Why use a Professional Engineer to create your lighting design?

Reeflite offers to assist or create a lighting design based on your lighting requirements, This is generally a value added service that offers the peace of mind it is designed for and to ensure you have the best lighting solution.

The challenge we face daily is to ensure all the relevant Health and Safety aspects are catered for, as well as the National Regulators requirements from a product perspective.

What we have discovered in the past is that in certain instances, lighting designs have been created by other specialists, yet there are certain fundamentals that are not correctly applied. These are listed below:

  • The requirement is to comply to some sort of lighting standard, but they do not generally know which of these.
  • The consultant would ask a luminaire supplier to provide a design.
  • Generally the luminaire supplier would provide a lighting design without consideration for other elements and restrictions that the consultant may or may not be aware of, for example:
    • HVAC and fire protection/detection layouts in ceilings that would interfere with lighting layouts and electrical requirements.
  • Note that luminaire suppliers generally waiver any responsibility for the design, thus cannot be held responsible for lighting designs that are non-compliant, particularly if other luminaires are installed instead of those proposed by the supplier.
  • The consultant would receive these drawings and assume that the designs are done in compliance to standards.
  • When the installation is complete, most consultants would only visually inspect the lighting and deem it to be to standard.
  • The lighting installation would then be signed off by the consultant, and in so doing, the consultant then accepts responsibility for the lighting design, whether it is compliant or not.
  • Thus, there remains the risk that the installed lighting installation is creating an unsafe environment within which to work.

Below are the benefits to utilising a Professional Engineer to create the lighting design:

  • An ECSA registered professional engineer is liable for any design or work signed off by them.
  • Signed off designs must be in compliance with standards, thus the engineer needs to be knowledgeable in lighting standards to submit a lighting design.
  • The engineer needs to confirm that the lighting design is not in conflict with any other safety standards and view the design holistically (which lighting suppliers would normally not be aware of) of points covered such as:
    • Considering Safety
    • Functionality
    • Accessibility
    • Efficiency
    • Feasibility
    • Quality
    • Maintainability
    • Cost Effectiveness
  • A supplier may provide a design for financial gain (more luminaires than required), an engineer would consider the feasibility of various luminaires and select the most beneficial.
  • The lighting design is not biased.
  • Upon signing and issuing the design to the Client or Client's consultant, the engineer is liable for the design and both the Client and Client's consultant can be assured that the lighting design is done to standard and would provide a safe working environment.

In conclusion, a lighting design is not just a lighting design and due to the complexities surrounding lighting and the consequences of non-compliance, we suggest that we follow due process to ensure that all aspects are considered when creating the lighting design.


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