Lighting is a critical factor in ensuring a safe working environment. The lighting needs to be reliable and the luminaires must achieve the required level of light intensity. However, there is much more to lighting than light distribution and intensity levels; the crew should also feel comfortable in their working environment and the lighting should help them remain focused while working. The crew in the engine room work without any natural daylight and so the light quality is particularly important.
Different areas of a ship require special demands for lighting
Just like any other area on-board a cruise vessel, the engine room has special demands for the installed lighting equipment. A critical requirement is the high overall ambient temperature in the engine room, with extreme hot spots close to the exhaust pipes. Several areas will also be subjected to high vibrations, especially at the rear of the vessel, for example, in the steering gear room or above the propeller shaft tunnel. Due to limited space and restricted heights in the engine room, this also requires lighting solutions whose designs are compact, low profile and that prevent any head injuries to the crew. As a result of the high demands placed on the quality, reliability and durability of its products, the Glamox Group operates modern assessment and testing laboratories in Norway and Germany for the simulation of a wide variety of environmental conditions.
Important factors when working with lighting solutions for engine rooms:
- No maintenance and reduced power consumption (high energy efficiency).
- Light quality.
- Mechanical strength/impact resistance.
- IP class (water ingress resistance).
No maintenance and reduced power consumption
An important requirement on-board a cruise vessel is to install luminaires that are virtually maintenance-free. This reduces or eliminates the labour costs primarily associated with the maintenance, servicing and replacement of light sources in difficult-to-reach locations with either poor access or often no access at all.
The luminaires should consume as little energy as possible in order to reduce the size of power generators, save energy and to minimise emissions/pollution.
The efficiency and life span of LED lighting continues to improve. LED luminaires are virtually maintenance-free, which means that cruise vessels with LED lighting will have lower operating costs compared to vessels with conventional luminaires. In addition, the reduced power consumption of LED lighting onboard has a positive impact on the cruise vessel’s Air Conditioning system, as less heat is emitted from the lighting, which means less AC power is needed and fuel consumption is reduced. The initial investment of the LED installation may be higher than a traditional lighting installation, but the reduced energy consumption and lower maintenance costs of LED lighting means that this price difference will be quickly recouped and payback on the investment is recovered quickly.
In an engine room, light output quality is important for visual perception and to enable the crew to distinguish between different colours and details. The colour-rendering index (CRI) should be above 80 in order for crew members to differentiate between colours and to see true colours. According to the different marine standards, the lux level required in an engine room will vary depending on the particular application. To avoid shadowing and to reduce glare (UGR), a proper light calculation will need to be carried out and luminaires with homogeneous light distribution should be selected. The preferred colour temperature in an engine room is equal to or higher than 4,000 Kelvin in order to improve safety, maximise efficiency and to ensure good, safe working conditions.
Using the correct combination of materials and components in the luminaire is also important. This ensures high robustness and longer operating life. Materials are specially selected to withstand exposure to chemicals and galvanic corrosion. The use of aluminium is vital for LED products to ensure sufficient cooling for continuous operation, low maintenance and long operating life. Using aluminium ensures a high ambient temperature (Ta) rating of the fixture. This is critical in an engine room, where temperatures can often exceed 45°C during normal operation. Lighting that is easy to install and that provides various mounting options ensures flexibility and time savings. Low height lighting designs and compactness of the luminaires will enable mounting even in areas with limited space. For areas where heavy vibrations are likely to occur, the use of LED fittings is recommended. LED lighting withstands shock and vibration due to the design of the diodes. No additional vibration suspension is required.
As the engine room is an area where oil, fuel and dirt are present, intensive cleaning is required. When using brushes, pipes and sometimes high-pressure cleaners, the luminaires must have a high IP protection rating to withstand these pressures. The Glamox Group recommends the use of IP66/67 lighting for these areas.
All lighting products for engine rooms should be designed in accordance with marine standards and regulations.