Heartland 101: Lighting the Way at Industrial Facilities

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Heartland 101: Lighting the Way at Industrial Facilities

Posted on Friday January 16, 2015 at 01:39PM

Think: reduce, reuse, recycle. You might picture a blue bag stuffed with common items such as plastic yogurt containers, cardboard cereal boxes and aluminum soup cans.

It’s also possible to apply the three Rs to lighting. Large industrial facilities like those in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland do just that. Initiatives at industrial sites are helping reduce the environmental impact of lights while still ensuring safe working conditions.

The Purpose of Proper Lighting
The glow from an industrial region can often illuminate the skyline, particularly during the short days in winter months. These lights play an important role at facilities including:

  • Safety: Adequate lighting ensures safe working conditions and helps prevent injuries
  • Productivity: Employees can work more efficiently in properly lit work sites
  • Notification: Lights are used on signs, signals, emergency alerts and more
Minimizing Environmental Impacts
In recent years, many industrial facilities have focused on reducing the impacts of their lights. This includes impacts on nature and wildlife through unwanted skyglow and light spill. Excess light can affect wildlife relationships, migration and natural behavioral patterns.
With a shift toward LED lights, companies are decreasing light spill. LED lights also last longer than traditional lighting and are more efficient, thus reducing energy consumption.

Lighting Initiatives in the Heartland
Both Shell and North West Redwater Partnership, among other companies, are undertaking specific actions to achieve efficient and optimal lighting.
  • Shell: Their Quest project, which will be operational this year, uses only LED lights. Additionally, Shell’s new administration building for 500 employees is designed to LEED Silver standard, which includes a focus on reducing light pollution. Work area lighting automatically turns off if no one is in the room. The building also uses the sun’s natural light as much as possible.
  • North West Redwater Partnership: The lighting design for their Sturgeon Refinery, which is currently under construction, mitigates the effect on wildlife, ensures optimal placement to reduce the number of required fixtures, and uses products that are free of mercury and hazardous materials. Additionally, the use of photocell lighting control allows for lights to automatically adjust to changing seasons and daily conditions.
For more information about Life in the Heartland, visit lifeintheheartland.com, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, or email info@lifeintheheartland.com.

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Author: Lamont County Now

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