Work Lighting Ideas for Your Contracting Business

No matter where you work in construction, the right lighting is key. Light makes the difference between being able to see what you are doing and performing the job safely, or making costly and dangerous mistakes. There is a wide variety of lighting options you can use, from permanent light sources overhead to adjustable task lighting and wearables. Here’s how you can make an educated choice to meet your needs.

OSHA Work Lighting Requirements for Construction
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets requirements for the amount of lighting you have to have a particular space. It is measured in foot-candles. Simply put, you need one lumen per square foot to have one foot-candle. In most areas of the construction site, you’ll be required to have 3-5 foot-candles. This includes warehouses and shafts. For a plant or manufacturing area, you need 10. By comparison, an office or first aid station needs 30 foot-candles.

The average incandescent 60-watt light bulb has 800 lumens. To meet the requirements of a plant that requires 10 foot-candles, you’d need 10 lumens per square foot. For an area that is 1,000 square feet, you’d need 13 regular light bulbs. This might not be sufficient, but it is OSHA’s requirement for that particular kind of work. You can always add more on an as-needed basis.

Incandescent, Compact Fluorescent or LED
The type of bulb you choose depends on a few factors. Incandescent bulbs are getting progressively harder to find, particularly as a result of phasing out by manufacturers. Since halogen is a type of incandescent lighting, you’ve probably noticed that those are much less common as well. You may be able to use incandescent bulbs while you still have them, but find it difficult to replace them. They tend to cost the least to purchase, but they use more energy and burn out faster.

Essentially, you’ve got to pick between compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED). CFL bulbs were one of the first alternatives to incandescent light and they’re still pretty easy to buy. They use less energy and last longer than incandescent, but they pale in comparison to LEDs. LEDs last even longer and don’t present the same kind of hazard in waste disposal, since they don’t contain mercury. Now that LEDs are mainstream, they have significantly dropped in price. And since they use so little energy, they run very well off batteries.

Flexible Lighting Options
Of course, you can use the standard lighting options that you might have in any warehouse. Lighting on the construction site requires flexibility, however. Choosing battery-operated products gives you the ability to run them regardless of the power accessibility on the site, with no cords to trip over. Adjustable task lighting helps you point the light in the precise direction, with the ability to move it at will. For lighting larger spaces, you can consider light towers or balloon lighting to provide better illumination, especially at night.

Nighttime Lighting Considerations
When you’re working at night, especially during the short days of winter, you need to pay close attention to your lighting needs. In this case, you may go much further than OSHA’s minimum, with a variety of lighting options that can be turned on and off as needed. Keep in mind that in dark places, you need to light more than just the work area. Install lighting on the path to and from the work area. Identify possible hazards between your vehicle and your work area and add a light there, as well. Check the batteries and plugs during the day so that you can ensure they will not run out or disconnect and leave you in the dark.

Safe construction work requires proper lighting. Making the right choices can protect your eyesight and make sure that you are able to do the job correctly. To start your construction career, visit CSLS today!

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About CSLS

Contractors State License Service (CSLS) is the largest school in California devoted to the Construction professional. For over 23 years, CSLS has helped its students pass the exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California, licensing more students than any other school. From our main offices in Southern California, CSLS operates over 25 locations with full-service support and classrooms. We have grown to this extent by providing quality, professional services. In comparison, this provides 7 times the number of convenient locations than the second largest contractor school. Contractors State License Services is one of the only contractor schools in the state that is run by educators, not lawyers or people mostly interested in the bonding and insurance business. Contractors State License Services formerly operated under the oversight of the State of California's Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education. As of January 1 2010, the new Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) came into existence replacing the BPPVE. CSLS now operates under the provisions of the California Private Postsecondary Education Act of 2009 (CPPEA), Article 4 Section 94874(f). Our Mission is simple; We can help you pass your California Contractors License Exam. Celebrating our 25th year, CSLS has helped over 120,000 students pass the California contractor licensing exam to become licensed contractors in the State of California. Additionally, we offer complete home study and online contractor’s license programs to help you pass your California contractors license exam. CSLS offers licensing classes for all types of contractor licenses, including General Engineering Contractor, General Building Contractor, Specialty Contractor, Insulation and Acoustical Contractor, Framing and Rough Carpentry Contractor, Cabinet, Millwork and Finish Carpentry Contractor, Concrete Contractor, Drywall Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Elevator Contractor, Landscaping Contractor, Warm-Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-Conditioning Contractor, and many others. For a complete list of contractor licenses, visit and tuned for more informative posts.