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What are the lighting requirements for a clean room?

The lighting requirements for a clean room are primarily dictated by the type of work being conducted and the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) or Federal Standard (FS) class of the clean room. These standards ensure that the lighting is adequate to support visual tasks, minimize shadows, reduce particle generation, and maintain a safe working environment. Here are some general principles and requirements:

  1. Illuminance Level: The level of illumination (measured in lux or foot-candles) should be sufficient for the tasks performed within the clean room. For instance, according to ISO 14644-1:2015, the recommended illuminance levels range from 300 lux for general areas up to 1000 lux or more for precision assembly or inspection areas.

  2. Uniformity: Clean rooms require high uniformity of light distribution to prevent shadowing which could lead to visual errors or obscured particles. This is often specified as a ratio of minimum to average illuminance over the work surface area.

  3. Color Rendering Index (CRI): A high CRI is typically desired so that colors appear natural and accurate, enabling workers to distinguish between materials or detect subtle color changes. A CRI of 80 or higher is often recommended.

  4. Luminaires: Lighting fixtures must be designed to minimize particle shedding and permit easy cleaning. They should also have sealed units to prevent dust ingress and avoid using materials that can off-gas, generate static electricity, or contaminate the environment.

  5. Glare Control: Glare should be minimized to ensure visual comfort and accuracy. Direct glare from luminaires or reflected glare from surfaces should be controlled through proper luminaire design and positioning.

  6. Maintenance and Accessibility: Luminaires should allow for easy maintenance and replacement without compromising the clean room environment.

  7. Compatibility with other Systems: Lighting systems should not interfere with other clean room equipment, such as air handling units or sensitive instrumentation, and should be EMI/RFI shielded if necessary.

  8. Redundancy: In critical applications, there may be a requirement for redundant lighting systems to ensure continuous operation even in case of a failure.

  9. Dimming and Controls: Advanced lighting controls might be required to adjust light levels based on occupancy, task needs, or energy efficiency goals.

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