New light fittings can make all the difference when it comes to your space, whether it’s in your home, office, or even your cleanroom. Installing lighting systems in a cleanroom can be a challenge because of the air filtration systems used. Depending on the class of cleanroom, the ceiling may be covered with filters, leaving little room for light fixtures. However, finding lighting that works effectively with the HVAC system is only one piece of the puzzle when you’re looking to brighten up your work space. You still need lighting fixtures that maintain the integrity of the workspace, require little maintenance, and of course, provide appropriate light.
Cleanroom Lighting Fixture Styles
When choosing your cleanroom lighting system, the first thing you’ll likely select is the fixture style. There are three common ones, and choices depend largely on cleanroom class.
ISO 8 to ISO 5
For these environments, recessed troffers are most ideal lighting fixtures. There is enough space in the ceiling and plenum in all cases. Your typical ISO 8 to ISO 5 cleanrooms are pharmaceutical, semiconductor, chemical lab, and electronic assembly. These lighting fixtures provide just the right amount of light for those tasks that require sharp eyes and steady hands.
ISO 5 and ISO 4
These are moderately demanding classifications. For these environments, an open-area design, surface-mount teardrops light fixture is the most appropriate. These cleanroom light fixtures are mounted to a two-inch wide ceiling grid individually or in a continuous row. The aerodynamic shape of these lighting fixtures minimizes disturbances in the laminar airflow, which is useful for a modular cleanroom that might have a few different purposes.
ISO 3 and ISO 4
Because this environment requires a high air filtration system, there is not enough room for recessed troffers. This leaves surface mounted lighting fixtures as the best option. These lights are installed below the ceiling plane and are therefore very efficient in providing more than enough lighting for you to focus on your work.
Additional Cleanroom Lighting Considerations
Once you’ve selected the appropriate fixture style, you need to focus on the exact fixture. To do so, you want to know what affects the quality of light. Most cleanroom facilities produce or handle small objects, so proper illumination is vital. There are three basic areas to become familiar with:
- • Light Levels. Your illumination requirements will vary depending on the different process areas. You might want a fewest number of fixtures to obtain the desired amount of lighting. Your lighting manufacturer may be able to help you determine this by reviewing the layout of your facility. Remember that for most projects, there is also a need to minimize glare. Fluorescent cleanroom lighting is common, but LEDs are becoming increasingly available.
- • Housings. Certain materials are better to resist contamination and withstand rigorous cleaning procedures than others. Some of these materials are usually aluminum, stainless steel, or carbon steel. Your lighting fixtures should be welded or sealed shut. If your cleanroom needs to be hosed down periodically, you’ll need to wet-list your fixtures.
- • Lenses. For easy cleaning and minimal dust/dirt accumulation, lenses should have a smooth outer surface. Acrylic lenses are the most durable, making them the most popular. There are many lenses and diffusers available for each classification level. Lenses can also be constructed with radio filters to not compromise any electronics in a semiconductor manufacturing facility.
No matter which cleanroom lighting option you choose, remember your ISO class is your first concern when choosing the best lighting fixtures. Illumination, contamination, and maintenance considerations follow closely behind. With thorough research and understanding, you will find the lighting that is best suited for your cleanroom facility. For questions about cleanroom validation, certification, or manufacturing, contact Gerbig Cleanrooms at 888-628-0056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.