Putting the Spotlight on control room lighting
It is proven that a control room operators surroundings has a direct relation to their performance; in their uptime, vigilance, output, quality and safety of the people and equipment they are monitoring. So we’re putting the spotlight on control room lighting.
Consider our seven point plan to light up your control room environment.
1.Look at the range of different visual tasks being conducted by each operator. Some will be paper-based tasks, whilst most are electronic based tasks, either close up or at a distance, for:
• Reading maps and charts as a wall display
• Reading vertical and horizontal printed material
• Viewing the video wall displaying CCTV images and information on large flat screens
• Viewing control systems, dials, alarms, document management, diagnostics, CCTV and other inputs on multiple desk-mounted screens and desktop equipment
2. The age of an operator should be taken into account as this will affect their ability to read the different materials required, so attention needs to be given to where they are positioned within the room and what they need to read with ease.
3. Dimmable lighting within the main control room should be provided, which will prevent reflections and glare off screens, and must take into account the use of different light sources, both natural and artificial, within the room.
4. Yes please to windows as they are found to have considerable psychological value to an operator working within a control room, linking them to the external world to the promote wellbeing. The downside of windows are the difficulty in controlling natural lights, so blinds, room and workstation layout and the position of equipment will need to be planned to avoid the difficulties of intense natural light conflicting with self-illuminating equipment.
5. Provide LED task lighting to all operators which they can adjust accordingly, for reading self-illuminating equipment at their workstation or when undertaking close up paperwork tasks. Thinking Space offer a range of LED task lighting options which allow the operator complete control over the lighting levels at the workspace. Our most popular model is the Novus Corona 2, which offers a modern two part aluminium adjustable arm which can be either clamped to the workstation or combined with a monitor mount column and has infinitely variable dimming. The recently launched Attenzia lamp is also a good choice for control room task lighting. Available as a desk clamp, column or freestanding, this sleek and modern lamp gives infinite dimmable features too.
6. Ambient lighting within the control room has found to enhance the wellbeing of an operator. Underscript LED coloured lighting is a popular choice in control rooms, as it provides a level of lighting below the desk surface whilst not creating screen glare. Thinking Space offer this feature on their control room consoles, and even the option for remote controlled colour changing lighting. Lighting rigs fitted to the ceiling with lighting reflecting down into the control room, also offers a similar concept as a mood-enhancer without creating glare.
7. Maintenance lighting is offered on Thinking Space consoles to aid engineers when carrying out maintenance and installations within the void of the console. Maintenance lights ensure that work can carry on within the void of the desk whilst the operator is continuing their usual tasks, without the worry of additional lighting glare which may disturb the operator.
By considering these points, the human factors relating to control room operations can be addressed as specified in EN ISO 11064 Ergonomic Design of Control Centres, Part 6.