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Keep lamps and fixtures clean to boost performance, longevity

Image of brightly lit industrial facility
Dirt buildup can decrease light quality by up to 30%. And it's much easier to clean lamps and fixtures than it is to replace them after their lifespan has decreased due to accumulation of dirt.

A cleaning routine is an easy way to get the most out of your lights

According to lighting engineer Dr. Cristian Suvagau, a fixture's light output can be reduced by up to 30% if it isn't clean. If you work in an industrial facility full of dust and other emissions, Suvagau suggests adopting a cleaning routine.

It's much easier to clean lamps and fixtures than it is to replace them because accumulated dirt has decreased their lifespan.

Here are a few tips to consider before you start scrubbing:

Tip 1: Check the manufacturer's cleaning guidelines before you begin

Some bulbs, lamps and LEDs require special handling. A few may even ban wet cleaning, so always check the manufacturer's instructions before you start. The manufacturer may even go so far as to specify the kind of cleaning solution you should use, such as degreaser, general-purpose detergent, a metal polish, or a heavy-duty cleaner, so read their guidelines carefully before you begin.

Tip 2: Take the proper safety precautions before you do the dirty work yourself

Before you get out the lift or attempt to clean lights from an elevated walkway, Suvagau recommends the following safety precautions:

First, gather all of the tools, equipment, cleaning supplies and safety gear that you'll need, such as a ladder, lift, gloves, goggles and a dust respirator. Then clear and secure an 8-foot work area underneath your fixture in case of falling debris. Be sure to turn off power to area and/or fixture. Next, remove bulbs and lamps and store them securely. If one breaks, use a broom to clean up the broken glass – never use your hands. And finally, always protect yourself by wearing a dust respirator when you remove built-up grime.

Tip 3: Clean fixtures twice a year, or whenever you see soil build-up

To ensure cleaning is done regularly, Suvagau suggests facility managers create operating procedures for staff, such as mapping out a specific days and times that lights are cleaned, and the steps required to do the job properly. Having a plan in place reminds staff of the need to be diligent about cleaning routines, not only for the sake of energy efficiency, but for fire prevention too.

Tip 4: Keep other surfaces, such as tabletops, clean too

Surfaces, such as walls, ceilings and tabletops should also be regularly wiped clean. Their reflection of light, or lack thereof, can impact the overall quality of light in your facility, which could have a trickle down effect, impacting speed and quality of production.