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Light it up! An electrical contractor’s guide to lighting maintenance in winter months

Posted in Lighting, Maintenance on Sep 28, 2018

As the hottest summer since 1910 is coming to an abrupt end and the nights are starting to draw in, we start to realise how much we take for granted, including light. After months of craving the brighter days and summer nights, the colder and darker months fast approach and commercial lighting becomes a significant area of focus in many buildings. To help you understand why and what you need to focus on when it comes to lighting in commercial spaces we’ve put together this handy guide on all aspects of lighting maintenance.


Why is commercial lighting maintenance important?

Employers and people in control of commercial premises are responsible for lighting and ensuring that it doesn’t pose a health and safety risk to staff. This is often the job of a facilities manager, but not always. Planning, good organisation and control are key roles to improve and maintain the safety of employees when it comes to all the lighting within a commercial space.

If you’re responsible for this in your workplace, here are some questions that you might need to consider:

  1. Are existing lights suitable for purpose?
  2. Are there any future changes that could potentially be affected by the current lighting? For example, building works obscuring fixed lighting?
  3. What are the monthly/yearly costs of your lighting?
  4. Do the shorter days have a negative impact on staff performance?
  5. Are employees/workers complaining of headaches and fatigue?
  6. Are employees are positioned in different places of the workspace and subject to exact different light intensities?


Which type of lighting is easiest to maintain?

Maximising the available natural light is the best option for staff, however, where this isn’t possible, artificial light in the form of LEDs bulbs offers both an economic and employee-friendly solution. Daylight bulbs (those with a blue tint, rather than a yellow one) have been shown to improve productivity and minimise adverse reactions (headaches etc). Plus, LED bulbs are extremely efficient and low maintenance due to their long lifespan.


Don’t forget to light up your outside spaces!

Whilst this may be obvious, good lighting contributes to our feelings of security and safety. But how many of you have walked out of the office in the darker months or after a late shift to an unlit (or poorly lit) car park?

Naturally, people feel most vulnerable in the dark. It is not surprising that police statistics highlight that there are significantly more burglaries in the winter. With dark nights and holiday periods approaching buildings are often empty or understaffed. That’s why it’s important to keep your staff safe by having appropriate outdoor lighting. Make sure the car park of your building is lit appropriately and timers are adjusted to accommodate the darker mornings and evenings. Good lighting outside of the workplace as well as inside will enhance mood and morale amongst staff as they will feel safe arriving and leaving work.


Always keep your emergency lighting in good working order

Emergency lighting exists to facilitate safe evacuation from a premises in event of any emergencies, or to provide suitable lighting in the event of failure of the main power supply. According to the Fire Safety Advice Centre, the responsibility for ongoing compliance of the emergency lighting scheme was handed over to the occupant of commercial premises in 2005.

This means that failure to either provide emergency lighting, or if existing lighting fails to work effectively can result in prosecution and fines under the Health and Safety Act. Test it regularly, check it’s still fit for purpose and call in the professionals if you have any doubts.


Don’t get caught out this winter, spark up a conversation with us at BCS Electrics to find out how we can help you with lighting maintenance and emergency lighting. Give us a call on 0113 2350416.