the lunch break...
We're not that far north. Apart from rainy days, it's bright enough during regular working hours. Main light in my current office is also rarely on during daytime.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2020, 08:28:08 pm »


@James_s
"My office where I work my day job is around 350 lux and that's too bright for me"

Ever since my cataract operation (both eyes) I agree with you. I find that I am much more light sensitive now and that 350 lux is ample light for the general surroundings.
Blue and near UV light sensitivity is out of this world, like getting your 20 years old eyes again...

My eyes have always been exceedingly sensitive to light, too much light can be overstimulating and makes me feel like I'm exposed out in the open or being interrogated by the gestapo or something. For whatever reason being surrounded by darkness makes me feel cozy, I don't much like wide open spaces and prefer a secluded corner. I suppose it's a bit like how cats tend to like to curl up inside those little enclosed huts. Oddly my first word was "light" and I've been fascinated by light bulbs and lighting technology since I was a small child, I like lights, I just don't like being in a brightly lit room.
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2020, 10:51:10 pm »
I have 10 industrial Organic Response LED light fittings each with movement detectors. Around 250W of LED lighting all up if everything is on full. The lights communicate with each other with IR and adjust their PWM intensities according to what I am doing. I installed them in the ceiling at carefully calculated locations to eliminate shadowing. I programmed the lights' behaviour using an IR remote control. I also have 96 mains power outlets built in the wall. In my office I have 32 mains power outlets built into the wall. Add to that comprehensive climate control, and I have a great ecosystem of for working in the lab and in the office.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2020, 12:25:48 am »
According to a calculator I found... 30000lux. That's probably not quite right.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2020, 02:56:17 am »
30,000 lux you are talking a cloudless summer noon sunshine.
 

Offline password

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2020, 03:55:16 am »
my desk light which provides 90% of my lightning is around 30W , although 1/5th of that shines up towards my ceiling to help reduce contrast. I have an ESP32 that controlls it , coincidentally i just ordered PCBs to improve it yesterday
 

Online ebastler

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2020, 06:09:35 am »
The lights communicate with each other with IR and adjust their PWM intensities according to what I am doing.

Now that makes me curious. How do the lights figure out what you are doing?  ;)
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2020, 11:32:44 am »
The lights communicate with each other with IR and adjust their PWM intensities according to what I am doing.

Now that makes me curious. How do the lights figure out what you are doing?  ;)

The lights know where I am at any time. If I am on the couch still, like watching TV, they will sense this sense the lack of movement and dim themselves in a sequence. The distant one dim first and only the one above me stays on for a while. They look for my entry into the tool room, light up to full brightness, then dim down to 5% after I have left for a few minutes. In the office, they stay bright for a lot longer, dimming after about 10 minutes of zero movement. In the lab, they say brightest over where I am working and gently dim further afield, all at a PWM frequency of a kHz. If I walk to a dimmed area, the new area lights up and the old area dims. The IR comms technique between luminaires was patented. There is no central server - it is all done by mesh comms over IR. The innovative product is great and very cost saving with electricity consumption.

I developed the R&D and production test equipment for the company that developed and manufactured the product as a contractor. But the company went into receivership and the investors lost a lot money. The lawyers and receivers involved were absolute lowlife scum. I think only a certain type of person can be a lawyer, receiver or a parking ticket inspector. Although parking ticket inspectors deserve a lot more respect because they generally treat people with courtesy.
 
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Online ebastler

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2020, 11:47:05 am »
The lights know where I am at any time. If I am on the couch still, like watching TV, they will sense this sense the lack of movement and dim themselves in a sequence. The distant one dim first and only the one above me stays on for a while. They look for my entry into the tool room, light up to full brightness, then dim down to 5% after I have left for a few minutes. In the office, they stay bright for a lot longer, dimming after about 10 minutes of zero movement. In the lab, they say brightest over where I am working and gently dim further afield, all at a PWM frequency of a kHz. If I walk to a dimmed area, the new area lights up and the old area dims. The IR comms technique between luminaires was patented. There is no central server - it is all done by mesh comms over IR. The innovative product is great and very cost saving with electricity consumption.

That sounds pretty impressive indeed -- thank you for the additional detail! I can envision that working pretty well, but would assume it needs to be tuned to the geometry of the room and the function of the different areas quite carefully, and maybe also to personal taste. (How fast do you like the lights to respond to changes?) Is there a graphical setup interface or such?

I developed the R&D and production test equipment for the company that developed and manufactured the product as a contractor. But the company went into receivership and the investors lost a lot money.

I hope you got paid for the design work before things went downhill! (Although if you were paid, that probably means that you don't retain any rights in the design and cannot publish anything?)
 

Online SilverSolder

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2020, 01:16:18 pm »
The lights communicate with each other with IR and adjust their PWM intensities according to what I am doing.

Now that makes me curious. How do the lights figure out what you are doing?  ;)

The lights know where I am at any time. If I am on the couch still, like watching TV, they will sense this sense the lack of movement and dim themselves in a sequence. The distant one dim first and only the one above me stays on for a while. They look for my entry into the tool room, light up to full brightness, then dim down to 5% after I have left for a few minutes. In the office, they stay bright for a lot longer, dimming after about 10 minutes of zero movement. In the lab, they say brightest over where I am working and gently dim further afield, all at a PWM frequency of a kHz. If I walk to a dimmed area, the new area lights up and the old area dims. The IR comms technique between luminaires was patented. There is no central server - it is all done by mesh comms over IR. The innovative product is great and very cost saving with electricity consumption.

I developed the R&D and production test equipment for the company that developed and manufactured the product as a contractor. But the company went into receivership and the investors lost a lot money. The lawyers and receivers involved were absolute lowlife scum. I think only a certain type of person can be a lawyer, receiver or a parking ticket inspector. Although parking ticket inspectors deserve a lot more respect because they generally treat people with courtesy.

Only about 1 in 10 projects become commercially successful -  you never know which one will be the winner.  Keep at it!   8)
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2020, 04:36:43 am »
The lights know where I am at any time. If I am on the couch still, like watching TV, they will sense this sense the lack of movement and dim themselves in a sequence. The distant one dim first and only the one above me stays on for a while. They look for my entry into the tool room, light up to full brightness, then dim down to 5% after I have left for a few minutes. In the office, they stay bright for a lot longer, dimming after about 10 minutes of zero movement. In the lab, they say brightest over where I am working and gently dim further afield, all at a PWM frequency of a kHz. If I walk to a dimmed area, the new area lights up and the old area dims. The IR comms technique between luminaires was patented. There is no central server - it is all done by mesh comms over IR. The innovative product is great and very cost saving with electricity consumption.

That sounds pretty impressive indeed -- thank you for the additional detail! I can envision that working pretty well, but would assume it needs to be tuned to the geometry of the room and the function of the different areas quite carefully, and maybe also to personal taste. (How fast do you like the lights to respond to changes?) Is there a graphical setup interface or such?

I developed the R&D and production test equipment for the company that developed and manufactured the product as a contractor. But the company went into receivership and the investors lost a lot money.

I hope you got paid for the design work before things went downhill! (Although if you were paid, that probably means that you don't retain any rights in the design and cannot publish anything?)

The lights respond according to how I set them up - in zoned clusters or individually. The geometry of the room does have an impact as does the spacing of the lights and even the windows in the rooms to some extent. It was state-of-the-art when they first came out about 5 years or so ago. I am delighted with these lights, excuse the pun.

The last revision of code had some rather complicated additions which I spend several days on - I never got paid because it all went belly-up. Of course any code and IP I had developed and was paid for is not my property. Not my problem if the receivers or whoever could not find any earlier versions of the code which I had provided the original company for each update.

Those are the breaks I guess. I now consult and provide smaller and regular invoices with 14 days payment terms, which limits my risk in case some company goes under. I know a bloke who was software contractor who was owed $80K by some company that went under and he never got paid. I learnt from his mistake.
 

Offline technix

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #23 on: January 29, 2020, 12:51:04 pm »
I have 1000 lumens from my bench light, a single 10W LED bulb from IKEA. Then a NeoPixel RGB LED strip at about 750 lumens. That LED strip is programmable.
 

Online ebastler

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Re: How much light do you have in your lab?
« Reply #24 on: January 29, 2020, 01:57:04 pm »
I have 1000 lumens from my bench light, a single 10W LED bulb from IKEA. Then a NeoPixel RGB LED strip at about 750 lumens. That LED strip is programmable.

That's the total light flux from the sources. The illuminance (measured in lux) will depend on how that light flux is distributed geometrically, i.e. how much goes up to the ceiling and into the room, and how big an area is illuminated by the light directed towards your work bench.

Also, take those lumen specs for the LED strip with a grain of salt. In my experience, these values are always hugely optimistic. Try switching between the Ikea bulb and the Neopixel strip (set to white at full intensity), while directing both of them at the ceiling. Do they really produce similar brightness (to within 75%) in the room?
 


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