Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4


KAO CHEN Fellow, IEEE Carlsons Consulting Engineers San Diego, California


RUDY T. ELAM Member, IEEE Calspan CorporatiodAEDC Operations Arnold Engineering Development Center Arnold Air Force Base, TN 37389


The selection of illuminating systems and equip- ment for industrial control rooms should be based on criteria set forth in previous lead papers for the project. Therefore, a brief review of the most impor- tant criteria would be in order.

We might also qualify the term “control room,” since it can be subject to much conjecture. The indus- trial control room is really a process control room that houses monitoring instruments, programmable controllers, switching devices, VDTs, printers, PCs and maybe office furniture components. Satisfactory illumination is a key component of this environment in which operators or station keepers work to ensure high productivity, safety, and overall effectiveness of the operation.


Illumination Levels

Typically 20-40 fc of general illumination should be the maximum, provided by high-quality, con- trolled brightness luminares with task lighting sup- plemented where needed.

Luminance and Luminance Contrast

Luminance ratios are important to good visual performance and comfort. Zone luminance values within the “Task Surround” should not be greater than three times that of the task, or less than one- third the task level. These recommendations may be on the conservative side, but do provide a useful guideline. CIE standards suggest that direct lumi- nance at 50 deg from vertical or above should not exceed 66 fL for rooms with high VDT use. This standard might eliminate 90 percent of all luminares currently sold in the U. S. At the present time, we suggest a maximum of 250 fL at 65 deg with 250 fL at 55 deg as an optimum condition. A 35-deg optical cutoff angle will normally eliminate indirect glare. If screen brightness is 15 fL,maximum ceiling bright-

ness should not exceed 150 fL.A 10-to-1 uniformity ratio should be the maximum variance. A 4-to-1 ratio is more desirable and is achievable with appro- priate luminares, luminance spacings, and proper distance between luminare and ceiling.

The ratio of the ceiling luminance between lumi- nares should preferably not exceed 4 to 1,and should never exceed 10 to 1. Since a maximum luminance of 850 candelas per square meter is recommended for the ceiling, the same recommendation is made for any downward luminous components of the luminare.


There are four basic systems in common use for large room environments; however, each of the sys- tems has drawbacks as discussed in the following text.

Ceiling-Mounted Fluorescent Lighting

This type of lighting fills the entire ceiling with closely spaced lamps behind louvers, plastic or glass sheets, i.e., the so-called luminous ceiling. This sys- tem is no longer a reasonable alternative in today’s energy-conscious society. Further, a luminous ceil- ing of sufficient brightness to provide adequate task illumination will produce an undesirable image or “vei1”onthe VDT.

Ceiling-Mounted or Pendant-Mounted Lighting Fixtures

These lighting fixtures are not limited to troffers. When lensed for the purpose of dispensing light over a wide area, the result is excessive bright- ness or glare, which contributes to discomfort and inhibits the ability to see. In addition, such fixtures are frequently imaged in the VDT screen.

Ceiling-Mounted Shielded Fixtures

Ceiling-mounted shielded fixtures are shielded with lenses that narrow the light distribution by con-

The research reported herein was performed by the principals noted in the reference section. Applications and analysis were performed at Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Air Force Materiel Command by personnel of Calspan Corporation/AEDC Operations, technical services contractor for the AEDC aerospace flight dynamics facilities Further reproduction is authorized to satisfy needs of the U. S. Government.

0-7803-1993-1194$4.00 0 1994IEEE


centrating it in a downward cone approximating 90 deg. This type of fixture does leave the ceiling much darker than walls or vertical panels.



These fixtures provide another alternative. If they are bright enough to provide adequate light on the keyboard, desk etc., they are brightly imaged in the VDT screen, also.

From the above, it can be concluded that ceiling- mounted systems simply do not work well for the control room-type environment. It is also evident that conventional lighting systems and commercial luminares do not meet the flux distribution require- ments for industrial control rooms.










To optimize the flux distribution requirements for industrial control rooms, a good approach would be the use of local or zone directional lighting for the instrument visual display and diffused lighting from the ceiling for the area, or ambient lighting.

Directional lighting may be from recessed troffers which follow the general contour of the con- trol board. The luminares must be precisely located to keep reflected light away from the glare zone. Luminares suitable for these applications are usu- ally specially designed asymmetrical parabolic spec- ular reflectors which present a uniform direct lumi- nance of about 25 fc on the board.

Diffused lighting may be from low-luminance, luminous indirect lighting equipment, solid lumi- nous plastic ceilings, or louvered ceilings. The lumi- nance of a diffused ceiling reflects light in all direc- tions and will probably be seen reflected in a VDT; however, the luminance is relatively low and will riot reduce the contrast significantly between the VDT characters and their background.

In a research study project, three systems were installed. They were, namely, cove lighting, louvered luminous ceiling, and uplighting. By definition, cove lighting is comprised of sources shielded by a ledge or horizontal recess, and distributes light over the ceiling and upper vertical wall. In this case, the ceil- ing was used as a reflector to provide the diffusion of light. The study concluded that cove lighting emerged as the best system among the three, although the assessments for all three are on the positive side. Further, the study leads to a conclusion that indirect diffused lighting will be the desired system.

Figure 1 shows the application of ceiling- mounted shielded fixtures in a modern control room.


Kotice the reflection at upper left on the vertical board. The lack of supplementary directional light-

ing following the contour of the control board is very

noticeable. Uniform design using only area direc- tional lighting required relocation of one fixture to eliminate glare. Otherwise, the lighting quality is adequate.


In a typical industrial control room, the task can generally be divided into two distinct areas: the control boards and the outlying perimeter as shown in Fig. 2. The control board consists of a variety of visual display units, namely meters, scales, VDTs, etc. as in Fig. 3.

A “coffer” system would be recommended for the control board area because it is easier to relamp and clean. To minirnize reflected glare in the area, the standard luminare would require some modifications:

1. the standard housing should be deepened 4 in. to allow the lamps to be mounted further from the lens;

2. a cube parabolic lens should be used in the


3. a white opaque diffuser should be installed

above the parabolic lens; and

4. the luminare door should be built to retain both the opaque diffuser and parabolic lens.

Such luminares should also contain emergency lamps - 150 W mini-can screw-base quartz lamps. Figure 4 shows the installation of a “coffer” system.

An adequate lighting system lights the panel,

the source material, the keyboard, the desk or outpuffreference area, and the surrounding space in

a balanced manner. By positioning properly

designed luminares in front of the station keepers,

all of the requirements should be fulfilled:




a baffle to eliminate direct glare;

a low-brightness louver or diffuser to control the upwardly directed light so that people standing are protected from direct glare;

a reflector to push the light out and down to the front of the work area;

a lens, baffle, or polarizer to inhibit veiling reflections; and

5. a second reflector to push light to the control board.


Luminares for the directional lighting should contain a specially designed asymmetrical parabolic specular reflector.



Keating, Roger M. “Indirect Lighting for CRT Environments,’’ LD & A, Illuminating Engi- neering Society, April 1992.

A full spectrum light has far greater spectral power distribution, as compared to standard cool

“CRT Applications,” LD & A, Illuminating Engi- neering Society, October 1982.

white fluorescent light (sometimes called distorted







spectrum light). A full spectrum light simulates the









full spectral power distribution range (both visible





and ultraviolet) of natural outdoor light. Our eyes

October 1982, pp. 138-140.


evolved in full spectrum light, in which we see best. Cool white fluorescent does not provide light

Chen, Kao. “Criteria of Illumination for Indus-

conducive for high color rendition. Full spectrum light in the indoor environment allows fine detail

trial Control Rooms,” IEEE-IAS Annual Confer- ence Proceedings, October 1990.

perception, more effective performance of visually demanding tasks, reduces glare, lessens eye fatigue and strain, and generally reduces maintenance and

Ross, Donald K. “Design Considerations for Illuminating Industrial Control Rooms,” IEEE-

replacement cost due to its long life feature. There-



Conference Proceedings, October

fore, if fluorescent lamps are chosen for the system, the new “triphosphor” type should be specified so that the appearance of balanced white light could be created.


In terms of color temperatures measured in degrees Kelvin C‘K), we find those around 3,500”K to be “balanced” or “neutral.” Color temperature designation is very accurate for an incandescent lamp, because it produces a continuous spectrum. Energy-efficient tungsten-halogen lamps might also be good candidates for the local directional lighting.


In a typical industrial control room with control boards and surrounding desk-type VDT setups, either cove lighting with directional lighting follow- ing the general contour of the boards, or a “coffer” lighting system would be a good choice.

As discussed in the previous papers, the specific choice would depend heavily on the control board design, shapes, and mounting of the monitors and control switches, etc. The specific choice should be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Recent research studies indicate, in general, diffused indirect lighting will be suitable for ambient illumination, and directional lighting will be effec- tive for control board illumination. As far as light sources are concerned, a full spectrum light source is highly recommended for these applications. Present- day commercial luminares usually require some modification to be fully satisfactory in these applica- tions. The detailed modifications will have to be determined and tailored for each specially designed control room.

Fig. 1.Panoramic view of modern control room.

Fig.2. Plant console with configuration mimic board.


Fig.3. Data acquisition console.

Fig.4. Toffer”system.