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In Falmouth, Cornwall, the season was changing from the frigid winter into milder spring when resident David Morris spotted something unusual off the coast. He could not believe his eyes— a flying ship! But, of course, meteorologists were quick to explain the phenomenon was far from a miracle. Far from magic or extraterrestrial technology, it was a mirage. This trick of the light, called a superior mirage, is caused by a temperature inversion. Where the cold winter winds met the oncoming spring temps, the light in the distance created a strange warp in our perception of reality.
Light plays a vital role in visual communication; without light, our eyes would be useless. It is precisely because of light that humans can see the color spectrum we do. All colors have different wavelengths and frequencies reflected into our eyes through light, and all colors have- in some ways- symbolic importance to our language. Think of the unspoken message in the orange safety vests and cones around an open-road construction site: even with a language barrier, the orange hue is universal for caution. When the sun sets, semi-permanent industrial lights are powered on to ensure constant visibility— operator safety is paramount. Even the reflective strips on safety gear and equipment are designed to capture additional light. Morris’s flying boat may be an interesting and rare occurrence of natural light. Still, where artificial light on a work zone is concerned, the clearest visuals are regulated as a matter of safety, efficiency, and productivity
Poor lighting situations are grounds for accidents and injuries. Whether it is broken equipment or personal injuries, light fixtures dimmed with age endanger the workplace. On the other end of the spectrum, dated fixtures with high-glare bulbs can also disrupt visibility, especially towards traffic in road-work zones. Inadequate lighting in a warehouse, for example, can increase time spent handling inventory and decrease overall productivity. Routine maintenance of lighting equipment is a must. A multi-meter is the definitive way to test your lights for efficacy. Metal Halide lamps that emit a green glow and fluorescent bulbs with browned ends near the pins must be replaced.
The type of lighting used depends on location and purpose, with the ultimate goal being clear visibility and safety. However, lights may also be used to signal in hazardous work zones or to withstand the pressure and heat of explosions in a mine. Of the five primary types of industrial lighting, knowing their characteristics can help you choose the correct option for your next project.